Explore Things to Do in Shepherdstown WV
Welcome to West Virginia’s oldest town! When visiting the area you’ll discover a wonderful blend of history and nature in the many things to do in Shepherdstown, WV. From the Potomac River to Blue Ridge Mountains, this area is steeped in history and includes unparalleled geographic features. The area’s four-season climate offers visitors the opportunity to experience the uniqueness each season brings. Notable attractions include the Potomac River, C&O Canal Towpath, Civil War history and Antietam National Battlefield, Shepherd University and its many events, the Rumsey Memorial, Shepherdstown’s historic district, the Contemporary American Theater Festival each July, and the recently renovated and re-opened historic Opera House presenting movies, shows, concerts and other events. There is so much more to see and do you may have to lengthen your stay and visit often!
Things to Do in Shepherdstown WV & the Eastern Panhandle of WV
A Day in Shepherdstown
“OK, I am staying at the Thomas Shepherd Inn, now what do I do in town?”
Welcome to West Virginia’s oldest town, come explore with me! Although I am an old town, I’m really cool and have a lot to offer. First, after a wonderful night’s sleep followed by a delicious breakfast featuring locally roasted Black Dog Coffee, head out for a morning walk to see the sites including Ram Stadium, Potomac River, C&O Canal Towpath and more. At Midday stop for lunch at one of our fabulous restaurants followed by gallery walks and shopping. Return to the Inn to freshen up before heading out onto the town for dinner.
Come along with me, the historic town of Shepherdstown, as I take you on a full day of exploring some of my greatest attractions, restaurants and shops, read my post:
The Potomac River
Shepherdstown, West Virginia’s oldest town, is located along the southern bank of the Potomac River. Yes, that Potomac, the same river that George Washington threw a silver dollar across, where James Rumsey (not Robert Fulton) invented the steamboat, and serves as the boundary between West Virginia and Maryland.
Today the Chesapeake & Ohio National Historical Park parallels the Potomac and provides great outdoor opportunities for cyclists and walkers. Shepherdstown is located at mile 72.7 of the trail and offers cyclists from all over the world a wonderful stopping-off site.
Kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts are offered opportunities to enjoy the river from Shepherdstown’s riverfront. The Inn is located just steps from Shepherdstown Pedal and Paddle where you can rent equipment to enjoy the recreational opportunities offered by the Potomac River.
Many longtime guests of the Thomas Shepherd Inn are fully acquainted with Shepherd University and its offerings from art, music, drama and sports. The social, cultural and economic benefits of the University Community offer Shepherdstown the ability to make it “one cool town.”
The Contemporary American Theater Festival produces the newest plays in America. Named as one of the top theater festivals in the world, CATF produces six new plays and performs them each summer. Many guests of the Thomas Shepherd Inn return to enjoy this festival each summer. For more information, please visit CATF.org
Shepherd University also offers art, music and sports activities to the public and the guests of the Thomas Shepherd Inn. Depending on the season, catch a football, baseball or basketball game on campus and cheer on the Shepherd Rams! Or attend a free concert provided by the University’s music department. These are some of the many benefits of living in, or visiting, a University Town. Please check the Shepherd University website for more information, Shepherd.edu.
Civil War History
Shepherdstown was deeply involved in the Civil War, having changed hands numerous times between Federal and Confederate armies. Just steps down German Street, visit the Civil War Museum. This is where Inn owner, Melissa, was able to obtain information about her great-grandfather’s role in the Battle of Antietam, and other battles of the Civil War in which he participated. The museum gives you information about Shepherdstown’s role during this terrible period of U.S. History. The Entler Historic Museum, just blocks from the Inn, is another stop to learn more about Shepherdstown’s history.
Just a 4-mile drive north of Shepherdstown is the Antietam National Battlefield across the Potomac River in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Also nearby is Harper’s Ferry, just 12 miles away, and South Mountain Battlefield, 22 miles away.
The history of the Shepherdstown area is overwhelming. From the founding of the United States, through the Civil War and to the Middle East Peace Process, Shepherdstown has been involved. For the history buff, Shepherdstown and its surrounding area is a must visit.