Cumberland Valley might be a go-to spot for outdoor adventures, but don’t leave without exploring the downtown areas of Mechanicsburg, Carlisle and Camp Hill. From specialty shops and art galleries to historical museums, Cumberland Valley is the perfect place to tap your deep interest in history, indulge your artistic side, or flex your shopping muscles. Here are some suggestions to start planning your #WeekendEasy excursion.
Explore the Shops, Galleries & Restaurants of Downtown Carlisle
Whether you’re eager to window shop or gallery hop, there’s something for every taste and temperament in historic downtown Carlisle.
In the mood for some antique shopping? From signed first-edition books for 25 cents to Tiffany lamps, there’s something for every preference and price point. Antiques on Hanover is a good starting point. Throughout the 7,000-square-foot store, you’ll notice a definite emphasis on the 1820s to 1920s formal furniture. For a bit of everything, try Bedford Street Antiques with 24,000 sq. ft. of space displaying antiques from over 100 vendors.
The bargain-hunting doesn’t end there, with 8 antique stores both downtown and nearby. Start your day at the Northgate Antique Mall, which features vintage collectibles like coins, glass, and jewelry from more than 70 vendors. Then there’s Serendipity Antique Gallery selling
Art fans, take note: Carlisle is home to several galleries featuring art across all types of mediums. The Carlisle Arts Learning Center, The Garden Gallery and Nancy Stamm’s Galleria all offer hand-crafted items and a variety of artwork by local artists. The American Artisan Gallery, located on Hanover Street, is a go-to spot for viewing ceramics, glass, jewelry and fine art. Hidden off the beaten path, Earth Artisan & Outfitter specializes in earth-based and nature-inspired fine art & photography. This small shop is big on connecting people to the planet and to each other and well worth a visit.
You can also find the crossroads of art, fashion, and food all along the downtown streets of Carlisle. Find trendy clothing and accessories at stores like the clothesVine, Miss Ruth’s Time Bomb, Pat Craig Studios and Marjorie’s Gems and other unique items at History on High, Whistlestop Bookshop and Georgie Lou’s Retro Candy.
Stay for dinner and select from 20 restaurants in downtown Carlisle featuring flavors from around the world including Indian, Japanese, Mexican, English, Belgian and more.
After dinner, end your day with a live concert, a compelling theatrical performance, or a thought-provoking movie at the historic, Art Deco Carlisle Theatre, which has been entertaining residents and visitors since 1939.
Brush Up on Your History in Downtown Mechanicsburg
While downtown Mechanicsburg is home to many shops and restaurants, the main appeal comes in the form of historical experiences and architecture.
Start your day with a visit to the Mechanicsburg Museum. As you tour a cluster of historic buildings that date back to the 1800s, you’ll learn how Cumberland Valley has changed over the years. Conveniently, the museum is headquartered at the Passenger Station, where you can view the preserved 1867 Cumberland Valley Railroad.
The historical tour doesn’t end there. Swing by the Stationmaster’s House for a look at what it was like to live in 19th century Mechanicsburg. Built in 1866 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this preserved home was originally built for George Zacharias, stationmaster at the time.
Also preserved by the Mechanicsburg Museum Association is the
After visiting a few historical sites, spend some time exploring downtown Mechanicsburg’s shopping and dining scene. Grab a snack at Brittle Bark, featuring gourmet candy, or relax for a drink at Larsen Meadworks. If you’re really hungry, try the authentic Greek cuisine at Hellenic Kouzina.
If you’re in a shopping mood, stroll the downtown and pop in and out of artisan and specialty shops including Hershey Violins, Just Clogs, Civil War & More and a selection of home décor and antique stores.
Specialty Shops in Downtown Camp Hill
With women’s boutiques and salons, Camp Hill is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway. The quaint town makes for an easy-to-walk loop to hit all the hotspots.
Kick off your getaway weekend with some shopping. For a timeless ensemble, pop into Little Black Dress and sift through sophisticated yet understated women’s clothing that is both comfortable and chic. When it’s time to pick out the final accessory, Meeka Fine Jewelry has custom-made jewelry designed by local artisans. Stop by One Good Woman for a vast selection of coffees and teas, as well as gifts and home décor. Blooms by Vickrey is way more than a flower shop with a boutique showroom full of home décor.
With so much shopping, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Satisfy your sweet tooth at Pennsylvania Bakery—a full-line bakery selling decadent cakes, cupcakes, cheesecakes and more. For a late afternoon caffeine boost, order a cup of Joe at Cornerstone Coffeehouse or chow down on a healthy salad or hearty sandwich. There’s even an outdoor patio to take in the nice weather. You can also grab an authentic dinner at Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant or Cedars Restaurant featuring Lebanese fare.
Search more than 70 lodging options for comfortable accommodations that fit every style and budget. From intimate B&Bs to conveniently-located hotels that put you in the center of the action, you can relax and unwind in between your downtown excursions.