While Thomas Jefferson soaked in Hot Springs VA, George Washington did it in Berkley Springs WV.
In Berkley Springs there are five warm mineral springs within a couple 100 yards of each other, located mostly at the Berkley Springs State Park. The Native Americans were the first to use the springs for their curative properties. The area has been used as a health resort since 1776.
The temperature of the warm spring pools is 74 degrees and open to the public for wading and soaking, but you need an appointment to soak in the Roman Baths, which are heated to about 100 degrees.
The only thing in our private mineral pool room was an orchid and a pitcher of drinking water.
In the afternoon, we rode our bikes on the sidewalk, explored the shops and ate outdoors at B&B café. We call this shot “Our Florida Vacation Without the 12 Hour Drive.” We had a trip to Florida planned but couldn’t face the driving and ended up Berkley Springs (aka Bath) to take the cure and soak in the warm springs for the weekend.
If you stand on a sandy spot in the middle of this pool, you can feel the springs tickling at the bottoms of your feet.
If you stand long enough, minnows will cover your legs and chew at your skin, trending these days as “fish spa exfoliating.”
It did freak me out a bit.
We stayed at The Berkley Country Inn, adjacent to the State Park. Opened in 1930, the inn had an Old World charm, a restaurant, tavern and spa that features warm springs pool soaks and massages. I sat on those rocking chairs more than once.
Friday night we ate oysters and sang Octopus’s garden with the Sweet Maple Singers at a music club with comfy couches called The Granary. Cookies and wine came with the tickets price.
Saturday night we stayed up late eating tiramisu and dancing to Tom Petty and other covers in the Inn’s Valentine decorated ballroom. Performed by the talented Matt Otis and the Sound, the set ended with a rousing version of Wagon Wheel that brought the house to the dance floor.
I had a leisurely brunch Sunday morning while Joe took a second pool soak,which I thought was too hot for a second go. By noon I got brave and, slowly but surely, immersed myself into one of the outdoor wild pools. Once in, I drew a lot of attention from other pool soaking wannabees. The water was warmer than the 60 something air temperature, but it still took some getting used to.