A little over an hour west from Washington DC and Baltimore, road trippers to Pittsburgh and points west enter gorgeous Eastern US mountain scenery and along I-70, the fastest route, start to see signs for Hagerstown, Maryland.
Hagerstown is is a convenient place to stop before hitting the big split—where I-70 and I-68 separate in Hancock (Maryland). The town offers more than a quick restroom, snack, and refuel stop.
5 Fantastic Things To Do in Hagerstown MD
1. Pennsylvania Dutch Market
A collective of Amish farmers and crafts persons sell products at this fantastic store in Hagerstown. The Pennsylvania Dutch Market is a great place to go for delicious and inexpensive food, quality products, and community spirit. During my visit, I saw retired people, families between soccer games, and young couples. Everyone was local, I did not see anyone who was not from Hagerstown. List of merchants, directions and hours, and weekly specials can be found on the PA Dutch Market website. Closed Sun – Wed.
2. Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
An amazing museum for a city this size and location, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is recognized as one of the finest small museums in the United States. A marble bust of President Abraham Lincoln—a half sized version of the one at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC—is probably the museum’s most important piece. The artist, Gutzon Borglum, considered this bust among his finest work. You may have seen his most famous art project—Mt. Rushmore.
Please also read 8 Great Places to Visit Near Washington DC
3. Hager House
The original house of the European settler of this area and town namesake, Jonathan Hager, sits right next to the parking lot entrance to the Fine Arts Museum. Even though the Hager House (built in 1739) was closed for the winter during my visit, it was fascinating to see the outside, peek in the windows, walk on the porch, and explore the grounds.
4. Washington County Library
The Hagerstown Maryland library is the first public library I have seen with a cafe inside. The Hagerstown Central location of the Washington County Free Library is a modern facility with hang out areas, community meeting rooms, great wi-fi, local history and research room, and a central atrium. You gotta love a town placing a priority on a fantastic fine arts museum and modern public library.
Please also read 8 Great Things to Do in Annapolis Maryland.
5. 28 South
The historic downtown of Hagerstown is chock full of independent businesses and I saw several Hagerstown MD restaurants I wanted to try. Based on Yelp research and a strong recommendation from the manager of the Fine Arts Museum, I choose 28 South. 28 South uses super fresh, locally sourced ingredients, serves a stellar collection of small craft beer, and sits in a former warehouse.
More Hagerstown attractions include: Outlet Mall close to I-70, Rose Hill Cemetery the burial site of nearly 2,500 soldiers from nearby Antietam National Battlefield, Roundhouse Museum of railroad history, and duck pin bowling at Southside Bowl.
What are some of your favorite things to do in Hagerstown MD?