Have you ever driven on Interstate 81 through Cumberland Valley on your way to somewhere else and wondered what was beyond the exits? Next time, take a few hours or few days to stop and explore some of our restaurants and attractions. You won’t be disappointed.
Exit 29 – King Street
Head straight into the heart of downtown Shippensburg, the oldest town in the Cumberland Valley with strong ties to the Civil War. The Shippensburg Historical Society offers information about the town’s history and heritage. Nearby Locust Grove Cemetery is the burial location for 47 African-American veterans from the Civil War to Vietnam. Be sure to check out the schedule at the Luhrs Center on the campus of Shippensburg University for musical and comedic performances.
Exit 37 – PA 233/Newville
Exit 37 offers easy access to two of our three state parks. One direction will lead you toward Colonel Denning State Park, where you can enjoy the lake or hike up Flat Rock Trail and be rewarded with a panoramic view of Cumberland Valley.
Head in the other direction off the exit and you will enjoy a scenic ride up the mountain to Pine Grove Furnace State Park. Here will you find two lakes, a section of the Appalachian Trail, the Appalachian Trail Museum, and the Ironmaster’s Mansion (a hostel for thru-hikers on the AT).
Exit 44 – Allen Road
A quick two-minute drive off exit, the Lindt Chocolate Factory Outlet offers a wide variety of delectable truffles and chocolate bars.
Exit 47 – PA 34/Hanover Street
Take Exit 47A to head south on PA 34 and straight into Mt. Holly Springs. Stop at Crumbs Café for breakfast or lunch and a sweet treat. Their quiche is delicious and their over-sized bakery items will make your mouth water. On the other side of Mt. Holly Springs, you can hike along several trails at the Mt. Holly Marsh Preserve.
Take Exit 47B to head north on PA 34 and straight into historic downtown Carlisle. Your first stop should be the Cumberland Valley Visitors Center, where you can pick up brochures, maps and receive local recommendations. Then you can spend the day exploring the fun shops on Pomfret Street; purchasing items hand-made by local artisans at such as American Artisan Gallery and History on High; enjoying a glass of wine on the porch at Castlerigg Wine Shop; exploring history at the Cumberland County Historical Society; or strolling the beautiful campus of Dickinson College. When it’s time to eat, you can dine around the world with more than 30 restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.
Exit 48 – York Road (accessible only from I-81 North)
Exit 48 is the best way to reach the charming village of Boiling Springs. For such a small town, Boiling Springs has a lot to offer. The newly-renovated Allenberry Resort offers 57-acres of serenity along the Yellow Breeches Creek. Enjoy lunch or dinner at The Barn and don’t forget to try their famous sticky buns. Their updated 250-seat theater offers theatrical performances.
While in Boiling Springs, you can also take a leisurely stroll around Children’s Lake. On the edge of lake, the Mid-Atlantic Appalachian Trail Conservancy office can offer guidance if you are interested in learning more about hiking the AT. Right next door, TCO Outdoors will provide you with hiking gear or with everything you need to fly-fish in our famous creeks and streams. Finally, dinner at the historic Boiling Springs Tavern will not disappoint.
Exit 49 – High Street (accessible only from I-81 South)
The High Street exit will also lead you directly into downtown Carlisle. Or if you head in the other direction, you are a 3-minute drive to the US Army Heritage and Education Center. You may be familiar with this facility from seeing the helicopters and tanks as you drive along I-81. Explore them up close as you walk along the one-mile Army Heritage Trail. This is a great place to stop and stretch your legs. If you have more time, check out the inside exhibits which are dedicated to telling the story of the soldier. Best of all, this attraction is free.
Exit 52 – Middlesex/Route 11
Exit 52B also takes you into downtown Carlisle and provides the most direct route to the Carlisle Fairgrounds, home to Carlisle Events’ car shows. Along the way, make it a point to stop at The Kitchen Shoppe, a gourmet superstore with over 20,000 items. Inquire about their culinary classes. At the entrance to The Kitchen Shoppe parking lot, a small building houses the Pennsylvania Fly Fishing Museum.
As you travel along I-81, you will also see a large building with an outdoor go-kart track. Take Exit 52 to the Carlisle Sports Emporium, an indoor/outdoor entertainment complex that is fun for all ages!
Exit 57 – Route 114/Mechanicsburg
Route 114 leads you straight into downtown Mechanicsburg. Local flavor never tasted so good at Brittle Bark where handmade artisan chocolates can be paired with locally made honey wine from Larsen Meadworks located right next door. Right around the corner, Civil War & More is filled with all things related to this prominent period in American history. The owner is wealth of knowledge about Civil War happenings in the Cumberland Valley and would be happy to answer your questions. A trip to Mechanicsburg would not be complete with a stop at Hellenic Kouzina for their scrumptious Greek food.
Exit 59 – Route 581
Exit 59 to Route 581 offers the most direct access to downtown Camp Hill, Lemoyne and New Cumberland. Each of these small towns offers unique boutiques and eclectic restaurants. From Mexican to Italian cuisine, from an Irish gift shop to a 60,000 square-foot indoor farmers’ market and shops specializing in flavorful olive oils/vinegars and hand-crafted spices, you can find it all.
Exit 61 – Route 944/Wertzville Road
The ideal stop off the Wertzville Road exit is Al’s of Hampden and its on-site brewery – Pizza Boy Brewing Company. One of the stops along our Cumberland Valley Beer Trail, this restaurant and craft brewer features a large variety of limited bottles, cask-conditioned, and draft beers.
Exit 65 – Routes 11 and 15
Exit 65A will take you south on Routes 11/15 to Enola and Wormleysburg.
As you get off the exit, you will drive through Enola where you can enjoy the locals’ favorite summertime spot for ice cream and fun food at Kristy’s Whistlestop. Up the road a short distance is Dewz Dogz, a roadside stand for hot dog lovers. Further down, Dockside Willie’s, Duke’s, and RockBass Grill all offer riverfront dining with amazing views of the Susquehanna River and downtown Harrisburg.