Here in the Cumberland Valley and the surrounding region, we know that there is nothing quite like the relationship between a man and his machine. Home to Carlisle Events, one of the world’s largest presenters of collector car and truck entertainment, we too have a soft spot for tricked-out, souped-up, meticulously-restored, jacked-up and everything in between automobiles. We also know that planning a trip can be some tricky business, especially when some attractions aren’t open daily, so we’ve created the ultimate, 5-day, perfectly tuned and tested trip to hit all the major automotive attractions for you. So pack a bag, grab your keys and take a cruise. TIP: Don’t forget to check the attraction listings for hours of operation.
Begin your journey at the York Harley Davidson Factory Tour. Learn about the production of these iconic bikes while viewing an introductory movie and sneaking a behind-the-scenes tour of York Vehicle Operations. You'll be guided through various manufacturing and assembly areas, watch as parts are manufactured and see freshly painted and chrome plated parts. Tours are free and take approximately one hour. Tours given Monday-Friday; check listing for more details.
Next, cruise over to the Rolls Royce Museum in Mechanicsburg. This museum and library is dedicated to Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars. The museum features an ever changing display of Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motor Cars from the American built 1929 Springfield Phantom I to a 1985 Silver Spirit. The library houses a wealth of information that can only be found in two places worldwide!
Whether you have children, or you’re just a big kid, check out the Carlisle Sports Emporium for some old-fashioned fun! Featuring an arcade, batting cages, mini golf, skating rink, laser tag and go-karts, you’re sure to find some friendly competition.
If you’re ready to relax, take a different kind of cruise on the Pride of the Susquehanna Riverboat. This 25+ year old authentic stern-driven paddle wheeler has both public and dinner cruises available (check their website for dates).
Thursday Dining Suggestions
Take a scenic ride on route 233 to Twirly Top Drive-In for burgers and ice cream at this 1950’s restaurant. Or, check out TJ Rockwells for a large menu, outdoor deck and drink selection (try 66 different bottled beers and 17 draft beers on for size).
Today you’ll get a chance to press the pedal to the metal as you explore a venue just outside of the Cumberland Valley. Merge on the highway to clean your pistons or choose a scenic route for a more leisurely drive.
Cruise through time with antique automobiles, buses, motorcycles & more in unique scenes and settings at the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum. A changing exhibit gallery showcases everything from Model T’s to Muscle Cars.
Spend your afternoon exploring the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center. This facility features a one-mile outdoor museum and trail that interprets the history of the U.S. Army with full-scale exhibits from the French and Indian War era through present. Inside, find an interactive exhibit that is suitable for all age groups.
Get your engine running at the nationally renowned Williams Grove Speedway. This half mile semi-banked clay oval track opened in 1939, and has hosted notable drivers including the World of Outlaws.
Relax in your car while you catch the newest movie release at Cumberland Drive-in Theater. The theater shows double features Friday and Saturday nights, and has been showing movies under the stars since 1952.
Friday Dining Suggestions
Stop by Kristy’s Whistle Stop for a taste of nostalgia. This 50’s drive-in features sandwiches and ice cream. TIP: This stop provides a great backdrop for a photo-op of your classic car!
The next leg in your journey lands you at the famous Carlisle Events car shows. Take your time, savor the experience – you have all day.
Carlisle Events, hosting nine annual collector automotive shows on 102 acres and 8,100 vending spaces, is the preferred auto show destination for enthusiasts and collector car hobbyists worldwide! Be sure to check the event schedule for each show for family-friendly events, monster truck rides, parades, competitions, live entertainment, test drives, kids’ activities, Women’s Oasis Tent and more.
Saturday Dining Suggestions
Market Cross Pub & Brewery hails its name from the Market Cross monument in Carlisle, England. Market Cross has its own brewery; a 10 barrel open-fermentation system that was brought over from England in 1933. Each summer this English Pub creates a new car-themed brew like Carlisle Blue or Shelby’s Summer Stang Ale. 2014's special brew, Car Show Cream Ale, will be tapped on April 23, 2014.
If you haven’t heard of Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar yet, you probably will soon! In 2010, this green bar beat out over 250 other independent restaurants nationwide to be named America’s Next Top Restaurant Franchise. More importantly, Arooga’s features 100’s of flat screen TVs with every sports package and tasty, freshly-prepared food like wings (they have over 40 sauce recipes!) and a HUGE menu sure to have something to appease even the most particular eater.
Today is all about speed. Whether you’re going full-throttle, or taking in someone else cranking it up a notch, is a decision we’ll leave up to you.
If you are an early riser, spend your morning at the Williams Grove Farmers Flea Market. Featuring ample parking and more than 450 vendor spots during the summer, this year-round market begins each Sunday at dawn. The grounds also feature special events including opportunities to conduct a steam engine, tractor pulls and an annual Steam Show including musical performances, steam engine and tractor parades, horse pulls and consignment sales. All proceeds benefit the Williams Grove Historic Steam Engine Association.
The Eastern Museum of Motor Racing was founded by a small group of racing enthusiasts in 1975. Featuring dirt track racing memorabilia such as vintage race cars, artifacts and a research library, the museum also includes a wide variety of racing machines like stock cars, motorcycles, Indy cars, NASCAR and drag cars.
Spend your afternoon at Quarter Aces Drag-O-Way, an eighth-mile drag strip that opened in 1962. Trial runs begin in the morning, with eliminations taking place in the afternoon.
Sunday Dining Suggestions
With an outdoor patio overlooking scenic Children's Lake, Caffe 101 is the perfect stop for breakfast or lunch. Enjoy a large beverage menu, baked goods, breakfast and lunch entrees or ice cream. Afterwords, be sure to take a stroll around the lake and feed the ducks!
Café Bruges serves authentic Belgian cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Housed in the old St. Charles Hotel, this unique restaurant also features a changing selection of Belgian beers and ales.
What better way to end your Cumberland Valley Road Trip Extravaganza than with a leisurely drive through the scenic back roads of Perry County? Take a morning or take a day – either way, you’ll go home feeling refreshed and calm.
Begin the end of your journey at Waggoner’s Gap Hawk Watch. Situated on Blue Mountain, this 180-degree vista of the Valley has one of the largest concentrations of raptors in the U.S. TIP: Be careful for low ground clearance in parking lot.
Next, wind and weave your way through the scenic back roads of Perry County. There are 15 covered bridges scattered throughout the county, including the 80-foot long Clay’s Bridge in Little Buffalo State Park.
If you plan it just right, you can end your day at The Winery at Hunters Valley. This Farm winery boasts a spectacular view of the Juniata River, tours & tastings. TIP: Although this winery doesn't typically have Monday hours, private tastings can be arranged with advance notice.
Monday Dining Suggestions
North Hanover Grille offers daily food specials and 15 micro and import brews on tap. Be sure to sample their fresh cut fries!