Shepherdstown : West virginia


What It Is Like to Retire in Shepherdstown

Located on the Potomac River in a bucolic setting in the lower Shenandoah Valley, Shepherdstown was founded in 1762, (known then as Mecklenburg), and is the oldest town in West Virginia. It has an interesting place in history as it played a significant role during the Civil War as a field hospital and later was occupied by the Union troops to preserve the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad link to the west. In 1787, James Rumsey demonstrated the steamboat on the nearby Potomac River.

Located just 90 minutes from the Washington DC area, the small town with a population of just over 2,000, is considered to be a thriving artist community with an abundance of arts and crafts, galleries, and workshops. With its combination of rivers and mountains, Shepherdstown also offers hiking, biking, boating, fishing and birding. It is a college town and home to Shepherd University which is a vital part of the community both economically and culturally.  Its 3,000 students puts the average age here at just 21.  Picture of View Eastward down German St. courtesy of Wikipedia and Wallygva in the public domain.


Where to Retire in Shepherdstown and Home Prices

Real estate is much higher in Shepherdstown compared to most of West Virginia. According to Zillow, the media home value was $358,694 in mid-2021.


What Is Special about Shepherdstown

Shepherdstown has a vibrant, historic, and walkable downtown, and is considered a haven for the creative arts.  Local arts and crafts along with music can be found in galleries and locally-owed shops, and Shepherd University presents classical perfomances, sporting events, and a Wellness Center available to residents. 


What Is Not Special about Shepherdstown

The town is very small and is home to over 3,000 college students; winters are chily with some snow; the cost of living is higher than the national average 


Who Will Like Retirement in Shepherdstown

Those who are looking to retire in a small college town with a low crime rate and outdoor recreation would enjoy living here.  Shepherdstown features many art and music venues, and Sheperd University offers volunteer opportunities and a Lifelong Learning program, along with a host of Division II sporting events to attend. Canoeing and kayaking can be enjoyed on the Potomac River. 


Local Economy Is Driven by

The economy is driven by education, administration, sales and production.


Climate and Physical Environment

January's average temperature is 34 degrees, July's average is 74 degrees. The annual snowfall is about 20 inches.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Shepherdstown features several restaurants and pubs, galleries, music, and outdoor recreation opportunities.  The Historic Shepherdstown Museum displays artifacts, furniture and historic documents, and the Shepherdstown Opera House presents musical performances of all kinds. The town hosts several events, including a Christmas festival and the annual Contemporary American Theater Festival which features new plays by American playwrights.  The Baltimore/Washington DC area is about 90 minutes away for more cultural venues. 



The crime rate here is very low.


Medical Facilities

There are hospitals in Martinsburg about 10 miles away, including a VA Medical Center.  The Washington DC/Baltimore metropolitan areas offers medical facilities of every kind.



Hagerstown, Maryland, is the nearest major airport, and the closest international airport is Dulles, near Washington DC, about 50 miles away.  


Valuable Links

Sheperdstown Visitor Center

Shepherd University

Shepherdtown Opera House

What people are saying about Shepherdstown

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