harrisburg

Tom Wolf’s inauguration: How to get around (and party in) Harrisburg and Hershey

If you’re traveling to Harrisburg next Tuesday for Tom Wolf’s gubernatorial inauguration, your timing is just a bit off: You missed the Pennsylvania Farm Show and its Central PA goodness by just a couple days!

But no worries. Here’s your guide for how to do Central PA while you’re there on Tuesday (from a seasoned vet):

The inauguration deets

Swearing-In Ceremony of Lieutenant Governor Michael J. Stack III
Pennsylvania State Capitol, Senate Chamber, Tuesday – 10 a.m.

Swearing-In Ceremony of the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf
Pennsylvania State Capitol, East Wing. Commonwealth Avenue, Harrisburg

  • Gates open: 10 a.m.
  • Guests must be seated: 11:30 a.m.
  • Swearing-in: Noon

Open House Hosted By the Governor and First Lady
The Governor’s Residence, 2035 North Front St., Harrisburg – 3 p.m.

“Let’s Get Started” Inaugural Celebration of the 47th Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf
The Hershey Lodge, 325 University Drive, Hershey – 8 p.m. 

Check here for ticketing information, stat.

How to get around

There isn’t a train system in Harrisburg, and the public transportation that does exist is pretty unreliable (Sorry, CAT). You’re going to want to drive for this one. While you’re heading to the capitol building, I’d recommend parking in the garage at Fifth and Market streets. It’s close to the capitol, but usually doesn’t fill up. When you head over to Hershey for the “Let’s Get Started” party, you’ll want to take 322 East. They’ll have plenty of parking at the Hershey Lodge.

Where to get lunch in Harrisburg

The Jackson House

For a solid burger or a good sandwich, swing by The Jackson House located at 1004 N. Sixth St. It’s close to the capitol and a reliable lunch spot. 

Meiji’s Vietnamese

Meiji’s has great pho and is always willing to cater to vegetarians and vegans. They’re located at 2306 Walnut St. 

Cafe Fresco

This place is one of my Harrisburg favs. Swing by here for lunch; I recommend the Monte Cristo or (should you not want the deep-fried ham sandwich on French toast) or a super fresh salad. 

Neato Burrito

I miss Neato Burrito every day and sometimes I shed a single tear over the fact that they don’t have a Philly location. If you like a good burrito, skip Chipotle and Qdoba. THEY GRILL THE WHOLE BURRITO, and it’s awesome. Head to the location at 3370 Paxton St.

Where to get dinner in Harrisburg or Hershey

Dodge City Steakhouse

It’s a steakhouse, duh. Get the bacon cheddar mashed potatoes on the side bc bacon cheddar mashed potatoes. They’re located at 1037 Paxton St.

Bricco

If you want some fantastic, gourmet Italian, make a reservation at Bricco for before the Wolf party. They boast a great wine list and a pappardelle with duck dish that is uh-mazing. They’re located at 31 S. Third St., right around the corner from the capitol. 

Appalachian Brewing Company

This restaurant has become a central Pennsylvania staple. Have dinner at the location at 50 N. Cameron St. for a great beer. Their signature dish is literally a mountain of meatloaf, and I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t ordered it before. Twice.

Smoke BBQ

Want to get away from the crowds in the city? Go to Linglestown, which is just outside the city and be prepared for some awesome barbeque. Smoke is located at 2308 Patton Rd. and has fantastic ribs and chicken biscuits.

The Chocolate Avenue Grill

Want to head to Hershey and eat there? The Chocolate Avenue Grill makes a mean chocolate martini and you *have* to order the gremolata wings. I could make a meal out of them. The Grill is located at 114 W. Chocolate Ave.

Where to post-game the party

It’s probably worth heading back to Harrisburg if you’re looking for drinking options after the party. There’s a solid lineup of bars in the capital city. My personal favorite is Sturges Speakeasy which is located on the 400-block of Forster Street. But if you want to drink, there are like a bazillion options on 2nd Street in the main downtown area. Head there, you can’t miss it.

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