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
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. Our friendly staff is always happy to offer suggestions and provide 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.
Day 2: Outdoor Recreation
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. (TIP: Please check hours of operation.)
Day 3: Indoor Activities
Oh 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? Autobahn Indoor Speedway 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. Autobahn also offers ax-throwing lanes. 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
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
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, have a picnic, or visit a farmers market for some fresh local food.