GETTING THERE: Carlisle, Pa., is about 160 miles from the Beltway. From I-70 in Hagerstown, Md., follow I-81 north to Exit 47 (Route 34/Hanover Street).

STAYING THERE: While chain motels mass at the interstate exits, Comfort Suites (10 S. Hanover St., 717-960-1000) is convenient for downtown strolls, with free breakfast and cheap garage parking; doubles are $84 per night. The Carlisle House (148 S. Hanover St., 717-249-0350, www.thecarlislehouse.com), Mary Duxbury's bed and breakfast, offers eight antique rooms with modern conveniences, including air conditioning, from $95 to $175.

EATING THERE: There are plenty of choices in the historic district. Piatto (22 W. Pomfret) offers northern Italian specialties; it's BYOB. The Market Cross Pub & Brewery (113 N. Hanover St.) offers casual alehouse fare and an extensive list of you-know-whats. The Gingerbread Man (5 S. Courthouse Ave.), a favorite student hangout, stays open late.

WALKING THERE: Guidebooks are on sale ($5.50) at the Cumberland County Historical Society (21 N. Pitt St., 717-249-7610), Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Motor buffs should know that the Carlisle Fairground is nationally known for its series of collector automobile and motorcycle events held each year through the summer. Next up are the Carlisle Summer Bike Fest (July 23-25), Corvettes at Carlisle (August 27-29) and Fall Carlisle (Sept. 29-Oct.3), a massive swap meet. Info: 717-243-7855, www.carsatcarlisle.com.

INFO: Cumberland County Economic Development, 717-243-5627, www.visitccpa.com.