Located in the center of the apple and peach growing region of the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Martinsburg is a small town full of Civil War history. The town has worked to preserve its 18th and 19th century homes and industrial buildings. Perched on the edge of the state's eastern panhandle, Shepherdstown lies on the banks of the Potomac River. George Washington considered nearby Shepherdstown as a possible site for the nation's capital. Today, both Martinsburg and Shepherdstown are bases for outdoor recreation in the surrounding area.
History abounds in Martinsburg. Several Civil War battles were fought in the small town due to its strategic location and Belle Boyd, the Confederate spy lived here. Tours are available of Belle Boyd's home as well as of the General Adam Stephen House. Stephen was a Revolutionary War soldier and surgeon as well as the town's founder. Also on site is the Triple Brick Building, once used to house railroad employees and now the location of a local history museum.
Entertainment includes community theater at the Appolo Civic Theatre, a 1913 town landmark and exhibitions at the Arts Centre. The Martinsburg Roundhouse Center offers music, family fun and railroad history. Dining options range from casual chain restaurants to fine dining at the Red Wolf Grill, featuring an upscale menu of steak entrees and a "creative martini list".
Shepherdstown is the oldest continuously settled town in West Virginia and was the site of the first successful launching of a steamboat in 1787. Guided walking tours of the town and its sites are available. Historic Shepherdstown Museum features artifacts dating to the 1700s. Other sites to see include the James Rumsey Boat House, historic estate Popodicon and the Thomas Shepherd Grist Mill.
Entertainment includes movies at the historic Shepherdstown Opera House. Dining in Shepherdstown ranges from creative cuisine at the 19th century Yellow Brick Bank and Little Inn to global cuisine at the Three Onions Restaurant & Lounge in the downtown.
Outdoor recreation around both towns includes horseback and bike riding trails, as well as canoeing and kayaking on the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Morgan's Grove Park in Shepherdstown is a Revolutionary War historic site and also features pavilions, hiking trails and soccer fields. Yankauer Nature Preserve features bird-watching and nature trails.
Martinsburg and Shepherdstown are located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia 300 miles northeast Charleston, WV. Martinsburg is about 95 miles northwest of Washington, DC; Shepherdstown is about 80 miles northwest. From Washington, DC, take I-270 north to I-70 west to I-81 south to Martinsburg. From Washington, DC, take I 270 north to I 70 west to US 34 west.