Higher prices this summer might mean that you are staying closer to home for your vacation. How about exploring the Cumberland Valley and discovering all there is to see and do in your own backyard? Here are some suggestions for a 5-day getaway, check out our ideas for  Inexpensive Things to Do This Summer, or create your Cumberland Valley adventure with additional summer fun ideas.

Day 1: Downtown Carlisle

Downtown Carlisle Shopping

Get an early start and head to Kimberley's Cafe in Carlisle for an inexpensive and filling breakfast. Choose from pancakes, eggs, waffles, omelets, French toast, and other breakfast goodies. After breakfast, burn off some calories by taking an early morning stroll around Carlisle. Walk around the beautiful campus of Dickinson College and then enjoy the quaint shops throughout the downtown where you can find books, vintage clothing, artwork and jewelry, chocolate, or wine. Be sure to stop by our Visitors Center, located inside History on High-The Shop in downtown Carlisle to pick up free brochures and maps. If you have kids, head to LeTort Park where they can let loose on the playground. Or walk along the Letort Nature Trail to see how many different types of birds you can find. End the afternoon with ice cream from Massey’s or Leo’s. Sign up for the FREE mobile Cumberland Valley Ice Cream Trail passport, check-in at participating locations, and earn prizes. In 2024, the trail runs from May 23 to September 3.

Day 2: Outdoor Recreation

Overlook at dusk at the Kinds Gap Mansion

Today’s the day to explore some natural wonders at one or more of the Valley’s three state parks. Start by hiking along more than 25 miles of trails at Kings Gap. With over 15 different trails to choose from, you will be sure to find one for any skill level. Either before or after your hike, take in the scenic views of the Valley from the back porch of the mansion located at the top of the mountain.

Of course, after all that hiking, it’s time for ice cream again. Enjoy some hand-dipped ice cream while sitting on one of the picnic benches outside the Kings Gap General Store.

End the day on a more relaxing note with a picnic dinner at either Fuller Lake or Laurel Lake at Pine Grove Furnace State Park. The kids will enjoy the sandy beaches and swimming in the cool waters. Boat rentals are available at Laurel Lake for those who want to get out on the water without getting wet. While there, explore the Appalachian Trail Museum, the only museum in the country dedicated to hiking. The ground floor features a children's version of the A.T. and beautiful panels for children to follow along the route to educate them about each state and the trail itself. Admission is free. (TIP: Please check hours of operation.)

Day 3: Indoor Activities

Sports EmporiumOh no! It’s raining. Not to worry. There are plenty of indoor activities to keep everyone occupied for the day. The kids will enjoy the arcade games and indoor go-karts at Carlisle Sports Emporium. Or head to Midway Bowling in Carlisle for a game or two of bowling. If the weather clears up, you might just be able to enjoy their new outdoor patio. Looking for a little bit more indoor excitement? K1 Speed in Lemoyne has state-of-the-art, Italian pro-karts that can reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour – ideal for teenagers and adults. Younger kids can enjoy jumping to their hearts’ content at Skyzone Indoor Trampoline Park or creating edible art at Jubilee Cake Studio.

Looking for a place to eat in between all these activities? Why not try pizza from any number of our local restaurants, including three different Pizza Grille locations in Carlisle, Lemoyne, and Camp Hill?

Day 4: Without the Kids

Generic Spas & Salons

Grandma has the kids for the day so take time for you. After sleeping in, head to a local spa or salon for a facial, massage, mani/pedi, or other relaxing treatments that are sure to promote a feeling of wellness. SPAtacular Escapes in Mechanicsburg offers a couples massage option. If you are looking for a different type of experience, try flotation therapy at Dissolve Float Spa in Camp Hill. Here you will unwind in your own private float pod filled with 900 pounds of Epsom salt.

After such a calming morning, enjoy some time with your friends or your significant other in Boiling Springs. Take a leisurely stroll around Children’s Lake or along a portion of the Appalachian Trail. If you are considering exploring a new hobby, be sure to stop by TCO Outdoors where you can learn all about fly-fishing, a popular sport in Cumberland Valley that offers some of the finest fly-fishing streams in the country.

For dinner, head to Cold Springs Inn Brewing Company, where you can drink and dine al-fresco on a large deck with scenic views of Yellow Breeches Creek. Or experience live music, cold brews, and an adults-only crowd at Lovedraft's Brewing Co. End the day with a glass or two of wine on the front porch of Castlerigg Wine Shop in Carlisle.

Day 5: Events & More

New Cumberland Apple Festival-50

Yay! You made it through the week. Plan and explore more fun locations and hidden gems. Why not take a look at our online Calendar of Events to see what festivals and activities are taking place, plan a day on the water, or visit a farmers market for some fresh local food?

More Things to See & Do

10 Places for the Perfect Picnic

by Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau on Friday, August 18, 2023

A picnic in the park is always a good idea. Enjoy food, fellowship, and fun with friends and family at these Cumberland Valley locations. Whether you pack your own food or purchase takeout from a nearby restaurant, these parks provide open spaces, fresh air, and plenty of opportunities Read More 

5 One-of-a-Kind Museums to Visit in Cumberland Valley

by Megan Eileen McDonough on Monday, April 01, 2024

While Cumberland Valley is known for having great hiking and biking trails, you don’t have to spend your entire day outdoors (especially if the weather decides not to cooperate). We are home to several must-see, unique museums geared toward various passions. Less than two hours away Read More 

Three Reasons to Visit Williams Grove Speedway this Summer

by Ashley on Friday, March 15, 2024

Are you a fan of dirt-track racing? If you are, chances are that you already know about the iconic Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg. If not, read on to find the top three reasons you should visit this summer. Williams Grove Speedway is a Unique Experience Built in 1939, Williams Read More