St. Michaels, Maryland

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With summer finally coming to an end and beautiful fall weather just around the corner, it’s time to start planning a weekend getaway. Carlisle is just minutes to a few hours away from some incredible spots, from hidden gems to bustling cities. Here are five easy vacation ideas within driving distance.

1. Hershey, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for the perfect weekend getaway for the whole family, Hershey is just a 45-minute drive away. The quaint town of just under 15,000 residents is also a chocolate lover’s dream as the home of the world-famous Hershey’s headquarters and related attractions. Learn about the history of Hershey’s, create your own chocolate bar, and sample dozens of delicious treats at Hershey’s Chocolate World. After having your Charlie Bucket experience, stroll through the peaceful 23 acre Hershey Gardens, play at the hands-on Children’s Garden, or avoid rainy weather at the indoor Butterfly Atrium. Once you’ve digested all that delicious chocolate, brave the roller coasters or waterslides at Hersheypark, then visit the black bear cubs, grey wolves, armadillos, and more at the adjacent ZooAmerica. Hershey is full of economy and midrange hotels that make a weekend getaway packed with family fun affordable too.

Check out Hershey, PA lodging options.

2. Saint Michaels, Maryland

If you want a beautiful waterside getaway this spring without the tourist chaos, you won’t find a town more picturesque or charming than Saint Michaels, MD. This lovely historic town, located about three hours south of Carlisle, was once a trading post for tobacco farmers in the mid-1600s. The town’s early industry was shipbuilding. Today Saint Michaels is a quaint town of just over 1,000 residents full of specialty shops and boutiques, wine bars and seafood, peaceful boardwalks, and relaxing spas. Learn about local history at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, browse antique shops and galleries on Talbot Street, and sample local spirits at the Lyon Distilling Company. Saint Michaels is packed with unique B&Bs and historic inns that will leave you relaxed and refreshed before Monday morning.

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3. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

For history buffs, a weekend getaway to Gettysburg, PA is a must. The historic site of the turning point of the Civil War is located just 45 minutes south of Carlisle. Travel through the Gettysburg National Military park to see a battlefield shrine to the Union and Confederate soldiers who fought there, visit the scene of the Gettysburg Address, and see General Robert E. Lee’s headquarters. You can’t take a few steps in Gettysburg without running into a historic house, memorial, or museum to explore. Gettysburg is also packed with shops and dining. Stock up on local arts and crafts at one of the town’s many galleries, or taste classic American dishes with a modern twist on the Savor Gettysburg Food Tour. Immerse yourself in the experience with a stay a historic inn, or save some dough at a budget-friendly hotel.

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4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for a big city getaway, Philadelphia is just a two hour drive away. Explore the city’s history at Independence Hall, or get in touch with your artistic side at The Barnes Foundation or the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In the spring, take a peaceful stroll through the blooming Shofuso Japanese Garden. The Reading Terminal Market and Italian Market are a foodie’s dream come true, and craft beer fans can’t miss a trip to Yards Brewing Company. See a concert at the Kimmel Center, or a play at Walnut Street Theater. With dozens of unique neighborhoods to explore, hundreds of delicious restaurants to try, and tax-free shopping, it may take more than one weekend trip to tackle Philadelphia. Lodging options in the city range from upscale and boutique hotels to budget-friendly picks.

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5.  Lewes, Delaware

As the weather warms up, a coastal vacation sounds more and more appealing. Treat yourself to a weekend getaway to Lewes, DE, which is located three hours and forty minutes from Carlisle. This pretty town is located along Cape Henlopen. Enjoy fresh crab on the beautiful, peaceful beach, or take in some town history at the Zwaanendael Museum or Cannonball House. You can’t miss a homemade ice cream cone at Hopkins Farm Creamery, where the dairy cows are grazing peacefully in the fields. Lewis is also packed with charming boutiques and antique shops, and local casual eateries. Visitors will find a range of lodging options, from budget-friendly hotels to B&Bs.

Check out Lewes, DE lodging options.

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