Local Area

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Local Area


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4 College Freshman

Local Area: Carlisle is a quaint, spunky town. There are tons of things to do, especially food wise. The Carlisle Theater is my favorite hotspot. Dickinson has a good transportation system that will take students to the local Walmart, movie theater, Panera Bread, etc. There's also a Target, Old Navy, and Starbucks just two miles away. The relationship between the town and the college is broken -- I love Carlisle, but Carlisle doesn't love Dickinsonians.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Local Area: The town has excellent restaurants - students love going off campus for dinner on the weekend. Cafe Bruge, Andalusia, and Issei Noodle are my favorites. Carlisle is also very close to D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City if you find yourself craving a more urban experience on a weekend.

3 College Sophomore

Local Area: Everything closes too early and there isn't much to do at all but there are some cute shops.

4 College Student

Local Area: From my knowledge as a resident of Carlisle (I went to high school and middle school here), one of the main complaints of the town towards the students is that they are inconsiderate. In particular, it is rare for a student to acknowledge when a car lets him cross the street. Cross walks put in for Dickinson cross right in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Carlisle, and paint a bad image of Dickinson as too lazy to walk to the corners to cross the street. Cars have to stop for pedestrians crossing, and the students rarely wave or even look up at the cars that stopped in the middle of High street to let them cross.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Freshman

Local Area: Carlisle, simply put, is not a good college town.

There are some good restaurants, couple of bars, and limited amounts of shopping.

The area near Dickinson is not safe. Robberies and assaults happen quite frequently (a student was recently mugged at gun point, and a girl was assaulted and beaten walking back to her dorm alone).

There isn't much to do in Carlisle, students usually stick to the campus. Having a car is a huge advantage.

3 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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The once-strained relationship between the town and the College is beginning to grow. Recent efforts facilitated by Dickinson President William Durden have helped this process immensely, and the growth of the town of Carlisle is encouraging these efforts. Whether attending a film at the Carlisle Theater, eating at restaurants, shopping at the popular Clothes Vine boutique, or grabbing a drink at Alibis, students are frequently seen in the area around High Street patronizing local businesses. As developments of upscale neighborhoods are being constructed all along the town’s borders, Carlisle is swiftly becoming one of the most decorated and advanced municipalities in central Pennsylvania.

Yet, Carlisle is still not the ideal college town. While it has its share of bars, restaurants, and movie theaters, there is virtually nothing else to do downtown on weekend nights, which is the reason most Dickinson students stay on campus for weekend activities. There are no nightclubs or under-21 hangouts, and the town pretty much shuts down after 10 p.m. However, efforts are being made, by both the college and Carlisle Borough, to increase the availability of activities in town on the weekend.


Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. Carlisle has played a prominent role in United States history and has seen action from nearly every war ever fought on American soil. During the French and Indian War, Carlisle was the westernmost point at which British Crown regiments bivouacked. Carlisle provided an unusual number of high-ranking officers to the Revolutionary War, as well, including the heroine Mary Hayes, also known as Molly Pitcher.
  2. President Washington founded the Carlisle Barracks in 1798, the first military school and oldest Army post in the country. The Carlisle Barracks are now home to the U.S. Army War College. President Washington made routine visits to Carlisle and even stayed the night at least once in the downtown area.
  3. Carlisle is the northernmost point reached by the confederacy during the Civil War and was visited by two contingents of confederate troops led by General Jeb Stuart during the Battle of Gettysburg. The Cumberland County Courthouse in Carlisle bears the scars from the shelling of the town by the confederates to this day. Dickinson's monumental Old West became a temporary field hospital during this event.
  4. Carlisle is also a center of manufacturing for the automotive industry, as a wide variety of automotive materials are produced here each day. To complement this distinction, the Carlisle Events Company hosts 10 collector car, truck, and motorcycle events each year, drawing over 500,000 visitors from around the world to Carlisle annually. These events include two automotive swap meets (one in the spring and one in the fall), and eight individual specialty shows featuring Corvettes, Fords, GMs, Chryslers, trucks, motorcycles, sport compacts, and vintage imports. These shows are some of the largest in the country.
  5. Jim Thorpe, a two-time Olympic gold medal winner, pro football player, major league baseball player, and the man described as the greatest American athlete of the 20th century, was schooled in Carlisle and played football for the Carlisle Indian School as a young adult.
Notable Natives
  • John Bannister Gibson - last chief justice under the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790
  • Mary Hayes (otherwise known as Molly Pitcher) - heroine at the battle of Monmouth in the Revolutionary War
  • Marianne Moore - poet
  • Jim Thorpe - great American athlete
  • Fredrick Watts - the first U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture
  • James Wilson - local lawyer who signed the Declaration of Independence
Local Slang
  • Davenport: Sofa, couch
  • Dippy Eggs: Eggs over easy
  • Warsh: To wash
Points of Interest
  • Hershey Outlets
  • Hershey Park
Shopping Centers
  • Camp Hill Mall
  • Capital City Mall
  • Carlisle Plaza Mall
  • Colonial Park Mall
Movie Theaters
The Carlisle Theater
40 West High St.
Movie Theaters
MJ Mall Cinemas in Carlisle Commons
250 Noble Blvd.
(717) 249-5511
Movie Theaters
Regal Carlisle Commons Stadium 8
250 Noble Blvd.
Major Sports Teams
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Cleveland: OH: 5 hours
  • Harrisburg: PA: 30 minutes
  • Philadelphia: PA: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 33 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 33 responses

  • 0% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.
  • 9% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 67% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 9% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 15% Painfully remote.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 32 responses

  • 9% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.
  • 62% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 28% There aren't any nearby schools.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 32 responses

  • 6% Totally.
  • 16% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 78% No way.



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