Where: Greencastle, Md.
Why: Tropical fish, striking German architecture and coffee, coffee, coffee.
How Far: 70 miles, or about 90 minutes from Germantown.
It's easy for java junkies to get their fix, what with so many local coffeehouses keeping those bean grinders humming. But sometimes the familiar Sumatra, Kona and Colombia flavors aren't enough. True caffeine fiends need a place to take their obsession to the next level. Where can they find an absurd range of unusual roasts? Surprisingly close to home at Greencastle Coffee Roasters in south-central Pennsylvania.
The shop sells more than 250 types of beans. Jars brimming with nuggets from Ethiopia, Bali, Malaysia and Rwanda are scattered throughout the store. This isn't a place to sip and socialize -- coffee isn't brewed on site. It's more like a temple where devotees can worship the sacred bean.
All the coffee is prepared in-house in cast-iron Victorian roasters built in the late 1800s; up to 25 pounds can be made at a time, though the proprietors usually do smaller batches on an as-needed basis. Most coffees cost $9 per pound and $5 per half-pound, with rare versions going for more (pre-ground sample packs are available for $1 to $1.25 with a purchase of 10 or more). And coffee's not the only temptation: Greencastle also has more than 150 teas, fresh jumbo Virginia peanuts (for as little as $1 per pound), and coffeemakers and accessories.
On your way to java heaven, stop at the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum where you can note how the stone walls are bevel-cut around the windows to let in additional light. In Hawbottom, discover Gambrill State Park, which boasts three scenic overlooks from High Knob, the 1,600-foot summit. Finally, the Waynesboro News Agency will make you feel like you're back in the 1950s. Shoot pool or grab a milkshake at the soda counter.