With so many things to do in and around Sharpsburg, it can be hard to fit everything into three days. To make your trip-planning a bit easier, we’ve put together the perfect Sharpsburg itinerary that’ll make you want to extend your stay. You’ll definitely want to make this an annual trip!
Day 1 in Sharpsburg
The first thing you need to do before heading out is fuel up. Indulge in our country-style breakfast which guests proclaim ‘will fill you up so you can slide right past lunch”. The first morning you can expect one of our specialties like a loaded veggie frittata or maybe a stack of lemon ricotta pancakes. The main course is always accompanied by a protein side such as our signature apple-maple sausage, thick-sliced bacon or cherry-wood smoked ham. After this breakfast experience, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!
Your first day is dedicated to staying local and taking in the history. One of the best ways to experience the pristine Antietam National Battlefield is on a private tour with an Antietam Battlefield Guide. Your certified tour guide will lead you across the hallowed ground of Antietam so you can understand why it was a major turning point in the war.
After your tour, you will probably still be full from breakfast, but who doesn’t like something to snack on. Going to Nutter’s Ice Cream is a MUST while you’re staying at the Inn. With over 32 flavors of hand-dipped and soft served ice cream you will get a very generous portion for a ridiculously affordable price.
After your ice cream break head down the road to the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The Philip Pry farmstead was an eyewitness to the Battle of Antietam. It was transformed from an army headquarters to a field hospital within 24 hours. Here you’ll see exhibits relating to the care of wounded, the effects on the civilian population in the area and the innovations in Civil War medicine, which continue to save lives today. To wrap up your day stop by the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum to learn about our local history. The museum takes you back to a time when the pace was a bit slower and life centered around the farm, family, and community. See what life was like in Washington County, MD prior to 1940.
Since we’re staying local today, you’ll have plenty of time to take a break back at the Inn before heading to dinner. This evening we recommend taking a short stroll down the street to Captain Bender’s Tavern. The tavern is our towns version of “Cheers”. Steve, the owner, and his crew make you feel at home. They have a great menu filled with appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, entrees and specialty drinks (Be sure to try the Pickle Fries).
Day 2 in Sharpsburg
Your second Jacob Rohrbach Inn breakfast will be a whole new adventure as different entrees are served every day. If you enjoyed a sweet breakfast your first day, you will get a savory one on your second, and vice versa. Alongside our freshly baked scones and fruit course you might be served a Cheesy Egg Scramble or some Caramelized French Toast. You’ll have a selection of juices to choose from so you’ll always have a different experience!
For Day 2, we’re heading to West Virginia! (Don’t worry it’s just three miles away.) First, lets head down to Harpers Ferry. The Harpers Ferry National Historic Park is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Taking a stroll along the picturesque streets of Harpers Ferry is like stepping into the past. The Lower Town offers a number of museums, exhibits and historic sites for visitors to see with quaint little shops and restaurants located nearby. You’ll definitely work up an appetite walking around Harpers Ferry so stop at the Anvil Restaurant. The Anvil is a cozy outpost specializing in crab dip, onion soup & other hearty dishes in a low-key setting. Head back up to Shepherdstown for a little more sidewalk shopping. Shepherdstown is the oldest town in West Virginia and is filled with boutiques and specialty stores like O’Hurley’s General Store, Four Seasons Books and Grapes & Grains Gourmet.
There are a surprising number of dining choices in Shepherdstown for Day 2. Whether it’s casual, ethnic, cosmopolitan or locally grown fare you are sure to find something for your taste and budget. For our two favorites, you can choose a farm to table dinner at Domestic, or upscale contemporary American dishes at The Press Room.
Day 3 in Sharpsburg
After a great night’s rest and another wonderful breakfast, you’re ready to venture out on Day 3 of your vacation. Today you’ll take a break from all of the hustle and bustle of the history and shopping and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Rent a couple of bikes at the Inn and enjoy the morning biking the C&O Canal. This scenic tree-lined path will lead you past historic ruins, cliffs and caves along the Potomac River. Shady biking conditions make this trip a great option for those hot summer days. In the fall the trail becomes radiant with the colors of changing leaves. Pick up a picnic lunch and head up to South Mountain to hit the Appalachian Trail. Whether you’re looking for some scenic beauty and wildlife, a taste of history, or a little exercise, the A.T. offers all these things and much more. Two ideal spots for your picnic on the trail are at the Washington Monument State Park or the Gathland State Park.
Wrap up your afternoon by taking a break at our newest winery – Antietam Creek Vineyards! This 55-acre farm is adjacent to the Antietam National Battlefield and the grapes are grown, processed, aged, and blended at the vineyard. Be sure to say hello to Joan & George (the owners) and enjoy your wine tasting.
For your final night treat yourself to some fine dinning. Old South Mountain Inn is a beautiful, historic restaurant poised atop South Mountain at Turner’s Gap. Specializing in Prime Rib, Beef Wellington and Fresh Seafood Old South Mountain provides the perfect dining experience for celebrating special occasions or to just enjoy a nice evening out. Another fine dining choice is the Bavarian Inn, known for its German cuisine and American fare. The Bavarian sits overlooking the Potomac River at Shepherdstown and offers both a formal dining experience in the Greystone Manor or a more casual atmosphere in the Rathskeller.
If you still have energy for one more activity that evening take a Sharpsburg Civil War Ghost Tour. These tours are based on the lives of Sharpsburg citizens who lived through the Battle of Antietam. Mark and Julia Brugh will take you through the Confederate Soldiers’ Passageway or the Children’s Alley as they explain the ghostly images that still linger in the town, possibly remnants of souls who never crossed over.
In between all of these local excursions, you’ll need to rest and recharge. This is essential because you’ll need the energy! Enjoy the tranquility of relaxing on your porch, listening to the chirping birds and enjoy the views of the gardens.
The Jacob Rohrbach Inn is an 1800s-era restored Inn and the only one in Sharpsburg. Make your stay a memorable one with the Jacob Rohrbach Inn and plan your small town getaway today!
Sharon Murray is a native Idahoan who moved to West Virginia in 2010 to travel, study history, volunteer at Antietam National Battlefield and pursue photography. She has multiple degrees in mining engineering and history from the University of Idaho. Sharon volunteers at the Antietam National Battlefield at the Visitors Center, as a Battlefield Ambassador and a member of “Battery B, 4th US Artillery” living history group. She is also an Antietam Battlefield Guide. Sharon had two great great grandfathers who fought in the civil war, one with the 5th Pennsylvania Heavy Artillery and the other with the 1st Rhode Island Cavalry. Neither were engaged at Antietam. She enjoys studying history, hiking civil war battlefields and trying to perfect her photography skills.
On Wednesday, August 9th, Sharon will present his Summer Lecture Series talk – “Evading Capture: Union Cavalry Escape from Harpers Ferry, September 14, 1862”. Sharon’s talk will cover the events leading up to the escape, some information about the leaders, the escape itself and the end results.
Come join leading historians and Antietam Battlefield Guides as they discuss intriguing topics of the Maryland Campaign of 1862 and the Civil War during our Civil War Summer Lecture Series.
These Wednesday evening programs are free and open to the public. They will be held outdoors on the grounds of the Jacob Rohrbach Inn at 7:oo p.m. Feel free to bring a chair or blanket to sit around the event tent. In case of inclement weather talks will be held at the Sharpsburg Christ Reformed United Church of Christ on Main Street. Parking is available on Main and Hall Streets. Check our Facebook page for updates.