HQ in Harper’s Ferry for Civil War sites?

Old May 27th, 2021, 04:16 PM
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HQ in Harper’s Ferry for Civil War sites?

Quick question now and more to come. We are planning 3 nights/2 full weekdays in Harpers Ferry/Antietam area end of September in middle of first vax vacation (from LAX) to NYC and DC. Thinking staying in HF best option to avoid parking issues but options limited due to train noise (but found some).
Please validate choice to stay in HF or suggest any other choices of places to stay or if other sites are better for first/only visit to this general area. We have been to Gettysburg. TIA.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 04:48 AM
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I haven't stayed in Harper's Ferry but wanted to add a couple side comments.

The town is full of civil war plaques and marked sites and buildings concerning the several times the town was a battleground and it changed hands repeatedly. Unexpected to me was that the reason the town is on the historical map (the John Brown raid) requires a bit of focus and extra effort as it's overwhelmed by the civil war battle commemorations that surround it and fill the town. Also up the hill is the site of Storer College which is noteworthy but rather forgotten.

https://www.nps.gov/hafe/learn/histo...er-college.htm
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Old May 28th, 2021, 05:51 AM
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When you are visiting Antietam, don’t miss Nutter’s-an old general store that serves giant portions of ice cream-located in Sharpsburg.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 06:23 AM
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From poster Dan 18 years ago:
“Antietam and Gettysburg blow everything else away in the east. Antietam is so well-preserved and non-commercial. Gettysburg has enough to see and do to last several days, and most of the field is preserved fairly well (even if the landscape has changed a bit).

My next favorite sites are the Museum of the Confederacy and White House of the Confederacy, which are right next door to one another in Richmond. These are both very fascinating.

Appomattox has a lot to see and of course is a very important spot.

I concur with visiting Pamplin Park at Petersburg. It has demonstrations, a great museum, and about the best preserved trenches you will see anywhere (the site of the final Union breakthrough at Petersburg). The Petersburg battlefield is very nice too, even though it is very wooded now (attractive though), and the main park requires less than half a day.

The Fredericksburg area has four major battle sites - Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, Chancellorsville, and the Wilderness. If you are interested in the Civil War, you will probably go see Gods and Generals, the new movie that comes out soon. If so, a visit to Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville will be very rewarding (Bull Run and Antietam are also in the movie). The best sites are perhaps Marye's Heights and the visitor center at Chancellorsville.”
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Old May 28th, 2021, 08:11 AM
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I haven't stayed in Harpers Ferry, not sure I understand the parking issue. I guess you mean if you stay there, you get parking with your hotel or something? I suppose, I just passed through to see things.

Love Antietam, the rangers there do a fantastic job if they are still working.

I've stayed in nearby Shepherdstown which is nice, more hotel choices and no train worries. I loved the Bavarian Inn, got a room with river view. Their restaurant is really good, also.
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Old May 28th, 2021, 08:35 AM
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Years ago we stayed at a B$B on the battlefield at Antietam which was in the house that Longstreet used for his headquarters. It may not still be available to stay at, but was lots of fun. The last time we went to Harpers Ferry, you could not drive down into the town, but the park service had shuttle busses from the VC frequently. There might have been a B&B in HF but I do not know about any.

If you are planning on using HF as a base and doing day trips, I would not try to use the interstates, perhaps head for Front Royal then go to Fredericksburg about 2 and a half hours. There are historic markers along the way and you could pick up Skyline Drive in FR for some nice scenery.

It is about 3 hours from HF to Appomotax Courthouse. We usually do a loop and stay in a different place each night when doing this type of trip. There are battlefields all over the area.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 04:21 PM
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Thx to everyone for advice. oldemalloy and deladeb thx for the idea to stay in Sharpsburg. The Inn at Antietam looks so nice and we will be right there to visit Antietam and I think we will be able to park easily at HF on a fall weekday.
Love to hear other suggestions in this area to fill two days.
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Old May 31st, 2021, 09:20 AM
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The waterfall at Cunningham Falls state park 25 miles away (Maryland) is worth visiting. It’s an easy walk through the woods on a handicap accessible boardwalk.
Historic Downtown Frederick is very nice with plenty of shopping and dining options. Good views from Washington monument in Boonsboro, MD.
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Old May 31st, 2021, 11:03 AM
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alison, I hope you have a great trip - and also that you return to give us a trip report. We'll be traveling to DH's reunion in Ohio in September, and a planning a rambling drive trip home to Florida. Harper's Ferry is not a place we've ever been and sounds tempting.
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