Each time I return to the western half of Maryland, where I resided in Hagerstown two decades ago, I try to plan my trip to include a visit to one of the most picturesque, historic, and unique cities in the entire United States – Cumberland, Maryland. This particular trip was a very quick weekend adventure for a family wedding outside of Washington, DC, so I had to settle for driving through Cumberland instead of spending any time there. But, as it has always done, the scenic splendor and physical setting of Cumberland was as breathtaking as ever. Even my two sons who were riding in the car with me and only vaguely remember living in Maryland, commented on how beautiful both the city and setting were. It always warms this planner’s (and father’s) heart when they notice those kinds of things without me pointing it out.
If you have not traveled to or toured Cumberland, Maryland, you should add it to your itinerary as soon as possible. The city’s setting is literally shoe-horned between the steep and wooded ridges of Haystack and Willis Mountains on the west, Irons Mountain and Big Knob on the east, the Pennsylvania border to the north, and the winding Potomac River to the south. The scenic views are second to none in the Eastern half of the United States. Combine that with some of the most lovely church spires and steeples anywhere forming its skyline and you have a picture postcard-like location that evokes Europe. It is no wonder the city is often considered “the city of spires.”