Mountain State Must-Stops Along Interstate 81

Interstate 81 passes through a short Eastern Panhandle span in West Virginia, and there are numerous attractions not far off the highway. Be sure to make one of these Mountain State stops the next time you’re traveling Interstate 81.

Charles Town

Charles Town is located roughly an hour outside of Washington D.C. and is just a few short minutes off Interstate 81. One of the most popular attractions in Charles Town, The Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, is one of the premier casinos in West Virginia and offers visitors a wide variety of entertainment options. The casino features 2,500 slot machines, 87 table games, 24 poker tables, both live and simulcast thoroughbred horse racing, a luxury hotel and more.

Harpers Ferry

The Eastern Panhandle is also home to one of the most historic towns in the state. Harpers Ferry sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, and features some of West Virginia’s most unique history. Make stops at local favorites like St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, John Brown’s Fort, The John Brown Wax Museum, The Point, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitors Center, Jefferson Rock and more. Trace your way through early American history and discover Harpers Ferry’s natural beauty & small town charm for yourself.


Situated along the banks of the Potomac River is arguably West Virginia’s oldest town, Shepherdstown. In Shepherdstown, you will be treated to sophisticated restaurants, colonial ambiance and world elegance. Stay overnight at the luxurious and renowned Bavarian Inn. Visit O’Hurley’s General Store, the Mecklenburg Inn and the various other locations throughout historic downtown Shepherdstown.


The county seat of Berkeley County, Martinsburg is yet another Eastern Panhandle city rooted in history and culture. Martinsburg was incorporated thanks to an act that was adopted in 1778 during the American Revolutionary War. Because Martinsburg is so deeply rooted in history, visitors today can enjoy numerous museums and historical landmarks like the Martinsburg Roundhouse, Adam Stephen House, Belle Boyd House, The Apollo Civic Theatre, Triple Brick Museum and many more. Visitors can also enjoy locally owned restaurants and shops throughout downtown Martinsburg.

Trace your way through West Virginia’s role in early American history. Dine with elegance and bask in all of the small town charm the Eastern Panhandle has to offer.

What is your favorite stop when road tripping through Almost Heaven?

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This post was last updated on March 18, 2022