The state of West Virginia is a beautiful place with many regions to explore. For history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts, the town of Harpers Ferry is the perfect getaway destination. There are even two superb Select Registry properties in the area, so you can be sure your stay will be world class. There are historical sites and plenty of trails and scenic spots to take in, you’ll never be at a loss for what to do in Harpers Ferry. So whether you’re interested in packing a variety of museums and historical sites into your trip, or you’d prefer to hike to your hearts content, then we have the low-down on what to do in Harpers Ferry during your next vacation.
About Harpers Ferry
The town of Harpers Ferry is located where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet, as well as where West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland meet. It is most well known for being the location of John Brown’s raid on the Armory there in 1859 and its part in the American Civil War. The town changed hands between the Confederates and the Union between 1861 and 1865. The town was strategically located, therefore skirmishes and battles in the surrounding area weren’t uncommon and soldiers from both sides of the fight moved through Harpers Ferry often.
What to Do in Harpers Ferry
From historical sites to some of the best hiking you’ll experience, there isn’t a shortage of options when it comes to deciding what to do in Harpers Ferry. The area is obviously rich in history, but you don’t have to be a Civil War buff to enjoy yourself in this gorgeous West Virginia town. Here are just a few of our favorite things to do in Harpers Ferry.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
If you’re in Harpers Ferry and you’re wondering what to do, your first stop should be the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. This National Park has a wide range of activities for visitors to participate in. There are museums and exhibits on Civil War history on the grounds, as well as more than 20 miles of hiking trails. You can participate in workshops and guided tours that will take you back in time and give you insight into the likes of John Brown. There are also special horse and wagon guided tours during the summer, which is a great way to enjoy this special part of the country. If you’re interested in going deeper into history at Harpers Ferry National Park, then there are historic trade workshops to take part in, where you can learn how things were made in the 1800s.
Or, if you’re simply interested in hiking or walking, this park is considered one of the best walking parks in the nation! Many of the trails are along the Civil War skirmish lines. At the end of your day, you can stop by the Harpers Ferry Historical Association’s Bookshops to get souvenirs such as artwork, postcards, books and other items!
Trails, Trails and More Trails!
If walking, hiking, or simply exploring are among your favorite pastimes, then you won’t have a problem deciding what to do in Harpers Ferry, you’ll just have to decide where to do it! There are numerous trails to discover in the area. In addition to the miles of trails at the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
- Appalachian Trail Conference Headquarters
- Appalachian National Scenic Trail
- Armory Canal Trail
Historical Tours and Museums
Tapping into the history of Harpers Ferry isn’t difficult with these great tours and museums in the area. They’ll give you a better glimpse into the past and provide you with great stories and facts about the town and its place in history.
O’Be Joyfull Historical Tours & Entertainment
Take a walking history tour through Harpers Ferry with your well-versed guide who is as entertaining as he is informative. Songs and stories are included in your tour experience and Ghost Tours are also offered. Tours are four hours long but fly by due to the entertainment value. Also, a good option if you want to see more of Harpers Ferry than the typical tourist spots.
Civil War Living History Museum
A quaint museum that will take visitors back to the Civil War era and give them a look at life was like back them. This gem might be small but is worth a visit.
Where to Stay in Harpers Ferry
There are two amazing Select Registry properties in the Harpers Ferry area. Both offer the highest quality accommodations, so your time in Harpers Ferry will be filled with comfort and luxury in between your activities
Located in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, the Thomas Shepherd Inn is just a few miles away from the attractions above as well as the Antietam Battlefield National Park, Charles Towne Racetrack and Hollywood Casino, and the Potomac or Shenandoah Rivers. The Inn has six comfortable guest rooms full of homey touches. Each room is charmingly decorated with individual care and features amenities like cozy waffle robes, chocolates by the bedside, plush bedding, and luxurious toiletries. Each morning you will be treated to a full breakfast consisting of a fruit course, an entree, and baked goods. The Thomas Shepherd Inn offers guests a beautiful respite from the every day and a great place to stay during Harpers Ferry adventures.
The second wonderful Select Registry property in the Harpers Ferry area is the Hillbrook Inn. This West Virginia bed and breakfast offers luxurious accommodations, spa services, and fine dining. The warm and relaxing environment will provide a great base for all of your activities in Harpers Ferry. Choose from 18 accommodation options with amenities like plush linens, soft robes, private baths, and more. Guests can also book treatments at the Gatehouse Spa, and enjoy a meal at their fine dining restaurant! Of course, guests who stay at Hillbrook Inn get a full delicious breakfast each morning, providing you with the fuel needed to take on the day, no matter how you decide what to do in Harpers Ferry.