The ultimate romantic retreat, hiding just outside DC

Only about 1 hour from Washington D.C. is the perfect, but little-known romantic getaway: West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle.

Take a B&B hop together along the looping Washington Heritage Trail, and uncover history, relaxation, beauty and small-town charm along the way.

Start your trip in Harpers Ferry, the historic town that ignited the Civil War. Explore Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, take a bicycle ride on the C&O Canal Towpath, go zip lining or try whitewater rafting on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.

The Jackson Rose Bed and Breakfast was General Stonewall Jackson’s headquarters at the start of the Civil War. In a letter to his wife, Jackson wrote of a sweet-smelling, pink climbing rose outside his window. The famous Jackson Rose still thrives by the inn’s front walk.

Harpers Ferry overlooking Potomac River, West VirginiaNamed for the town’s founder, the stately Thomas Shepherd Inn is within walking distance of a bevy of unique shops and restaurants along German Street in historic Shepherdstown. Plan your visit during Shepherd University’s Contemporary American Theater Festival or take in a show at the old Opera House.

At Cider Mill House Bed & Breakfast at Willow Run Farm in Hedgesville, you can mingle with the friendly goats and chickens. Most of the fresh breakfast menu comes directly from the farm’s gardens and animals. Take a romantic stroll on the woodland nature trails, or even watch the owners shear the goats during spring and late summer.

Trek out to explore the Hedgesville Historic District and Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area together.

Berkeley Springs spaThe elegant Victorian Highlawn Inn is just a stone’s throw from the heart of Berkeley Springs, America’s spa town. Bask in the soothing natural mineral waters, or schedule a relaxing massage at Berkeley Springs State Park. Enjoy a concert in the gazebo or visit the Ice House art gallery and theater. Or play a couples round of golf just down the road at Cacapon State Park.

End your romantic loop through the Eastern Panhandle in Charles Town. The Carriage Inn Bed and Breakfast is tucked away near quaint antique shops and award-winning restaurants.

Plan your visit during Jefferson County’s annual Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival, try your luck at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races or sample a variety of unique craft beer at Abolitionist Ale Works.

Now that’s romance!

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This post was last updated on March 1, 2022