Wednesday, May 28, 2014
I definitely had romantic notions about small town life that were pretty much dispelled on this trip. I thought that small towns and less people would mean it wouldn't feel crowded, but that wasn't true at the restaurant for sure. And I also naively thought that people would be really friendly and neighborly to each other, but we didn't see people in the town chatting or even acknowledging each other when they passed on the street. We even saw a car honk and sort of road rage, which surprised me. I thought people moved to a small town to get away from that.
So I guess people are still people no matter where they live. And I also realize you can't judge an entire town from just a few hours spent walking around. The few people we interacted with were really nice. I was standing on one lady's front step to get a photo of a building across the street when she came home. We apologized for blocking her door and loitering-lol-and she was like "no no, take as many pictures as you want" and was really sweet about it.
Anyway, I definitely recommend a weekend visit to Shepherdstown if you're in the area. I think most people are more likely to visit nearby Harpers's Ferry (where there's lots of outdoorsy things to do like river rafting and zip lining) or Charles Town (where there's a casino and horse racing), but Shepherdstown is super cute.
One more thing: the directions we got from Mapquest were to take VA 267 to get there, which I would not recommend. Lots of traffic and two tolls (about $8 in nonpeak times) meant it took twice as long to get there as it was supposed to take. We also got turned around a couple of times on country roads once we were in West Virginia due to Mapquest's confusing directions. We finally just looked at a map on my phone and found an alternate route to get there once we were close. On the way back, we took Leesburg Pike the whole way. It took a little less time and was much more scenic...lots of farms and cows and horses to see and way less traffic.
Now that we've seen one small town, I'm anxious to visit others and compare. We'd been wanting to take some weekend road trips this summer anyway, and now I think we'll definitely try to find some cute smaller towns to visit along the way. If anyone has any suggestions for towns within driving distance of DC for a weekend getaway, please share in the comments! xo, Mary