Memorial Day marks start of summer and Berkeley Springs is ready for visitors

West Virginia

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. (WDVM) — The Memorial Day weekend traditionally marks the beginning of the summer travel season.

The eastern panhandle town of Berkeley Springs has grown over the years as a summer tourist destination because of its rich history. It was a favorite retreat for George Washington as he enjoyed the natural mineral waters there. But the town hopes the pandemic will not be too much of a setback for tourism this coming summer at Cacapon State Park..

“The state park is a perfect place to come for a day trip a weekend or a week,” says Stephanie Rebant, who welcomes guests through her business, Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals. “Along with many cabins and other lodging that we have which offer a natural, safe setting with our social distancing.”

Cacapon has built a new mountain biking trail and remodeled all its cabins. At the state park in the heart of town, the Roman bathhouse, where General Washington and Lord Fairfax would relax, has undergone a $1.5 million renovation with a new boiler and H-VAC system. And the pool in the park is open to the public this coming weekend.

Scott Fortney, superintendent of Berkeley Springs & Cacapon State Parks says “Berkeley Springs attracts people from all over, not only locally but also internationally. We’re only an hour-and-a-half from Washington, D.C. So in our two hour window we have one of the larger populations in the United States to attract.”

As of May 25, the state of West Virginia is in Week 5 of its re-opening plan. Part of the plan introduced by Governor Jim Justice says State Park cabins and lodges can reopen to in-state residents only with new safety protocols in place. The full guidance from the state can be read here.

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