Situated at the center of the surrounding New Kingstown, Shepherdstown, Shiremanstown and Hogestown, Mechanicsburg is an oddly named, small town in Pennsylvania. With a population of just-over 9,000, the town is one of the littlest cities in Pennsylvania, but the folks are close-knit and friendly. Most locals come from long lines of Pennsylvanians, specifically ancestors that hailed from Mechanicsburg originally.
While there isn’t as much to see and do as there would be in a larger city, this small town holds its own with beautiful, well-kept parks and plenty of family-friendly fun. Travelers seeking a bit more entertainment usually stay in Mechanicsburg during the evenings, then make their way to the larger Harrisburg during the daytime.
Travelers love Mechanicsburg for the family-friendliness, history, museums and amazing food!
Looking for fun things to do in Mechanicsburg? The quaint city is full of parks, some more abundant their others—but all lovely, especially in the summertime. Adams-Ricci Park is one example of a great, family-friendly place in Mechanicsburg.
With a friendly, comfy neighborhood nearby, the large 82-acre park is often the summertime home of dozens of kiddos, so there’s always someone for your children to play with. Kids love the ginormous, gated wooden playground, designed to look like a castle with a sand moat and wooden drawbridge.
The towers are observation decks, the lower levels have climbing bars, slides, and swings, and the outer edges are sand pits. Most youngsters call this playground The Fort. Other park features include nature paths, dog-walking trails, baseball and soccer fields, picnic benches, clean restrooms, tennis and volleyball courts and boating and fishing opportunities. This is a wonderful park to spend an afternoon just relaxing and having fun.
Another Mechanicsburg family-friendly favorite is Oakes Museum of Natural History. The museum is a little different from others, as kids are asked to go on a scavenger hunt through the museum to find information and earn prizes at the end. It’s educational AND fun for both children and adults. Exhibits-wise, the natural history exhibits are a journey through science and worldwide histories.
There are fossils and to-scale dinosaur replicas in the prehistoric and Jurassic eras, while other exhibits feature seashells, mammals, birds, fish, insects, and loads of other cool stuff and awesome information. Plus, there are live animals, like songbirds and snakes, in a few exhibits about North American wildlife. On average, it takes 2 hours to leisurely walk and learn throughout the museum—so, bring a good pair of walking shoes.
History-wise, buffs can take guided tours through Frankenberger Tavern, which is one of Mechanicsburg’s oldest restored buildings. The tours are led by knowledgeable guides, usually decked out in 19th-century garb. They really get into character, so feel free to ask questions about costumes, the tavern, and the surrounding grounds.
The 19th-century log tavern is a landmark of Mechanicsburg, where business deals, fights, romances, and plenty of drinking and mingling took place along ancestral locals.
In terms of cuisine, Pennsylvania, as a whole, is known for their big selection of cultural foods
As a matter of fact, the Hellenic Kouzina, a Greek and Mediterranean restaurant, is the top-ranked restaurant Mechanicsburg. That’s out of 155 restaurants in total. This restaurant is a bit upscale, with a gorgeous patio, complete with plenty of seating for parties and big celebrations.
The menu is eclectic and delicious, with homemade Greek favorites, like lamb-stuffed gyros, baklava cheesecake, fried calamari, lemon potatoes, herb-seasoned potato wedges, and ginormous Greek salads with lots of Feta cheese, olive oil, and vinegar. As an after-lunch indulgence, sample the Ellinikos—a Grecian coffee with whole-grain sugar.
Mechanicsburg, while quiet compared to other Pennsylvania cities, is a relaxing and nice place to stay for a weekend. With that in mind, if you plan to book your travels here, consider one of the four best-rated hotels in Mechanicsburg—The Courtyard Harrisburg/Mechanicsburg, Park Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and Wingate by Wyndham.
The Courtyard Harrisburg/Mechanicsburg
The Courtyard Harrisburg/Mechanicsburg on Gettysburg Road is top-ranked for their comforts and luxurious features. Notable accommodations include a wonderful, friendly staff, a heated, indoor swimming pool and hot tub, an on-site restaurant with a full bar and lounge area, free parking for guests, a fitness center, and a banquet room for pre-planned celebrations. Room-wise, the beds are queen-sized and super-plush, the bathrooms are spacious with stand-in showers and excellent water pressure, and the free basic cable features movie channels for a night of staying in with a delivered pizza, a comfy bed, and a good film.
The Park Inn
Situated on Carlisle Pike, the Park Inn is a simple Mechanicsburg hotel with abundance in basic comforts with a few frills. Basics-wise, there’s free parking for guests, free high-speed internet, super-comfortable beds, lots of fresh towels, clean linens, and top-notch toiletries, and self-serve laundry facilities. Frills-wise, there’s a heated, indoor swimming pool, an on-site café, bar, and lounge, room service, shuttle bus services, and upon-request airport transportation.
Hershey Park is less than 3 miles from the hotel, so go celebrate the goodness of great chocolate and family-friendly fun with kiddie rides, roller coasters, and an overall chocolaty theme.
The HomeWood Suites
Conveniently, easily located off of Route 15, Homewood Suites by Hilton is an award-winning hotel in Pennsylvania, with both the Greenleaders Bronze award and Certificate of Excellence in its repertoire. Ranked both the most family-friendly and romantic hotel in Mechanicsburg, Homewood Suites features an abundance of homey comforts to get you through your nights. For example, rooms include full kitchen, comfy queen-sized beds, spacious bathroom with toiletries and fluffy towels, free high-speed internet, and free movie channel access via basic cable. To relax after a long day of seeing the sights of Mechanicsburg, head downstairs to soak in the hot tub.
Wingate by Wyndham
Located on Cumberland Parkway, Wingate by Wyndham is a clean, secure, friendly place to spend a weekend or longer in Mechanicsburg. Free hot breakfasts are served daily, business professionals have access to meeting rooms and conference facilities, and you can request key access to a free fitness room.
Other features include free high-speed internet, a heated, indoor swimming pool and hot tub, dry-cleaning services, and free parking for guests. Love exploring the flowers and goods of local farmers and gardeners? Take a trip to the Paulus Farm Market, located less than a mile and a half from the hotel.
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