Find serenity and spunk in this West Virginia college town offering unique restaurants, shopping and culture.
Shepherdstown is a bit of a secret in these parts, a town along the Potomac that’s about an hour from Loudoun County with history and spunk. Come for a concert or film screening at the town’s university, but stay for the dining, the shopping, the people-watching and the unwinding.
Whether you’re looking for a casual outdoor spot for a wrap and a beer, or oysters and a cocktail in a charming location, Shepherdstown has it. Blue Moon Cafe sports a large patio with locally sourced, health-oriented fare, while The Press Room (built in the former location of the Independent Newspaper) offers an upscale menu of seafood and steaks in a quaint setting.
German Street is ideal for a lazy weekend stroll, dotted with coffee shops, restaurants and stores. Two must-visit shops are German Street Coffee & Candlery (loaded with coffee, tea, cheese, wine and, naturally, candles) and Four Seasons Books, a 27-year-old family-owned bookstore with both new and used titles.
As a college town, Shepherdstown isn’t short on brooding humanities majors swilling black coffee or music students performing on grassy campus patches in good weather. Pop by Shepherd University to see education in action, including your own; the school offers lectures, meditations workshops and Salon Series concerts.
Some buildings in the more than 250-year-old locale doubled as makeshift hospitals during the 1862 Battle of Antietam. Explore the town’s Colonial and Civil War history through walking tours provided by Historic Shepherdstown & Museum.