Mooreland Garden Inn

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Things To Do

Carlisle is in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Cumberland Valley. The region offers a wide variety of places to visit, things to do, and sights to see – with plenty of dining and drinking options along the way. Carlisle’s locally owned shops are open with some restrictions as required by Pennsylvania’s COVID response. Most restaurants are open too and many have outdoor seating, in season. We especially recommend Miseno’s Ristopub II, a quick three-block walk from the inn for great pizza or pasta in a relaxed atmosphere.

Like most communities, Carlisle has been following regulations related to Coronavirus restrictions. Some of the nearby recommended attractions and activities may still be restricted during your visit, so we recommend checking websites for The Cumberland Valley Visitors Bureau and The Downtown Carlisle Association to get latest status for things you plan to do in the Carlisle area.

*Header image provided by Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce

A group of people in Revolutionary War attire, holding instruments and walking across a lawn

Love to Learn about the Past?

  • Visit the Cumberland County Historical Society and Museum to take a “tour through time.” Carlisle was founded while Pennsylvania was still a British colony, was the marshaling point for Washington’s quelling of the 1794 Whisky rebellion, and the town saw action in the Civil War. Carlisle is also famous as the location of the Carlisle Indian School where Jim Thorpe grew up and trained. The Museum has thousands of artifacts and displays that tell these and many other stories. You might even be able to find part of your family tree in their genealogical files.
  • Take a Wayside Marker walking tour that highlights where “History Happened” in Carlisle. Check out the Old Courthouse column where the Confederate Army cannon left its mark.
  • Take a Ghost Tour with the “Barefoot Historian” that includes a walk through the Old Carlisle Graveyard where Revolutionary War Heroine, Molly Pitcher was laid to rest.
  • Tour the interactive “Soldiers Stories” at the Army Heritage and Education Center to get a glimpse of life as a soldier throughout America’s history.
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Devoted to the Arts and Culture?

  • Paint a piece of pottery at Create-A-Palooza – A great place to make a family memory!
  • Check out Carlisle’s many art galleries: American Artisan Gallery, Carlisle Arts Learning Center, Ejecta Projects Art Gallery, The Gallery at JN Studios, The Garden Gallery, K Olson Ceramics, Nancy Stamm’s Galleria, The Pond Art Studios and Gallery, and the Trout Gallery.
  • Enjoy live theater performances at Carlisle Theatre, and Allenberry Playhouse.
A group of five men placing various instruments on an outdoor stage under a large awning

Need to tap your feet?

Worn path weaving through a forest full of mature green trees with sunlight shining in

Need Lots of Action and Activity?

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Love Good Food?

Ice Cream Anyone?  Leo’s Homemade Ice Cream is considered “one of the best ice cream stores in the United States”. It is a short walk from the inn and has a pleasant outside seating area to enjoy your special treat. If you prefer soft serve, Massey’s Ice Cream is also a few blocks from the inn and a well-known local favorite!

Our favorite casual restaurant is Miseno’s Risto Pub II located three blocks away. You will likely need to bring your leftovers from the large portioned pasta meals and salads to store in the inn’s guest refrigerator. Their pizza is delicious too!


There are so many fantastic lunch options in Carlisle. Spoons Café, Kimberly’s Café, Helena’s Chocolate Café and Creperie, and The Sunrise Café are some of the best.

Café Bruges is our family’s absolute favorite restaurant in Carlisle. Owners Ryan Twigg, Helena Twigg, Ross Morris and Laura Portillo did their homework in the historic Belgium city to create the menu and the perfect frites. Ask Dawn and Bruce about their romantic story of the Bruges Café in Carlisle and Bruges, Belgium.

1794 The Whiskey Rebellion celebrates Carlisle’s role in this historically themed restaurant. Over 50 domestic and international whiskeys are available to accompany menu items such as the “Bourbon Bird” and the “Molly Burger”

Market Cross Pub is an English-style pub with over 250 beers and ales to choose from -including their own brews!  Live evening entertainment Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Dine al fresco on Hanover St or behind the pub in their Beer Garden.  Innkeepers’ favorites include Shepherd’s Pie and Fish & Chips.

The Hamilton, North Hanover Grille, Roosters, Faye’s Country Kitchen, George’s Pizza and the Gingerbread Man are Carlisle institutions.

  • The Hamilton is famous for their “Hotchee Dog” and down-home cooking.
  • North Hanover Grill has great salads, wraps. Tuesday is Wing Night, and Wednesday is Trivia night from 8-10. They have a large selection of domestic, imported and craft beers.
  • Fay’s Country Kitchen is a cash-only home-style diner. They have fantastic pancakes and muffins. Check out their retro Coke décor!
  • George’s Pizza began in 1958 and has a wide variety of pizza, old and hot subs, Stromboli and salads.
  • Gingerbread Man has been a Friday night hangout for locals for decades. It has a pub/tavern atmosphere. It features two bars – one which permits smoking.

International cuisine is found in Carlisle too!

  • El Rodeo is Grandma Webb’s favorite Carlisle restaurant. They have authentic Mexican Food and make a fantastic margarita!
  • Tacqueria Laurita is a casual ‘quick bite’ Mexican restaurant with limited seating.
  • Issei Noodle features made-fresh-daily ramen and assorted noodles. Good service and great food!
  • Mount Fuji has authentic Japanese cuisine with an extensive menu including a great sushi selection. The upscale urban feel restaurant is a local favorite.
  • Jewels of India serves traditional Indian food featuring various cuisine styles from different regions of India. Dawn and Lenore really enjoy their Butter Chicken and Palak Paneer.
  • Chen’s Asian Restaurant has a wide variety of Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes including sushi.
  • China Palace located in Penrose Plaza is Jamie’s favorite for Chinese food in Carlisle. We love their Pu Pu Platter complete with a warming flame.
  • Yak and Yeti is a Himalayan Restaurant with authentic Nepalese Dawn really likes the JHOL MOMO a Himalayan dumpling soup with a rich broth.
  • Vinny’s Pizza & Restaurant has fantastic thin crust pizza and subs. Dickinson College and high school students receive a 10% discount with student ID.
  • Lizardi’s Puerto Rican Restaurant opened in downtown Carlisle in October 2020. Rumor has it that Lizardi’s has the best mofongo in PA.

There are spirits in Carlisle!

  • Grand Illusion Wine and Cidery treats guests to an unusual experience with a bit of mystery, magic, whimsy. Boasting the largest selection of PA cider on draft in the world, a rotating selection of PA beers and PA wines, and a tasty food menu, it’s a fun place to visit. Consider trying their “ESCAPE ROOM”. Magic Mondays include tableside magic from 6-8 PM.
  • Hook and Flask Still Works is Carlisle’s First Distillery since Prohibition. Enjoy sipping a ‘Fireman’s Mule’ and take a tour of the distillery. Then have some ‘Loaded Totties’ while enjoying live music.
  • Molly Pitcher Brewery features their Carlisle-brewed beer and hard seltzers. They have a nice selection of sharable appetizers. Their back-yard porch is very pleasant and an upstairs taproom is available for rent.
  • Market Cross Pub is an English-style pub with a historic flare. Market has a wide selection of beers including their own brews. Indoor and outdoor seating are available. Trivia nights and music make this a fun place to be in downtown!
  • Castlerigg Wine Shop features Pennsylvania wines available by the glass or in tasting samples. Pair your wine with some house-made tasty treats. Say hello to the proprietor, Alan, who will likely be wearing his trademark kilt.
  • Burd’s Nest Brewing Co. is a Carlisle craft brewery that recently celebrated their second year in business with their “Terrible Two’s Doublebock”. If you like chocolate and beer, it’s for you! A nice mix of IPA, pale ales, whiskey, ciders, and wines round out their drink offerings. Snacks are also available. Evening entertainment too!
Wood table with an open laptop computer, white mug of black coffee and a black notebook with pen

Have Work to Do?

  • Adjacent to Penn State Dickinson Law, and less than a block from Dickinson College’s Campus, and a few blocks from Historic Downtown Carlisle, the Mooreland Garden Inn is a great home base for your work in and around town. Harrisburg is 25 miles to the East and Shippensburg and Chambersburg are 20 miles to the West. We are located 25 minutes via Route 76 from Harrisburg International Airport (MDT).
  • UPMC Carlisle Hospital is two miles away.
  • Each guest room includes a well-lit desk with outlets and USB ports. The inn has high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi for guest use.
  • Need to hit the gym? Carlisle Family YMCA is three blocks from the Mooreland Garden Inn and your Y membership will work here.
  • When your work day is done, change into your running shoes and stroll or jog along our tree-lined streets in the Old Mooreland Neighborhood-where the inn is located.
  • Visit one of our great locally owned restaurants or have a delivery to the inn. We’ll be happy to set a place for you on the porch or dining room table complete with china and silverware.
  • Plan on a great night’s sleep! Mooreland Garden Inn offers peace and quiet, high-quality bedding on comfortable mattresses, and complimentary snacks, and hot and cold beverages.
  • Dawn creates a daily menu with several options based on the guest’s diet and preferences. You will be asked to make some choices the night before and Dawn will work to ‘wow’ you with breakfast in the morning.
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Prefer to Shop Until You Drop?

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Events, Festivals and Parades

The Mooreland Garden Inn is a fantastic home base for Carlisle’s activities. Here is a sampling of what happens in Carlisle:

  • Carlisle Events Car Shows (April-October) take over the 840 acres of Carlisle Fairgrounds to showcase one of the largest automotive flea markets, auctions, collector shows in the world. Between April and October Carlisle annually hosts seven action packed weekends for car and truck enthusiasts. Mooreland Garden Inn rooms fill up quickly on these weekends. Book early!  We love our car show guests!
  • Downtown Carlisle’s First Friday (May-October) is a fun family evening the first Friday of the month May through October. Look for the DCA information booth on the square in Carlisle to get a map and schedule of activities for the evening.
  • Farmers on the Square is Carlisle’s farmers’ market open every Wednesday from 3 PM until 7 PM. The outdoor market is located on Carlisle’s Square at the intersection of Hanover and High Streets. Cumberland Valley boasts of some of the richest farm soil in the world, and this is a great place to find our local produce, baked goods, meats, nuts and cheeses and fresh flowers!
  • First Night Carlisle (returning Dec 31 2021) is a family-oriented, non-alcoholic celebration of the arts held on New Year’s Eve on the streets of downtown Carlisle. It is a major visual and performing arts festival created by and for the community to welcome in the New Year. It is a public celebration that revives the ancient tradition of marking the passage of time with art, ritual, and festivity in a present-day context.
  • Ice Arts Fest (February) Fun for the whole family! Come downtown and enjoy seeing over 70 ice sculptures representing downtown businesses. From thrones to photo ops, there is something for everyone. It is a weekend you don’t want to miss.
  • Downtown Carlisle Bunny Hop (late March or early April) is a day of Spring fun that centers around a downtown-wide “egg hunt”, where children 12 and under will frolic from business to business collecting eggs and treats. Children are encouraged to dress in their Sunday best. It’s fun to watch even if you are not under 12 or don’t have a child to bring!
  • Amani Festival (May) is a daylong celebration of culture and diversity. The event features authentic ethnic foods, crafts, art, and music. Taking place in downtown Carlisle, the festival is a five-minute walk from the
  • Carlisle Summerfair (early July) is a ten-day community-wide celebration featuring a variety of free family-friendly activities. This annual event includes activities such as open pool nights, concerts, musicals, kids’ crafts, an ice-cream social, and the popular Anything Floats Contests. Most activities are within walking distance from the inn.
  • Bluegrass on the Grass Festival (mid-July) is a free day-long bluegrass concert featuring several of the top bands from around the country. You can borrow inn lawn chairs and walk to hear the upbeat music that will make you smile and tap your feet!
  • Harvest of the Arts (September) is a day-long festival on West High Street (a couple blocks from the inn) that features over 100 artisans, plus food vendors, a Kids’ Alley, farmers’ market, and entertainment. And yes – you can walk there from the inn.
  • Halloweekend (mid- October) is a weekend of Spooktacular fun in Downtown Carlisle. A pumpkin path, decorated window displays, photo ops, and a treat-not-trick activity hosted by our downtown merchants make this a really fun weekend.  Don’t miss it!
  • Santa Comes to Town (early December) to light the trees on the square. Carriage rides, a town parade, caroling, and special events in the shops make this a magical time for families.

*Image provided by the Carlisle Area Chamber of Commerce

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