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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s state capital, features a nondescript, fairly unattractive downtown for a capital city. Amenities include an assortment of historic museums and a nice waterfront strip along the Susquehanna River. Beyond downtown, residential and industrial areas spread across the river into Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg to the west. The economy isn’t spectacular but is projected to grow because of the area’s relatively low cost of doing business and the strategic central location along key surface transportation routes within the eastern United States.
The city has some minor-league sports and other recreational amenities, but overall is quieter with less to do than many capital cities of its size. Carlisle is a satellite town 12 miles west, a fairly non-descript but growing retail, commercial and residential center. It also serves as a trucking hub at the junction of the northeast-southwest I-81 and the east-west Pennsylvania Turnpike. Cost of living is low for a capital city, especially in this region.
Harrisburg is in the Great Valley of the eastern foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. The landscape rises rapidly to the west into the main Allegheny ridge and becomes rolling to more level to the east. Thick deciduous forests cover the mountains with agricultural areas to the east and south. The Blue Mountain ridge serves as a barrier to modify the severe winter climate experienced 50 to 100 miles to the north and west. Summers are warm and humid as landforms allow warm, moist air to invade from the southwest. The city receives substantial precipitation. Occasional late summer and fall hurricanes produce downpours. First freeze is late October, last is late April.
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