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Hidden Gems in Carlisle, Pennsylvania!

Two years stationed at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania have provided me with many opportunities to check out numerous local spots. Over the past few weeks, I have curated a list of my all-time favorite places! I’ve mentioned everything from places on-post and around town, but I've excluded common areas military brats are already aware of, including the PX, Commissary, gym, movie theater, bowling alley, pool, and the golf course near the gate.

Farmers Market in Downtown Carlisle

Throughout the season, the Farmers Market attracts many vendors, selling goodies like lemonade, guacamole, Açaí bowls, cookies, hot sauce, and fresh pizza, in addition to the basics like vegetables, fruits, plants, and flowers. Sometimes there's a short performance or local music. The Farmers Market is usually active on Wednesday afternoons, and the time changes depending on the season. The best part is that most of the vendors are local, so not only are you buying fresh products, but you are also supporting local businesses.

Yellow Breeches

Yellow Breeches is the perfect location for fishing and exploring. There is a creek that houses trout and many other aquatic animals. The Yellow Breeches have short mild terrain trails that take you through Pennsylvania's wonderful outdoors. Whether you like to fish or just enjoy the sights of nature, either way, it's a win-win.

Graceful Heart Crystals provide a wide range of crystals for your own personal uses. The employees are so helpful and they share great advice about which crystals work best for where you stand emotionally and physically. The shop isn't overwhelmingly big and the prices vary per crystal, but all of their products are high quality.

The Time Bomb is one of the best vintage clothing stores I’ve ever visited. Time Bomb has pieces from various fashionable eras, an entire section full of vinyl, and plenty of odds and ends like graphic socks, eclectic jewelry, and groovy shades. The selection of clothes is always changing and there is always something new. It's absolutely worth checking out!

The C-Luv thrift has a great selection of secondhand clothing; it's not an overwhelming store and there are some great finds. They have everything from clothes to shoes and even jewelry. If you tell the cashier your name, you will get a discount after so many purchases.

One of the more high-end stores downtown, the Clothes Vine offers a modern take on upscale fashion. Many of the clothes are made from lesser-known brands. Nevertheless, their clothing is well-made and the materials are high quality. They also sell fragrances, scrunchies, jewelry, hats, socks, and even leather-bound notebooks. I happen to be a big fan of their jewelry and they always exude a comforting shopping environment.

The used bookstore on Pomfret has various genres of books. The store has a calm, soothing vibe as the walls are filled top to bottom with books and you can spend hours browsing. In all honesty, if you are the type of person to get lost in a book and love to soak up the silence, then this is the place for you. The prices tend to be less expensive because they are used and it's a much better shopping experience than that of your average Barnes and Noble.

One of my favorite places downtown, the Whistlestop not only sells books but also little novelty items like tote bags, T-shirts, card decks, greeting cards, and even chocolate bars! I am a huge fan of their paper products section, which holds everything from tiny sketchbooks to decomposition notebooks! There is also a cute cat that roams around the store while you check out their selection. The manager of the store is always extremely helpful and provides great insight on book recommendations.

If you are in a band and you need to rent an instrument, JW music has everything so you can play to the best of your ability. They have sheet music, rentals, and any other odds and ends that you might need for your instrument. The employees are extremely helpful and know exactly what you might need regardless of if you are a beginner or a pro.

Looking for a new and unique pair of kicks? Then this is the place for you. Sole Habit has some great shoe options. They carry lots of rare shoes so if you are looking for an uncommon pair, visit Sole Habit. They carry hard-to-find Jordans, Nikes, and Yeezys. If you want to make some cash, you can sell your high-quality shoes and the store will deem whether they have any possibility of selling them.

With antique stores, it’s always a hit or miss, but the Carlisle Antique Mall has something for everyone. At the bottom level, there are antique clothes; sweaters, dresses, jeans -- you name it! The middle floor has antique furniture and other unique antique pieces and artwork. The upstairs level has local and imported furniture and a couple of odds and ends like vintage notecards, leather jackets, and even a few books.

Denim coffee is the best place for eating out with friends or even sitting down to study. Just like the name, Denim Coffee is known for its high-quality coffee -- so much better than Starbucks. The store sells their own beans in case you fall in love with their unique brews, as well. The food selection at Denim is limited but delicious. They serve sandwiches, paninis, cookies, and drinks, including kombucha on tap. Denim has outdoor seating which is great on a nice sunny day, especially during the summer and fall.

Georgie Lou’s, which is now open to the public since the pandemic, has lots of pop culture merchandise and plenty of candy. There are selections of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Golden Girls, Alice in Wonderland (and more) items.

This vintage jewelry store located on the corner of Pomfret has reasonably priced rings, necklaces, earrings, and watches. They have a five-dollar wall that is a bit of a hit or a miss but if you keep a keen eye on the lookout, you should be able to find something that suits your style. You can also sign up for rewards -- if you go in on your birthday, you can get a free piece from the five-dollar wall. This is a fantastic place if you are looking for jewelry that isn’t too pricey but still of outstanding quality.

Spoons Cafe has high-quality ingredients, great service, and outdoor seating. Their menu changes with the season. I love their sandwiches I can always taste the freshness of their dishes. The servers are polite and always have spot-on recommendations. In contrast to the petite size of the restaurant, it serves up expansive flavors and substantial portions!


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