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 are given Monday-Friday. (NOTE: temporarily closed due to COVID-19)
Next, cruise over to the Rolls Royce Museum in Mechanicsburg. This museum and library is dedicated to Rolls-Royce and Bentley motor cars and features an ever-changing display -- 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! (Due to COVID-19, appointments are required to tour the Museum. Please call 717-795-9400.)
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 authentic stern-driven paddle wheeler has both public and dinner cruises available (check their website for dates).
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 in Carlisle. This facility features a one-mile outdoor trail that interprets the history of the U.S. Army with full-scale exhibits from the French and Indian War era through the present. Inside, find an interactive exhibit that tells the story of the soldier.
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. There are races every Friday night.
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. Check their Facebook page for the latest update on operating hours due to COVID-19.
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 eight annual collector automotive shows on 102 acres with 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, the Women’s Oasis Tent, and more. In addition, the Fairgrounds is hosting several new shows in 2021 including the 45th Annual Central PA PCA Porsche-Only Swap Meet on May 1 and the 25th Annual All-Breeds Jeep Show on July 24 & 25. (NOTE: These shows are renting the Fairgrounds and are not affiliated with Carlisle Events shows.)
For a thrilling evening activity, check out the Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Lemoyne. This is the largest indoor go-karting facility in Pennsylvania with unique, high-speed electric Italian pro-karts. For added fun, they now feature ax-throwing.
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 such as the Spring Show and Steam School and the Annual Show in August.
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 Sunday afternoon at South Mountain Raceway, an eighth-mile drag strip that opened in 1962. Trial runs begin in the morning, with eliminations taking place in the afternoon. The season begins in April and continues through October.
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 of low ground clearance in the 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.
Cumberland Valley offers plenty of comfortable and affordable accommodations for your weekend getaway. To help you plan your trip, click here to see our lodging options listed by distance to the Carlisle Fairgrounds.