My two friends Bonnie Francis and Vivian Roosevelt and I decided to go hunting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to experience the history, scenery and cuisine of this city. Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania and an important scene in the American Civil War and the Industrial Revolution. It has a spectacular capitol building, rich museums, beautiful rivers and islands, and a variety of food and specialties. Here, we not only enjoyed the fun of hunting, but also learned about the culture and history of this city. In this article, I will share with you our Harrisburg hunting trip, hoping to inspire your interest and curiosity about this city.
Before we went hunting in Harrisburg, we learned about the history and culture of this city and found it to be a place full of stories and charm. Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania and an important scene in American history. Its name comes from John Harris, an English merchant who obtained permission to trade with the Susquehannock Indians in 1705 and established a trading post and ferry around 1718. This place was originally called Harris Ferry, but was later renamed Louisburg in 1785 to commemorate King Louis XVI of France, but the name Harrisburg was more popular and was used in the city charters of 1791 and 1860.
Harrisburg played an important role in American history, especially during the American Civil War and the Industrial Revolution. It was the political center of Pennsylvania and a transportation hub for canals and railways. It was once a gathering place for federal troops during the Civil War and one of the targets of the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania led by General Lee in June 1863. It was also a town of industrial development, with steel mills, shipyards, shoe factories and other manufacturing industries. It was also a birthplace of culture and art, producing many writers, musicians, painters and other celebrities.
The architecture and art style of Harrisburg also reflect its history and culture. Its most eye-catching building is the Pennsylvania State Capitol, which was built in 1906 to replace the first wicapitol that was destroyed by fire in 1897. Its dome was designed after the model of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and stands at 272 feet (83 meters), one of the highest domes in the United States. It is decorated with various sculptures, murals, stained glass and other artworks, showing the history and industries of Pennsylvania. In addition to the capitol, Harrisburg has many other buildings of historical significance or aesthetic value, such as the National Civil War Museum, the State Museum, the Finance Building and so on. The National Civil War Museum is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to the Civil War, and it displays various aspects of the war, including military, political, social, cultural and so on. It has more than 24,000 artifacts, artworks, photos and documents, as well as multimedia presentations and interactive devices. We learned about the causes, processes and outcomes of the war, as well as its impact on American history and society. The State Museum is the official museum of Pennsylvania, and it collects various relics, artworks, natural specimens and so on from prehistoric times to modern times. The Finance Building is a department of the Pennsylvania government, and it was built in 1929 in a neo-Renaissance style, decorated with bronze statues, elaborate chandeliers and painted murals. These buildings not only show the history and culture of Harrisburg, but also show its aesthetics and creativity.
Besides history and culture, Harrisburg also has many attractions and activities that can offer different experiences to visitors. Whether you like nature, art or entertainment, you can find something suitable for you in this city. Here are some of the attractions and activities that we visited and experienced during our hunting trip in Harrisburg:
National Civil War Museum: This is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to the Civil War, and it displays various aspects of the war, including military, political, social, cultural and so on. It has more than 24,000 artifacts, artworks, photos and documents, as well as multimedia presentations and interactive devices. We learned about the causes, processes and outcomes of the war, as well as its impact on American history and society. Pennsylvania State Capitol: This is the seat of government of Pennsylvania and a landmark building of Harrisburg. Its dome was designed after the model of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and stands at 272 feet (83 meters), one of the highest domes in the United States. It is decorated with various sculptures, murals, stained glass and other artworks, showing the history and industries of Pennsylvania. We joined a free guided tour and admired the beauty and details of this building. Fort Hunter Mansion and Park: This is a historic mansion and park located on the banks of the Susquehanna River. It was originally an English trading post and fortification, later became a farm and residence. It is now a museum that shows the lifestyle and customs from the 18th century to the early 20th century. The park has gardens, trails, playgrounds and other facilities for leisure and picnic.
Susquehanna Riverboat Cruise: This is a way to enjoy the scenery of Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River. We took an antique-style riverboat and cruised on the river for 45 minutes, listening to the guide introduce the history and attractions along the shore. We also saw many wildlife, such as waterfowl, seals and turtles. The riverboat also offers other themed tours, such as dinner dances, jazz concerts, Halloween parties and so on, allowing visitors to enjoy different atmospheres and fun on the river.
During our hunting trip in Harrisburg, we also did not miss the food and specialties of this city. Harrisburg has many restaurants of different flavors and styles, catering to various tastes and budgets. From Italian, Mexican, to Asian cuisine, from bars, cafes, to fine dining, you can find your favorite choice here. Here are some of the food and specialties that we tasted and recommended during our hunting trip in Harrisburg:
Broad Street Market: This is the oldest farmers market in Pennsylvania and a landmark of Harrisburg. It was established in 1860 and now has more than 40 stalls selling various fresh produce, meat, seafood, dairy, baked goods and so on. We bought some fruits, cheese and bread here as snacks for our hunting. We also tried some local specialties, such as Philadelphia cheesesteak, German sausage and Polish dumplings. Hershey’s Chocolate World: This is a chocolate-themed amusement park located in Hershey town east of Harrisburg. It is the home of Hershey Company, the largest chocolate manufacturer in the world. We took a free chocolate tour here and saw the process of making chocolate from cocoa beans to finished products. We also tasted various flavors and shapes of chocolate samples and bought some as souvenirs in the store. Vino Italian Restaurant: This is a family-style Italian restaurant located in downtown Harrisburg. It offers authentic Italian cuisine, such as pizza, pasta, salad and so on. We had a dinner here and ordered a seafood pizza and a beef marsala. The pizza was large and thin, topped with fresh shrimp, clams, octopus and other seafood. The beef marsala was made with tender beef slices cooked with marsala wine sauce and cream sauce, served with pasta and peas. The food was delicious and generous.
The Millworks: This is a creative space that combines artist studios, galleries and restaurants, located in the Midtown district of Harrisburg. It is a former factory converted into a new use, retaining the original brick walls and wooden beams. We visited some of the artists’ works here, admiring their paintings, sculptures, pottery and so on. We also had a lunch at the restaurant, tasting some food made with local organic ingredients, such as chicken salad, burger and apple pie. We also tried some of their home-brewed beers, such as IPA, stout and fruit beer.
Of course, our main purpose of going to Harrisburg was hunting. Harrisburg is a good place for hunting, because it has rich wildlife resources, vast public lands, and various hunting services and facilities. Whether you want to hunt deer, turkey, rabbit or waterfowl, you can find suitable places and ways here. Here are some of the hunting activities and services that we participated in and enjoyed during our hunting trip in Harrisburg:
Great American Outdoor Show: This is a nine-day outdoor exhibition, the largest event in the United States celebrating hunting, fishing and outdoor traditions. It is held every February and attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the country. It has more than 1,000 exhibitors covering various fields such as shooting, archery, fishing, boating, RVs and art. It also has a rich schedule of events, including lectures, archery competitions, celebrity appearances, seminars, demonstrations and so on. We saw the latest hunting products and technologies here, listened to the experts’ advice and experience, and also participated in some interactive and entertaining activities. Hunting Preserves: These are some private venues that offer hunting services and facilities, usually located in suburban or rural areas. They have different sizes and features, some focus on a certain animal or way, some offer multiple choices. We booked a pheasant hunting activity here with professional guides and hunting dogs. We looked for targets on an open and beautiful prairie, enjoying the fun and challenge of hunting. Public Lands: These are some public lands managed by the state or federal government, usually allowing public hunting activities under certain regulations. They have different types and sizes, such as national forests, national wildlife refuges, state parks and so on. We applied for a whitetail deer permit here and looked for prey in a vast and varied forest. We felt the beauty and wildness of nature as well as the skill and passion of hunting.
Our hunting trip in Harrisburg was an unforgettable experience. We not only enjoyed the fun and challenge of hunting but also appreciated the history and culture of this city tasted the food and specialties of this city participated in the attractions and activities of this city. We felt that Harrisburg was a good place for hunting as well as a good place for traveling. We hope to have the opportunity to come here again explore more hunting places and ways as well as explore more city scenery and customs.