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The Potomac and Shenandoah rivers border the Eastern Panhandle located in the eastern tip of West Virginia. Although the region is only 90 minutes away from Baltimore and Washington, D.C., you will find rolling hills dotted with picturesque towns. The country’s first president and his family were frequent visitors to the Panhandle – you can follow their footsteps along the scenic Washington Heritage Trail which winds its way through all three counties. The Panhandle offers it all – stirring American history, unsurpassed recreation opportunities, and rich cultural events throughout the year.
Tour the restored town of Harpers Ferry, whose place in history began with Thomas Jefferson’s viewing of ‘one of the most stupendous scenes in Nature’ looking over the junction of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. Today, you can enjoy outdoor activities like rafting, biking, kayaking, or tubing with one of several outfitters in the area. You may visit the arsenal in the historic town, whose raid organized by abolitionist John Brown set off a chain of events that led to the Civil War.
Charles Town was founded and designed by George Washington’s brother Charles, and the Washington family owned many beautiful estates around the town, several still standing as private homes. Community theater at the Old Opera House, juried arts and crafts at the twice annual Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival, horse racing and slots at the Charles Town Races, and car racing at Summit Point are all available to entertain visitors today. In nearby Gerrardstown, you can browse small shops and nearby antique malls.
For more than 25 years, the town of Martinsburg has celebrated the rich agricultural heritage of this part of West Virginia, highlighting the role of the apple in that tradition during the annual fall Mountain State Apple Harvest Festival, complete with parades, contests and the apple harvest Queen Pomona. Visitors can share in that heritage by picking apples or pumpkins in our working orchards and farms and visiting local farm markets in crossroads like Shenandoah Junction.
One of West Virginia's oldest towns, Shepherdstown, is located within the Eastern Panhandle. Today, specialty shops and restaurants nestled in wooden storefronts can be found throughout the shaded streets, also home of Shepherd University. Performing arts events like the annual Contemporary American Theater Festival bring visitors from around the world. James Rumsey, the inventor of the steam boat, is honored here; troops marched in support of General Washington in Boston from here, and the bloodiest battle of Civil War history took place at Antietam Battlefield, directly across the Potomac from the town, where virtually every building was used to house the wounded after the battle’s end.
Two scenic state parks provide golf, hiking, hunting and fishing near the town of Berkeley Springs. You can dip a toe in ‘ye fam’d warm springs’ there, near George Washington’s bathtub, or have your own mineral bath and massage at one of several spas. Art and artists abound there, with summer concerts, studio tours and gallery openings. The annual International Water Tasting welcomes more than 100 waters for the largest water tasting competition in the world.
Whether your interests lie in history, the great outdoors, or relaxing with fine dining and unique shops, you’ll find a B&B that suits your needs in the Eastern Panhandle.
Eastern Panhandle Region of West Virginia Events - Back to EventsAll EventsContemporary American Theater Festival
Our life in art continues with a stunning 2011 repertory of five new American plays. Come to Shepherdstown and witness the collision of stories, styles and voices that will lead us to a better understanding of ourselves as we attempt to navigate our future. We are the summer home for the American playwright.
(07/06/2011 to 07/31/2011)
A traditional Christmas celebration as quaintly decorated streets come alive for the holiday season! Live entertainment, children's activities and extended shopping hours.
(12/05/2014 to 12/14/2014)
The Cass Railroad Shay steam engines will be running up the mountain; the Durbin Rocket Excursion Train is set to pull out of the station and the Salamander is now up and running.
(05/25/2012 to 10/31/2012)
Spend a day learning the ins and outs of the innkeeper's life. A great opportunity for those interested in opening a B&B.
(01/24/2015 to 01/24/2015)