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Nature Retreats: Harpers Ferry, W.Va.( MONICA LOPOSSAY / Baltimore Sun / July 2, 2013 )
Soak up the history of one of America's most important Civil War sites all while enjoying the incredible landscape of West Virginia. Whether you enjoy the goosebumps you get from a good ghost story or crave the adrenaline rush of a run through the rapids, Harpers Ferry has what you're looking for.
Distance from Baltimore: 70 miles
Summer events/activities: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (171 Shoreline Drive; nps.gov/hafe or 304-535-6029) offers everything from hiking trails to museums to guided tours. Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry (100 Church St.; harpersferryghost.20m.com or 304-725-8019) offers a one-hour walking tour of the historic Lower Town section of Harpers Ferry and has been rated as one of the best ghost tours in the country.
Cool odging: Laurel Lodge (844 E. Ridge St.; laurellodge.com or 304-535-2886), a renowned bed and breakfast nestled right off the Potomac Gorge, offers easy access to the town's many attractions and provides the warmth and comfort of a home.
Eat here: As is the case with many colonial towns, you're going to find a lot of pub food. If you're willing to make a quick 15-minute drive over the Virginia border, try the farm-fresh dining of Grandale Restaurant (14001 Harpers Ferry Road, Neersville, Va.; grandalefarm.com or 540-668-6000). For dessert back in Harpers Ferry, satisfy your sweet tooth and pay a visit to Swiss Miss (102 Potomac Terrace; 304-535-1250) for some of their famous ice cream and frozen egg custard.
Don't Miss: River Riders (408 Alstadts Hill Road; riverriders.com or 800-326-7238) offers nearly every outdoor recreational activity the nature-lover could imagine. From white water rafting to tubing, zip lines to stand-up paddle boards, and mountain biking to fishing, River Riders has got you covered.