All You Need to Know About I-83

I-83 is a north-south highway connecting Baltimore, MD and Colonial Park, PA.
Written by Nathan Porceng
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Interstate 83 (I-83) is a highway spanning 85 miles, connecting Colonial Park, PA, to
Baltimore, MD
One of the shortest north-south interstate highways, I-83 passes through just two states. I-83 runs from the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Area in Pennsylvania down to Baltimore, Maryland at a total length of just 85 miles. Though short in span, there’s still plenty to do and see along I-83.
Whether you’re commuting or on a cross-country
road trip
, check out this guide to I-83’s interchanges, eateries, sights, and more!
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What is an interstate highway?

Interstate highways, as the name suggests, span multiple states and connect major population centers across the United States. 
These major thoroughfares tend to stick to a defined numbering system. North-south routes like I-83 typically have an odd number, while even numbers usually indicate that an interstate runs east to west. The most important roadways, like I-90 and I-95, tend to end in a zero or a five.

What states does I-83 run through?

Cutting down from Colonial Park, PA to Baltimore, MD, I-83 is short for an interstate highway. Here are the states that I-83 passes through:
I-83 was one of the first interstate highways built in Pennsylvania, with much of its route in the state running along an old freeway bypass of the now decommissioned U.S. Route 111. The highway received its I-83 designation in 1960.
MORE: Best road trips for animal lovers in the U.S.

Major interchanges on I-83

Don’t miss your exit! Here are some of the major connections and interchanges to be aware of when driving down I-83:
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Best places to eat along I-83

From Baltimore’s seafood to Pennsylvania’s hearty cooking, there are plenty of excellent eateries along I-83. Here are a few options:
  • La Tavola
    (Baltimore, MD): Nestled in the heart of Baltimore’s Little Italy, this local gem features the best in contemporary Italian dining. Come on by and sample Chef Carlo Vignotto’s innovative seasonal specials!
  • Thames Street Oyster House
    (Baltimore, MD): Craving some of that famous Baltimore seafood? Thames Street serves superior coastal cuisine, from Maryland crab cakes to Maine hake.
  • Locust Point Steamers
    (Baltimore, MD): Munch on crabs while enjoying stunning harbor views from Locust Point Steamer’s rooftop deck!
  • Home 231
    (Harrisburg, PA): Take a break from the road and enjoy some farm-to-table cooking at one of Harrisburg’s best restaurants. Home 231 serves up classic American dishes, like their delectable hickory smoked short ribs, using only the finest of local ingredients. 
  • El Sol Mexican Restaurant
    (Harrisburg, PA): El Sol dishes out some of the best Mexican food in Harrisburg. The restaurant features a large and varied menu full of Mexican favorites, as well as a full bar. 
Pro Tip Before driving I-83, check that the restaurants you want to visit are open. There are few things more devastating than showing up to a closed restaurant. 

What is there to do on I-83?

I-83 may be short, but it has no shortage of things to do. Baltimore in particular is a happening and historic city, with tons of entertainment options. Whether you’re a sports lover, fish enthusiast, or art aficionado, there’s something for everyone along I-83. 
Here are just a few examples of things to see along I-83:

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