Late autumn colors in Riverfront Park along the Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania has a number of affordable homes in attractive active adult communities.

You probably know that Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania, but you may not be aware that it is an up-and-coming area for active adult homebuyers. It rests along the eastern banks of the beautiful Susquehanna River, affording locals the opportunity to enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities, and its downtown area has cultural attractions, historic sites, shops, and restaurants.

This mid-sized city has a population of around 49,000 with seven active adult neighborhoods in and around the city. Harrisburg, PA real estate can also be quite affordable with an impressive selection of homes priced at around $250k.

The scenic Riverfront Park provides running and biking trails, and it's a hot spot for yearly events and festivals. Hikers also enjoy exploring the Appalachian Trail, which passes north of Harrisburg. Downtown, you'll find The State Museum of Pennsylvania, The National Civil War Museum, and one of the state’s top healthcare providers, UPMC Pinnacle Harrisburg. And if you like day trips, you can reach Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York City in a few hours by car. Closer points of interest include Hersheypark, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Lancaster (home of the charming Amish country).

We should also mention this: Harrisburg’s cost of living is below the national average. Here are some examples of what you can find for around $250k in this region.

Amesbury - Harrisburg, PA

Low $200s - High $200s

As our only active adult community located right in Harrisburg, Amesbury has just 106 new and resale attached homes that cater to active adults looking to downsize. The three floor plans range from 1,627 to 2,247 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two-and-a-half-baths, and attached garages. These spacious homes also feature porches, dens, and roomy first-floor master suites.

Though there's no clubhouse on the property, the Friendship Community Center is within walking distance, and it has a fitness center, a swimming pool, and it's home to the Friendship Senior Center.

This tight-knit neighborhood is also just outside of the Paxton Towne Center, which has a Target, a GIANT grocery store, a Home Depot, a Costco, a Kohls, and plenty of restaurants. Head a few minutes in the other direction, and you'll find Colonial Park Mall, which has a Sears, a Boscovs, and other stores.

Learn more information about Amesbury here.

Creek View - Carlisle, PA

Mid $100s - Mid $200s

The suburb of Carlisle is about 35 miles west of Harrisburg, and it's home to Creek View, an affordable retirement community with 305 new and resale single-family homes. There are 18 floor plans sized from 1,202 to 1,750 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and attached one- or two-car garages. Options include dens, porches, breakfast bars, and walk-up attics. The homeowners’ association (HOA) fee covers water, sewer, and trash removal costs.

This scenic property includes a fishing pond, a barbecue area, horseshoe pits, and a walking trail. There's also a cozy clubhouse with a multi-purpose room for group activities like Wii competitions and potluck dinners. Creek View also offers RV and large-vehicle parking.

The community is located between two large state forests, Tuscarora and Michaux, and both offer mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits. There are additional, smaller parks in town, as well as a GIANT grocery store, a Walmart Supercenter, a movie theater, beauty salons, restaurants, shops, and Dickinson College.

Learn more information about Creek View here.

Bent Creek Crossing - Mechanicsburg, PA

Mid $100s - High $200s

About halfway between Harrisburg and Carlisle is the town of Mechanicsburg and the charming 55+ community of Bent Creek Crossing. Aptly named, it's surrounded on both sides by a creek that flows from the Susquehanna, and the community has 110 resale attached homes that were completed in 2004.

There are two basic home styles at Bent Creek Crossing: Cape Cods and ranches. Both offer various floor plans. The three Cape Cod models range from 2,000 to 2,325 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, first-floor master suites, lofted second floors, and attached one- or two-car garages. There are five ranch models sized from 1,250 to 1,650 square feet with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, basements, porches, and attached one- or two-car garages.

The monthly HOA fee provides for trash and snow removal, landscaping, and common area maintenance. Bent Creek is also just minutes from a Walmart Supercenter, a Sam’s Club, restaurants, and shops. Golfers will really love this location because it's full of both traditional and disc golf courses, including Rich Valley, West Shore Country Club, and Adventure Park Disc Golf Course.

Learn more information about Bent Creek Crossing here.

Traditions of America at Silver SpringMechanicsburg, PA

Mid $200s - High $300s

Also in Mechanicsburg, Traditions of America at Silver Spring will have 517 new and resale attached and single-family homes when the development is completed. There's a wide variety of floor plans to choose from, ranging from 1,237 to 2,314 square feet. The attached garden homes come in six floor plans with two bedrooms, two baths, and attached two-car garages. There are seven single-family floor plans, also with two bedrooms, two baths, and attached two-car garages. Some of these appealing homes also offer upgrades like porches, fireplaces, breakfast nooks, and patios.

 Like all Traditions of America communities, Silver Spring has a state-of-the-art clubhouse with a café, a theater, a banquet room and catering kitchen, a business center, a fitness center with studios and saunas, plus an indoor whirlpool spa. Outdoor perks include a heated pool, a community garden, and a bocce ball court. The long list of clubs and activities includes outdoor concerts, lobster bakes, Super Bowl parties, and volunteer opportunities.

Learn more information about Traditions of America at Silver Spring here.