Hometown tourist is all about exploring my current ‘hood and surrounding areas in the hopes of letting people know what’s worth seeing and what’s worth skipping when you come to Washington DC.
Geography will tell you that Harpers Ferry is in West Virginia but i will tell you it’s a 90 minute drive from my house and therefore fair game for the hometown tourist series.
If you are a history buff Harpers Ferry is for you. As the welcome brochures explain, “the history of Harpers Ferry has few parallels in the American drama. It is more than one event, one date, or one individual.” Not the most exciting copy writing, so here is my version: the history of Harpers Ferry is largely interwoven with the Civil War and slavery. That is because Harpers Ferry, in Civil War times, sat where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers met. As fate would have it, this was also a dividing “line” between the North and South. And since the town sits on a waterway, it was often subjected to battles. You can read a brief overview of the town’s history on their website.
In the event that history is not your thing, you would also enjoy Harpers Ferry if you are an outdoor enthusiast. The town is well-known tubing, ziplining and easy access to the Appalachian Trail. Advance recommendations for tubing and ziplining are suggested; we were given a recommendation but since we didn’t use it i can’t say if its worth passing-on. A quick Google search will turn up several options.
The town itself is tiny and really consists of the lower Harpers Ferry area. It’s quaint with gorgeous views and several gift shops, ice cream stores and a few pubs. The pubs are great for a drink and the staff is friendly but leave any expectations of good, gourmet, farm-to-table food at home.
We were looking for “something to do” on a Saturday and are always up for trying something new. Harpers Ferry fit the bill. The scenery was beautiful, a great break from the concrete jungle of DC. If you aren’t this type of person and do not plan to go tubing, this is probably not the best Saturday activity for you.
Interested in visiting? Message me and i’m happy to send you the directions we used.