Author Topic: Visiting Hagerstown  (Read 698 times)

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Offline Count Walewski

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Visiting Hagerstown
« Topic Start: March 14, 2017, 05:22:27 PM »
I think 2017 is the year I finally go and see a Hagerstown Suns game. Rather than just drive out to Hagerstown for a single minor league game, I'd like to find an entire weekend's worth of stuff to do up there.

Any advice from people who have been? Things I enjoy include historical sites, oddball tourist traps, and tours of working farms. I have already been to the Antietam Battlefield which I know is a major attraction up there. I might go as early as mid-April.

Offline Ali the Baseball Cat

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #1: March 14, 2017, 05:25:32 PM »
I've only gone there to visit inmates in the prison  :lol:

A guy I know goes to a lot of Suns games, and he describes it as baseball at its most essential level (in a positive sense).  And really cheap.

Online dcpatti

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #2: March 14, 2017, 06:08:21 PM »
Suns games are great. Really lovely park, completely  minimalist though, no fancy amenities but a great beer selection in the LF beer garden, and probably the most enthusiastic crowd I've ever seen at a minor league game.  No public transport and last year there wasn't even Uber (there was coverage, just no drivers) so if you like to drink a bunch, bring a DD. But there really is not much else to do around there. Maybe do a night at the Suns and a night at the Frederick Keys which are just about 20 minutes down the road. Not a whole lot else to do in Frederick either but 2 ballparks in 2 cities makes for a good weekend in my book.  There's some really nice trails at Cunningham Falls State Park if you're into hiking (or really great twisties if you're on a motorcycle). There is also a train museum which is pretty cool but quite small; it keeps weird hours though.  http://www.roundhouse.org/VisitTheMuseum.html

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #3: March 14, 2017, 07:00:53 PM »
I've considered doing the Frederick/Hagerstown 2-for-1. I've also considered doing Hagerstown as a stop on a road trip to Pittsburgh.

Offline GuyFromCO

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #4: March 14, 2017, 07:43:46 PM »
Yeah, Hagerstown was a dump, but the stadium is nice and open + cheap beer. Do a 2-for-1, or just do the game and head towards Pitt.

Offline JCA-CrystalCity

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #5: March 15, 2017, 07:56:07 AM »
Nathan lives up there.  If only he still posted :whistle:

Offline wj73

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #6: March 17, 2017, 09:33:15 AM »
Oddball tourist traps - Crystal Grottoes in Boonsboro, just off I-70.

Historical sites -

 Ft. Frederick State Park - a beautifully restored fort dating back to the French and Indian War, back when we were still a British colony.  It's about 20 miles north of Hagerstown on 70.  It's one of my favorite hidden treasures and well worth a visit if you like history.

Washington Monument State Park - the first monument to our first President. Located on top of South Mountain. You can climb the tower for a beautiful view - on a clear day the view is spectacular.

Gathland State Park - also located on another part of South Mountain, home of the National War Correspondents Memorial. Not much else there, but it's a good place for a quick hike on the AT or for a picnic.

There's a lot of Civil War skirmish sites around South Mountain, including Turner's Gap, Crampton's Gap, and Fox's Gap, with monuments scattered around. You can find info about the monuments at
http://www.southmountain.stonesentinels.com/index.php

Have fun!



Offline wj73

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #7: March 18, 2017, 11:19:03 AM »
Forgot to add adult beverage info if you're interested.

Benny's Pub/Antietam Brewing is mile or so from the ballpark. Since the food at the ballpark is meh, you may want to eat at Benny's before the game. It's an odd little pub with a mixed clientele. Don't be surprised when you get there to see shaggy tattooed biker types (male and female) smoking outside, but don't let that put you off. Once you get inside you'll find all kinds of people not just bikers.  Service is friendly, and the always have several of their microbrews on tap. If you get the hot pretzel appetizer, as for the hot mustard if you like heat.

If you're willing to stray from I-70 a bit there's a cute winery in Smithsburg called the Red Heifer Winery. It's run by a young couple on the land that was bought by his great grandfather. The story goes that he was dickering with the seller, and finally said that if the seller would throw in the red heifer that was in the field, they had a deal. They opened the winery after the state Ag Dept identified that area as having excellent wine potential.

If you end up doing a Frederick-Hagerstown combo trip, or decide to take US 15, the Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery is located north of Frederick, just south of Thurmont. The wines are nice, but as a rum drinker I really enjoyed their rum selection. They also have rye and various gins, but I don't drink those and can't give an opinion.

Offline mitlen

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #8: March 18, 2017, 11:26:13 AM »
This is all great info "wj".   Been through and around the area quite a bit on the MC and on my trips to Western PA   ...   but never a game day thing.      May have to take a day trip to a Hagerstown game.

Offline wj73

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #9: March 18, 2017, 04:28:26 PM »
. . . on the MC . . .

You'd fit right in at Benny's!

Offline mitlen

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #10: March 18, 2017, 04:50:31 PM »
You'd fit right in at Benny's!

I'm not shaggy or tattooed and don't smoke.    :)     BTW  Neither's the missus.  (Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeriste, I hope she doesn't read this.  :couch:)     I've always wanted to stop at Ft. Frederick.    I see the signs all the time at Big Pool Exxon.     Usually just gas up and go.

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #11: March 19, 2017, 01:38:16 PM »
Thanks. I definitely also plan on visiting the canal sites at Wiliamsport, MD.

Offline wj73

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #12: March 19, 2017, 02:39:02 PM »
Thanks. I definitely also plan on visiting the canal sites at Wiliamsport, MD.

Williamsport is nice. There are a couple of cute little restaurants where you can grab lunch.  The NPS center at the canal has free two-hour bike loans there so  can take a spin along the canal. They even throw in a helmet for free. (At least they've done that for the last few years. With the change in administrations, who knows now?)

If you choose to bike, I'd suggest going north - about 6 miles out you'll come to a pretty area with picnic tables where there's a dam and a nice overlook view of the Potomac. 

Lots of history in Williamsport. Lee's forces were trapped there for a few days as they retreated from Gettysburg- there were storms and the Potomac was too high to ford. And earlier in our history, Washington scouted it as a possible location for the new nation's capital. So we all could be fans of the Williamsport Nats!

Offline mitlen

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #13: March 19, 2017, 02:47:54 PM »
Williamsport is nice. There are a couple of cute little restaurants where you can grab lunch.  The NPS center at the canal has free two-hour bike loans there so  can take a spin along the canal. They even throw in a helmet for free. (At least they've done that for the last few years. With the change in administrations, who knows now?)

If you choose to bike, I'd suggest going north - about 6 miles out you'll come to a pretty area with picnic tables where there's a dam and a nice overlook view of the Potomac. 

Lots of history in Williamsport. Lee's forces were trapped there for a few days as they retreated from Gettysburg- there were storms and the Potomac was too high to ford. And earlier in our history, Washington scouted it as a possible location for the new nation's capital. So we all could be fans of the Williamsport Nats!

Nice Harley Davidson dealership too.     :)

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #14: March 20, 2017, 10:50:15 AM »
Fort Frederick, Williamsport, and South Mountain are all on the agenda. Fort Frederick is as far west as we're gonna go on this trip: I am saving Cumberland/Frostburg for a later roadtrip. I also discovered that there is a local dinner theater in Hagerstown called "Antietam Recreation" that looks like it will either be good or so-bad-its-good and really I am OK with either outcome. We're gonna check that out, they don't do shows often but they have a show while we're there.

Offline wj73

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #15: March 21, 2017, 08:36:24 AM »
I've seen ads for that Antietam Recreation but have never gone. Would love to hear what you think about that. Actually would love to hear about the whole trip - please report back after.  Have fun!

Offline machpost

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #16: March 21, 2017, 12:20:08 PM »
There's a really excellent German restaurant in downtown Hagerstown: Schmankerl Stube. Great Bavarian food and a nice biergarten.

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #17: April 24, 2017, 04:23:58 PM »
I just got back from a 2-day trip to Central and Western Maryland during which I saw the Hagerstown Suns. We drove up to Frederick, did a half day around there Saturday morning, and then went to Hagerstown for Saturday night and Sunday morning/afternoon. It rained on Saturday, so we skipped most of the outdoor activities near Frederick.

Highlights:

Frederick, MD
- National Museum of Civil War Medicine in downtown Frederick, MD. This was pretty good, I learned a lot.
- Carroll Stream Park in downtown Frederick. This is beautiful, even in the pouring rain it was nice to walk down it. Basically it's a riverwalk park they built around a little stream.
- Schifferstadt Architectural Museum in Frederick. This was improvised onto the schedule since it's indoors but we don't regret it. It's a cabin from the 1740's built by a German settler who helped found Frederick. The Germans built their cabins differently from the English and you can learn all about that here.
- Frederick County History Museum in downtown Frederick. They have a large collection of grandfather clocks, but the highlight here is Jacob Engelbrecht. He was a local resident who kept a very detailed diary from 1818 to 1878, which is on display (and for sale in the gift shop) at the museum. You could rename this the Jacob Engelbrecht museum and it would be accurate, the guy documented everything in the city's history during his life. Just thumbing through the diary reading random pages was fun. I got to read a scathing review of his 1822 trip to Washington and Alexandria, which he was not impressed with, and his play-by-play of the 1824 presidential election. He was a big John Quincy Adams fanboy and got to see his guy win it at the end, despite Frederick being an Andrew Jackson town in that election.

Mountains between Frederick and Hagerstown
- Washington Monument in Boonsboro, MD. This is a small, crude stone tower built in 1827 by the people of Boonsboro, located on a mountain top in the Maryland Appalachians. The Appalachian Trail runs right by it. On a clear day you get a good view of the surrounding countryside, including the Antietam Battlefield. It reminds me a bit of the Bunker Hill monument in Charlestown, Massachusetts.

Hagerstown, MD
- Antietam Recreation is a summer camp just south of Hagerstown, and for some reason they put on multiple near professional level musical dinner shows each year, usually in the fall and spring. I attended a show called "Century of Song" which featured singing and dancing routines set to top hits of the 20th century, everything from the Lindyhop, Elvis, Motown, Michael Jackson, and even *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. There was this super talented 11 year old kid who portrayed both young Michael Jackson and grownup Bruno Mars. The folks in it were a mix of professional singers, students at local colleges and high schools, and camp staff who just happen to be talented.

- Municipal Stadium, where I saw the Suns beat the Delmarva Shorebirds, is not as barren or basic as I was warned about. If anything it compares favorably to the P-Nats stadium which I was not impressed with. The manual scoreboard is operated from the front which was cool. Juan Soto is an exciting prospect.

Fort Frederick State Park
- A fort from the French and Indian War (built 1756) that never saw battle. The walls are still there, fully rebuilt, and two barracks inside the walls have been rebuilt. The staff that work here, from the costumed reenactors to the gift shop staff, are incredibly enthusiastic about the Fort and its history. Highly recommend

Williamsport, MD
- Was in a rush so I only spent about an hour here. Basically there is a long stretch of preserved canal, with a "water bridge" at one end (that used to carry the canal over a local river) and a working canal lock at the other end. You walk along the canal, and its mostly joggers, fishermen, and people with their dogs. The canal boat rides were not being offered yet. There is a restored warehouse that is a visitors center. Inside the visitors center, watch the two movies. One is a 1970's movie with hilariously outdated references to the Concorde jet. The other is a 1917 silent movie that shows the canal actually in operation.

Offline wj73

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #18: April 28, 2017, 09:56:07 AM »
Thanks for the great report - you sure crammed a lot into a couple of days.  Thanks for the recommendation the Antietam Recreation - sounds like a nice evening.  I've also had the Civil War Medicine museum on my to-do list forever, so you may have inspired me to finally do it.

So glad you enjoyed Ft. Frederick - it's one of my favorite historical sites, and sadly few people seem to know about it.

Municipal Stadium doesn't have a lot going for it except cheap beer, but you reminded me there are some nice old-fashioned touches like the hand operated scoreboard. And it has been fun to see so many former Suns make it to the major leagues. 

All in all, it sounds like you had a successful exploration of Frederick/Hagerstown. 

 

Offline mitlen

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #19: April 28, 2017, 10:02:16 AM »
Thanks for the great report - you sure crammed a lot into a couple of days.  Thanks for the recommendation the Antietam Recreation - sounds like a nice evening.  I've also had the Civil War Medicine museum on my to-do list forever, so you may have inspired me to finally do it.

So glad you enjoyed Ft. Frederick - it's one of my favorite historical sites, and sadly few people seem to know about it.

Municipal Stadium doesn't have a lot going for it except cheap beer, but you reminded me there are some nice old-fashioned touches like the hand operated scoreboard. And it has been fun to see so many former Suns make it to the major leagues. 

All in all, it sounds like you had a successful exploration of Frederick/Hagerstown. 

 

Another example of there being so much to do within an easy drive from the Beltway  ...  in any direction.

Online varoadking

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #20: April 28, 2017, 11:13:43 AM »
Another example of there being so much to do within an easy drive from the Beltway  ...  in any direction.

FedEx Field...  :couch:

Offline mitlen

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #21: April 28, 2017, 11:15:38 AM »
FedEx Field...  :couch:

Ain't you got some hockey game plannin' to do?     :)

Online varoadking

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #22: April 28, 2017, 11:21:39 AM »
Ain't you got some hockey game plannin' to do?     :)

Gonna be a great weekend...we'll be in NOVA for a Caps win tomorrow night and a Nats win on Sunday afternoon...

Offline Count Walewski

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Re: Visiting Hagerstown
« Reply #23: April 28, 2017, 12:52:01 PM »
I'm already planning my return to Western Maryland...and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. I'll probably make a new thread in a few days.