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Where to Live in York County, PA

Spanning more than 900 square miles, York County is one of the largest counties in the state. The county can be divided into several areas, distinct from one another by their geography, economy, and history. From a historic downtown to a quiet countryside, you're sure to find a diverse array of experiences. These areas include Central York, the heart of the County; Hanover Area, the region in and around the county's second-largest town; Southern York County, a growing rural area; and Northern York County, a bedroom community for Harrisburg, the State Capital.

Because of York County’s size, finding your way can be a little confusing when you first start looking for a home. To find out more about this great community, be sure to request a free publication from Relocationlink and utilize our free relocation service for consumers. All services are provided free of charge compliments of the advertisers and the businesses that we refer to. Please note that Relocationlink is not a real estate broker or an agent. Call 717-993-3028 for help today!

Spanning more than 900 square miles, York County is one of the largest counties in the state. The county can be divided into several areas, distinct from one another by their geography, economy, and history. From a historic downtown to a quiet countryside, you're sure to find a diverse array of experiences. These areas include Central York, the heart of the County; Hanover Area, the region in and around the county's second-largest town; Southern York County, a growing rural area; and Northern York County, a bedroom community for Harrisburg, the State Capital.

Central York
Population: 235,000+
Area Schools: Central York, Eastern, Red Lion, Spring Grove, West York, York City, York Suburban
Major Towns: City of York, Hallam, North York, Spring Grove, West York, Wrightsville
Central York encompasses the mid-section of York County and boasts several suburban municipalities gathered around York City, the “crown jewel” of the area. Hallam Borough, much like all of Pennsylvania, was originally Iroquois land. It was renamed Hallam after Hallamshire in England and was incorporated in 1908. Today, Hallam maintains its “small town” feel. There is a focus on community in Hallam – and residents often gather for carnivals and city-wide celebrations. Nearby Spring Grove was first plotted by a surveyor in 1747. Its growth has been constant for over 250 years. Spring Grove is known as a manufacturing town. Initially, its primary output was iron. Eventually the iron production gave way to tree harvesting and the birth of the paper mill. Spring Grove is still known for its paper production. The hard-working town knows how to play hard too. It has a full-time recreation director and a large variety of recreation activities for residents of all ages.

If you want to live in a town rich in history, Wrightsville is a place worth exploring! There is a plaque in a nearby state park that boldly states that Wrightsville was George Washington’s first choice for our new nation’s capital city. History tells us, that in fact, Wrightsville missed out by just one vote. The town was also home to a pivotal time during the Civil War. The failure of the Confederacy to take Wrightsville helped the Union to persevere and build strength for future battles. Today, Wrightsville is proud of its history but embraces its future. The town’s motto, “Small Town, Big Ideas” demonstrates its ability to combine a small town feel, historic roots and new, forward-thinking events and changes to create a truly unique and wonderful place to live.

Over $100 million is being spent on new development in York City. Just next to the York Revolution’s Ball Park, Sovereign Bank Stadium, is the current redevelopment of the York Auto Parks Building. The previously unused space will be an eco-friendly, green building home to 35 high-end residential rental units. From lofts to townhouses, these units will be some of the best rental units that York City has to offer. More rental units are in the works for the near future. The excitement of the downtown City of York, the history-rich Wrightsville, small-town Hallam and industry-rich Spring Grove are just four examples of the wonderful places to live within Central York County. .

If you want to live in a town rich in history, Wrightsville is a place worth exploring! There is a plaque in a nearby state park that boldly states that Wrightsville was George Washington’s first choice for our new nation’s capital city. History tells us, that in fact, Wrightsville missed out by just one vote. The town was also home to a pivotal time during the Civil War. The failure of the Confederacy to take Wrightsville helped the Union to persevere and build strength for future battles. Today, Wrightsville is proud of its history but embraces its future. The town’s motto, “Small Town, Big Ideas” demonstrates its ability to combine a small town feel, historic roots and new, forward-thinking events and changes to create a truly unique and wonderful place to live.

Hanover Area
Population: 60,000+
Area Schools: Hanover, South Western, Spring Grove
Major Towns: Abbottstown, Hanover, Jefferson, New Oxford

York County’s second largest “town” is Hanover Borough, located on the southeastern border of Adams County and only 15 miles east of Gettysburg. Known as the “Snack Food Capital of the World,” Hanover has a personality all its own with history at its core. Older buildings are being renovated while new construction projects are a testament to a solid economy. In the late 1700s, Hanover quickly became one of the principle towns in the region. Agriculture and manufacturing flourished due to the town’s easy access to international markets through Baltimore’s seaport. Still a leader in agriculture, the area is home to Hanover Shoe Farms, the world’s largest standard-bred horse breeder. The characteristic yellow barns of the Shoe Farms dot the countryside throughout the area. Hanover claims another distinction. It is home to nearly a dozen pretzel and potato chip makers, including well-known companies such as Utz Potato Chips and Snyder’s of Hanover.

The town’s heritage is rooted in Pennsylvania Dutch culture. Although commonly mistaken to be synonymous with the Amish, it is actually a reference to the adopted culture of early German immigrants, Pennsylvania Deutsche. The strong work ethic, industriousness and craftsmanship of their way of life are still present in residents today. Hanover’s self-sustaining community includes top-notch schools, nationally recognized hospital care, entertainment offerings and its own chamber of commerce. Recent developments within the community have included a revitalization of the No. 5 Hanover Shoe Building which now houses seniors. The Guthrie Memorial Library of Hanover also underwent renovations and an expansion to include a new computer lab, conference room and a children’s library. On the northern end of the Hanover area is New Oxford, a quaint town is also being revitalized thanks to efforts from individual entrepreneurs and the New Oxford Chamber of Commerce. Residents can soon look forward to additional improvements that would result from a new Community Revitalization Committee and a Historical Preservation Committee. 

Southern York County
Population: 53,000+
Area Schools: Dallastown, Red Lion, South Eastern, Southern
Major Towns: Delta, Glen Rock, New Freedom, Shrewsbury, Stewartstown
Rural Southern York County has experienced a population boom in recent years, in part due to an influx of residents who work in Baltimore and northern Maryland but prefer the quality of life available in York County. Towns like Shrewsbury, Glen Rock, and Delta have a "yesteryear" charm, complete with Victorian-era row homes along quaint main streets. Antique shops and Amish furniture are a specialty of the area.

Despite the area’s dramatic increase in population and new home development, it still has the highest percentage of undeveloped and agricultural land in the county. Strict zoning laws and planning regulations have mandated that this percentage remain high, promising to preserve its natural resources for generations to come. This agricultural heritage is evident in the number of farm markets and their selection of fresh produce. Its dedication to natural preservation also makes Southern York County a great outdoor recreational destination. The popular Heritage Rail Trail County Park, converted from a retired railroad line, is a 21-mile long park and provides an ideal setting for a relaxing walk or bike ride. To the south, the trail joins with Maryland’s North-Central Rail Trail, which continues for another 20 miles, stopping just north of Baltimore. Southern York is also home to a number of county parks, which are popular destinations for fishing, boating, hiking and camping. Many residents within this area work either in Baltimore or to the north in York or Harrisburg. As a result, the area is considered a bedroom community and is adjusting as more residents move in. Services continue to grow and are needed as well as volunteers in all sectors.

Northern York County
Population: 52,000+
Area Schools: Dover, Northeastern, Northern, West Shore
Major Towns: Dillsburg, Dover, Lewisberry, Manchester, Mt. Wolfe
The region encompassing the northern part of York County is heavily influenced by the State Capital. Many neighborhoods serve as bedroom communities for people who work in Harrisburg or the West Shore (local lingo for the Harrisburg suburbs west of the Susquehanna River). Semi-rural Lewisberry is one of the most affluent areas in central Pennsylvania, as measured by average disposable income. Other parts of Northern York County remain rural — home to wooded hills and fertile valleys. As in Southern York County, these undeveloped lands offer opportunities for outdoor recreation. Gifford Pinchot State Park includes 340-acre Pinchot Lake, a popular destination for sailing, fishing and swimming. Ski Roundtop is one of the largest downhill skiing facilities in the area with sixteen slopes and ten lifts. Northern York County is also steeped in history. Lewisberry and Dillsburg were among the first boroughs established in the county.

Historic sites in the area include the Friends Meeting House, which dates from 1769, and the Codorus Furnace, which manufactured ammunition for the colonies during the American Revolution. For more information on any of the townships or boroughs within York County, please contact the township or borough directly. Contact information is available over the next few pages, in alphabetical order, for all of the townships and boroughs within the County.