Experience Antietam National Battlefield
A key turning point in the Civil War, The Battle of Antietam took place on Maryland soil, as Confederate soldiers crossed the Potomac River and clashed with Union forces in the sleepy town of Sharpsburg.
Special Programs & Activities
Antietam National Battlefield also offers annual events that range from moving commemorations, to concerts and fireworks displays. In Summer, don’t miss the Independence Day Commemoration on the first Saturday in July. The Maryland Symphony Orchestra's Salute to Independence Concert and a stunning fireworks display mark this annual celebration.
Come September, visit the battlefield for multiple days of events to commemorate the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam. This is where you’ll find some of the best opportunities for hands-on exploration, with tons of weapons firing demonstrations. Events also feature music programs and guided hikes.
On the first Saturday in December, Antietam hosts one of the most moving memorial tributes in the nation. The Antietam National Battlefield Memorial Illumination is an evening driving tour through the park amid 23,000 candles—one for each soldier killed, wounded or missing at the battle—that offers a solemn, glowing tribute.
For more events, check out the National Park Service calendar.
Nearby Restaurants & Things to Do
A visit to Antietam National Battlefield offers much more than a history lesson. The local community is something worth enjoying in its own right. Neighboring downtown Sharpsburg features a handful of options for delicious food, sweet treats and one-of-a-kind fun, like tubing in Antietam Creek.
Sharpsburg Ghost Tours offer another glimpse into life during 1862 for citizens and soldiers, as well as some of the unexplainable happenings of today. Visit the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum in Boonsboro for a unique view of a fading past. The museum’s vintage automobile collection includes antique cars built right in Hagerstown, rare bicycles that roamed the streets more than a century ago, and even an early bobsled!
Sip and savor local wine at Antietam Creek Vineyards, a winery built on a former 55-acre dairy farm adjacent to Antietam National Battlefield. The winery offers tastings in a gorgeous retrofitted barn. Hungry? Stop by Captain Benders Tavern. This Sharpsburg staple is a classic stop after a day sightseeing at Antietam. The circa-1936 saloon provides a hearty menu—try the Crab Cake Sandwich or Cannonball Burger—in a friendly local setting.
Sharpsburg is also the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Head to Nutter’s Ice Cream for renowned hand-dipped ice cream then grab a fresh pie or donuts that one Facebook-reviewer dubbed as “life changing” at Burkholder's Baked Goods.
However you prefer to experience Antietam National Battlefield, this turning point of American history continues to humble, inspire and captivate the visitors of today.