Berkeley Springs comes out of nowhere. You’re driving through the Eastern Panhandle and bam, there it is—colorful storefronts, historic buildings, a state park with a charming gazebo and a wealth of history—all in a quaint and walkable downtown. Eclectic stores line the streets offering local art, new age products, and antiques while spas and health shops dot each block.
“Having nice shops in the heart of downtown is so important,” says Jeanne Mozier, vice president of Travel Berkeley Springs. “About one-third of the people who come here literally say the same thing: ‘I’ve driven through your town so many times and promised myself that this time I was going to stop.’ It’s really important for all of the things on Main Street to look inviting.” (more…)
For much of the year, West Virginia lives up to its “almost heaven” moniker, serving up its beauty on meandering country roads, through rocky rivers and over high mountain peaks. But it’s never closer to heaven than in the fall, when its sugar maples prepare to shed their leaves and the view is all amber and gold peaks as far as the eye can see. (more…)
After the unexpected death of a close family member, an uncomplicated, therapeutic vacation was in order. Knowing my husband was a fan of hot springs for their healing qualities, I proposed several locations: California, Colorado, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Berkeley Springs, W.Va. The last was selected because of its easy three-hour drive west down the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-81. Our must-haves included: natural beauty, the waters, and a significant divergence from our daily lifestyle. A consultation of my “late-in-life bucket list” happily revealed that Monticello was within easy driving distance. (more…)
There’s something impossibly charming about a mountain town in winter. Lantern-lit cobblestone streets, glowing cafes filled with friendly locals, and intimate family-run inns warm even the coldest, shortest of days. Add fresh mountain air, high-altitude views, snow sports, and steamy thermal springs, and you just might find yourself falling for winter. But don’t expect crowds: These charming little hamlets are, for now, relatively undiscovered. From Colorado to Japan, here are 10 off-the-beaten-path mountain towns that are especially enchanting during wintertime.
Sometimes travel can ground you. Every year since my eldest son was born, we take an annual trip to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. After so many years, this trip takes no planning at all—except for the cabin reservation, which needs to be made well in advance for a fall weekend. (more…)