Are you a resident that stays here on weekends? Do you sit in your room wondering what there is to do around here? There are plenty of cool places within walking distance from campus that you can enjoy. To start your adventure, you will want to take a left down Philadelphia Ave, and continue until you find yourself with tall brick buildings on either side. This is my favorite area in Chambersburg, other than our school stables and farm. On your right hand side on the way down will be my first favorite shop, Northwood Books. Northwood looks tiny but it is filled with hundreds of books ranging from your classic fiction to recent nonfiction.
After visiting Northwood, you may want to take a minute to read a chapter or two. The best place to do that is right next door at Brussel’s Cafe. Brussel’s is the perfect combination of chic, rustic and just plain cozy. Their coffee and macarons are amazing. You can even take your coffee outside and sit in their outdoor area in the alleyway.
The next stop is a bit farther down past the traffic circle, but completely worth the walk, Olympia Candy Kitchen. It is the best candy I have ever had. It is like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. My favorite is when they display the candy apples for fall. After grabbing some snacks for the road, we can hop over to my absolute favorite, which is on the left side of the road, the Foundry. The Foundry is an amazing art store, right next to it is a really cool antique store, The Garage Studio. The Foundry has product ranging from paintings, and postcards to jewelry and knick-knacks. For all you horse lovers out there, I found paintings where the artist took maps of where certain breeds originated from and outlined and painted a horse over the top of the map with the map showing through.
On the way back to campus, if you go left around the traffic circle, there is a street that cuts in between the church and Square 1. If you follow that road, there is a restaurant called New Texas Lunch. It was a diner like environment with home-style food. While it is not a five-star restaurant, it is really good quality food and it won’t break the bank. The staff is engaging enough, but not too chatty. My favorite dish there is their chicken quesadilla.
Depending on when you head back to campus, the fountain may be lit up, typically blue or green. It is a beautiful sight to see, especially with the lanterns lit in the middle of the circle, and in winter with all the Christmas lights. The only downside to the section I refer to is ‘Downtown’ is that a lot of the shops have inconsistent hours, but that is because a lot of them, if not all of them, are small businesses. Still one of, the best things about ‘Downtown’ is that the businesses are so small and unique. The business owners are really fun to talk to (the ones that own the antique shop have a cat that is usually sleeping around the shop and is super friendly), so you don’t have to spend money to have a good time.
The downtown strip to me is a super enjoyable walk with amazing things to look at. They have a lot of events, with the best one being The Ice Festival in February. They have ice carvings everywhere, food trucks, and all the little shops are open. One year during the festival, they had a throne and slide. There are also a few shops I have yet to fully explore like Lotus Moon, and Nerdvana. Overall, with all the shops, events and restaurants the downtown Chambersburg area is a great place to explore and also gain a better understanding of the town’s history and acceptance of different cultures. Don’t forget to just enjoy and have fun along the way.