The historic, Preserve America town of Carlisle is noted for its restored architecture and tree-lined streets–once walked on by George Washington, Molly Pitcher and other icons of early America. If history is your passion, this town offers landmarks, museums, a retro movie and performing arts theatre, and a Civil War augmented reality walking tour that allows you to use your smartphone or tablet to see history with new eyes!
Start Planning Your Visit
The town of Carlisle is famously known for the Carlisle Events Auto Shows that take place every year at the fairgrounds. Thousands make the trip for the annual swap meets, auctions, industry celebrity guests, downtown parades, and specialty shows like the Sports & Outdoors Show and Truck Nationals. View additional annual events below:
- Harvest of the Arts (September)
- Carlisle Corvette & Ford Parades
- Army Heritage Days at U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center (May)
- McLain Celtic Festival (September)
- Oktoberfest (October)
For those seeking a relaxing day away, there is a diverse collection of shops and restaurants in Carlisle that have banded together to create a unique experience for visitors to browse and collect treasures from the Valley. Including funky gift shops and a range of antiques.
If you and the family are outdoor enthusiasts you'll appreciate the easily accessible Appalachian Trail and biking, hiking, beaches and more at nearby state parks. Bring your bike and take advantage of our new bike lanes in town. Outdoorsy visitors will also appreciate the Farmers on the Square Market every Wednesday between May - December and other local farm stands and markets.
The foodies will not be disappointed with this town's eclectic restaurant selections with tastes from all over the world. Find Spanish and Moroccan, English, Japanese, Italian and Belgian mixed in with authentic diners and cafes all within a few blocks. Get a taste of them all with the Dine Around the World trip idea.
In 2015, Carlisle was ranked #16 on Livability.com's 100 Best Small Towns. According to the site, "Nestled in the highly productive Cumberland Valley agricultural region, Carlisle provides a quaint setting for families. While school age children attend the Carlisle Area School District, higher education classes can be taken at Dickinson College, U.S. Army War College and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. The Carlisle Regional Medical Center offers excellent care, and many residents enjoy the borough's 18 public parks. Green spaces, restaurants and cultural attractions provide many things to do in Carlisle." View more details and the list here.
- Settled by Scots-Irish immigrants in 1751, this historic town is named after its sister town of Carlisle, England.
- A hub of activity, Carlisle has hosted notable figures including Declaration of Independence signers James Smith, James Wilson and George Washington, and is home of the Revolutionary War legend Molly Pitcher.
- The Carlisle Barracks contributes to the rich military history in the town – it served as a munitions depot during the Revolutionary War, was torched during the Civil War and now is home to the Army War College.
- A train ran down the entire length of High Street in Carlisle for 99 years, that's why the road is so wide!
Carlisle residents and those looking to relocate can find helpful information on the Carlisle Borough website.