An idyllic West Virginia haven
Small-town America endures in picture-perfect Shepherdstown, W.Va., said Scott Vogel in The Washington Post. This is the kind of place that makes a visitor want to pull up stakes and relocate without delay. Just 77 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., this “idyllic exurb” offers a comfortable smattering of urban pastimes. The oldest town in the state, its streets are packed with Federal-style houses. Old-timers tend to wear suspenders, get their hair cut at Lloyd’s barber shop, and eat breakfast at Betty’s, which serves up pancakes the size of hubcaps. O’Hurley’s General Store sells mementos of “a long-forgotten America,” including wooden toys and antique nails. On the cultural side, the local film society presents “an eclectic selection of movies” every Friday free of charge, and the Friends of Music program and the Shepherdstown Opera House feature live music ranging from chamber music to bluegrass and rock.
Michigan’s untouched wilderness
Michigan’s Isle Royale National Park is an archipelago of “nearly 400 wild islands” in Lake Superior, said Tina Lassen in Midwest Living. It is also a shining example of what a national park ought to be—a landscape untouched by the outside world. Visitors to the 45-mile-long Isle Royale and its surrounding islands must come by paddle, boat, or air: There simply are no roads for cars. A three-hour ferry ride ends at the island’s only place to spend the night—Rock Harbor Lodge, which consists of simple rooms and cabins, a dining room, a camp store, and a marina. The rest of the island “is wilderness,” 165 miles of trails, 46 lakes, campsites, and an endless shoreline. It’s not unusual to see a nonchalant moose strolling along the marina; the wolves are much more shy. The 1855 Rock Harbor Lighthouse now houses a small museum. But afternoons are best spent enjoying the “solitude of backpacking.”