Packed with assets both natural and historic, Columbia in Lancaster County is a town in transition, rebounding after decades of struggle. Local residents and organizations have put a fresh focus on recreation and infrastructure, revamping downtown, luring a brewpub, launching a new river trail, and spotlighting the town's inherent charm. The key to Columbia's future is also the source of its past prosperity: the Susquehanna River.
Nestled in the rolling hills of Perry County, less than 30 minutes from Harrisburg, these two vineyards can tell us a lot about Pennsylvania's booming wine industry. One is a family-run upstart slinging homemade pizza, the other is an expansion for an established brand that has been welcoming the state's oenophiles for 24 years.
While some Commonwealth communities are tackling the problem of urban food access with farmers' markets and boutique food shops, a pair of entrepreneurs are thinking big in the capital city with a new grocery store.
At the long-abandoned 7,000-square-foot Smith Paint Building in downtown Harrisburg, two men are churning out handcrafted vodka, rum, moonshine and more. They are part of a wave of micro-distilleries across Pennsylvania, spurred by an easing of the state's liquor laws.
Every year, almost a million people head to the Lehigh Valley for the country's largest free music festival, staged in the shadow of Bethlehem's iconic steel stacks. At this year's event (running August 4 through 13) you can check out performances by Santana, LIVE, Toby Keith and many more. When your ears need a break, there's plenty of hoppy brews, tasty eats, local art and outdoor adventures to be had in this rich PA region.
The company's exquisite single-origin bars have won a following around the globe. Flavors like Camel Milk, Rum Raisin and Strawberry Rye Whiskey are handcrafted in an old shoe factory in this Pennsylvania borough. The space also boats a retail arm and coffee shop.
The oldest community in Dauphin County is on the move thanks to an ambitious brewery and still works project -- housed in an iconic local building -- a new transit hub and exciting changes at Penn State Harrisburg.