Hagerstown has always had a bit of an identity crisis. In Colonial times it was considered the last bastion of civilization before the frontier. During the Civil War, Union and Confederate troops played a protracted game of tug-of-war with the city. The railroad brought a flurry of industry here, but slowly drifted away as other modes of transportation gained prominence. Now the once sleepy mountain
city is reinventing itself with a renovated downtown, a recently opened children's museum, and a burgeoning arts district centered around the historic Maryland Theater. There's also outlet shopping, golf, and of course, history all around. Despite raising its profile, the city remains a boon for travelers. Bed-and-breakfasts offer tremendous value for money and the charming museums clustered around the leafy City Park are rarely crowded.
Surrounded by the deep blue Allegheny Mountains, Cumberland appears plucked from a Currier-and-Ives print. Tall steeples grace the skyline and...