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160th Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam September 7, 2022

By Crystal Schelle, Journalist. This year commemorates the 160th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, and special events are planned to shine a light on its importance in American history.Thick fog blanketed the town of Sharpsburg in the wee hours of September 17, 1862. Hours later Union and Confederate soldiers would clash in what would be named the most bloodiest single-day battle of the American Civil War — the Battle of Antietam. After 12 hours, there were 23,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing.Although it would be two more years after Antietam before the war would officially end, what happened in the… Read More

Scenic Fall Foliage in Washington County, MD October 8, 2021

Click here to View the State of Maryland Fall Foliage Tracker's daily reports.Fall is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the natural beauty of Western Maryland; the air is usually crisp and dry, with sunny days and cool nights. According to weather.com, this year’s fall foliage is expected to peak around mid- to late October. Here are some of the best places throughout Washington County for leaf peepers to experience magnificent fall colors. One of the best road trips is along one of our three National Scenic Byways Scenic Overlooks!  Washington County has no shortage of scenic overlooks and those are often the… Read More

Survey from Visit Hagerstown-Washington County October 3, 2021

Click this link to participate in the 2021 Tourism Recovery Survey Read More

Hearing the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation September 22, 2021

On this day in 1862, five days after the aftermath of the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Below is a short piece about it, by our Historian in Residence and Guest Blogger, Dr. Emilie Amt.Issued in Washington, DC, the preliminary Proclamation declared that slaves would be freed in rebellious states that did not surrender by January 1. It made no promises to enslaved people in Maryland. Nevertheless, people of color everywhere found the Proclamation exhilarating and suggestive of better things to come.Eliza Steward Miles, who had been born into slavery in Washington County, gained her freedom… Read More

50 Years of Experiences on the C&O Canal National Historic Park April 6, 2021

50 Years of Experiences on the C&O Canal National Historic Park By Heidi Schlag, C&O Canal Trust 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the C&O Canal National Historical Park! Whether you prefer to bike miles each weekend, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the river’s edge, drop a line and wait for the big one to bite, or soak up 200 years of history, the C&O Canal has the outdoor recreation adventure for you! Stretching 184.5 miles along the Potomac River from Georgetown in Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland, the C&O Canal hosts over 5 million visitors each year who enjoy its… Read More

Look for the Helpers #wegotthis March 30, 2020

"Look for the Helpers" - Mister Rogers. Governor Hogan recently said that Marylanders know how to step up during trying times. We have been impressed with and inspired by all the amazing Helpers during the COVID-19 pandemic right here in our own backyard! We are gathering these so that we can share them with our community and beyond. Here are just a few of the stories.Discovery Station - this CVB Member has some fabulous volunteers who are helping the museum and other locations during this time. Besure to check out their Facebook page for videos of Rex the Dinosaur. They will bring a… Read More

Top 10 Ways to Support LOCAL Tourism & Hospitality Businesses in Wash Co., MD During the Covid-19 Pandemic March 20, 2020

Top 10 Ways to Support LOCAL Tourism & Hospitality Businesses in Wash Co., MD During the Covid-19 Pandemic Order DELIVERY From YOUR Favorite local Restaurant TIP your delivery person generously Purchase gift cards from your favorite hotel, attraction, restaurant Postpone Plans, rather than cancel; Purchase memberships at your favorite museum(s) Purchase Groceries from local farm markets Buy season tickets from your favorite concert & sports venues Start X-MAS shopping with gifts purchased online from local retailers who offer this option Remember to give back to those businesses who donated t o your past fundraisers Watch Rex the t-rex on Discovery Station’s… Read More

Ten Washington County Holiday Events and Displays You Don’t Want to Miss in 2019! December 9, 2019

There’s no shortage of holiday fun in Washington County! Every December the calendar is filled with festive events, shopping opportunities and performances. Towns throughout the county host tree lightings and traditional Christmas celebrations with plenty of small town charm. Unique boutiques and holiday pop-up shops offer a multitude of choices to those in search of the perfect present for each person on their list. And if you really want to take some time to sit and enjoy a holiday performance, there’s everything from dinner shows to choral groups and theater performances. Here are ten must-see holiday events and displays in… Read More

USA Cycling Amateur Road Nationals Return to Washington County 6/2-23/19 June 7, 2019

By Karen Gardner, Guest Blogger. Two weeks after Gage Hecht won two races at the USA Cycling Amateur Road U23 National Championships in Washington County last July, he won the first stage of the Colorado Classic, a major cycling event that attracts pro racers from around the world. Cyclists of this caliber will be coming to Hagerstown and Washington County from June 19-23, as the county prepares to host the 2019 USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships. Racers ages 11 to 23, along with some of the area’s best regional racers, will experience the challenging, scenic Washington County roads. Challenging… Read More

5 Things To Do in Winter in Washington County December 17, 2018

Brrrrr, it’s cold outside, which means it’s that time of year when you’re probably wanting to get out of the house without sacrificing the warmth of the indoors. The good news is there are lots of great indoor activities in Washington County and the surrounding area. The hard part may be choosing which to do first! Of course there’s always the option of bundling up and enjoying the quiet beauty of the outdoors during the winter months. Enjoy some indoor play! There are many options throughout the region for indoor play for all ages, from downtown Hagerstown’s Discovery Station, a… Read More

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors of the USA Cycling Amateur National Road Championships July 17, 2018

EVENT HOSTS              BREAKAWAY LEVEL         SPRINTER LEVEL      THE PACK LEVEL      BELL LAP LEVEL          ROADIE LEVEL                            Read More

Enjoy Spring in Washington County April 20, 2018

As the days get longer and the temperatures rise there are many things to enjoy about springtime in Maryland. With the cold, sometimes brutal winters we often have here, spring is welcomed by many. It’s the perfect opportunity to spend time in the outdoors and enjoy activities that go hand-in-hand with this season. Here are some of the best things about spring in Washington County: The arrival of spring and baseball season go hand-in-hand. Enjoy America’s favorite pastime right here in Hagerstown by taking in a Hagerstown Suns minor league baseball game. The Suns play in the South Atlantic League… Read More

Five Ways to Enjoy Maryland Wine Month in Washington County March 5, 2018

Five Ways to Enjoy Maryland Wine Month in Washington County March is Maryland Wine Month and Washington County happens to be the best place in the state to grow grapes, according to Kevin Atticks, executive director of the Maryland Wineries Association. The county’s fertile soil, groundwater and climate are all conducive to growing grapes for winemaking. Here are five ways to enjoy Maryland Wine Month in Washington County this March:  1.  Visit A WineryWashington County is home to award-winning wineries. Each one is unique with characteristics that make it special. Big Cork Vineyards, Knob Hall Winery and Red Heifer Winery… Read More

Make the Most of Your Vacation Time This Year January 30, 2018

“So much to do, so little time.” How often do you hear that phrase? It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day demands of work with that revolving door of projects and deadlines. Research tells us that vacation days are important to Americans, yet 54 percent of workers aren’t using their hard-earned vacation time. That has resulted in a stockpile of 600 million unused vacation days. It may not seem like there’s a way to escape from it all and use those vacation days but there is. It just requires advance planning. National Plan for Vacation Day was started… Read More

Ideas for Family Fun over Winter Break December 22, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year...at least that’s what the lyrics to the popular song tell us about the holidays. But with kids home from school for the holiday break, parents are more than likely to hear the complaint “I’m bored” a time or two. Check out this list of ideas for family fun and keep your holidays merry for everyone!   Discovery Station at Hagerstown is a great way to occupy young minds and stimulate discovery, exploration and learning. The interactive children’s museum in downtown Hagerstown encourages hands-on learning experiences and has exhibits based on STEAM principles… Read More

Ten Must-See Holiday Events & Displays in 2017 December 7, 2017

Every December the calendar is filled with special holiday festivities in Washington County. All of our quaint towns throughout the county have their own tree lightings and old fashioned Christmas celebrations with plenty of small town tradition and charm. Unique boutiques and holiday pop-up shops offer a multitude of choices to those in search of the perfect present for each person on their list. Here are ten must-see holiday events and displays in Washington County for 2017:  City Park Christmas Tree & Lights - The festive lights display on and around the lake at Hagerstown City Park is fun for the whole… Read More

An Autumn to Remember in Washington County, MD November 17, 2017

Create Warm Memories and Share ThemFall is not over yet, in fact, in many ways its just getting warmed up for visitors and residents here in Washington County, Maryland.Bordered by two mountains and miles of river by the Potomac River. A weekend getaway or a day trip are not only within reach, you will be glad you came here to explore and play and filled your heart and mind with warm memories of hiking, antiquing, and sharing it all. A special treat is an annual event, the Valley Craft Network Artisan Studio Tour. This opportunity happens only on the weekend… Read More

New Home of the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships August 22, 2017

Located in Maryland’s scenic western region, Hagerstown and Washington County are a cyclist’s dream when it comes to riding down a historic, beautiful and rural area while also trying to beat competitors to their right and left. Visit Hagerstown announced the USA Cycling selection of Hagerstown/Washington County as their location for the 2018 and 2019 Amateur Road National Championships this past May. Washington County is a premier destination for this event because of its central location to the mid-Atlantic and its close proximity to several of the largest markets in the United States for amateur cycling. Hagerstown has significant experience… Read More

5 Ways to Beat the Summer Heat in Washington County August 18, 2017

The heat of August is upon us. Find great ways to stay cool here! 1. Explore Crystal Grottoes Caverns in Boonsboro, Maryland. Crystal Grottoes Caverns is Maryland’s only show cave and has more formations per square foot than any cave known to man. Owner Jerry Downs proudly says it is the most naturally kept cave in the world. The temperature at Crystal Grottoes is what makes it the perfect summer attraction. It’s a constant 54 degrees year round, regardless of how high the outside temps soar. The caverns are open daily from April through November. Tours are offered every 30… Read More

Fort Frederick State Park - More Than Just a Destination for History Lovers August 11, 2017

When you think of Fort Frederick State Park the first thing that comes to mind is undoubtedly history. Fort Frederick, built in 1756, is the only remaining stone fort from the French and Indian War. Its stone wall and two barracks have been restored to their 1758 appearance where visitors can learn more about the fort’s rich history which spans the French and Indian War, the American Revolution and even the American Civil War. The state park is a must-see destination for history lovers, but the 585-acre park is also a great destination for outdoor recreation. There are several places… Read More

July is National Ice Cream Month in Washington County, Md. July 18, 2017

There’s nothing better than cooling off from the heat and humidity of summer with a delicious, cold treat! Washington County is known for its small-town ice cream shops but there are a few unique ones that should be added to your list of summer stops. Misty Meadow Farm Creamery, located in Smithsburg, is Washington County’s first and only farm creamery. The family owned and operated business processes milk from its dairy cows into ice cream. The homemade, hand-dipped, cow to cone ice cream is a rich, delightful treat that comes in 30 different flavors. In addition to special seasonal flavors,… Read More

The History of the Conococheague Aqueduct at Cushwa Basin May 11, 2017

By Tim Snyder, Historian, C&O Canal AssociationOn April 29, 1920, the berm wall of the Conococheague Aqueduct collapsed and a canal boat plunged into the creek below. It was not the first time—nor the second—that the aqueduct’s berm wall had given way. The Conococheague Aqueduct was the fifth of eleven stone aqueducts that the C&O Canal Company had built to take the waterway over the major tributaries of the Potomac. The aqueduct was designed by engineer Thomas F. Purcell and built by Michael Byrne & Co. Byrne was an Irish immigrant who had previously worked on a canal in Pennsylvania.… Read More

Boonsboro Celebrates 225 Years of Small Town Charm April 25, 2017

      If you’re ever fortunate enough to visit Boonsboro, Maryland, it’s a bit like stepping into small-town America. Nestled at the foot of South Mountain with approximately 3,500 residents, the town has a walkable main street with a handful of small shops and boutiques, as well as several dining establishments and a creamery. It’s mostly unassuming except, perhaps, for the large building at the corner of North Main Street and St. Paul Street. Community events attract crowds to the town park, throughout the warm weather months. And all the locals seem to have grown up knowing each other.… Read More

Begin Your Journey on the C&O Canal in Washington County February 28, 2017

More than 78 miles of the C & O Canal’s 184.5 miles are located in Washington County, Maryland. Though the National Park Service (NPS) site has a historical designation and a rich history rooted in transportation and commerce, it’s no secret that people flock to the Canal year round to recreate outdoors. Whether you’re going for a stroll, hiking, biking, fishing, birdwatching, horseback riding or enjoying boating or paddle sports, there are 78 miles of Canal with diverse landscapes and scenic views. United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas once described the Canal as a “a refuge, a place… Read More

The Antietam Battlefield Illumination: A Powerful Symbol of its Casualties October 31, 2016

The battle of Antietam was a pivotal moment in the American Civil War and there were several significant factors about the September 17, 1862 battle. Perhaps the most well-known is that it was the bloodiest single-day battle in American history. Though it lasted just 12 hours, there were 23,110 casualties as a result of the battle. Three phases of horrific fighting at Miller’s Cornfield, the Sunken Road, and the Lower Bridge left 23,110 soldiers killed, wounded, and missing or captured. Approximately 3,650 soldiers were killed outright and approximately 17,300 were wounded. About one in seven soldiers died from their wounds… Read More

Discover Fall in Washington County, Maryland September 19, 2016

Fall is a beautiful time of year to enjoy the natural beauty of Western Maryland. According to the Farmers’ Almanac, this year’s fall foliage is expected to be some of the most colorful on record, peaking around mid- to late October. Here are some of the best places throughout Washington County for leaf peepers to experience magnificent fall colors. Scenic Overlooks Washington County has no shortage of scenic overlooks and those are often the best places for wide angle views of spectacular fall foliage. Some overlooks require a short walk, while others must be hiked to, but the view is… Read More

Girls Trip in Washington County, MD: The Perfect Getaway Destination June 30, 2016

  Need some time with just your gal pals? Washington County, Maryland, is the perfect destination for your next girlfriends’ getaway! The shopping is second to none and when you’ve shopped until you drop, you can kick back and relax with a glass of wine at our beautiful scenic wineries or enjoy downtown Hagerstown’s Arts & Entertainment District. Wonderful restaurants ensure you won’t go hungry and there’s a wide variety of lodging options depending on your preference. Hagerstown Premium Outlets is one of Washington County’s most popular attractions. Conveniently located off Interstate 70, the village-style outlet shopping center has more… Read More

5 Ways for Outdoor Summer Family Fun in Washington County, MD May 26, 2016

Washington County is a great place to enjoy family fun outdoors. Its many parks provide a wide range of opportunities for outdoor recreation. During warm weather months it’s the perfect destination for families to get back to nature and breathe in the fresh air. Here are five family friendly ways to enjoy the outdoors in Washington County this summer: Visit a Park. Parks are abundant in Washington County – from national parks to state parks, county parks, and municipal parks – there are many to choose from. Some are free to roam and others have a small entrance fee. They… Read More

Top 10 Things to Remember When Planning an Event April 21, 2016

1. Decide on a budget -think about how much you are willing to spend to host a “knock- your-socks-off” event without draining the bank account!  Take into consideration things such as how many people you will need to host, what types of food you are thinking of having, the venue that you wish to book, and start researching! Call around to local venues to see what they have to offer and if there are any special rental rates of incentives going on- make sure to book early- a lot of venues book months, sometimes even a year in advance for… Read More

Three Hagerstown Suns Players Making Their All-Star Dads Proud April 18, 2016

Head to a Hagerstown Suns game, and you might be able to grab a photo of MLB Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. No, he won't be throwing out a ceremonial first pitch or showing up for a media day to sign autopgraphs for fans. Instead, he'll be doing what a lot of dads do: watching his son play some baseball. This year, the Hagerstown Suns have a roster filled with talent, and three of those players just happen to be following in the footsteps of their well-known fathers, who made indelible marks on the game and amassed legions of fans… Read More

12 Top Hidden Gems in Washington County, Maryland April 18, 2016

Home to world-class museums and gorgeous parks, Hagerstown attracts thousands of visitors each year to check out the sites that have put the area on the proverbial map. But Hagerstown and Washington County are teeming with hidden gems that are off the beaten path. If you want to see a side of Hagerstown and Washington County you haven’t seen before, then set out to discover these 12 top hidden gems in the area. 1. Pennsylvania Dutch Market: Don’t leave the Hagerstown area without sampling authentic Amish goods like baked pies, old time candies and Dutch country-style pretzels. Pennsylvania Dutch Market is an… Read More

Hagerstown Suns vs. the City: Finalizing the Lease Agreement February 29, 2016

The Hagerstown Suns will play at Municipal Stadium through at least 2018, as the team agreed to terms on a lease extension with the City of Hagerstown last night.  Last month, the Suns came to terms in principal with the city--which owns the stadium--on a $35,000 per year lease that would become effective in 2017.   That figure remains in place, with further clarification as to how the maintenance of Municipal Stadium will be divided between each party. Once the lease kicks in, the Suns will be responsible for utilities, day-to-day maintenance, and the replacement of operations-related equipment. The city,… Read More

Bride’s Guide to Cosmetic Enhancement: Feeling Your Best for Your Wedding January 20, 2016

Imagine this: it’s a week before your wedding, and you’ve spent months exhaustively planning every detail—from the familial politics of your seating chart to the size and placement of tablescape votives, no stone has been left unturned. You would do anything for a moment of quiet, but the only dull part of your day is your skin. In all of your preparations, you forgot to take care of yourself. Getting married can be one of the most important and enjoyable events of your life. It can also be stressful, with extensive planning, personal preparations, and wrangling all of your guests… Read More

12 Reasons to Visit Washington County in 2016 December 16, 2015

2016 will be a busy year in Hagerstown and Washington County with anniversary celebrations, the opening of new restaurants and restorations of historical sites. Here are 12 reasons to visit Hagerstown, Maryland, in 2016—one for every month of the New Year.  1. Centennial of National Parks: Celebrate Hagerstown’s rich history by joining the festivities of the National Park Service’s Centennial anniversary. Among the parks taking part in the national celebration is The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park (C&O Canal). During the yearlong event, guests are encouraged to explore national parks and share their experiences at FindYourPark.com. In Hagerstown and… Read More

Summer 2015 Photo Contest Composite Video October 26, 2015

Click here to view a video composite of many of the photos from the #happyinhagerstown Summer 2015 Photo Contest! Read More

Top 10 Ways to Enjoy the Arts in Hagerstown and Washington County October 1, 2015

Whether you want singing, dancing, painting or sculpting, you can find it in Hagerstown, Maryland, which is bustling with creative people and home to fantastic art collections. Visitors will have a renewed appreciation of Maryland’s art and culture when exploring Hagerstown. Here are 10 places to go or things to do to enjoy Hagerstown’s arts scene. 1. Hagerstown’s Arts and Entertainment DistrictHagerstown’s City Center has impressive historic architecture, urban infrastructure, cultural amenities, and a number of places to create, live and learn. The designated Arts and Entertainment District has impressive performance spaces, art galleries, wonderful restaurants, museums, education centers, retail stores and… Read More

Top Places to View Fall Foliage in Washington County, Maryland September 9, 2015

Hagerstown has been called one of the top 10 best places to travel in Maryland by HomeAway, and fall is one of the best times to visit Hagerstown and Washington County to see gorgeous, vibrant bursts of fall foliage. The area is home to several preserved state parks and destinations that are great spots to visit when the temperatures start to drop. So grab your camera and visit these six places throughout the county for Instagram-worthy shots of fall’s changing colors. 1. Sideling Hill Rest Area Near Hancock along I-70, Sideling Hill is a 3,000-acre area of lush wilderness and… Read More

14 of the Best Local Restaurants in Washington County, Maryland August 7, 2015

If you want delicious, local foods and restaurants that are housed in charming, pre-Civil War buildings, then Hagerstown and Washington County should be your next foodie destination. Whether you want pizza, high afternoon tea or Maryland seafood, head to Hagerstown and try one of these 14 top places to eat and drink in the area. 1. Vesta PizzeriaBestselling author Nora Roberts and her husband opened up Vesta Pizzeria in Boonsboro to share their love of Italian food. Diners can enjoy the colonial style restaurant with appetizing dishes such as chicken parmesan, the famous roast beef and provolone and many creative pizzas with… Read More

9 Must-Visit Historic Sites in Washington County, MD July 15, 2015

Yes, Hagerstown is an excellent place to go shopping or catch a baseball game, but in this part of Maryland, a town’s past can be as important as its present. Washington County is home to a number of historic sites that tell the history of Hagerstown’s founder or the battles that were fought during the Civil War, for example. Here’s a guide to some of most well-preserved historic sites in Hagerstown and Washington County, Maryland. 1. Antietam National BattlefieldThe Antietam National Battlefield is the site of the what’s been determined the deadliest battle ever to occur on U.S. soil, which occurred on… Read More

Weekend Itinerary: Top Things to Do in Washington County, Maryland June 4, 2015

Baseball is a way of life during the summer, and in Hagerstown, Maryland, the local minor league Hagerstown Suns team has been a longstanding pride in the city, celebrating its 10th anniversary of being a Washington Nationals affiliate. It’s common for fans from around the area to come into town for a weekend filled with Suns baseball, but there’s a lot to explore outside Municipal Stadium. Here are some fun things to do on a trip to Hagerstown in addition to seeing the Hagerstown Suns play. 1. Grab some pre-game snacks or dinner at Benny’s Pub. Situated inside the Antietam Brewery, Benny’s is the perfect place for… Read More

The Top 12 Annual Festivals and Events in Hagerstown April 3, 2015

Updated: 3-7-16No matter when you visit Hagerstown, Maryland, you will find no shortage of things to do. A variety of festivals are on the schedule year-round, including holiday events, food fests, arts and music events, and cultural and historic celebrations. Here are the top 11 festivals to help you plan your trip to Hagerstown. 1. QUAD STATE BEER FEST: SHAMROCKED! (March 12, 2016)Held at the Ag/Ed Center omn Shaprsburg Pike. Support Breast Cancer Awareness-Cumberland Valley By Sampling Over 50 Local Beers While Celebrating St. Patrick's Day With Popular Local Rock Music! 2. MARYLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (April 1-3, 2016)EXPERIENCE IT! Now in… Read More