Harrisburg is located in Dauphin County and is the county seat, as well as the state capital. It is situated northwest of Lancaster along Interstate 81, on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Its position makes it a gateway for the crossing of the Susquehanna to the West.
John Harris Sr. ran a ferry at Harrisburg in colonial days. John Harris Jr. laid out the town of Harrisburg in 1785, and donated land to the Pennsylvania commonwealth which was later used for construction of the Capitol building. Harrisburg has been the state capital of Pennsylvania since 1812. The city was a major defense center during World War II.
Area attractions include the John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion, State Museum of Pennsylvania and the famous chocolate company in nearby Hershey.
Harrisburg is part of the Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle metro area.