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America The Beautiful Quarters To Feature Local Sites

Photo courtesy of
‘two hundred two-bits’
courtesy of ‘philliefan99′

Starting in 2010, the United States Mint will issue 56 quarter-dollar coins featuring designs depicting national parks and other national sites as part of the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program.

The first regional quarter will be for Fort McHenry National Monument representing Maryland in 2013.  Followed by Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park in 2014, Delaware’s Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in 2015 and West Virginia’s Harpers Ferry National Historic Park in 2016.  DC rounds out the pack with Frederick Douglas National Historic Site located in SE in 2017.

Each year, the public will see five new designs depicted on the tails side of America the Beautiful Quarters.  The quarters will be issued in the order in which the honored site was first established as a national site. This year the quarters will feature Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Yosemite National Park in California, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon.

The Features

Poker, Blackjack and More Coming This Summer

Photo courtesy of
‘Game over’
courtesy of ‘banspy’

Save on the flight to Vegas and skip the traffic-ridden drive to scary Atlantic City – table games are right around the corner. Few DC area residents know it, but legit and legal table game gambling will soon be just a 75 minute car trip away. Roll the dice, try your luck at 21, bet on red over black or even go all in – pick your poison. It’s coming this summer. In addition to betting on horse races or applying your skillful strategies at one of the thousands of slot machines, Charles Town Races and Slots is just 6 months away from offering all of your favorite table games right here in the DC metro area. There is nowhere else even remotely this close to DC where you can go and gamble away the days and nights.

So many people from the metro area head to Vegas and Atlantic City to get their gambling fix – and many more head underground for poker – that I predict the popularity of these table games will exceed even what Penn National Gaming, the parent company, is counting on. I’m pretty sure that later this year, you and your buds will be heading up to West Virginia for a little fun at the tables. It’s going to happen. It will become the local place for bachelor parties and birthday trips, a quick weekend away with the spouse, and even where you take your out-of-town friends who’ve never been to a real casino before. It’s going to be huge and DC area residents benefit from the locals’ decision to allow table games. Well, Penn National benefits anyway (unless you’re Rain Man). But at least you’ll be entertained!

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Getaways, The Features

Getaways: Shepherdstown, WV

Photo courtesy of
‘Shepherdstown2′
courtesy of ‘macfanmd’

Grab your friends, pack the car and put on a big smile – it’s Getaways time everybody! This week we are taking an exciting and fascinating trip to a few small towns in wild and wonderful West Virginia. WV is super far, it’s nowhere near here. It must be hundreds of miles away and you have to drive on dirt roads for hours upon hours through overgrown brush just to get there. Oh, and of course there’s the dodging of shotgun toting rednecks as you drive through the endless hills. Right? Right? Wait…WRONG! If you think like this, like thousands of other DC area residents do, take a minute and slap yourself. Then repeat (except this time on the other side of your face, to prevent facial bruising of course).

Now that your face has healed, it’s reality check time. Harpers Ferry is 67.1 miles from the center of DC and accessible entirely by highways. Shepherdstown – just a few more miles and only one two lane, paved road needed. What’s that? You’ve heard of them-there towns? Tubing, white water rafting, a national park, hiking/camping, civil war battlefields and a town that looks the same as it did in 1861? Yep, that’d be Harpers Ferry. A quaint little artisan town, on the Potomac river, filled with unique little shops, art galleries and eateries, home of the very first steamboat, an accepting and socially progressive culture and host to a historic, growing, top rated small public university? Shepherdstown it is. Nestled amongst natural beauty that beats anything you could have expected from a quick drive outside I-495, this little duo of WV small towns cannot be beat. Throw in the county seat, the historic town of Charles Town, and you get a trifecta of small town life with endless possibilities for an incredible getaway.

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