What’s there to do Harrisburg, Pennsylvania? That was a question I asked myself before we headed on our road trip and this is what I found out...
A story by Steph Chong in 2013.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured that since it’s the capital city of Pennsylvania (that’s right, it is!), there had to be a lot of fun activities. And with no surprise, I was right!
Like most trips, I enjoy being active and doing fun things wherever we go.
The Hershey & Harrisburg Visitors Bureau provided us with an action packed schedule of activities.
And from several active days in the region, I’m going to highlight the following as possibly my favorite:
- Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
- Vertical Trek at Roundtop Mountain Resort
- Hershey Hotel Segway Tour
- Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
777 Hollywood Blvd., Grantville PA 17028 / 717-469-2211
The word ‘Hollywood’ already makes this place sound exciting! Like most casinos, there’s flashing machines, bells going off and people cheering.
I’m not going to lie, I enjoy the noise and overall atmosphere of casinos but we weren’t there to gamble; rather we went for the live thoroughbred racing.
I was really excited to try a new experience! Instead of betting on the colour red or black at the roulette table, I was betting on a horse. It was fun going through the race book and choosing which horse we were going to bet on.
We all had our different way of choosing a horse. I chose based on the horse’s ranking, meanwhile Hannah and Ellie being not as competitive as me chose horses based on their name.
For those that aren’t familiar with horse racing, many of them have interesting names. Yes I stress the word interesting like: Drink with Pride, Sitdown Pidgeon, Indiana Moon, Wild Imagination etc.
While none of us went home with any winnings, it was fun yelling and cheering for our horses! Try saying “Go Drink with Pride” ten times.
- Hollywood On the Roof (Venue for musical entertainment)
- Variety of dining options
Vertical Trek at Roundtop Mountain Resort
925 Roundtop Road, Lewisberry, PA 17339 / 717-432-9631
If you are an adventure junkie like myself, then you will like the Vertical Trek at Roundtop Mountain Resort.
The Vertical Trek consists of taking a ride on a chairlift to the top of the mountain and then making your way down through 18 different zip lines.
When I heard that we were descending about 600 feet through the various zip lines, I couldn’t wait!
What made this experience unique for me was that there were other challenges beyond being high off the ground and zip lining.
We got to do a Tarzan swing, climb down cargo nets and make our way across platforms that were spread out and you had to really reach for!
The adrenaline was definitely pumping and I thrived on it!
However if you are afraid of heights like Hannah, I would not recommend that you try this activity.
Hannah was a great sport and gave it a shot but after one, it was enough for her. Being approx. 40 feet high off the ground is awesome for some and also terrifying for others.
Check out the pictures and videos they have on their website before committing to a reservation.
Again, it’s a lot of fun with a great scenery!
If you’re lucky like us, you might see some wildlife like a baby deer!
Segway of Hershey at Hotel Hershey
100 Hotel Road, Hershey, PA 17033 / 717-668-1641
The Segway of Hershey tour was a lot of fun! Another new experience for all of us!
Trish and Bruce were great guides and instructors for us newbies. They did a through training course to ensure that we all felt comfortable operating the Segway.
If you’ve always been hesitant to try it, don’t be! Hannah who seemed tenser than Ellie and I did it and ended up having a lot of fun.
She was so comfortable operating it, that she started cutting tight corners and let’s just say she may or may not have hit some flowers. Trish and Bruce – if you see this, I’m apologizing on behalf of Hannah.
After you do a training course there is an option to do an Off-Road Tour where you explore secluded woods or do a Historical Tour around the Hotel Hershey grounds, which is what we did.
The grounds were really nice and everyone we passed on our tour were very friendly. Who doesn’t like waving and saying “hi” to people as you ride on balancing transportation device. Have I convinced you yet to try it?
If you are hesitant about going too fast, don’t be! Your guides can put a max on how fast you can travel on the device and if the Segway thinks you’re going too fast, like downhill for example, it will take control and slow you down.
Also – your guides will make sure you’re comfortable operating it beforehand. If you have more questions about operating Segways or the tour, just visit their website and or give them a call.
My advice if you plan on going is to wear comfortable shoes. After all it is a balancing device!
Finally, don’t forget to have fun and say hi to Bruce and Trish for us!
Segway Tour Season: March – November
Off-Road Tour: $79
Histroical Tour: $69
Hershey’s Chocolate World
251 Park Boulevard, Hershey, PA 17033 / 717-534-4900
When visiting Hershey The Sweetest Place on Earth (Hershey, PA), you have to stop in Hershey’s Chocolate World!
It’s an attraction for chocolate lovers! It couldn’t have been a better place for Ellie, Hannah and I to visit!
While we were at Hershey World we got to make our very own chocolate bar!
From the moment we stepped into the factory, I felt like I was one of the workers there because we were required to put on an apron and hair net for sanitary reasons.
As you can see from the photo, none of us looked good in a hairnet but it was all part of the experience! We then got to customizing ingredients and toppings for our chocolate bar and see them being added into our bars on the conveyer belt.
It was awesome to see the whole process of how it’s made! Finally we finished our experience by customize the packaging for our own chocolate bar, which made for a great souvenir.
The ultimate reward for working at the factory was eating my customized chocolate bar! Thank you Hershey Chocolate World, I will be back!
- Hershey’s Great American Chocolate Tour
- Hershey’s Great Chocolate Factory Mystery in 4D
- Hershey’s Chocolate Tasting Adventure
- Hershey Trolley Works
- Hershey’s Kisses Packaging
- Hershey’s Photo Bar Wrapper
- Hershey’s Dessert Creation Studio
As you can see from the list of activities we did, it was far from being a boring trip.
If anything I wish we had more time at each place! I would definitely recommend friends, family members and MISSADVENTURE followers to check out Harrisburg, PA.
If you are still hesitant, I’m going to be perfectly honest with you! The casino is not like Vegas, the zip lining isn’t comparable to Costa Rica and Hershey Chocolate World is not like visiting Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but we still had a blast! Each trip is what you make of it and for us it was a fun road trip (approx. 8 hours from Toronto) that we’ll probably do again!
Thanks Harrisburg, PA!