Make Plans for a Weekend Getaway to Cumberland Valley Pennsylvania
As you schedule those last-minute summer trips, make room for a weekend in Cumberland Valley Pennsylvania. Located two hours west of Philadelphia, Cumberland Valley offers delectable food finds, exciting outdoor adventures and fascinating history lessons. Whatever your personality or area of interest, you’ll find a fit here.
Eat and Imbibe
With the wealth of emerging breweries and pubs, the Cumberland Valley Beer Trail is a fun way to explore different flavors and styles. The route from Carlisle to Mechanicsburg begins with a taste of Belgium at Café Bruges, where you can sample a variety of ales and some frites. Sip English-style brews over at Market Cross Pub & Brewery. Make your way to Appalachian Brewing Company in Mechanicsburg for handcrafted beer, small-batch soda (such as root beer) and a full menu.
There’s no better way to celebrate a harvest than a food festival. Every year, the Shippensburg Corn Festival consumes downtown Shippensburg. On August 29, the 35th-annual event brings crafts, an antique car show, children’s activities and corn in every imaginable form. There’s even a corn-eating contest. Admission to the festival is free.
For a fun, educational adventure on the farm, visit Paulus Farm Market in Mechanicsburg. The open-air market is family owned and operated. Parents will enjoy perusing the deli, produce and fresh baked goods, while children visit the barnyard animals, climb on the wooden tractor and play with the farm toys. Customers can pick their own flowers and herbs in the summer and pumpkins in the fall.
The Great Outdoors
If outdoor activities are high on your priority list, Cumberland Valley has a wide selection just waiting for explorers. Colonel Denning State Park contains the three-and-a-half-acre Doubling Gap Lake — a popular spot for swimming and boating. The 52-site campground allows you to spend your evenings in the peace and quiet of the park’s 273 woodland acres. Meanwhile, Kings Gap Environmental Education Center boasts 2,531 acres, 16 miles of trails and sweeping vistas of Cumberland Valley. Kings Gap is known for its historic Italian-villa style stone mansion atop South Mountain.
Cumberland Valley has long been a destination for fly-fishermen. Fishing takes place year-round, but fall is a favorite season as colorful leaves frame the streams. Three famous fly-fishing streams are located here, including Yellow Breeches Creek, LeTort Spring Run and Big Spring Creek. Brook, brown and rainbow trout all swim in Cumberland Valley waters. The streams’ proximity to additional activities, such as parks, breweries and inns, makes for a well-rounded trip.
A trip to the Cumberland Valley comes with a built-in history lesson. Historic Carlisle is known for its restored architecture, museums and landmarks. Take the Civil War augmented reality walking tour and use your smartphone to recreate scenes in Carlisle in the mid-1800s. Or take a more traditional walking tour with volunteer guides from the Cumberland County Historical Society. Choose from a variety of tours to suit your historical moment of interest.
The U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center is dedicated to “Telling the Army story … one Soldier at a time.” Learn about the culture and experiences of soldiers at the Visitor and Education Center. “The Soldier Experience” exhibit traces the history of the U.S. Army from the Spanish-American War to present-day events. The mile-long Army Heritage Trail is an outdoor, interactive loop that presents Army history in full-scale displays, including a helicopter and tank.
Over in Mechanicsburg, the 57th Annual Steam Engine and Tractor Show, August 31 through September 7, showcases antique farm equipment and agricultural practices. Items on display include steam engines, a steam train, antique tractors, model trains and a working sawmill. A car show, tractor pull and live music round out the festivities.
History buffs will enjoy a stay at Colonial Crossroads Bed & Breakfast. The Colonial tavern began serving travelers in 1790. Over the years, it operated as a railroad station, post office and store. Antique furniture shares space with modern amenities, such as whirlpool tubs and flat-screen TVs, in the renovated guest rooms. A hearty breakfast is included each morning.
Don’t miss your chance to spend a summer weekend in Cumberland Valley Pennsylvania. Click here for more details about these activities and information about additional events, festivals and happenings.
This is a paid partnership between Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio