Downtown Martinsburg, West Virginia is Worth the Detour
Another stop along our 17 day RV adventure was Martinsburg, West Virginia. We left Frederick, Maryland in the morning and took the interstate highway 81 south so as to try to outrun some cold weather and an incoming snow storm. But we weren’t in too much of a hurry to not stop in a nice historic town.
Martinsburg proved to be a nice stop and well worth spending some time in. It is located just minutes from the expressway and is definitely much more interesting to pull into than a truck stop for some food at the exit.
We easily parked downtown in our 31 foot motorhome and quickly spotted what looked like the perfect greasy spoon serving up locals. It most definitely did not disappoint. The Blue and White Grill at 110 North Queen Street looked like it had been a favorite haunt of locals for generations.
The restaurant itself is fairly small and there’s a “counter” as well as booths to sit at. Waitress was friendly and I couldn’t wait to try this. I ordered some type of combination platter that included eggs, grits, bacon, sausage, biscuit and gravy and I don’t remember the last time I had a more satisfying breakfast.
After we had an incredible breakfast at an incredible local restaurant, we walked around a bit and discovered Martinsburg has quite a bit to offer the passing visitor. There is an active arts scene and I wandered into a local glass outlet (West Virginia Art Glass Store) that sold Fenton, Blenko and a lot of other glass. It was an incredible store and the clerk told me there is a larger one a few blocks away.
We poked into a pawn shop on Queen Street and discovered that it was not like the pawn shops in Florida. This had a lot of interesting antiques and collectibles (and I don’t mean Precious Moments plates) throughout the store and it was well worth a prowl through the store to see if we could find anything we couldn’t live without.
There is some interesting architecture in downtown Martinsburg and it appears the city is doing fairly well economically. It is now located in relatively close proximity to metro Washington DC and even has a MARC station with service to the city. Amtrak also serves the town with service to/from Chicago and Washington. For a small town, it certainly seems like it has it going.
So, next time you find yourself traveling I-81, do yourself a favor and visit downtown Martinsburg. And anyone in the region, really has no reason not to visit. It is well worth a day trip, walk around, get lunch, do a little shopping and sightseeing. I’m sure with research there is plenty to do nearby but the downtown is intriguing enough if you need a reason to visit.
But do not miss the Blue and White Grill! Happy travels.