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Southern Pennsylvania at a glance:
  • Major Cities: Gettysburg, Lancaster, Chambersburg
  • Landmarks/National Monuments/Parks: Gettysburg National Military Park, Hershey Park, Agricultural and Industrial Museum, Eisenhower National Historic Site
  • Major Industry: Agriculture, Tourism
  • Counties: Lancaster, York, Adams

Southern Pennsylvania

Southern Pennsylvania real estate is a collection of predominantly rural counties, so it’s not surprising that agriculture is the region’s economic mainstay. But tourism is another major source of funding, thanks to popular attractions like the Gettysburg National Military Park and Hershey Park. The nation’s second-largest Amish community is also located in Southern Pennsylvania, with roughly 50,000 members. Several noteworthy counties make up the Southern Pennsylvania region, including Lancaster County, York County, and Adams County.

Lancaster County, with its population of nearly 500,000, is located on the banks of the Susquehanna River. Its county seat is the city of Lancaster, also known as the Red Rose City. Settled in 1718, the city’s architectural heritage has been meticulously preserved in sites like the Central Market. A downtown fixture located just off Penn Square, this farmer’s market dates back to the 1700s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It remains in operation today, with local farmers displaying their wares every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Other historic buildings include the Fulton Opera House and Lancaster Prison, which were both built in the 1850s. This preserved local history attracts many buyers to Southern Pennsylvania real estate. You can learn more about the Lancaster County housing market, including timely statistics about active inventory and the median sales price of area homes, by visiting the Lancaster County housing market report..

York County, with its population of roughly 400,000, is situated to the west of Lancaster County on the other side of the Susquehanna River. The county is the site of several notable industrial facilities, including the UTZ potato chip factory and a Starbucks roasting plant. It is also home of the original manufacturer of York Peppermint Patties. Its county seat is the city of York, , also known as the White Rose City.

The arts are a big part of life in the city, which boasts the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center, the Strand Studio, and the historic Capitol Theatre. In addition, major country music acts are showcased each September at the city’s York Fair, a ten-day festival dating back to the 1700s. You can learn more about the York County housing market, including timely statistics about active inventory and the median sales price of area homes, by visiting the York County housing market report.

Adams County, with its population of 90,000, is situated to the west of York County and is a preferred location for people looking for Southern Pennsylvania real estate. Its county seat, Gettysburg, is the site of the famous 1863 Battle of Gettysburg, a major turning point in the Civil War. The Gettysburg National Military Park, which commemorates the battle, is an extremely popular tourist destination, attracting nearly two million visitors annually. The park, which has been under the care of the National Park Service since 1933, includes 1,400 markers and memorials spread over 3,000 acres. You can learn more about the Adams County housing market, including timely statistics about active inventory and the median sales price of area homes, by visiting the Adams County housing market report.

Several institutions of higher learning are also located in the Southern Pennsylvania region. These include Franklin & Marshall College, the first co-educational college in the US; Gettysburg College, a highly-ranked private college founded in 1832; and the Lutheran Theological Seminary, the oldest of eight Lutheran seminaries in the nation.

Southwestern Pennsylvania real estate has a unique blend of tourist attractions and thriving agrarian communities to give it a broad appeal. To find a home in Southwestern Pennsylvania, contact any one of Long & Foster’s Pennsylvania real estate offices.

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