Antietam Lookout Cottage

Our Top 10 Destination Recommendations

Here are our favorite things to see and do in Antietam Lookout area.
Some are well know, some not so well known. Have a look around as we have included photos, videos, information and links.
They are in no particular order.

1. Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, MD

After enjoying your morning coffee on the back deck over looking the battlefield, take an easy 10 minute drive to spend the day touring the Antietam National Battlefield.

Dunker Church Antietam

The Battle of Antietam ended the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia’s first invasion into the North and led to Abraham Lincoln’s issuance of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.  Tour the battlefield in your car with our audio tour, ride in a horse drawn carriage or hire a personal battlefield guide.

After touring the battlefield there are many other stops to make in the town of Sharpsburg.  Antietam National Cemetery, Tolson’s Chapel, General Robert E. Lee’s headquarters, and Ferry Hill Plantation.  On you way back to the cottage take in the Pry House Field Hospital Museum.

 The Antietam Lookout Cottage is surrounded by civil war history.  While only 10 minutes from Antietam Battlefield, several other battlefields are within easy driving distance:  South Mountain Battlefields – 10 miles, Monocacy National Battlefield – 25 miles

2. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

No matter if you are site seeing, hiking to the top of Maryland Heights, or completing the West Virginia portion of the Appalachian Trail, you are only 20 minutes away. 

Harpers Ferry National Park

Stop at Harpers Ferry’s visitor’s center for maps as well as a shuttle (departs every 15 minutes).  The shuttle takes you to the lower town, which has hiking trails, shops, museums, eateries and historical landmarks throughout. 

The historical town of Harper’s Ferry, where the states of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia meet, is a perfect stop for hikers, history buffs, families and others.

Hiking in the area includes the halfway mark of the Appalachian Trail.  In addition, hike to the top of Maryland Heights for a breath taking view.

3. Gettysburg National Military Park

 Take an hour drive and spend the day at a completely different restored battlefield and local town.

Gettysburg National Park

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is known for Gettysburg National Battlefield, site of the turning point in the Civil War, now part of Gettysburg National Military Park.  The park also includes the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, displaying Civil War artifacts, and the Gettysburg National Cemetery, where a memorial marks the site of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Gettysburg Address.

Tour the park on your own or with a tour.  Battlefield guides let you see the fields by horse, Segway, carriage, bus, or your car.

4. Boonsboro, MD

Only 5 miles to the north is Boonsboro, MD., location of the nearest groceries, pizzas and subs.  Along the way you can take a drive to stop by the South Mountain Battlefield.

Washington Monument Boonsboro

Visit South Mountain State Park and take a short hike up to the first Washington Monument and enjoy the vista.  If you want to cool down on a hot summer day you could enjoy the lake at Greenbrier State Park or take a tour under ground at Crystal Grottoes Caverns. 

If history is more your forte, take in the Rural Heritage Museum, Trolley museum, or a hidden gem – Boonsborough Museum of History.  Guests have said they could stay all day visiting the museum and talking with the owner Doug Bast.

5. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Easy excess to the C&O Canal only seven miles away. Enjoy an evening walk or a day of biking.

Biking the C&O Canal

Hike or bike on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal – 184 mile path that runs alongside the Potomac river from Washington D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland.  72 miles of this path are located in our Washington  county.

Take a 25 minute drive to see the progress of the Conococheague aqueduct being rebuilt or take a ride on one of the canal boats.

 The C&O Canal aqueduct at Williamsport is due to open Spring 2019 when you will be able to ride in a canal boat over the river. 

Williamsport MD

Once considered a potential site for the United States’ capital, Williamsport is located at the confluence of the Conococheague Creek and the Potomac River.  Williamsport evolved into a thriving waterfront town with the opening of the C&O Canal in 1834.

During the Civil War, the swollen waters of the Potomac at Williamsport prevented Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army—retreating from Gettysburg—from crossing into Virginia for several days. The Civil War might have ended in Williamsport, but the Confederates held the town against Union attacks until finally slipping back into Virginia.

 C&O Canal National Historical Park is 184.5 miles long.  There are many places to  enjoy the park with Williamsport being one of them.

Visitors can enjoy life on the canal during a replica canal launch boat program, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.  This FREE 1 hour Program includes riding in a boat from the historic Cushwa Basin down to Lock 44 and back.

The annual JFK 50 Mile, the oldest and most prestigious ultra-marathon in North America starts in Boonsboro, MD and finishes in Williamsport, MD.

  

6. Outdoor Fun

 You have many places to choose from for outdoor activities when the Antietam Lookout Cottage is your home base.  Whether you drive 14 miles to the Potomac River for some fun on the water, 5 miles to Gapland to get on the Appalachian Trail or 24 miles to hike to the top of Cunningham Falls, a good time will be had by all.   

White water rafting near Harpers Ferry WV

Go whitewater rafting, tubing, canoeing, or kayaking on the Potomac River or kayak through history down the Antietam Creek.

 Hike on the West Virginia and Maryland portions of The Appalachian Trail.

Horseback ride on the trails near historic Harpers Ferry. 

Hike the many trails of Catoctin Mountain Park and/or Cunningham Falls State Park.

Bike the Western  Maryland Rail Trail –about 23 miles of flat, paved  surface. The eastern end of the trail is located ½ mile west of historic Fort Frederick State Park.

Fly fish in  Beaver Creek, known as one of the few true limestone streams in the state of Maryland

7. Wine Tours & Microbreweries

Several wineries and a few Microbreweries, all within minutes drive time. 

Wineries & Microbrewies near Sharpsburg, MD

Tour the Antietam Highlands Wine Trail at your leisure or take one of the guided tours that provide transportation.

Or visit one of the local Microbreweries  in the area – each provides a different experience and a variety of food or food trucks.

8. Our Nation's Capital: Washington, DC

Many of our guest spend a day in DC.  Make a two hour drive or  drive to the Shady Grove Metro Station and ride the Metro the rest of the way.

The Capitol Building in Washington DC

Walk the halls of the Smithsonian museums for free or soak up some history on a double- decker tour bus.

Take a walking tour to see up close and personable:   The Lincoln MemorialThe White House, The Washington Monument, The National World War II MemorialU.S. Capitol, Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials,  Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and many more. 

After the day seeing and learning the history maybe take in one of the professional sports teams.

9. Shepherdstown, West Virginia

 Take a short 15 minute ride, crossing over the Potomac River to arrive in the quaint town of Shepherdstown, WV.  

 

Historic Shepherdstown, WV

 Shepherdstown has many venues for you to take in, historic landmarks like Trinity Episcopal Church.  Events at the Frank Arts Center, the Marinoff Theater, and Shepherdstown Opera House.  Music can be enjoyed at the Heritage Music Jam at O’Hurley’s General Store or the Jazz Jam at the Domestic. 

A large variety of restaurants, large and small mostly non-chain, can satisfy mostly everyone.

 

10. Hagerstown Maryland

A thirty minute, fifteen mile drive will bring you to the largest town in Washington County

Jonathan Hager House & Museum-Hagerstown, MD

German immigrant Jonathan Hager, who founded Hagerstown, built the first house here in 1739.  He began laying out the town in 1762. The Hager House still stands as a carefully preserved museum in Hagerstown’s City Park giving visitors a window to the 18th century.

The National Road brought growth to Hagerstown, now Washington County’s largest city, and the railroads intersecting here gave it its nickname, “Hub City.”

The largest Civil War cavalry battle fought in an urban setting happened here in July 1863.  There are many award-winning historic Civil War markers throughout the area.

Downtown Hagerstown and the Arts and Entertainment District is where you’ll find wonderful shops, restaurants, and such cultural attractions as the Maryland Theatre, the Washington County Arts Council Gallery, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

Hagerstown is the home of the Western Maryland Blues Fest.

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