Two things define Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 100 mi/162 km west of Philadelphia: the Susquehanna River and the fact that it's the state's capital. The sprawling Capitol building is an Italian Renaissance-style masterpiece. Within the museumlike structure, you'll find stained-glass windows and statuary, sweeping murals and a grand spiral staircase made of marble.

Across from the Capitol is the State Museum of Pennsylvania, which covers the state's history from prehistoric times to the present and contains period rooms, Native American exhibits, a collection of antique cars and carriages, a planetarium, artifacts and artwork—including the famous Peter Rothermel mural of Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

The annual Pennsylvania Farm Show (the largest indoor agricultural event in the U.S.) is held every January inside the gigantic Farm Show Complex. More than 400,000 attend this yearly fest to see tens of thousands of animals and watch as contestants try to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Chicken Dance.

Stroll Front Street and the Shipoke district to see the city's historic homes and mansions, some of which are open for tours. Along the Susquehanna's banks you'll find Riverfront Park and City Island. These two recreation areas draw thousands of visitors every year—to jog, boat, fish, ride the train, play in the arcade, canoe or just walk. City Island is where you can watch the Harrisburg Senators, the minor league baseball team, or catch a ride on the Pride of the Susquehanna, an 1800s paddlewheel boat.

Just south of Harrisburg, skiers flock to Roundtop Mountain Resort.

Request Full Destination Guide

To request access to the full version of this destination guide, please provide your email address below. Your email address will only be used for verification purposes and will not be used for marketing purposes.