Carlisle : Pennsylvania


What It Is Like to Retire in Carlisle

Carlisle is the county seat of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, with a population of 18,682 (2010 Census). The town is also considered an exurb of Harrisburg, which lies to the east, and in 2010 the towns were named together by Forbes as one of the Best Places to Raise a Family .

Carlisle has an interesting history that goes back to it's founding in 1751.  It is said  Benjamin Franklin negotiated with Indians here in 1753.  The town  was incorporated as a borough in 1782, and in 1794, Pennsylvania and New Jersey troops assembled in Carlisle under the leadership of President George Washington. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, developed Carlisle Grammar School and chartered it as Dickinson College, from which President James Buchanan graduated in 1809. Today, Dickinson College with an enrollment of over 2,400 students, is still an important part of Carlisle, along with other impressive schools located here which include Penn State Dickinson School of Law, and the U.S. Army War College which trains high-level military personnel for leadership responsibilities.

Other famous names with connections to Carlisle include Revolutionary legend Molly Pitcher and Olympic star Jim Thorpe. Carlisle is also very popular with car enthusiasts from all over the United States, and famous for its national car shows with several events held throughout the year. Picture of Carlisle's downtown courtesy of Wikipedia and Doug Kerr, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/ picture of Dickinson College courtesy of Wikipedia and Tomwsulcer; picture of U.S. Army College courtesy of Wikipedia, both in the public domain.


Where to Retire in Carlisle and Home Prices

The National Association of Realtors reports the median sale price of homes to be $223,900 during the 4th quarter of 2021 in the Harrisburg-Carlisle area.

What Is Special about Carlisle

Carlisle, home to Dickinson College and the United States Army Heritage and Education Center, is a Preserve America Community.  History abounds here with a historic district and preservation programs which promotes special events throughout the year.


What Is Not Special about Carlisle

Winters are chilly; property taxes are a higher than in some other Pennsylvania counties.


Who Will Like Retirement in Carlisle

Those who want a small college town, full of history, and a low cost of living would enjoy retiring here. Car buffs would love it here.


Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is driven by Retail and Education.


Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature in Carlisle is 27 degrees, with July's average at 73 degrees.  The town receives about 30 inches of snow each winter.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Carlisle’s cultural scene includes many historic sites, and multicultural events. Historic Carlisle is an organization formed to promote and help to celebrate the city's rich history.  A Civil War reality walking tour allows you to use your smartphone while you soak in the town's history. 

The U.S. Army Heritage and Eduction Center was ranked as the #1 attraction by reviewers on This houses an Army Heritage Museum and honors Soldiers past and present.  Other popular attractions in the town include The Carlisle Theater which hosts concerts and live performances year round, and Carlisle Events, which is one of the world's largest presenters of collector car and truck shows, and is host to nine national car events held annually.



The crime rate of Carlisle is a lttle above the national average.


Medical Facilities

Carlisle Regional Medical Center services the area.



Carlisle is at the crossroads of the Pennsylvania Turnpike-Interstate 76 and Interstate 81 which makes traveling easy.  It is just 90 minutes from both Baltimore and Washington DC. The closest airport is in Harrisburg, about 30 miles away.


Valuable Links

Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Carlisle Theatre

Carlisle Events Car Shows

U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center


What people are saying about Carlisle

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