Capon Springs and Farms
Still further south, just before you hit the Virginia state line, lies the 4,700-acre Capon Springs and Farms. This unpretentious resort supplants simple pleasures for expensive amenities, offers all-inclusive privileges operated on the honor-system and still places value on communal daily flag raising and lowering ceremonies.
Begun 85 years ago, Lou and Virginia Austin bought an abandoned resort for the healing waters of Capon Springs. Since then, four generations of family have continued to maintain and improve the resort, all the while maintaining almost a secretive, word-of-mouth diversion for friends and friends of friends.
Operated more as a camp, than as a resort, meals are served at fixed times with a set weekly menu. While special dietary needs can be accommodated, typically everyone shares the same entrée selections at each meal. Served family style, you’ll never go hungry.
All meals are served in the dining room of the main house, save for three special meals each week served up the hill in the Sunset Lodge overlooking the golf course. The night we were there, we were entertained by the fantastic Dunlap brothers, playing bluegrass and modern tunes on their guitars, fiddles and mandolins.
Capon Springs offers a regulation 9-hole golf course and a par-3 course. Electric carts are available as well as lessons from the local pro. They also feature Hickory Golf (with the traditional wood shafts) as well as todays latest sensation, Fling Golf.
Down the hill, as you enter the property, you’ll pass yet another family favorite — Disk Golf, played with Frisbees. Scattered across the resort, you can also find horseshoes, croquet, tennis, volleyball, basketball, badminton, shuffleboard, cornhole, pickleball and two houses dedicated solely to ping pong.
Another large building has rooms especially for playing cards, games, and puzzles. There’s a library on the third floor of the main house. On the first floor, a roaring fire helps warm the body on cool mornings or evenings.
There is a good-sized pond with old-fashioned sticks and bait for fishing. A large swimming pool is outside, but unheated. Hiking abounds with many trails for varying lengths and abilities.
A fun diversion can be a hike to Hog Heaven, where you can feed the hogs and check out the newborn piglets. Two other working farms, RiverMeadow Farm and Hilltop Farm also offer potential close-up livestock experiences and help provide farm-to-table nutrition for the dining rooms.
The one upscale amenity that is on a par with other resorts is the Hygeia Bath House and Spa. Here, you can schedule a bath soak in the special healing waters of Capon Springs or treat yourself to a host of other body treatments.
You came to relax, so put down those Internet devices — they probably won’t work here anyway. Cell phone service is limited to primarily AT&T and Sprint networks. If you have Verizon like us, hike the hill to the picnic pavilion and ‘maybe’ you’ll be able to make a call. Wired and wireless Internet is available only in the Meeting House, but from my experience, it is totally too slow to do anything other than send text messages. Guest rooms do not have televisions; however, a public phone and a television are available in the Main House if you are having communication withdrawal symptoms.
Rates vary according to the seasons, but this is a one-price fits all resort. Prices are per person, not per room and whether you reserve a single house or a small, single bed room, you’ll pay the same price. Hint-hint for my readers only…if the Honeymoon Cottage is available, that would be my pick for our next visit. It has both a nice sized bedroom and a separate living room. If you need handicap accessible accommodations, inquire, as many handicap rooms are now available.
Standard rooms are small by comparison to today’s hotels. Our room for two had a double and a single bed, two dressers, a wooden side chair and a tall night stand. There was no table or desk. A ceiling fan offered ventilation and there were both front and back porches for sitting, which you shared with your half-dozen neighbor rooms. A babbling brook out back was great to lull you to sleep if you left the back door open.
If you have a group, you might also want to consider Capon Springs and Farms, as many conferences, board retreats and association meetings are held here. Less than two hours from Washington, DC, this can prove to be the perfect corporate getaway for some serious decompression time. Kick back, refuel and enjoy the simple pleasures of this mountainside resort.
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Disclosure: We were hosted on this trip by the Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau; but, as always, all opinions expressed are strictly our own.
Originally published at Doug Bardwell.