With the recent focus on the Gettysburg commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, nearby Harrisburg with its most impressive collection of museums and sights has been mostly overlooked.
Your first stop should be The National Civil War Museum; an outstanding modern museum that is the only one providing equal, bias free attention to both Union and Confederate history. Featured are 24,000 artifacts, exhibits, documents, and photographs valued at over $17 million; most striking are those giving
a graphic picture of slavery and how black Americans served in important positions including as officers.
For more details please visit www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org
The State Museum of Pennsylvania is currently exhibiting The Objects of Valor: Commemorating the Civil War in Pennsylvania. Featured are the expansive narrative painting "Battle of Gettysburg" by Peter Rothermel, General Meade's Gettysburg chair, John Burns' musket, and other impressive artifacts donated by veterans and their families over the past 100 years. The museum overall features over 4 million unique
exhibits demonstrating Pennsylvania's story in American history along with a modern planetarium and a play space for small children. For more information please visit www.statemuseumpa.org
When it is time to take a break for lunch recommended is the Broad Street Market, founded in 1860, with the distinction of being the oldest continually operated market house in the United States. During the Civil War the market helped to feed the 300,000 Union soldiers at nearby Camp Curtin. Today the market has
nearly 40 vendors including Amish farmers offering local produce, meats, baked good, and prepared meals.
For more information please visit www.broadstreetmarket.org
Any visit to Harrisburg would not be complete without a visit to the Pennsylvania State Capital, considered to be one of the most ornate capital buildings in America. The Capital's centerpiece is a spectacular 272-foot, 52 million pound dome inspired by Michelangelo's design for St. Peter's Bascilica in Rome. Free tours
are offered. For more details please visit www.pacapital.com
Where to dine...During our stay we sampled a a very nice small selection of restaurants including Char's at Tracy Mansion, Mangia Qui, and Bricco. Char's is an American Bistro located in a circa 1913 mansion overlooking the Susquehanna River, updated with geothermal and wind energy. Expect artfully prepared
flavorful food, although sauces can be a little heavy handed. The Escargot with Baby Wilted Spinach and the Seared Sea Scallops are recommended. For more details please visit www.charsrestaurant.com . For brunch we visited Mangia Qui, a warm and cheerful Mediterranean style restaurant prepared by Culinary Institute of America trained chef Qui Qui Musarra. Their Smoked Salmon Benny was well prepared and
and satisfying, an excellent value at $12. For more details please visit www.mangiaqui.com . Bricco is a partnership with the Olewine School of Culinary Arts and the Harrisburg Hotel Corporation, managed by the Hilton Hotel. The specialty here is Mediterranean and Italian flavors primarily using local produce. Bricco has also rightfully earned Harrisburg's only DiRoNA, Wine Spectator, and Sante magazine award winning restaurant. recommended here is their grilled calamari, selection of pristine oysters, and Kennett Square mushroom pizza with truffle oil. For more details visit www.briccopa.com .
Where to stay...On this visit we stayed at the centrally located Crown Plaza Hotel featuring free internet, roof top fitness center, and very nice indoor pool suitable for laps. For more details please visit www.crowneplaza.com/Harrisburg .
We arrived via the Amtrak Keystone Service via Philadelphia, arriving in the centrally located historic
station. For more information please visit www.amtrak.com
Harrisburg International Airport is served by Air Canada, AirTran, American Eagle, Continental Airlines,
Delta Airlines, United and US Airways. For more information please visit www.flyhia.com
Ample parking meters and garages are available throughout the downtown area, free after 5pm on week days and weekends.