- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 6, 2008


In Bridgeville, they count down the days, hours, minutes and even the seconds left until the annual Apple Scrapple Festival (applescrapple.com for the up-to-the-second countdown). Seventeen years ago, the town’s politicos were looking for a way to attract visitors, and someone came up with the idea of combining the sweet apples grown in the area with the town’s primary industry, RAPA Scrapple.

Brothers Ralph and Paul Adams (hence RAPA) began making the tasty breakfast meat in Bridgeville in 1926, and to this day it’s hard to drive through Bridgeville with the windows down on a nice summer day without noticing the distinctive smell. The festival, this year Oct. 10 and 11, has grown from a small-town fair to almost 25,000 visitors.

The golf in Bridgeville is as fresh as the scrapple. Heritage Shores, designed by Arthur Hills, is less than a year old. Taking Route 404 to Ocean City and the Delaware beaches, the course is right along a little-known shortcut around town to the south. The links-style course and Nantucket-inspired clubhouse are part of an active adult community, but the 7,005-yard course is open and challenging to everyone.

What else? OK, the Apple Scrapple Festival isn’t your cup of cider? How about the World Championship Punkin’ Chuckin’ contest? The first weekend in November folks come from all over the world to a field near Bridgeville with contraptions specifically engineered to hurtle a pumpkin as far as mechanically possible. How far you ask? The current world record set at the contest in 2003 is 4,434.28 feet. Yup, over three-quarters of a mile.


This is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town if ever there was one, but where else can you find a place that will teach the fine art of tree climbing (Blue Ridge Tree Climbing). Chateau Morrisette Winery on the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains with breathtaking vistas and award-winning wines.

Your trip should include breakfast or lunch at Becky’s Fried Pies. Take home a pie of your favorite fruit - or a sweet potato pie if you’re inclined that way. Catch an evening of live bluegrass music at Christopher’s Pizza.

The golf course at Primland Resort may be the most remote on the East Coast, but it is better than almost anything near any big city. Englishman Donald Steel may seem like a fish out of water in the highlands of southwest Virginia, but this is arguably his best work anywhere in the world. The layout is fantastic, but play with someone who knows the course, not for the local knowledge of the greens and fairways but for the local knowledge just off them. A few steps into the trees at the right place expose views you won’t believe.

The nearby Pinnacles of Dan are one of Virginia’s geological wonders, though few people know about them. They are cone- shaped mountains that stand alone in the Dan River Gorge, rising more than 1,000 feet yet still dwarfed by the surrounding mountains. The view of the gorge, either from below or above, is fanstatic and shows how rural Virginia can be. Meadows of Dan is only a few buildings and a few homes. The nearest city is Roanoke, Va., about an hour north.


Any town that has been around for 300 years deserves to go the distance. But with its tricentennial approaching, Leonardtown was hit with a knockout punch. A bypass built in the 1980s directed traffic around the town and suddenly people were skipping right by the little town on Breton Bay that once thrived as a steamboat port. A new mayor led a renaissance of downtown and spearheaded a rebuilding of the waterfront that was once the centerpiece of the city, and in May Leonardtown celebrated its 300th birthday.

Your trip should include a sunny summer day at Leonardtown’s “Beach Party on the Square.” The town’s square serves as the epicenter of Leonardtown and is the place to find many unique shops, businesses and dining options. The unique August event transforms the historic square into a sand covered beach volleyball pit. Less vigorous members of the party can enjoy other family- oriented festivities such as the sand pit for kids, a moon bounce, bocce ball, hula hoop, jump rope and limbo stick contests.

Breton Bay Golf & Country Club is located on one of the most picturesque spots in southern Maryland. From the clubhouse, a breathtaking view of Breton Bay, the Potomac River and Virginia stretches out before you. The front nine is relatively flat with four water hazards, and the back nine has a little more roll.

The town of Leonardtown no longer looks like the making of a western ghost town. The revitalization project the area has undertaken has turned it into “the award-winning locale it is today.” According to one report, “Paradoxically, the bypass, which was instituted to help spare the town from overwhelming traffic, was its downfall and eventually its saving grace. Though the construction of the bypass caused the town to dwindle from the early 1990s through 1996, it would later help to retain the rural nature of Leonardtown. Without the high-speed traffic constantly flowing through town, a more pedestrian-friendly atmosphere evolved.”

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