Getaway Guide: One-Tank Trip To Harrisburg

September 15, 2012 6:00 AM

One of the greatest perks about living in the D.C. metro area is that it’s just a short drive away from plenty of other metropolitan cities, including Harrisburg, Pa. Located along the shore of the Susquehanna River, Harrisburg is a melting pot of history, art, culture and music. There is no shortage of activity in this picturesque city, so head out this weekend for education and excitement just down the road.

jfx backup Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Harrisburg

Getting There

Make your way out of Baltimore and head toward I-83 north. Stay on I-83 north for about 76 miles, then take the exit for Capitol/2nd Street. Turn left to stay on 2nd Street, then turn right onto Market Street. Next, turn left on North 5th Street, then right onto Walnut Street. Finally, turn right onto North 7th Street. The entire trip is about 80 miles and should take about 1.5 hours, depending on the flow of traffic. Wander along the Butterfly Garden at the Cylburn Arboretum, sample wine at Woodhall Wine Cellars or catch the Harrisburg Senators play at Metro Bank Park in City Island along the way.

whitaker center for science and the arts Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Harrisburg

Credit: Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts

What To Do

Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts
222 Market St.
Harrisburg, Pa. 17101
(717) 214-2787

Click here for ticket information.

View intriguing science exhibits, live theater performances and thrilling IMAX documentaries, such as Tornado Alley 3D, in this state-of-the-art center. This family friendly destination offers plenty of activities for kids and adults alike, including interactive exhibits and experiments. Learn about how weather and geology impact the planet, or admire paintings and sculptures by local artists. The Whitaker Center also offers a performance art theater, concerts and artist seminars.

Related: Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Virginia Beach

shopping generic 1 Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Harrisburg

(Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace
2547 Bindle Drive
Harrisburg, Pa. 17110

Indulge in a little retail therapy. Located at the intersection of I-81 and I-83, the Shoppes at Susquehanna Marketplace feature more than two dozen shops, restaurants and specialty stores. Enjoy daily hot deals and special discounts at many nationally recognized retailers, including Banana Republic, Bath and Body Works and Williams-Sonoma. Join the Shopper’s Club and get the latest scoop about upcoming sales and special events in your mailbox.

Pride of the Susquehanna
107 North St.
Harrisburg, Pa. 17101
(717) 234-6500

Click here for tickets and reservations.

Climb aboard the Pride of the Susquehanna and see the city from a totally different perspective. The paddlewheel riverboat offers the best views of the city capital and skyline. The boat features indoor and outdoor seating, snacks and drinks for purchase and plenty of live entertainment. Choose from a variety of daytime and evening cruises, such as the super-fun Pirates on the Pride family cruise, as well as the fall foliage cruise, classic dinner cruise and even a murder-mystery dinner cruise. Advanced reservations are required. 

fire house restaurant Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip To Harrisburg



The Fire House Restaurant
606 N. Second St.
Harrisburg, Pa. 17101
(717) 234-6064

The aptly named Fire House Restaurant is established in one of Pennsylvania’s oldest standing firehouses. While you can’t slide down a fireman’s pole, you may enjoy delicious dishes such as the Fire House burger, Hungarian stuffed peppers and garlic-studded filet mignon, among other tasty treats. Grab a seat out on the patio or a comfy booth inside. The restaurant also features statues of firemen, firehouse decor, photos throughout and even a fire hydrant beer tap. Enjoy daily food and drink specials as well as birthday and bachelor/bachelorette party specials.


Wingate by Wyndham
1344 Eisenhower Blvd.
Harrisburg, Pa. 17111
(717) 985-1600

Price: from $119 a night

Snag a free continental breakfast, WiFi and a copy of USA Today when you stay at Wingate by Wyndham. Each room features a sitting area, refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, comfy bedding and bath amenities. Work out in the fitness center or relax in the hot tub. The hotel also features a business center, an on-site restaurant and laundromat services.

Related: The Best Scenic Drives Within 60 miles of D.C.

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, Va. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

[javascript src=]

Watch & Listen LIVE