Charles Town, West Virginia
It is only about 70 minutes drive from Fairfax, VA, and yet so few go and visit — why might that be? This old town is full of charm, old buildings, Civil War history, and there is a plaque to Martin R. Delany in the town center.
West Virginia is in the process of reopening (note the obscenity), but barber shops require appointments and take only one person at a time. The restaurants seem to be doing curbside only, as in Virginia, and what would you want to eat there anyway? Population density in town is low, and it feels quite safe to walk around because you don’t have to switch sides of the street to avoid people. You just have to walk at a constant pace.
In one store they will sell you toilet paper and masks. But the guy takes his mask off to sell you the masks, because he feels he needs to explain and justify the prices for the masks.
The gdp per capita of West Virginia is, surprisingly to many people, equal to about that of France. Charles Town is by no means run down, and either the center of town or the outskirts appear to be somewhat wealthier than most parts of Western Europe.
And there is still an opera house in town, and it was staging Sondheim’s Into the Woods until Covid came along.