8 Places to Check Out in Central Pennsylvania

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I’ve lived in Central Pennsylvania my entire life so I’d like to think that even though I don’t have kids, I still know of some really fun and unique places. So if you’re from the area and want to explore more or you’re just passing through, here are 8 places to check out in Central Pennsylvania!
City Island

City Island is great because it’s a one stop shop. You can ride the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat during the day or even attend one of their adult fun cruises in the evening. City Island is home to the Harrisburg Senators so you can catch a came during the baseball season. You can even just walk around on the Island and enjoy the water, mini golf, and the little vendor shops set up to sell souvenirs and yummy food. I love City Island and it’s definitely an affordable destination for kids, plus there’s a little train that you can ride that gives you a quick tour of the small island.

Indian Echo Caverns

One of my favorite places to go at any age is Indian Echo Caverns. Not only can you take a tour in the actual underground caverns (it’s beautiful and so worth it), but there’s farm animals you can feed and pet and you can mine for gemstones! For a small price, you get a bag of sand and gem stones that you take to their little mill and sift through. I seriously love crystals anyways, so I was stoked to take my niece here last year to mine for some more. Also, their gift shop is AMAZING and has so many cool things especially hand-crafted items from local artisans. Also, there’s a fun playground outside which seems to be a big hit with kids.

Hershey Gardens

Hershey Gardens is such a beautiful place. There are TONS of different flowers and plants to take in and a beautiful pond with koi fish as well. I especially love the gift shop AND the magical butterfly area where you can literally walk in and butterflies land on you.

Mt. Gretna Lake and Beach

Mt. Gretna Lake and Beach are a fun way to get out in nature without going too far out of the way. You can rent paddleboats to enjoy the lake and even go fishing in designated areas. There’s a beach area with actual sand where you can relax while your kids play. There’s some cute little restaurants down that way as well.

State Parks

Pennsylvania has plenty of state parks and forests to explore but some of the closest ones are Pinchot Park, Colonel Denning, and Little Buffalo. You can fish, hike, boat, and relax and take in the scenery. And if you enjoy camping, you’re in luck because you have plenty of great spots to choose from.

Fort Hunter Conservancy

The Fort Hunter Conservancy is on Fishing Creek Valley Road and is open to the public for hiking during the day. You can’t camp or have fires going but you can bird watch and check out all the plants and animals you come across. With every wooded area being developed these days, it’s nice that these preserves still exist.

Millworks Art Gallery

Millworks is my favorite place to go because I can eat a delicious wholesome dinner and then walk around and look at the art studios and shop from different local artists and vendors. It’s literally the perfect way to spend an evening in Harrisburg. Eat and drink and then observe. I have actually purchased several things from the artists there and it feels so good to support these local magical crafters!

Next time you’re in Central Pennsylvania, check some of these places out!

What are your favorite local spots around here?


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