Oh, I Wish I was in Dixie. . . Below the Mason-Dixon Line
my perplexities and distresses,
Schellsburg is only 27 miles north driving distance from the Mason-Dixon Line. For a born Southerner and adopted Texan like me, that's not nearly the same as being south of it; however, there's enough Yankee blood in me from my New England and Upstate New York roots to make the distance acceptable. Besides, it's a little cooler on this side of the line - and face it, you can bundle up until the cows come home (and they do, here) if it's cold outside, but there's only so much you can take off in public when it's hot outside!
Cumberland, Maryland is the closest southern town of reasonable size (pop. 20,957). There's not much to do there, though they do have two Chik-Fil-A restaurants, one a stand-alone and the other in the mall. The mountain scenery surrounding the town and on the way to and from is gorgeous - and you can go into West Virginia and come back out within about 3 miles of the town center. If you're coming here anyway, you might as well add one more state to the tally!
Hagerstown, Maryland is about an hour away. Hagerstown is about the same size as North Attleboro, Massachusetts and has a couple of major shopping areas as well as an Outlet Mall and a Longhorn Steakhouse. Firecracker Chicken, mmmmm....
Civil War Era Sites
Antietam National Battlefield is the site of one of the worst battles of the Civil War. The visitors' center is located in Sharpsburg, about 1:45 driving time from Schellsburg.
Southerners call them the First and Second Battles of Bull Run. The victors call the battles by another First and Second. Either way, Manassas National Battlefield Park, a three-hour drive from Schellsburg, is a place that honors men who fought for what they believed in.
Other Civil War battlefields in the old Confederacy within reasonable driving distance in Viriginia include Front Royal, New Market, and the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.
Virginia Points of Interest
The New Market battlefield area puts you within shouting distance of one of the most spectacular series of caverns in the world, Luray Caverns. Inside Luray, you'll encounter the most amazing (and largest) musical instrument in the world: the Stalacpipe Organ, which covers 3 acres within the caves.
Luray Caverns are part of the Shenandoah Valley, through which Skyline Drive runs. Trust me, a drive worth taking - and make sure you have your digital camera and at least one additional memory card with you!
You can even golf in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah Valley. You can find information about the Caverns Country Club Resort on the Luray Caverns website.
Maryland Sites of Interest
Two hours and a little bit away, give or take, Baltimore is the homeport of one of America's first warships, the U.S.S. Constellation, and the site of the Francis Scott Key's inspiration for our National Anthem, Ft. McHenry.
Closer to home, railroad afficionados will love the Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum in Hagerstown. Devoted to all things train-related, the museum board hopes to build a scenic railway in the Hagerstown area in addition to expanding the considerable collection of rail cars, engines, and other equipment.
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