Week of July 28-August 3, 2014
Berkeley Springs, art town shines this weekend with music every night, live theater and a gallery show opening plus plenty of local and regional art for sale in galleries, shops and outdoors.
The Ice House Theater Project stages "Much Ado About Nothing" by William Shakespeare directed by Tom and Beth Brooks. There are five shows beginning with a Wednesday 7pm performance that is pay-what-you-can. Other showtimes are Thursday, 8pm; Friday, 8:30pm, Saturday 8pm and Sunday at 3:30pm. This is the second of three weekends and reviews have raved about the high quality of the acting.
Come early to the Ice House on Friday night and attend a special exhibit opening at the Ice House Gallery starting at 6:30pm. Crawford Horne curates an "Earth, Wind and Fire" show featuring the art of wood-fired ceramics with exquisite work from nearly a dozen noted artists. Regular Gallery hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- 11am to 5pm.
The indelible music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is on the big screen at the Star Theatre, Thursday through Sunday nights at 8pm in the fabulous juke book musical, "Jersey Boys." The movie is rated R but the popcorn is family friendly.
The big live music event is Saturday's Concert in the Park at 5:30pm featuring the adventurous folk sound of singer/songwriter Heather Maloney who uses juicy touches of pop, a little dash of rock 'n' roll and some Ella Fitzgerald-style jazz. Should it rain, head down to the Ice House for the concert. There's also music on Friday from 6:30-10pm at BlackCat Music's Open Mic Night.
There's literary art happening on Saturday with readings by WV author, Ed Rable from his new novel -- "Black Gold, Black Death: in Coal Country America's President is Marked for Assassination" -- at The New Earth Granary at 1pm and Berkeley Springs Books from 2pm to 4pm.
Berkeley Springs State Park is a favorite for kids with the open spring pools for wading, the outdoor swimming pool, and this Saturday, the 2nd annual Amazing Race -- the ultimate scavenger hunt/trivia challenge/obstacle course starting at 9am. For more outdoor fun, check in at Cacapon State Park for everything from hiking and horseback riding to 18-holes of championship golf, boating, fishing and swimming in a lake with sand beach. Adventure sports on our two rivers: Cacapon and Potomac, is the business of Cacapon River Outfitters. Cold Run Mini- Golf and archery at Quail Hollow are two more action attractions. For hiking fun that includes a unique dose of history, head over the mountains to Paw Paw and the mile-long tunnel that is the largest manmade structure on the C&O Canal. You can hike through the tunnel both ways or take a hike over the tunnel for the way back.
History is everywhere in Berkeley Springs including the Museum of the Berkeley Springs open daily -- and the town itself with the buildings and their stories outlined in a self-guided Walking Tour of the town.
There are other attractions everywhere when you visit and one of the best is food. Farm-fresh food is a big deal in local restaurants especially Panorama at the Peak, recently listed as one of 11 restaurants in the Appalachian Regional Commission's Bon Appetit map of farm to table eateries. Check it out for yourself this weekend when Panorama features watermelon gazpacho and homemade local blackberry ice cream. Lot 12 grows many of their own dining ingredients and Tari's Cafe is also overflowing with great specials and fresh food.
If you want the farm-fresh produce to take back home, make the Berkeley Springs Farmers Market a must-stop on Thursday afternoon and Sunday from 10am to 2pm. The big hit of the markets has been incredibly tasty sweet corn, tomatoes and peaches! Also outside on Sunday from 10am to 4pm is Art in the Park.
Rounding out everyday fabulous attractions are more than two dozen distinctive shops lining the historic downtown streets as well as the spas that make Berkeley Springs stand out in any crowd. There are more than 50 spa treatment options available at several locations including Atasia Spa which finishes its July spotlight on Sea C spa facial but keeps cool cucumber pedis as the summer long treat.
All the wonderful reasons to visit Berkeley Springs this summer are tied together by the dazzling array of choices in where you can stay. There are elegant B&Bs with breakfasts to die for; an historic country inn adjacent to Berkeley Springs State Park and a collection of fully equipped vacation homes, cabins and cottages for every size party. The Berkeley Springs Best Western has its own heated swimming pool and Cacapon State Park's lodge and cabins have a 6000 acre backyard. Two things are "best of all" -- the hospitable people dedicated to making your precious vacation time the best ever and the inescapable fact that Berkeley Springs is midway from everywhere and closer than anywhere.