By

Sandra Chaloux

| 01/17/2017

Berkeley Springs, WVA – A Hidden Gem for Wellness

Berkeley Springs, WVA – A Hidden Gem for Wellness

Like many in the Northern Virginia area, I had vaguely heard of Berkeley Springs – maybe a TV weather forecast discussing the outer reaches of the DC area. But, I didn’t know anything about the place, nor had I been there. That all changed this past weekend.

My husband and I love the countryside and were able to get away for a long weekend. We have spent many a weekend hiking the Blue Ridge and visiting wineries in the area but had trouble finding a rental this time. My husband was about to start a new job and we wanted to completely recharge with a change in scenery beforehand.

We knew that we wanted to do a get away into the mountains somewhere where we could bring our dog. After unsuccessfully searching for rentals in the Western part of Virginia, Tom changed the search state to West Virginia to see what our options were. West Virginia is well known for beautiful and affordable state park cabins. Unfortunately, the secret is out on that, with no vacancies to be found. So we turned to VRBO and came upon Berkeley Springs.

Berkeley Springs is located in the eastern West Virginia panhandle, less than a 2-hour drive from the DC metropolitan area. Native Americans have been coming to this area for hundreds of years, seeking healing in its warm natural springs with high mineral content. George Washington started coming to this area when he was a teenager and continued visiting later in life after he became the father of our country. Berkeley Springs is truly America’s first spa.

Today, Berkeley Springs has grown up around the spas (yes, there are multiple) and has become a quaint resort town centered on health and wellness. In town, there are a number of local art boutiques & natural food stores. We stumbled upon the Himalayan Trade & Tour company that sells arts and crafts from Nepal, many of which aid in wellness approaches like meditation. Even Tom seemed to get into it the collectibles at this shop. Here, I bought my first singing bowl and a book on how to heal with singing bowls.

The theory behind the singing bowl is that everyone has a vibration that is a signature of their health and wellbeing. Similar to how a musical instrument can fall out of tune, our bodies call also fall out of vibrational harmony and potentially develop illness. Stress and negativity create blockages of a healthy flow of energy, showing up in the energy field around our body as lower energy disturbances at first, and later as illness in our physical body. Sound and vibration can be used to re-tune us to health and one of the most powerful modalities for this is the use of Tibetan singing bowls.

Now about the spas. This being our first time to the area, we decided to enjoy the Berkeley Springs State Park spa. For an affordable $55 per person, we each were able to enjoy a warm soak in a private mineral spring-fed Roman bath for 15 minutes, followed by a 30 minute personal Swedish massage. We each emerged both energized and very relaxed. Both of our massage therapists were also very nice offering suggestions on things to do in the area. My husband’s massage therapist even pointed out that there are more licensed massage therapists in Berkeley Springs than there are lawyers (if only the entire world were like that). There are a handful of other spas in town which also offer accommodation and restaurants in the same complex but only the Berkeley Springs State Park spa taps directly into the natural spring.

After feeding our souls, our bodies needed sustenance as well. In this regard, Berkeley Springs also shines. For a town of its size, there are many quality eateries to enjoy. Tari’s is less than a block from the spa and offers great soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch; a more extensive menu is available for dinner. Angus and Ale, a short drive from the downtown area, has an extensive menu of food and micro-brews. The owners Tom and Sandra, plus our server Tia, were simply a delight. We found the people in this town to be so friendly -quite refreshing.

After eating, we enjoyed hiking the woods surrounding our cabin, observing many deer and the overall beauty of the area. Cacapon State Park nearby also offers hiking, horseback riding, lake swimming, as well as its own selection of cabin or lodge accommodations.

Berkeley Springs offers a wide range of accommodations, from B&Bs and Inns in town, to a wide range of rental cabins in the mountains nearby.

In summary, if you are looking for a weekend away to refresh your mind, body and/or spirit, I highly recommend Berkeley Springs, WV. We truly enjoyed ourselves and are already talking about when we will return again.



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