Hidden Gems in the Mid-Atlantic April 5, 2022 by MATPRA Admin (Mid-Atlantic Region, April 5, 2022)- In every destination across the Mid-Atlantic region there are popular and beloved restaurants, attractions and shops of all kinds. There are also hidden gems that offer just as much of an experience, but are not as generally known. Check out this list of hidden gems across Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia that you’re going to want to add to your list. For more information on any of the following, contact the destination marketing organization listed below. For general information on the Mid-Atlantic, visit MATPRA.org. MARYLAND Allegany Hidden in plain sight, there’s a world of art on display in Mountain Maryland’s outdoor communities. Public art includes works from world-class sculptors and muralists, in addition to the destination’s new Poet-Tree project, where poems classified as tree-centric are displayed on metal plaques next to 22 trees throughout the destination. Allegany County, The Mountain Side of Maryland, Mindy Bianca, MDMountainside.com, [email protected] Annapolis & Anne Arundel Immerse yourself in horticulture, history, and archaeology at Historic London Town and Gardens. Woodland, ornamental, and sound and sensory gardens provide year-round opportunities for communing with nature. Visits to the William Brown House, Lord Mayor’s Tenement, and Carpenter’s Shop recreate the story of a once-thriving port city founded in 1683. Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, Susan Seifried, VisitAnnapolis.org, [email protected] Calvert From sweet kettle corn made right before your eyes, to extreme milkshakes, luscious cookies, tasty muffins, delectable donuts and much more – the Calvert County Sweet Treat Trail satisfies any sweet tooth! Calvert County Department of Economic Development, Hilary Dailey, ChooseCalvert.com, [email protected] Cecil Escape to the charming Town of North East MD with specialty shops, antiques, fabulous restaurants, kayak rentals, riverfront park, wildlife, and options for sweet treats such as ice cream, frozen yogurt, baked goods, and candy. Experience family friendly events, history, and the nearby State Park with trails, camping, and historic Turkey Point Lighthouse. Cecil County Tourism, Sandy Turner, SeeCecil.org, [email protected] Harford Hike one-half mile to the second highest vertical waterfall in Maryland. Kilgore Falls was featured in the Disney movie Tuck Everlasting. Visit the Jericho Covered Bridge which is the last remaining covered bridge in Harford or Baltimore counties. Tour the historic Liriodendron mansion tucked into the heart of Bel Air. Visit Harford, Mindy Schneider, VisitHarford.com, [email protected] Kent DYK there’s a small aviation museum in Kent County? Massey Air Museum, reminiscent of rural airports of a bygone era, hosts fly-ins featuring antique biplanes and gliders. Each year the Chili Fiesta Fly-In welcomes aviation and food connoisseurs alike. Walk through a DC-3 or schedule a biplane tour. Plan your adventure in Kent County, MD! Kent County Tourism, MD, Jana Carter, KentCounty.com, [email protected] Maryland (state of) The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES), located on Artsway in Denton, is the region’s premier destination for fiber art enthusiasts to visit, shop, learn, and find inspiration. Rotating exhibits feature work by quilters and fiber artists from throughout Maryland’s Eastern Shore and the Delmarva Peninsula. Maryland Office of Tourism, Connie Spindler, VisitMaryland.org, [email protected] Prince George’s Step back in time! National Capital Radio & Television Museum offers a portal into the history of broadcasting and communications. Take flight at College Park Aviation Museum and glimpse airplanes from the early 1900s with insight about aviators who ruled the skies. Discover the wineries along the Legacy Wine Trail. Experience Prince George’s, Kaletha Henry, ExperiencePrinceGeorges.com, [email protected] Talbot Talbot County’s hidden gem is a whole Island! A 30 minutes’ drive from Easton reveals the waterman’s village of Tilghman Island, where fishermen have netted the Chesapeake Bay’s bounty for generations. Enjoy picturesque views, fresh seafood, and luxury inns. See native fauna while kayaking the Bay, or charter a crab boat! Talbot County Office of Economic Development and Tourism, Krista Boothby, TourTalbot.org, [email protected] Wicomico There are plenty of hidden gems to discover in Wicomico County. Outside of Salisbury — Wicomico’s largest city — learn about history at sites in Mardela Springs or Whitehaven. Enjoy local produce from a market or shop for antiques. Wicomico County Tourism, Vanessa Junkin, WicomicoTourism.org, [email protected] PENNSYLVANIA Allegheny National Forest Region The Eldred WWII Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the real-life heroes who fought to keep America free. During WW II, over 1500 women in Eldred worked for the war effort manufacturing bombs. Learn why NATO was formed and other significant history that relates to today’s events. Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, Linda Devlin, VisitANF.com, [email protected] Bradford The Wyalusing Hotel is an historic property where visitors will experience great food and warm hospitality in an area surrounded by wineries, shopping, historic attractions, and recreational sites in the heart of beautiful Bradford County. Close to state parks, waterways, and trails, this wonderful hotel is waiting to welcome you for a delightful visit. Bradford County Tourism Promotion Agency, Morgan Christopher, VisitBradfordCounty.com, [email protected] Butler A hidden gem in plain view, Preston Park has a rich history that’s only matched by its lush beauty. Preston Park consists of 88 acres and offers a variety of recreational activities enjoyed year-round. The park features luscious woodlands, walking trails, fishing ponds, wildlife, numerous unique plants, and more! Butler County Tourism & Convention Bureau, Tiffany Hernandez, VisitButlerCounty.com, [email protected] Columbia-Montour Searching for that next hidden gem? Pay a visit to Bill’s Old Bike Barn, located between Bloomsburg & Berwick. Bill’s 55,000 square foot museum is full of some of the most extraordinary antiques from all around the world. See vintage motorcycles, bikes, military displays, and memorabilia from basically anything imaginable! Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau, Linda Sones, ITourColumbiaMontour.com, [email protected] Endless Mountains of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Eagles Mere, also known as “the town that time forgot” is a small village in the heart of the beautiful Endless Mountains. The famous Eagles Mere Inn, DeWire Arts Center, Auto Museum & Air Museum are local treasures that visitors looking for a mountain getaway will enjoy in close proximity to waterfall trails, forests, and PA wineries. Endless Mountain Visitors Bureau, Morgan Christopher, EndlessMountains.org, [email protected] Juniata River Valley Travel to the quaint town of Reedsville where you’ll discover a farm-to-table restaurant that’s been an area favorite since it first opened in 2015. Revival Kitchen was born out of the desire to create a dining experience centered on locally sourced ingredients carefully crafted using both classical and modern cooking methods. Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, Buffie Boyer, JRVVisitors.com, [email protected] Lancaster Experience early American life through tours of one of the nation’s few replica Native American longhouses and the oldest surviving house in Lancaster County at the 1719 Museum in Willow Street (yes, that’s the actual name of the town!). Discover Lancaster, Joel Cliff, DiscoverLancaster.com, [email protected] Laurel Highlands Architecture fans flock to the Laurel Highlands to explore the famed Fallingwater. A few miles away, high atop a bluff, stands another Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Kentuck Knob. Here, Wright combined native sandstone with tidewater red cypress to create a chorus of color and texture that replicates the surrounding landscape. Go Laurel Highlands, Anna Weltz, GOLaurelHighlands.com, [email protected] Lawrence West Park Nature Center is a wildlife sanctuary containing blue bird nesting boxes, an arboretum and a one mile hiking trail with an observation deck overlooking the wetlands. There is also a two mile single track mountain bike/cross country running and hiking trail. Visit Lawrence County, Janet Falotico, VisitLawrenceCounty.com, [email protected] Lehigh Valley The Allentown Arts Museum is a hidden gem for art admirers with a collection spanning from Rembrandt to Keith Haring. The museum is showcasing treasures from its vault through September. The Banana Factory Arts Center in Bethlehem is home to 30 resident artists’ studios and galleries, including mesmerizing glassblowing demonstrations. Discover Lehigh Valley, Alicia Quinn, DiscoverLehighValley.com, [email protected] Potter-Tioga The Potter County Artisan Center in historic Coudersport is a fantastic destination for visitors to discover the best locally produced art, crafts, and products created by the many artists and artisans who call Potter County their home. Throughout the year, this gem of a shop is the place to find one-of-a-kind treasures for gift giving, decorating or collecting. Visit Potter-Tioga, Morgan Christopher, VisitPotterTioga.com, [email protected] VIRGINIA Hampton Stay in style during your next visit to Hampton! Magnolia House Inn: Bed & Breakfast is home to three rooms, each with its own charm. Close to Downtown Hampton, local restaurants, and shops, it is the perfect place to stay for a weekend getaway, anniversary, or girls’ trip. Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau, Yuri Milligan, VisitHampton.com, [email protected] Harrisonburg Discover Roots Run Deep, a self-guided African-American History tour with 24 remarkable sites in Harrisonburg, VA including the home of local legend Lucy F. Simms born a slave in 1856, a graduate of Hampton University who over 52 years taught over 1,800 students from three generations. Available via Traipse app. Harrisonburg Tourism & Visitor Services, Jennifer Bell, VisitHarrisonburgVA.com, [email protected] Lexington & Rockbridge Engage your senses with a visit to The Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm in Fairfield, Virginia. Open weekends, the grounds are perfectly wanderable with trails, mounds of luscious lavender, farm animals, a glorious waterfall, and gift shop. Special events are held often. Relax and soothe your soul at Tantivy Farm. Lexington & Rockbridge Area Tourism, Patty Williams, LexingtonVirginia.com, [email protected] Loudoun Loudoun changed the world – or at least a favorite son did. Statesman-General George C. Marshall drafted the Marshall Plan to reconstruct Europe after WW2 from his handsome Leesburg home, Dodona Manor. Now a museum and foundation for international relations, the hidden gem celebrates 75 years of the Marshall Plan this year. Visit Loudoun, Jennifer Sigal, VisitLoudoun.org, [email protected] Norfolk The Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk, VA is the longest free-standing pier in North America, and stands along the gentler waves of the Chesapeake Bay. Fish for a wide variety of aquatic life, then eat seafood at the pier’s rooftop restaurant as you watch the dolphins and sunset. Visit Norfolk, Nicole Nussbaum, VisitNorfolk.com, [email protected] Richmond Hidden in Plain Site is a new virtual tour of Richmond that tells the Black experience story throughout history. Many of these sites have been previously overlooked, and Hidden in Plain Site allows visitors to see the sites and learn from their stories virtually, with an option to view through VR headsets. Visit Richmond VA, Meghan Gearino, VisitRichmondVA.com, [email protected] Shenandoah Shenandoah Caverns an underground world of wonders, including what National Geographic described as the world’s most realistic “bacon formation” along a one-mile tour circuit, a comfortable 56-degree temperature is maintained year-round. The only caverns in Virginia with elevator service. Admission includes Main Street of Yesteryear and American Celebration on Parade. Visit Shenandoah County, Brenda Black, VisitShenandoahCounty.com, [email protected] Stafford Discover the nation’s history in Stafford, Virginia. Explore the waters where John Smith met Pocahontas. Walk the grounds of George Washington’s Boyhood home at Ferry Farm where George Washington spent his childhood years. Hike Government Island, the birthplace of the Aquia Sandstone that built the White House & U.S. Capitol. Tour Stafford Virginia, Courtney Swenson, TourStaffordVA.com, [email protected] Virginia’s Blue Ridge Enjoy the unspoiled beauty of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of Botetourt County’s scenic Upper James River Water Trail. Located in historic Downtown Buchanan, Twin River Outfitters allows you to relax by providing everything needed for an exceptional paddling, tubing, or riverside glamping excursion. Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Kathryn Lucas, VisitVBR.com, [email protected] Take a look at even more images from across the Mid-Atlantic. Please be sure to provide photo credit to the appropriate DMO. About the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance The Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) is a cohesive unit of regional tourism partners encompassing Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. The group serves travel journalists by creating a regional resource that ignores geographical boundaries to better promote common threads, offering story ideas about the Mid-Atlantic region as a whole. For more information, visit MATPRA.org.