Learn the Unique History of Berkeley Springs

Springing to life with the beauty of a mountain town accompanied by a past full of rich history gives Berkeley Springs a story to tell. Famously known as the country’s first spa makes this spot a quaint place to travel back in time.

Historic Waters

Here you can stroll along the same streets that George Washington once did. A frequent visitor, he was an advocate of the healing powers of the natural spring and termed this town his favorite getaway. See for yourself the world-renown waters that have been drawing in guests seeking relief and relaxation for centuries. This has also earned recognition from Thrillest for being a perfect destination for those looking for self-care with a historic twist. Flowing at a constant 74°F from the base of Warm Springs Ridge, the public tap is open to drinking and filling jugs. The springs discharge from five main sources and many smaller ones, all within a hundred yards of each other, producing nearly 2,000 gallons of clear, sparkling water each minute. 

Activities & Exploration

Located in the heart of the town, Berkeley Springs State Park has options for guests of all kinds and has been recognized by Southern Living for being one of the best natural hot springs in the south for a good soak. If you’re looking to relax and unwind, the park’s spa is the perfect place. Since the first bathhouse opened in 1930, thousands have enjoyed the variety of treatment options. Treat yourself to a luxurious whirlpool, blissful Roman Bath, sauna session or therapeutic massage. Or bring along the entire family for a fun-filled day at the park complete with a picnic lunch and swim in the outdoor pool.

The history continues far beyond the town limits with access to the nearly 80-mile-long Washington Heritage Trail National Scenic Byway, which features George Washington’s downtown lot, the Panorama Overlook, Paw Paw Tunnel and many other scenic, historical sites.

Local Spots

Swing by Fairfax Coffee House for a delicious coffee, sweet breakfast treat or a light and tasty lunch. A hefty dinner awaits you at Lot 12 Public House, where some of the best upscale and comfort cuisine can be found.

If you’re lucky enough to be in town on a weekend, catching a film at the Star Movie Theater is a must. This mom and pop neighborhood movie house has been showing films since the early 1930’s and still pops its popcorn from an original 1949 Manley machine.

Learn more about the town as you browse several blocks of historic downtown shops. The Fleur de Lis Cheese Shop specializes in fine artisan cheese, fine wines and custom-made charcuterie plates. The Berkeley Springs Antique Mall showcases blast-from-the-past classics from nearly 30 dealers. Mineral Springs Trading Co. sells art products of all kinds from a multitude of local artisans.

Time To Turn In

Make your time in this town even more charming with an overnight stay at the Country Inn of Berkeley Springs. Originally opened in 1933 as the Park View Inn, its been opened year-round ever since. Dine in the full-service restaurant and be sure to visit the rustic tavern. Relax on the patio surrounded by English Country Gardens. Located in the downtown area, you’ll be just a walk away from all of the town’s best spots.

For a more secluded stay, choose the Coolfont Resort which is nestled within a large, wooded property just a few miles from town. From a 12-acre lake and multiple hiking trails to a tree-top restaurant and Berkeley Springs Brewing Company, this is sure to be a stay you won’t ever forget.

There’s endless adventure to be had here in West Virginia, most of which comes along with an interesting history. Do you know the story behind the beloved Hatfield-McCoy Trail System? Click below to learn more!

A History Lover's Guide to The Hatfield-McCoy Trails

This post was last updated on January 24, 2024