GUEST POST: Today’s the Day Harrisburg

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The following is a guest post by “Newsy” whilst “Boozy” is browsing the rum selection in the Caribbean. 

Photo by Dani Fresh
Photo by Dani Fresh

I’m a city girl.

No, I wasn’t born and raised here in the city of Harrisburg, but my father was. Both of my grandfathers attended city schools, and I grew up with stories about and frequent visits to this capital city along the river.

It’s in my blood.

Part of the draw of moving to Harrisburg seven years ago was the urban lifestyle—stately row houses, walkability, culture, options, things to do and people to see. All the good things that come with city living.

It didn’t take long to find favorite haunts, places to get things and diverse people to commune with.

The list is long from pubs to shops to murals to gardens to monuments to assets too many residents and visitors alike don’t realize are even here.

Perhaps, though, the greatest thing about the city of Harrisburg is that it is a river city.

2013 City of HBG skyline from river

It took two years of pining on the river steps until we saved up and got our old school pontoon boat. Since then, every May we dock it at Riverside Marina on City Island and every October we pull it out and put it in storage until boating season comes back around.

It’s our vacation. And it’s a close, easy, ongoing one.

Sometimes we go after work on a weeknight. Just look out over the water on any given evening and you’re likely to see a small cluster of boats in relatively the same spot watching the sun go down.

On Friday and Saturday evenings, we pick up friends along the steps … friends with picnic baskets and coolers, cocktails and nibbles partaken in the middle of the river in between islands with the capital dome as backdrop.

2013 Riverview sunset

Sometimes we get a craving and pull up to grab takeout from Passage to India. When the festivals are happening, all aboard have the chance to run to the top of Riverfront Park for a foray into the masses for funnel cake and BBQ sandwiches brought back to the boat.

Sundays are a truly lovely time to be out there. That’s a full day thing. Family from outside the city especially enjoy these days of relaxing, floating, chatting with passing kayakers, bird watching (which is amazing!), cruising under the many bridges and gazing on the city skyline.

The city is the river, too–an escape from the energized hustle and bustle of macadam and buildings to the current of the Susquehanna River where another perspective of Harrisburg enriches this place.

The funny thing is, I miss those days sitting along the river on the old concrete steps looking out over the water, wondering and wishing to be on it. Once in awhile, we do it for nostalgia sake, but now I know what the other perspective is like. And it’s pretty amazing.

Whether looking from the city to the water or from the water to the city, it’s all Harrisburg and it’s all worth experiencing.

You don’t have to own a boat to enjoy the river. Here are some things to do along, around, and within it:

Sara Bozich
Author: Sara Bozich

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