Sink into the mineral-rich waters at this historic spa town where the great George Washington once bathed.
The valley town of Berkeley Springs is best known for its warm spring waters, which are believed to have healing powers. Divide your time between the town center and the surrounding countryside, where mountains, woods, lakes and rivers provide ample opportunities for outdoor fun. Soak away stress in the mineral springs, browse the art galleries and antique boutiques and treat yourself to massages and Reiki healing treatments.
Berkeley Springs calls itself “The Country’s First Spa.” It is built around the historic town of Bath, just like its English sister spa town. Residents started calling the town Berkeley Springs to avoid confusion with Bath, Virginia.
A visit to Berkeley Springs focuses on relaxing. Soothe tired muscles at the Berkeley Springs State Park, home to the Roman Baths. Enjoy a Swedish-style rubdown from a masseuse, drink spring water from the fountain and learn about the history of the healthful waters at the Museum of the Berkeley Springs.
The town also provides a great base for a back-to-nature retreat. Adventure enthusiasts are attracted to Cacapon Resort State Park, where the rugged mountains are threaded with hiking trails. Play golf, paddle on the lake, lounge on the sandy beach and ride a horse along the mountain paths. The Sleepy Creek National Wildlife Management Area is open to hunters and fishermen in spring and fall, though licenses are required.
Back in town, enjoy the laid-back arty atmosphere. Check to see if any exhibitions, music concerts or workshops are taking place at the Ice House community art center during your stay. Watch a film at the town’s historic Depression-era Star Theater.
At mealtimes, head downtown where dining options range from casual cafés to more refined gourmet restaurants.
Find Berkeley Springs in the valley near the Cacapon Mountain, Sleepy Creek Mountain and Cacapon and Potomac rivers. Driving from Washington or Baltimore will take less than 2 hours.