Monday, March 15, 2010 3:54 PM
This Week in Berkeley Springs, WV March 15-21, 2010
The following information is from the Travel Berkeley Springs office:
Berkeley Springs is home to the world's only outdoor monument to presidential bathing -- George Washington's Bathtub! And this is the weekend we celebrate it with activities devoted to local history and highlighting the buying power in the first president's face.
The Museum of the Berkeley Springs opens its doors for the season on Saturday at 11am with readings from the immortal words of George Washington -- and not just any of the billions of words he wrote over his lifetime. Only those words related to Berkeley Springs. And there were plenty. Come hear authors John Douglas and Jeanne Mozier put their spin on Washington's diary entries about food, Indians, real estate and, of course, bathing. The Museum in located on the second floor of the Roman Bath House in Berkeley Springs State Park. You can extend your involvement with George Washington's history in the area by taking the 50 plus mile Washington Heritage Trail National Scenic Byway self-guided driving tour of 15 Washington related sites from the famous bathtub in Berkeley Springs State Park (all visitors are required to view this on Bathtub weekend) to the site of his lots in town.
Moving on to Washington's famous face and what it buys -- there's a list that includes everything from hot drinks and a poster of Washington's favorite local panoramic view at Creekside Creamery to a whisky drink at the Country Inn. The Bath House Day Spa gives $1 off every $10 spent in the shop and Heath Studio Gallery offers $1 off all prints and paintings. A great deal can be found at the Ice House Gallery, opening for the season on Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm and offering for only $1 a copy of "Tri Tales" with every art purchase. The collection of local stories by local writers includes two about our favorite "First Tourist and Bather." The Vintage Kitchen offers old china at 2 for 1 pricing and half off linens.
The Star Theatre could not find a popular George Washington movie to go along with its $1 unbuttered box of popcorn so it settled for the next best thing -- "Sherlock Holmes," with Robert Downey. Showtimes are 8pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Washington always raved about how good the food was at the springs and you will too. The Country Inn goes all out with their $17.48 dinner special on Friday and Saturday evenings commemorating the year (1748) when Washington first dipped his toes in the warm mineral waters. Tari's Cafe has authentic Washington-era entrees all weekend. And, speaking of Washington's favorite meal (breakfast) and his favorite dish (pancakes) several places rate as constant Washington worshippers. But, this weekend only, the REAL places to be where the authentic recipe for "hoecakes" (corn pancakes) is being served are the Country Inn, Maria's Garden and the Manor B&B. Modern versions of pancakes are popular at Earth Dog Cafe where breakfast is served all day, as well as at Temptations Cafe where a short stack of pancakes is available for only $1 plus this weekend only "cherry pancakes".
The Country Inn continues its efforts as George Washington's Bathtub HQ by bringing a bath into the picture. Get a spa treament at the Inn's Five Senses Spa on Thursday and Friday and you can add a whirlpool bath for only $1! Since bathing must be on your list as an activity on Bathtub weekend, let's suggest several options.
The Country Inn's whirlpool tubs are elegant and include a stunning view overlooking the town. The historic Roman Baths in Berkeley Springs State Park below the museum should not be missed. Private bathing chambers have been on that spot since 1784 and may have been used by GW himself. The current Bathhouse building has stood and been used for baths since 1815. These "tubs" that are in fact private mini-pools are filled with 750 gallons of the spring water heated to 102 degrees and are the ONLY place you can experience the remarkable buoyancy of the water. Atasia Spa also has excellent whirlpool tubs as part of their treatment package. Check the spa page for a list of treatments now available here in the country's first spa town -- it would have made George's head spin.
There are other fun things happening this weekend besides obsessing about Washington's bathing habits. Saturday from 3-5pm La Luna Gallery and Wine Bar offers their monthly wine tasting focusing on Spain. Fairfax Coffee House features the high energy blues/folk rock of Jim Salman and Jim Fredo on Saturday at 8pm. On Saturday from 7pm to midnight, you can dance to the sounds of three great local bands including the Flashbacks at the American Legion. Petapalooza is a benefit for the Humane Society and includes food and raffles with lots of prizes. If you want to make the rounds of fundraisers BEFORE the dancing on Saturday, add a Ham and Dumpling Dinner from 4 to 7pm at the Great Cacapon Elementary School (that's over the mountain passing by George's favorite view at Panorama Overlook) or a Spaghetti Dinner to benefit Relay for Life from 4 to 7pm at Asbury Methodist Church Hall behind the Star Theatre.
Most essential to a visit this weekend is to stay. In the early days of George's many visits, he complained that there was no place to stay short of building your own. NO LONGER! There are scores of choices from elegant B&Bs in town to fully equipped vacation homes and rustic cabins in the mountains. The best deal this weekend is found at the Country Inn which is located on the spot where George stayed in 1784. You get a two-night stay in the Spa West Building for ONLY $48 a night! Highlawn Inn also has a great deal all month where they offer 25% off the price of EVERY room including those with in-room whirlpools as a way of celebrating their 25th anniversary. Highlawn is renowned for the breakfast served to its guests.
Berkeley Springs remains one of the best bargain getaways around, and around means closer than anywhere. This weekend, we are devoted to showing you a good time and sending you home with George Washington's face left in your pocket. Come bathe, shop, eat, sleep and have fun in George's favorite resort this weekend!