Berkeley Springs, historically known as the Town of Bath, known for its world famous warm mineral spring water. Berkeley Springs is one of the most unique small towns in West Virginia and maybe even the country, with more character than towns much larger in size. The county seat of Morgan County was established in 1776 in Virginia because of the natural springs which were believed to provide medicinal benefits drawing tourists from around the world. The town has developed around the Berkeley Springs State Park, a four-acre village green park which encompasses the town's original bathhouses and springs. The town of about 600 residents has long been a place of gathering which includes plenty of great attractions.
George Washington surveyed much of the Eastern Panhandle and became one of the town's first land owners. After the Revolutionary War, Berkeley Springs had a population boom as soldiers from the war sought after medicinal qualities believed to be within the naturally warm spring waters. The inventor of the steamboat, James Rumsey, hailed from Berkeley Springs and floated his invention down the Potomac River in nearby Shepherdstown, West Virginia. In 1891 after six years of construction, the Berkeley Castle was constructed. The castle was constructed by Colonel Samuel Taylor Suite in an attempt to impress his love after pledging to build her a castle overlooking the Town of Bath. After staking out their land they were soon after wed as husband and wife. Like many things in Berkeley Springs it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
There are a variety of accommodations available in Berkeley Springs from camping, to bed and breakfast, to inns and motels. One of the most popular is the Country Inn which provides excellent lodging, great food and drinks, plus full-service spa and salon services. You could also look into Tari's Premier Cafe and Inn which is known for its great food in the heart of downtown Berkeley Springs. Speaking of great food, check out the restaurant, Panorama at the Peak, which is known as much for its farm fresh food as it is for the breath-taking view rated by National Geographic of the merging Potomac River and Cacapon River, cutting through the valley between Cacapon Mountain and Sleepy Creek Mountain, stretching across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia.
If you are an adventurist in search of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity then you should look into the 70-mile Washington Heritage Trail that canvases over a dozen sites in the footsteps of George Washington. Looking for a similar sensation without moving from your seat then check out the Berkeley Springs Brewing Company which uses the natural mineral water and local resources for its brewing process. For more of a family entertainment setting, check out the depression-era mom and pop movie theater - Star Theater - which features a new movie shown every weekend. The whole neighborhood comes out for Friday and Saturday showings that won't break the budget. For an out of this world experience, be sure not to miss the Morgan County Observatory which houses a Cassegrain telescope and Friday night star parties.
There are several events and festivals that occur throughout the year such as the International Water Tasting Competition and the Uniquely West Virginia Food and Wine Festival, but the annual Apple Butter Festival is the pride of Berkeley Springs. Every Columbus Day weekend (October) the area celebrates with an inaugural parade followed by two days of entertainment, fine art, and local crafts. At the epicenter of all this is the apple butter which is churned in very large copper kettles. The Apple Butter festival draws quite a crowd and lodging is at a premium during this time so plan accordingly.
With all of these activities it is no surprise that Berkeley Springs is a sought after community in West Virginia. The affordable prices, rural location, and the easy interstate commute are major draws from those residing in cities which fail to offer the fresh air and open spaces available in the town. The town lies between Martinsburg, West Virginia and Hagerstown, Maryland - able to take advantage of shopping outlets in each respective town. The real estate market in the area is highly sought after, but mostly in the downtown area and properties that are alongside the nearby rivers. Those willing to live outside of the towncenter will find larger properties and decreased asking prices. The rental market is similar with few downtown properties available and higher premiums for those spaces. Outside of the immediate area you will find larger properties with more rural appeal with many opportunities for vacation rentals as well.
**This article was written by Adam Miller. All thoughts and opinions are my own and do not reflect Coldwell Banker or its affiliates. The above information is for promotional purposes and may not be factual.**