The Central PA Movers’ Guide
The Central PA Movers’ Guide
From rural, green landscapes to exciting nightlife activities, Central Pennsylvania is a great place to live. Many people call this area home because of its diverse entertainment options, exceptional schools and proximity to large cities.
If you’re moving to Central PA for the first time, it can be tough to learn all you need to know about the area. The important thing to keep in mind is that it’s a great place to settle in with your family, start a new career or set out on your own for the first time. Our moving to Pennsylvania guide is full of all the details you might want to keep in mind as you prepare for the next chapter in your life in Central PA.
Arts and Culture
Finding quality entertainment in Central PA isn’t hard. Whether you prefer Broadway-style shows, live band performances or hilarious comedy routines, there’s a little bit of everything to keep you busy during your free time.
- The Hershey Theatre
Celebrating 80 years, The Hershey Theatre is a staple for touring productions. Since it was built in 1933, it has hosted comedians, music productions and popular bands stopping in Hershey before heading off to their next destination.
If you’re moving to Hershey, PA or the surrounding area, check out all that The Hershey Theatre has to offer. Jerry Seinfeld, “The Price is Right Live” and “Matilda the Musical” are just three of the amazing entertainment options that have popped up at the theater in recent years. Don’t forget to learn about Milton Hershey’s desire to make the theater a community gathering place and check out the more than 18 lions that decorate the building.
- Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center
Those relocating to York, PA, will be in awe of the treasure that is the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center. Nestled in downtown York, the theater has been the host to live performances by comedians competing for NBC’s Last Comic Standing, the local York Symphony Orchestra and nationally known author David Sedaris.
The non-profit venue is made up of five buildings and two theaters that have been a hot spot for entertainment since 1906. The historical integrity has been maintained over the years to give visitors a breathtaking view of angelic paintings on the ceiling and traditional balcony seating options in the Capitol Theater.
- The Performance Theater at the Whitaker Center
An intimate setting modeled after the Radio City Music Hall, the Sunoco Performance Theater at the Whitaker Center in downtown Harrisburg is a great place for those moving to Harrisburg, PA. From “Menopause: The Musical” to performances by comedian Joy Behar or Blue Oyster Cult, there’s a little something for everyone.
Funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Whitaker Center hosts educational, entertaining and informative options for anyone wishing to expand their horizons. Whether you want to bust your gut laughing, tap your feet to a rock band or learn something new, there are plenty of rotating options to help fill your calendar.
If you want to take advantage of all the activities this area has to offer, step outdoors. We can’t provide a Central PA movers guide without talking about the beautiful landscapes and adventurous opportunities this area has to offer.
- The Susquehanna River
If you’re looking for activities in Harrisburg, PA, look no further than the Susquehanna River. Traveling from New York to the Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna River nestles the city of Harrisburg at its widest point, stretching a mile wide.
If you want to enjoy the river with the safe expertise of a guide, hop on the Pride of the Susquehanna, the Harrisburg Riverboat. This historic paddle boat takes daily cruises from City Island in downtown Harrisburg. Look for unique events, such as jazz cruises, wine tours and dinner options if you want to make a night of your experience on the river.
If you prefer to get a closer look at the river and its wildlife, visit Susquehanna Outfitters, located near the parking lot on City Island. Here, a kayak can get you right on the water so you can explore the islands of the Susquehanna River and snag a picnic lunch on one of the banks. You could also explore the prime fishing locations.
- Roundtop Mountain Resort
A great escape for those relocating to York, PA, Roundtop Mountain Resort is a winter sports destination. Learn to ski and snowboard here with well-trained instructors or cozy up in the lodge for a tasty meal and a warm beverage to get you toasty again. If you can’t make it in the winter, check out the summer activities, which include zip lining, paintballing and a ropes course.
- The Appalachian Trail
The most famous hiking destination in the United States, the Appalachian Trail, snakes through Pennsylvania’s backyard. It’s an easy outdoor destination for people moving to Cumberland County, PA. The 13-mile section that stretches through the area is a favorite of hikers because it’s easy to walk.
Known as the midway point to the 2,189 mile trail, it’s also a great location to meet hikers who have been traveling the entire route. Maybe their stories of adventure will inspire you to hike the rest of the trail.
Learn About Central PA Schools
There are plenty of great schools to stimulate young minds to Central PA.
Central York School District in York, PA is a great school for students who wish to pursue excellence. The school reports a graduation rating of more than 94 percent and ranked 86.5 out of 100 on its high school performance rating.
The Derry Township School District in Dauphin County is one of the best school districts in the region, boasting a ranking of 34 out of a Pennsylvania’s 496 school districts. Its graduation rate in 2014 was also 95.58 percent. The high school’s average 2014 SAT scores also were above the state and national averages, with students scoring 543 in verbal, 553 in math and 535 in writing.
The Lower Dauphin School District was another top local school, ranking 76 out of 496 Pennsylvania schools. In 2014, the graduation rate was 93.86 percent. Its high school also ranked 91.9 out of 100 for school performance.
Find the Best Medical Care
It’s important to know where to get medical care when moving to your new home. With a range of award-winning medical institutions, Central PA is home to the finest healthcare options.
Located in the heart of York County, WellSpan offers a premier trauma unit at York Hospital as well as a range of professionals who can provide primary care at practices throughout the area. Discover free health classes that target joint pain, smoking cessation and healthy eating. WellSpan regularly contributes more than $175 million each year in charitable health care services. It features more than 160 patient care locations and is the region’s only accredited Level 1 Trauma Center, according to its website.
- Penn State Hershey Medical Center
With more than one thousand practitioners, Penn State Hershey Medical Center is one of the leading medical facilities in the area. Its children’s hospital also touts six specialties, including cancer, nephrology, cardiology and heart surgery, urology, neurology and neurosurgery, and orthopedics.
Mothers and newborns also enjoy a special program called Hugs and Kisses. Through this program, wristlets and anklets alert care providers if a baby is matched with the wrong mother or if the baby is taken off the floor without authorization. The “kisses” part of the system refers to how matching bracelets and anklets light up when a mother and her baby are together.
Hit Up a Farmers’ Market
The farms of Central PA overflow with fresh produce — a welcome sign of warmer weather for those just moving to Central PA. If you want to taste all that the area has to offer, get lost in your local farmers market. Many also feature lunch spots, so you can grab fresh meats and produce to make at home later and still grab a bite before you leave.
- Central Market York
A York staple for more than 125 years, Central Market York is set in a beautiful historic building that has hosted community events, weddings and businesses.
Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, the market is home to some of York County’s most popular mom-and-pop stands. Stop by JR’s Fresh Cut French Fries for a warm greeting from the three owners who keep busy preparing delicious lunch options behind the counter. Grab brunch from Mezzogiorno, where Italian dining can be enjoyed on any budget. Sip on a fresh squeezed smoothie from Brunner’s Exotic Fruits and then grab some fresh, seasonal produce to take home from Dennis Fitz Home Grown Fruits and Vegetables. Be sure to check out events going on at YorKitchen, with can include live cooking demonstrations and crafts for kids.
- West Shore Farmers Market
Open Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, the West Shore Farmers Market is a produce paradise in Lemoyne. Grab a spicy lunch to go from MidSt8 Taco before stocking up on all your fresh veggies from Smucker’s Produce. Take home a treat from Barb’s Bakery and grab something for your furry friend from Doggie Delights. If you have time to venture upstairs, visit the Baby Bug and Me Children’s Boutique or the Mustache Alley Barber Shop. It really is a market for one-stop shopping.
- Broad Street Market
Another popular destination for those moving to Harrisburg, PA, is the Broad Street Market. Grab a sweet whoopie pie from Sugar Whipped or a classy doughnut from Evanilla to go with your morning coffee. Green Ridge Acres is ready to supply you with all your fresh produce needs while Hummer’s Meats has the finest selection of fresh and smoked meats to take home and throw on the grill. If all the smells of the market make you hungry, stick around for lunch and grab a bite at Soul Burrito, The Harrisburger or Mad Dash Gourmet Grilled Cheese.
Celebrate With Dinner and a Drink
Moving to a new town can be a workout. Once you get settled in and have everything unpacked from cardboard boxes, you’ll want to celebrate moving to your new home. Nothing says that better than dinner and a drink.
- Otto’s and Left Bank
If you’re up for exploring all that downtown York has to offer, you’ve got to visit these two establishments on George Street: A night out on the town isn’t complete without a cocktail at Otto’s Kitchen and Cocktails and a gourmet dinner at the Left Bank Restaurant.
A great place to grab a drink and kick off the night, the remodeled bar at Otto’s features signature cocktails like the Pale Blue Dot and Earth, Fire, Air and Watermelon as well as classic cocktails such as the favorite Moscow Mule and the Manhattan.
When your stomach starts growling for something more, grab your stuff and make sure not to miss your reservation at the Left Bank a block down the street. Sink into a warm brie cheese brulee as a starter and then dig into the delicious entrees such as the smoked pork chop or the free-form crab cake. Whether you cap off the meal with the vanilla bean crème brulee or the chocolate s’mores tower, you’re about to sink into a tasty food coma.
- Federal Taphouse and The Millworks
Climb up on a bar stool and order from the extensive draft list of beers offered by the Federal Taphouse on Second Street in Harrisburg. Those moving to Harrisburg, PA, will fall in love with its wide selection of beverages and handcrafted pizzas. Featuring local and national beers, Federal Taphouse is committed to providing diners with a long list of options to help quench their thirst.
When you’ve had enough, take a long summer stroll or a short drive to The Millworks on Verbeke Street. The recently opened restaurant features ingredients grown by local farmers on a sustainable, seasonal menu. An outdoor biergarten also offers a breezy place to grab a bite. When you finish eating, explore the upstairs art studios — they are often occupied by local artists happy to showcase their skills.
- The Iberian Lounge and The Circular
Sneak into the Hotel Hershey after you’ve moved to Hershey, PA, to get a taste of all it has to offer. Cozy up next to the fire at the Iberian Lounge, where signature chocolate cocktails speak to the adult sweet tooth. Stick around for a live jazz performance while you make light conversation over drinks.
When dinner calls, head to The Circular, a refined dining experience that tempts the taste buds and dazzles diners with its views overlooking the gardens. Start the meal with the house made pimento cheese and then move onto tantalizing entrees, such as the Pennsylvania lamb or the Berkshire pork tenderloin. Save room for dessert: Black forest truffle and the Peanut n’ Caramel mousse are very tempting options.
Making the Move
SDL Custom Homes is happy to help you create the perfect haven when it comes time to move to Central PA. We hope our Central PA Movers Guide helped you learn about the many treats this area offers that makes it feel like home. Be sure to request an estimate online to see how SDL Custom Homes can help you find the place to put your roots.