Daytripping in Washington County, Western Maryland

Photo by Eddie Applefeld

Greetings once again. We have some traveling to do, so let’s not waste any time and get on the road while the weather is good. We will eventually be enjoying a meal at Barrett’s Grill in Hunt Valley, but first, we head out to Washington County in western Maryland and visit the Antietam Battlefield.

This hallowed ground is important for many reasons. Firstly, it marked General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the north in 1862.

Secondly, it was the site of the bloodiest day in U.S. history with 22,717 soldiers either killed, wounded or missing. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (October 1966).

The actual battle began September 17, 1862, when Major General Joseph Hooker began the Union artillery bombardment of the Confederate position of Major General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. The battle was over with the Union sitting on three sides waiting for the next day.

The area was established as Antietam National Battlefield Site in August 1890. It was transferred to the War Dept. in August 1933.

Best to begin your visit in the Visitors Center. You’ll find many exhibits about the Civil War. It was built in 1962. I suggest you watch the 25-minute video (narrated by James Earl Jones). It plays on the hour and half hour. It is possible the Visitors Center is now closed, but roads and trails would be open.

Rangers do offer interpretative talks and there’s also an audio tour available for purchase to help you during the self-guided 8.5-mile driving tour with 11 stops. All of this will prove very helpful. There’s just too much to see on your own.

Adjoining the battlefield is the National Cemetery, 11.36 acres with about 4,976 bodies, 1,836 of which are unidentified. It was commissioned in 1865. Civil War-era burials consisted only of Union soldiers. The cemetery also contains the remains of soldiers from the Spanish-American War, both World Wars and the Korean War.

Another attraction on site is the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. The building served as Union Commander General George B. McClellan’s headquarters. It focuses on the period of medical care.

Park grounds are open during daylight hours. The fee is $10.00 per person or $20.00 per vehicle. Go to

Okay, I know you must be hungry, I know I am, so let’s eat. And that quickly here we are at Barrett’s Grill, in the upper level of the Hunt Valley Towne Center, across from Regal Cinemas. Actual address 118 Shawan Road.

Photo by Eddie Applefeld

Open seven days for lunch and dinner with Saturday and Sunday brunch from 10 to 3. Some of the brunch items include golden waffle, spinach, and mushroom omelet, berries napoleon French toast and steak and eggs.

There’s seating, when full occupancy is permitted, for about 150. Currently, they’re doing 50% occupancy. There are however six outdoor heaters. I can tell you in the warmer months that is a popular area. You can walk in to get your carry out order or someone will take it to your car.

Barrett’s Grill has a terrific wine selection. Actually, there are two lists. One you’ll find on the menu and the other, called Manager’s Picks, has its own wine selections. On that list, wines are more affordable. Wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Benzinger, Chardonnay, Hollywood & Vine and Merlot, Ferrari Carano.

The dinner menu lists entrees such as braised short ribs, blackened chicken pasta, grilled salmon, New Zealand rack of lamb along with burgers, sandwiches, sides, starters, and salads.

Barrett’s Grill is owned and managed by the Stonebridge Restaurant Group. They also have Glyndon Grill and Barrett’s on the Pike (Bel Air).

Any of the restaurants can serve as a special occasion place or one you go to with the family.

Reach Barrett’s Grill at 410-527-0999…