Family visit to DC / Hagardstown WV
I am bringing the family from chicago for a weekend trip to Shepardstown WV. for a play. We will have extra time though so I was looking for fun stuff to do and good eats in the Hagardstown / DC area.
I know it's a big area...and our nations capital, but the kids are 5 and 8...
re: Joe H.
Depends on the 5 and 8 year old, but if they're picky eaters, and won't sit quietly for a somewhat leisurely meal, Yellow Brick Bank isn't necessarily the best choice. I wouldn't say it's child un-friendly, but there is no child menu, and it's a somewhat sedate place.
It is still excellent, though.
re: Joe H.
Are you coming for the contemporary theater fest in Shepherdstown? If so beware July/August heat and humidity! I would go with Three Onions. Yellow Brick Bank seems to be resting on its reputation and is overpriced for the quality. Along with the C&O, there is an old general store thats fun to browse. I used to LOVE the Farmer's Market they had on Sunday by the old library. Second Blue Moon for family atmosphere.
If you are in Leesburg, In the WalMart shopping center off of route 15, there used to be a place that sold wonderful gelato. Not sure if it is still there.
Harper's Ferry is fabulous. There is history, hiking, and the C&O canal. Nothing worth eating though beyond bad burgers. There is also tubing down the river but I'm not sure the kids are old enough. I think it's Butts Tubes.
In the city, I love Jaleo. With kids, I might recommend the cafeteria at the American Indian museum. I think you would find something for everyone.
In Georgetown, along the canal, there is a canal boat tour given by the National Park Service. It's pulled by a mule, narrated, and you are raised and lowered in a lock. GTown has places to eat that would be kid friendly.
There's a lot to do and eat...Good Hunting!
The Blue Moon Cafe, although not a chow destination, has a very nice menu of salads, quiche, burgers etc. The outer seating is very pleasant - shaded tables next to a creek. See the link below for the metro connection crummy but good review.
In Shepherdstown, Three Onions and the restaurant at the Comfort Inn (I know, it sounds weird, but its true)are both good places for food. Mostly American food, but with decent variety. Also, there is the local bakery right on the main drag in Shepherdstown that is very tasty for cookies and other baked goods.
If your family has bikes, its fun to ride along the C&O Canal (meaning, along the Potomac River). Its a nice, shady pathway. Visiting Harpers Ferry is close and a fun and educational excursion. Also, off Rt 40 in Hagerstown is a pretty good mini golf course, go carts and par 3 course.
Sort of half-way between DC and Shepardstown is Leesburg, and in Leesburg there is a place called the Mighty Midget, which might appeal both to the kids and their chowish parents. I haven't been myself, but it gets good comments on this board and elsewhere. BBQ on Friday and Saturday, but get there early.
If you actually are in Hagerstown (Maryland, by the way, not WV) there is another place I haven't been, Nick's Airport Inn. It got good press several years ago for the quality of its crabcakes. It has gone upscale since then--I don't know if that's good or bad. Bottom line; if you're in Hagerstown anyway, it might be worth a shot; ask around.
I was at Nick's Airport Inn last year, and it is a place where the locals "dress up" and go out to dinner. My parents seems to do just that about once a year.
Their crab cakes are actually pretty good, but it gets a little shakier after that. The chef there seems to have a thing for over buttering everything, where you end up tasting butter and not fish in many of their entrees.
If you hit the museums in Washington, one of the best places to eat/take a break is Jaleo, excellent Spanish tapas. A fairly easy walk from the National Gallery of Art or Archives. Go for items that you haven't seen elsewhere and you will be amply rewarded.
Not so far from Shepardstown are two National Historic Sites: Harper's Ferry, WV and Antietam Battlefield in Maryland. Both great visits. I believe there is an authentic German restauant in Hagerstown called Schmankerl Stube, but I haven't been there. Other Chowhounds can fill in the details.