I'm not a big history buff, but I have found a town full of history that I recommend that everyone visit at least once in their lives. This town is Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. It is a town rich in civil war history that is full of historic buildings. It is also a town rich in beauty that sits at the site where the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers meet and is surrounded by hills and trees.
I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania that was just a short drive to Harpers Ferry. I would go there often as a day trip, sometimes just to get away from the hustle and bustle of work and school and other times to share the town with friends and family. Every trip I made, I always learned something new about the area or saw something that I hadn't noticed before.
There is so much to see and do at Harpers Ferry. When you arrive in the town, you will think that you can go through it in about 2 hours and be done. While it is a small town, it is packed full of interesting stores and tours that could easily keep you around for a long weekend. If you visit this town, prepare to arrive early in the morning so that you can take it all in.
Harpers Ferry history includes the site of the famous John Brown's raid. You can read about the raid and trace the steps of this famous event. This town is also the site of the first integrated high school and the site of the first successful railroad. There are historic homes that you can tour and an old grave yard that contains tomb stones that predate the Civil War. You can use a map to do your own tour or take a guided tour of the area.
If you want to shop, you will find anything from antique stores to stores that sell local arts and crafts. There is a jewelry store that contains beaded and gem jewelry. There are a few restaurants that all have great food and an ice cream parlor that you must visit. Don't forget to take pictures of yourself with famous people in the wax museum.
Once you have toured the town itself, you can hike the outlying areas. There is an old railroad track that overlooks the rivers. You can hike up to the top of Maryland Heights. You can find walking and driving guides online or at the entrance to the park.
If you are ever in the West Virginia area, I highly recommend that you make a stop in Harpers Ferry. Between the beauty, the history and the shopping, you will find a little something for everything in this quaint town.
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