Best Trip by Train

Harpers Ferry
There are many reasons to visit the historic West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry: It was a key location during the Civil War; it’s where that state, Virginia, and Maryland meet; and it’s an entrance point for people who want to hike or camp along the Appalachian Trail. There are delightful small businesses and restaurants, and the scenery can’t be beat. Personally, I go for one reason—the John Brown Wax Museum. A $7 ticket buys you entry into an old rowhouse that smells like mildew and features wax figures that take wax-figure-creepiness to the next level. For example, wax figure Brown is shown on the stairs of the gallows preparing to be hanged. It’s horrifying and educational! Best of all, unlike many day-trip-from-D.C. options, Harpers Ferry is accessible by train. Plan your trip far enough in advance and you can snag a $10 or $12 one-way Amtrak ticket. MARC trains also travel between D.C. and Harpers Ferry on the Brunswick Line, Monday through Friday; tickets cost $12.