Sunday, July 2, 2017

48 Hours in Warm Springs, Virginia

Tucked away in the western slopes of the Allegheny Mountains lies Bath County, Virginia.  Known mostly for the home of the infamous Homestead Resort, this area, comprised of the hamlets of Hot Springs and Warm Springs is somehow lost in time.  If you love nature, the country, quiet sophistication, then this is your nirvana.  Much of the county is protected land, either in conservation easement or part of National Forest.  This place will likely never be developed (let's hope so anyway).

(The Homestead - Southern Living Photo)

The areas most famous resident was Sam Snead (his son still lives here) and he started his career working at The Cascades, one of the most famous golf courses in the world where Snead got his start, played and acted as the pro. Snead is buried in the area, there is a small area, fenced with his tomb, if you know where to look but his influence (and name) is everywhere.

 There are two golf courses (there were three at one time) and they are about as lovely as you'll see anywhere.

The Club House at the Cascades is now a pro shop and a restaurant. It's a lovely spot, worth the trip just to see this building. The views of the golf course are also noteworthy and this time of year it is filled with flowers.  Built in the late 1890's, the building was originally the summer home of a stockbroker.

If you don't play golf there is still a lot to do in the area.  But relaxing is the main attraction here.
In the small village of Hot Springs, there are a few shops and two very good restaurants and some art galleries. Hiking trails are also abundant. 

Snead's 1912 Steak House recently opened and is housed in a great location walking distance from The Homestead.  It was recently taken over by new owners and they have converted it into a "Palm-like" steakhouse.  I have not eaten at the newly converted restaurant but the owners own another small restaurant in the village that is incredible.

 Les Cochons d'Or is a tiny place (read, make a reservation) with an incredible wine list and great food and service. Hint - if you are staying at The Homestead, bypass the expensive mediocre food and terrible wine and dine in the village at these two restaurants.

Another "to do" in Bath County is to make a trip to the Jefferson Pools. This is a winter trip (go when it's really cold outside) and I've blogged about this before.  But definitely add this to your agenda.  See an earlier post here. Thomas Jefferson visited these pools often (and the historic venue could use a renovation but please make the visit). 

And if staying at The Homestead is out of your price range there is another alternative in near-by Warm Springs, the Inn at Gristmill Square.  They also have a nice restaurant (but make a reservation).  

 Bath County, Virginia is one of my favorite spots.  There is so much history here and it's nice to get off the treadmill and go to relaxing venue in the country. You'll forget about everything here!

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