NOTE: The descriptions of the places in this guide were accurate at the time the articles were posted. Please be advised that you should call ahead before traveling to any of them.

Berkeley Springs West Virginia - The Perfect Place to Get into Hot Water

By: Michelle Harper

Berkeley Springs "Water, Water, Everywhere" - not just any water - Berkeley Springs is famous for its award-winning spring water that literaly bubbles forth from many springs that permeate the area. The mineral waters that flow at a constant 74 degree temperature, draw tourists from all over the world to this tiny West Virginia town, whose real name is officially, and appropriately, called Bath.

Berkeley Springs bottled water can be found in many of your local grocery stores or you can "pump your own" right from a cistern located within the Berkeley Springs State Park. The restaurants in this town don't consider you a cheapskate when you ask for water with your meal. In fact much of the town is based on the health benefits of eating properly, drinking plenty of fresh pure water, taking in a relaxing massage and bathing in the healing mineral waters. Who would have thought all these "new age" philosophies could have existed for hundreds of years tucked right under our very noses. Even our first President found solace in this wonderful retreat as he relaxed in his own private tub fed directly from the springs.

Roman bath If a massage and a relaxing soak in a Roman bath are not enough to get your attention, Berkeley Springs offers many other activities such as antiquing and fine dining. A favorite place to dine is Tari's The food is always great. Tari boasts that many of her dishes are prepared with produce from her own father's garden. If you want to visit the local art scene, be sure and pay a visit to the Icehouse Gallery Cooperative. If catching a movie is more to your taste, then visit the STAR Theater, a old-fashioned movie house. Most activities can be found within walking distance of the state part located within the heart of the town. However, if you prefer to stay further away from it all, there are several bed and breakfasts in the area, or you may choose to stay at nearby Cacapon State Park or one of several spas and resorts in the area which offer additional services and packages. In addition to year round activities, Berkeley Springs hosts several annual festivals such as the annual Apple Butter Festival in October, International Water Tasting in February and the Uniquely West Virginia food and wine festival in mid-April.

Like so many places in West Virginia, getting there is half the fun. The major routes are Route 9 and Route 522. The gently winding mountain roads are scenic and offer a spectacular ride year round.

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