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Things to Do

Things to Do in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

About Berkeley Springs, West Virgnia

Berkeley Springs is an historic spa and art-filled town nestled in the West Virginia mountains. Famous for being the country’s first spa, it was frequented by George Washington. The charming town of Berkeley Springs is located only 90 minutes from the Washington/Baltimore metro area. During your stay at Retriever’s Retreat, there are activities to please everyone in your group.

Berkeley Springs continues to be a popular resort area with tourism the main industry in the county and four full service spas using the mineral water. It is the home of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the longest running and largest such event in the world. Berkeley Springs is a noted arts community with working artists accounting for approximately 1% of the county population of 16,000. Since 1994, the town has been listed in all four editions of John Villani’s “100 Best Art Towns in America,” one of only 11 towns so rated.

For those who want to relax and pamper themselves, enjoy dining, antiquing, shopping, and soaking in the warm mineral waters. There are five full-service spas providing a variety of services such as massages, manicures, pedicures, wraps, acupuncture, reflexology, and reiki. At the Berkeley Springs State Park Spa (304-258-2711) you can take a soak in a Roman bath and have a half-hour massage for just $40 (Mon-Thurs), $45 (Fri-Sun).

Explore antique shops, craft stores, Berkeley Castle, and try the local coffee shops and restaurants. Saturdays and Sundays check out the Museum of the Berkeley Springs (11am-4pm).

While in Berkeley Springs, take in a movie at the Star Theater, a nostalgic movie theater where 50 cents will rent one of the velvet sofas, or take advantage of programs set up by the Morgan Art Council which range from free concerts in Berkeley Springs State Park every Saturday afternoon in July and August to an active Ice House Theater Project and exhibit gallery. The Ice House also offers concerts, art classes and youth theater.

If you prefer to spend your vacation outdoors, Retriever’s Retreat is close to 6,000 acre Cacapon State Park where you can enjoy basketball, tennis, miles of hiking trails, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing (winter), rowing/paddle boating,swimming, fishing, and golfing on the course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Be sure to hike or drive to the scenic overview.

Other nearby activities include canoeing and kayaking on the Great Cacapon and Potomac Rivers and biking and hiking on the C&O Canal.

The cabins is close to:
– Ski resorts such as White Tail
– Civil War battlefields such as Gettysburg and Antietam
– Historic Harper’s Ferry
– Outlet shopping at Hagerstown
– Charles Town Races and Slots.

We also recommend that your group take a drive to the Berkeley Springs Panorama Overlook which is rated by National Geographic as one of the five best overlooks in the Eastern United States. It’s stunning.

Enjoy the Berkeley Springs Farmers’ Market every Sunday morning from the end of April to October.
Friendly people, welcoming mountains and a sense of place mark Berkeley Springs, West Virginia as a vacation getaway for all seasons and tastes.

Other Recreation activities

GOLF The 18-hole, 72-par championship golf course at Cacapon State Park was designed by Robert Trent Jones in the mid 1960s. Meticulously maintained, it is one of the region’s most popular public courses, open for year ’round play, weather permitting. Carts, driving range, picturesque putting green, pro-shop, clubhouse and challenging play which includes deer as obstacles are all part of Cacapon’s appeal. Cold Run Driving Range is open Thursday through Monday in season.

WINTER SPORTS Cross-country skiing is a popular sport on the mountain trails of Cacapon State Park and along the many back roads of the county. Bring your own equipment. For skiing and snowboarding, Whitetail is about 50 minutes away, and Liberty is about an hour away.

HORSEBACK RIDING From Easter through Thanksgiving, mountain trail rides originate from Cacapon State Park. One of the most popular rides starts in the state park and crosses along the top of Cacapon Mountain for ten miles to the historically and geologically prominent Cacapon Rocks. With its spectacular views of the Cacapon River Valley, the Rocks were a common destination for 18th and 19th century riders; George Washington wrote often of his daily rides there. Rodeo fans can enjoy sanctioned events on Sunday afternoons at the outdoor Triple B Arena along historic Sir Johns Run. Activities feature team sorting, barrel racing and team roping. Occasional special events include country music concerts and full-scale rodeos.

GAME COURTS Public tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts are found at Cacapon State Park and Biser Street Park in town. Paw Paw Town Park has a softball field and playground. The Morgan County Recreation Area provides five ball fields for league play. Spectators are welcome.

HUNTING & FISHING More than 20,000 acres in two wildlife management areas provide opportunities for hunting everything from white-tailed deer to roaming flocks of wild turkey. There are both spring and fall seasons for various game. Sleepy Creek Wildlife Management Area also offers primitive camping and a lake. Various settings for canoeing, fishing, and boating are found on the Potomac and Cacapon rivers, on area streams, and on lakes at Cacapon State Park and Sleepy Creek Wildlife Area. The Ridge Fish Hatchery breeds famous West Virginia trout used to stock local lakes. Sleepy Creek Lake has bass, sunfish, pike, and crappie. Camping and sportsman access are found along the Potomac River in Paw Paw. Hunting and fishing licenses are required of both residents and nonresidents 15 to 65 years of age. NEVER hunt on private land without permission!

WATER SPORTS are not limited to soaking in the warm mineral springs. The lake at Cacapon State Park has paddle boats to rent. You can bring power boats to the Potomac River and Sleepy Creek Lake in the wildlife management area. Canoeing, kayaking, and tubing are preferred sports on the Cacapon River. There are sand beaches and lake swimming with lifeguards in season at Cacapon State Park. The public swimming pool in Berkeley Springs State Park is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

SHOTGUN SPORTS Sporting clays and trap are available at Sleepy Creek Sports, a National Sporting Clays Association member. The wooded range is located 15 minutes from Berkeley Springs and is fully equipped and staffed. Also, the Sleepy Creek Wildlife Area has an unattended shooting range.

Wobble Clay (Trap) Shooting Range (New in Cacapon State Park)
Cacapon Resort’s newest outdoor sport activity is trap shooting, one of the three major forms of competitive clay pigeon shooting (shotgun shooting at clay targets). Each shooter has twenty-five shots per round with all shooting done under the authority of a range supervisor. The trap range does not require a hunting license but does require a reservation.

BIKING The ridges and valleys of Morgan County are ideal terrain for both scenic road biking and mountain biking. Easy riding is best enjoyed on the C&O Canal towpath just six miles north of Berkeley Springs along the Potomac River. The towpath ride also takes bikers through the nearly mile-long Paw Paw Tunnel, the largest man-made structure on the Canal. Bike rentals are available at C&O Bicycle.

HIKING Trails abound along Cacapon Mountain, accessible from both Cacapon State Park and Coolfont Resort. Other trails include the Big Blue Trail which connects to the Appalachian Trail. The C&O Canal provides easy hiking as well as biking. Hikers particularly love the Paw Paw Tunnel.

OTHER Timber Ridge Go-Karts and Mini-Golf is open for daily family fun during the summer months, weekends in spring and fall. Cold Run Driving Range also has mini-golf. The bowling alley is open daily.

Nearby Attractions – Half and Full Day Trips

Cumberland, MD (Recommended) At the base of the Appalachian Mountains in Allegany County, Maryland, the city of Cumberland has been a military outpost manned by George Washington, a shipping hub, a manufacturing capital and “The Gateway to the West.” Head to the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and explore the same paths taken by early American pioneers. A ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad carries visitors back to the golden age of rail, chugging past stunning mountain scenery in vintage train cars. Highly recommend going to Rocky Gap State Park during the Fall, Spring and Summer.

Martinsburg, WV is situated along the old Cumberland Trail and is only 20 miles from Berkeley Springs. Enjoy the charming shops and historic sites.

Shepherdstown, WV, may be the oldest town in West Virginia. Only 35 miles from Berkeley Springs, Shepherdstown is situated on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River. Noted for its fine cuisine, the gourmet restaurants offer an array of cultural foods. Many of the town’s historical buildings on German Street are home to quaint little gift shops and bakeries. Shepherdstown provides live entertainment such as music, drama and other elements of the arts.

Charles Town, WV, is home to Charles Town Races & Slots. Only 47 miles from Cacapon State Park, Charles Town Races & Slots offers a spectacular gaming facility, thoroughbred racing all year round and superb restaurants.

Harpers Ferry, WV, (Recommended) 53 miles from Cacapon State Park, offers visitors a chance to step back in time. This quaint, historic community is situated on the banks of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Join a guided ranger tour, visit the exhibits and museums, or just stroll the streets of this historic town. Harpers Ferry is the site of John Brown’s raid in 1859, which set the country in motion toward civil war. The town was also a refugee camp for thousands of runaway slaves.

The Battle of Antietam is noted as one of the bloodiest one day battles in American history. The Antietam Battlefield is located in Sharpsburg, Maryland, seventy miles from Cacapon State Park. The best way to view the battlefield is to take the self-guided driving tours, but walking and biking are also encouraged.

Twenty-six miles south of Cacapon State Park and nestled in the breathtaking Shenandoah Valley lies Winchester, Virginia, the home of Patsy Cline. Visit Winchester’s historic area, which features shops and a wide assortment of restaurants to satisfy anyone’s taste buds.

For those in the mood for outlet shopping, Prime Outlets Hagerstown is approximately 30 miles from Berkeley Springs.

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One short night away -but a world of difference it makes! We enjoyed your cottage and our time. Thanks for the great recommendations of Roman Bath and massage and dinner at Taris. Perfect.

McCrobies, Madison AL

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