The Inn at BoonsBoro

Washington County is home to five national parks and eight state parks, making it rich in outdoor recreational opportunities. Its hub is Hagerstown. In the downtown historic district, you’ll find several cool restaurants and arts- and-entertainment venues. Neighboring Sharpsburg was the site of one of the Civil War’s fiercest conflicts, the Battle of Antietam. In nearby Boonsboro, you can spend the night in a charming B&B owned by one of America’s most popular romance writers.

Drive time: 3 hours.

Accommodations: Though the original late-18th-century hotel that stood on the site was destroyed by fire, the inn was carefully restored, using brick and stone salvaged from the blaze, to reflect the design of the period. If you’re a fan of bestselling author Nora Roberts’ romantic novels, you’ll enjoy the rooms and suites themed around literary characters like Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. A multicourse breakfast is included. Rates are $225-$285/weekdays, $255-$305/weekends. 

Where to eat: The Rhubarb House is open weekdays for lunch, and Friday and Saturday for dinner. Specialties include pasta bowls, sandwiches, salads and homemade desserts. Prices are $6.95-$12.95. 12 Public Square, Hagerstown, (301) 733-4399.

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American craft beers are the stars at Dan’s Restaurant & Tap House. Entrées are $12-$28. 3 S. Main St., Boonsboro, (301) 432-5224.

What to do: Hire a someone from Antietam Guides (301-432-4329) to drive your car for a two- or three-hour tour ($65-$95) of Antietam National Battlefield (5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, 301-432-5124). Admission for a self-guided auto or walking tour is $5 per adult, $10 per car. Bonnymeed Farm (5831 Dunker Church Road, Sharpsburg, 304-876-1307) offers narrated 90-minute tours in a horse-and-carriage for $70-$90. 

In Hagerstown, the Mansion House Art Center (501 Highland Way, 301-797-6813) is an 1846 Georgian-style manor that displays the works of more than 20 local artists. The Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (401 Museum Drive, 301-739-5727) exhibits old masters, American paintings, sculptures, textiles and Oriental art. Built between 1739 and 1740, the Jonathan Hager House & Museum (301-739-8577), originally the residence of Hagerstown’s founder, is furnished in the style of that period. Admission is $3.   

1 N. Main St., Boonsboro, (301) 432-1188,

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