Berkeley Springs is a hidden little gem in West Virginia. It's a quiet little town that truly gives you the West Virginia experience. Here's 5 reasons YOU need to visit it ASAP.
1. The Springs
Berkeley Springs hosts fresh mineral water springs that have drawn people to this area for hundreds of years--including George Washington! The original spring is located right in the state park, where people frolic, splash, or even just dip their toes in while sipping coffee, in the waterways which contain super clear, fresh and cool water.
Berkeley Springs claims to be America's First Spa town, which means that it has several spas and is a great place to get a massage, soak in a whirlpool or jacuzzi. If you are looking for something a little more unique to Berkeley Springs, check out the Roman baths. Fresh mineral water is heated and then pumped into a private ceramic tiled tube in a private room. You get 30 minutes to soak in this 102 degree Fahrenheit water--if you can last 30 minutes! This treatment is basic but fantastic. When in Berkeley Springs, do as the Romans do!
2. The Food
Berkeley Springs is a surprising trendy food town. There may not be many places to eat in this tiny town, but wherever there IS a place to it, you know it's going to be good. Even being gluten-free and vegan, I found it surprisingly easy to find a place where I could eat.
We went to one place in general- Panorama at the Peak- which only sells certified humanely raised meat. (If you are interested and I truly suggest you should be, you can learn more about certified humanely raised meat HERE)
Like many other restaurants in the area, we found that they only use ingredients that are from local farmers. If it isn't in season, they aren't selling it. Their owner is also one of the biggest advocates for farmers in the state. Plus, the staff there is just so dang nice. And it helps that the restaurant is on top of a mountain with an incredibly romantic view.
3. The drinks
When you think of West Virginia, you probably think of moonshine, so there's no surprise that Berkeley Springs is a great place to grab a locally brewed drink. We headed to Berkeley Springs Brewing Company, which is a brand new brewing company and bar in the area. They brew all their own beer as well as serve Sweetshine, a locally brewed moonshine (which is gluten-free!). Plus, they have an amazing thing called a tater waffle. It's basically a waffle made of tater tots with a chipotle ketchup sauce. It's basically the tastiest thing ever.
When it comes to beer, you're going to want to get a flight of their local brews. These beers are served around town, but you're definitely going to want to check them out right here, where they are brewed. Be sure to try the Berkeley Brown, which is Berkeley Springs' signature brew.
Plus, there's some live music on Saturday nights!
4. The nature
Berkeley Springs is tucked away in the mountains, and it's evident as soon as you arrive in town, that there is some amazing natural beauty going on here. You're going to want to head over to Cacapon Resort State Park for a truly outdoorsy experience. There's a huge beach with paddle boat and canoe rentals, horse back riding, golf and tons of hiking trails.
At sunset, you don't want to miss Prospect Peak. It's a local overlook that let's you see three states at once- Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. There's a ton of history and it is absolutely breathtaking.
5. The people
Berkeley Springs has some of the nicest people I've ever met. Every where we went, people were trying to talk to us, help us, or strike up a conversation. When we got a flat tire on the Cacapon Mountain, so many people stopped and offered to help us. At each restaurant, the waitresses went to GREAT lengths to ensure my food was gluten-free, something I have rarely encounter. The people on the sidewalk smiled and asked how we were. The bartenders talked to us for over an hour and had fantastic recommendations. A waitress risked her life to run across the street and take a photo for us when she saw we were taking selfies. Half the reason our experience here was so fantastic was that the people were so incredible and friendly.