Flying into DC? Take a quick trip to the Eastern Panhandle in West Virginia
So, you’ve just flown into DC and are looking for something amazing to do. Well, look no further than the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. With friendly locals, history, scenery, small town charm, delicious dining and a relaxed atmosphere, this area has a little bit of something for everyone.
Most of the Eastern Panhandle is just a short one-hour drive from the DC area. You can also get here by taking Amtrak’s “Capitol Limited” route, which operates daily between DC and Chicago and passes through the Eastern Panhandle with stops in Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg. Or you can take the Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC), which operates Monday through Friday between Martinsburg and DC and has a stop in Harpers Ferry as well. Each option will get you there in no time so that you can start exploring this gorgeous region!
In Morgan County, visit the beautiful town of Berkeley Springs where you’ll find everything from a historic spa to an eclectic art scene. In Berkeley Springs visit these places to see all that this charming town has to offer:
- Escape the stress from city life and head to Berkeley Springs State Park, which is home to a historic mineral spa that has been in use since colonial times. You can also stop by the park’s Roman Bathhouse for a massage or escape to the saunas, baths and showers.
- Visit the MAC Ice House, which is home to the award-winning Morgan Arts Council (MAC). Here you can appreciate gallery shows, public arts projects, festivals and more.
- Do a little shopping at the charming row of shops at the Shops of Fairfax Street. You can shop for everything from antiques to wearable art on this unique street.
- Dinning in Berkeley Springs is truly an incredible experience. Pick from an array of delicious restaurants like Angus and Ale, Highlawn Inn, Lot 12 Public House, Troubadour Lounge, Maria’s Garden and Inn and more.
Jefferson County is the perfect place to visit for history buffs, boutique shoppers and foodies alike. Here you’ll find the charming towns of Ranson, Charles Town, Harpers Ferry and Shepherdstown. While in Jefferson County explore every opportunity by visiting these places:
- Ranson is an outdoor lovers dream with its close proximity to the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers creating perfect opportunities to fish and hike.
- For nightlife and entertainment, visit the Hollywood Casino and Inn at Charles Town Races for live thoroughbred horse racing, fine dining, slots and table games and live shows and concerts from some of the best entertainers and musicians in the country.
- Immerse yourself in history and nature inside the Harpers Ferry National Park. Here you can tour the U.S. Armory and Arsenal held by John Brown and his army, walk the campus of Storer College, cross the footbridge over the Potomac River and hike along the beautiful Appalachian Trail.
- In Shepherdstown, walk through downtown and see why it was voted by Budget Travel as one of America’s “Coolest Small Towns” in 2013. Spend the day eating at one of the towns delicious restaurants, tour the gorgeous campus of Shepherd University, cycle the historic C&O Canal towpath or kayak along the scenic Potomac River.
In Berkeley County you’ll find a little something of everything. Here you’ll find the historic town of Martinsburg where a different adventure lies at every corner:
- Stop by Black Draft Distillery for a tour and tasting of their moonshine and bourbon, which they make using unique and all-natural ingredients sourced less than ten miles away.
- Rejuvenate yourself at the Touch of Grace Spa and Salt Cave where you can have a total immersion experience in a salt cave or have a more traditional wellness relaxation treatment like a massage.
- Do some shopping at the West Virginia Glass Outlet where you can buy exquisite pieces of hand-blown glass, which has been an art process in West Virginia for many generations.
- If you’re a chocolate lover then you must visit Defluris Fine Chocolates, which is family owned and operated by veteran chocolatiers. Try everything from luxurious wine truffles to chocolate almond butter crunch to satisfy your sweet tooth.
What county do you plan to visit in the Eastern Panhandle?
This post was last updated on March 1, 2022