Charming Shepherdstown, West Virginia

The imposing Bavarian Inn with its panoramic views of the Potomac River is one of the landmark structures in Shepherdstown. Nikon D800, AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED.
The Lost Dog Cafe on Shepherdstown’s main street is one of the main activity hubs downtown. Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED.
The eclectic Blue Moon Cafe at the corner of Princes and High Streets with its health-oriented menu and relaxed vibe is one of the best hangouts in town. Nikon D800, AF-S Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G ED.
The classy Bistro 112 on W German Street downtown will make you think you just drove out of Paris for a quiet meal somewhere at the French countryside. Nikon D800, AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED.

I have to be one of the first to admit that I didn’t know much about historic Shepherdstown, West Virginia before this past weekend.  Didn’t know it was the oldest town in West Virginia, or that it was around this area where a fellow with very little formal education named James Rumsey invented the steamboat and showed the contraption to none other than George Washington himself.  For me, Shepherdstown just sounded like a nice place to spend a long weekend with my cameras while discovering a part of America I had never seen before.  But to say that I was up for a surprise would be an understatement.  Friendly people, beautiful setting, fantastic food, and a relaxed atmosphere that couldn’t be more different than the hectic world that lies a mere couple of hours south at our nation’s capital.  Start your mornings with a down-to-earth breakfast at the incredible Betty’s Restaurant at E German Street, hit the quaint shops downtown while your feet hold up, and then treat yourself and your significant other for lunch at the classy, yet laid-back Bistro 112 down the street.  More shopping in the afternoon or a quick trip  a short 11 miles south to historical Harpers Ferry, followed by drinks and dinner at the Bavarian Inn’s Rathskeller, where the German decor, beer, and food will do wonders for your tourist aches and pains.  All these were great finds, but for me, the greatest revelation this weekend was that places like this continue to exist in America and that the people you meet in such quaint, little towns around the country continue to remind us of the simple work ethic that has made our country great.  It is comforting to know that somewhere, along these scattered, lightly-populated, small towns in America, the heart of a great country continues to beat in silent rhythm for future generations.  You can’t see it, but you can feel it, and that was good enough for me.