cobblestone streets, doesn’t just sit at theintersection of the Potomac and Shenandoahrivers—it’s in the spot where Maryland,Virginia and West Virginia meet. You can shopin the restored buildings, grab a bite to eat,or treat yourself to an ice cream cone. A visitto Harpers Ferry National Historical Park willbring to life the town’s role in the eventsleading up to the Civil War, and 20 miles ofhiking trails provide spectacular views of themountains and rivers. Climb aboard a 14-footraft to get an up-close look at the river rapidsduring a white-water rafting trip, go tubing, orrent a bike and pedal along the scenic C&OCanal, which runs along the riverfront. Best ofall, it’s only an hour’s drive home.
GET TO KNOW GETTYSBURG
The battlefield outside of Gettysburg,Pennsylvania, where the Civil War’s bloodiestbattle unfolded, is one of the most visitedmilitary parks in the nation. Tour theGettysburg National Military Park by Segwayor horseback, or stand in the cemeterywhere Abraham Lincoln delivered the famousGettysburg Address. There’s a reenactmentwith battles, military camps and soldiers everyJuly. The small city boasts a lively downtownscene, with theaters, concerts and pubs.
Visitors can take a ghost tour (the town is
rumored to be haunted) or explore one of
several Civil War-themed museums.
EXPERIENCE LIFE IN LANCASTER
Get ready to step back in time. In Lancaster
County, Pennsylvania, you might share the
2,700 miles of winding country roads witha traditional Amish horse and buggy. Hometo thousands of practicing Amish people,Lancaster County makes it easy to learnabout Amish life. A 12-acre village invitesvisitors to experience the simple Amishlifestyle, while Plain & Fancy Farm immersesguests in an “experiential” theater, offeringan intimate view of Amish history andmodern life. Take a horse-and- buggy tour ofthe countryside, and have breakfast or lunchat one of the Amish-run restaurants. Whenyou’re ready to rejoin the 21st century, headto the 150 outlet stores nearby. Think PotteryBarn, Coach and J. Crew. Only two hoursaway, it’s an easy day trip.
SURF’S UP IN THE OUTER BANKS
A six-hour drive south, Duck, North Carolina,
HOP ON THE BREW RIDGE TRAIL
is a low-key beachside resort town in the
Outer Banks, where shell collecting and
sunbathing meet fine dining and high-end
shopping. Ditch your car for the weekend—the
Duck Trail, a walking and bike path, connects
the small town’s locally owned shops and
open-air restaurants with many rental home
neighborhoods. Kayak serene Currituck Sound,
surf the world-renowned waves or simply walk
the 7 miles of uncrowded sand that was named
one of America’s “Best East Coast Beaches” by
the Travel Channel. There are only a few hotels
in Duck, making this a favorite getaway for
anyone who prefers calm and quiet.
The Blue Ridge Parkway in southwesternVirginia isn’t just for nature lovers—it’s forcraft beer fans, too. Virginia once was knownas the “Hop Capital of the New World,” andtoday the state’s artisanal beer-makers arereviving the tradition. With six craft beerbreweries on the Brew Ridge Trail, about twoand a half hours away, you can crisscrossNelson and Albemarle counties into historicCharlottesville, stopping along the way to geta taste. Plan to stay for lunch—four of thosebreweries also have full-service restaurants.
Some have outdoor picnic tables andseating areas where visitors can take in thebreathtaking mountain vistas common in thispart of the country. Best of all, go home witha six-pack of your favorite craft brew.
IRVINGTON’S LOVELY INNS
About a three-hour drive south, located on
If you stay at the luxury waterfront Tides Inn,
the Northern Neck of Virginia and overlooking
Carter’s Creek, Irvington is small-town
Americana at its best. Listed on the National
Register of Historic Places in 2000 and home
to fewer than 500 year-round residents, the
village unfolds around a town common, where
you’ll find a farmers market and summer
concerts. Take a walking tour of the restored
Victorians, sip wine at nearby vineyards, or
shop the small strip. (Blink, and it’s done.)
there’s an on-site sailing school and a spa.
Located in an 1890s schoolhouse, The Hopeand Glory Inn rents out garden cottages andCarpenter Gothic vineyard cottages called“tents,” which are modeled after a similar“camp” of cottages in Oak Bluffs on Martha’sVineyard.
BEYOND THE INNER HARBOR
There’s more to Baltimore these days than thepopular Inner Harbor shops and restaurants onthe waterfront near Camden Yards. What makesBaltimore, a quick 45-minute drive away, worthan overnight visit is the newly developed HarborEast neighborhood, where there’s sophisticatedshopping, some of the city’s most positivelyreviewed restaurants, and cobblestone streetslining the harbor. Walk the Waterfront Promenadeto neighboring Fells Point, with its eclectic mix offunky shops and bars, or hop a water taxi to theAmerican Visionary Art Museum or the MarylandScience Center, both favorites with grown-upsand kids alike.
A THEMED WEEKEND IN
There’s enough to do in Williamsburg, abouttwo and a half hours south in Virginia, tokeep you busy all weekend. History buffswill hardly revolt at the thought of spendinga day at Colonial Williamsburg, a historicrestoration of the city during the throes ofthe American Revolution, where costumedinterpreters read from, say, the Declaration
things to do
A selection of beers
from Devil’s Backbone
on the Brew Ridge Trail