Our Kids had the pleasure of taking a trip to Capon (pronounced Cay-pin) Springs and Farms, a family owned and operated mountain resort located in Capon Springs, West Virginia. With the day in and day out operations of regular life, we were eager to spend a couple of days getting back in touch with each other, unplugged from the rest of the world. It was time to get back to the wonders of nature. No i-anything, needed. Just each other.
The drive to Capon Springs and Farms had to be one of the simplest road trips we have ever experienced and that is saying something considering my husband and I have a tendency to get lost. It took us about an hour and 20 minutes to reach Capon Springs from the burbs in Virginia. We hopped on I-66, hit up I-81 and then spent about 3.5 miles on a dirt road all to be greeted by the quaint, airy grounds of Capon Springs resort. It’s almost as if we were holding our breath for 3.5 miles and then, Bam! Exhale. It’s time to relax.
With architecture dating back to the 19th century, Capon Springs and Farms prides itself on real country hospitality. Checking in at the main office was simple, friendly and straightforward. Jonathan, one of about a 1/2 dozen owner/operators and a third generation owner, is quite simply one of the nicest men in the hospitality business. He truly cares about each and every one of his guests. Once he provided us with a map and some useful bits of information, we were on our way. It’s no wonder that families come back to Capon year after year, generation after generation. During our stay, we met families that have been coming back to Capon for 30+ years.
Part of what makes Capon Springs and Farms so charming are the variety of lodging choices that are spread throughout the campus. There are several cottages that can accommodate large and small parties. Many visitors come for family reunions or business retreats, so this setting makes it a great way for everyone to be close without feeling crammed.
During our visit, we stayed in the Virginia cottage. Located just across from the main house, we had two adjoining rooms – half the cottage. Each of our rooms had one bathroom, and together could sleep 7. The cottage had a common living room that could be shared by all guests. My favorite part was the porch that overlooked the babbling stream, which was such a treat. We loved this location because we could let our girls run free on the main grounds while keeping an eye on them.
Room Rates range anywhere from $85 to $163 per adult, per night, depending on when you go. Your rate includes three all-you-can-eat meals per day, snacks, sports, activities, laundry facilities, and more.
So what is there to do at this mountain retreat? All good things.
Capon Springs was built around a natural spring, which emits 100 gallons of water per minute every day. That water is fed to all guest rooms, fountains, kitchens, the Hygeia Bath House and Spa, and the swimming pool. What a refreshing experience to be able to drink spring water straight from the faucet. On Saturday, we attended the spring house tour that summarized the rich history of Capon Springs and Farms. The spring water is considered to have a healing capability, and was once prescribed by doctors for various ailments. Capon encourages all its guests to enjoy their spring water, and to bring empty bottles so that you can take a bunch home with you. They also sell 1 gallon containers of spring water for $1.
Because the pool at Capon Springs is 100% spring-fed, no chemicals are needed because the water is continuously flowing. The water temperature hovers around 65 degrees and has not changed in over 100 years. Pretty amazing. There is one main swimming pool and two kiddie pools adjacent to it.
Besides swimming, guests can enjoy the 9-hole golf course and par-3 course. Clubs and balls are available at no charge, and motorized carts are available for rent. The green fees are very reasonable and the course itself is set upon the beautiful mountains.
The resort also offers equipment for ping pong, horseshoes, shuffleboard, badminton, basketball, tennis, and volleyball. Guests are welcome to borrow fishing equipment to use at the nearby pond. Children 6 and under have the choice of playing on the playground that includes several swings (2 bucket and 2 regular), a climber with slides, and a sandbox. If it rains, there are indoor games, puzzles, cards, and a library. For the younger set (5 and under), there is a play house filled with kid-friendly toys, play kitchen items, blocks, art supplies, and a bathroom with a changing table. This was a nice change of pace for our girls who were outside exploring 80% of our visit.
Capon Springs is a fantastic place to take a hike. There are 6 easily accessible hiking trails from campus. We decided to check out the White Cliff Trail and are we ever glad we did! The view from the top was gorgeous. You could see the mountain range and golf course even on a semi-cloudy day. On our way up we were lucky enough to see a deer, too. Our children, ages 6, 4 and 19 months were able to hang for the hike (we used a hiking backpack carrier for our 19 month old). The hike took us about 30 minutes up and 25 minutes back.
In addition to all of the self-guided activities that Capon offers, there are optional daily events scheduled. During their prime season (June 14th to September 7th) guests can take part in bingo, naturalist led hikes, talent shows, dancing, campfire sing-a-longs, movies, frisbee golf, instructional programs, a code cracking treasure hunt and more. Capon Springs does offer babysitting services, but we did not experience that option. Most of our time was spent reconnecting – exploring, hanging in the hammocks, and watching our children delight in the beauty of nature.
About an hour before meals began, music played over loud speakers throughout the grounds, followed by a bell that invited all guests to the dining hall. We had the same table for each meal which made it easy to walk right in and sit down. Our table was always waiting, with spring water, and a high chair and bib for our little one. The waitstaff was professional, and happy to assist in any way they could.
The kitchen serves a set menu but there are side options should your children need something different. Much of their food is locally sourced or grown from their own garden. We were amazed at the amount of food served at each meal. For breakfast, we had French toast, pancakes, eggs, bacon, toast, fruit, yogurt, juices, coffee and oatmeal. For lunch, it was salad, hamburgers, homemade macaroni and cheese, and asparagus. Dinners were fried chicken, mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, green beans, salad, and fresh baked rolls. Dessert was offered after every lunch and dinner. We were stuffed!
We have a walnut and pecan allergy in our family and the food service manager came directly to our table to discuss options, setting our minds at ease.
Capon Springs is a dry campus but you are welcome to enjoy an alcoholic beverage in the privacy of your own cottage. We brought some wine and thoroughly enjoyed it while sitting on our porch after the kids were in bed. It was a bonus to have a built in date night.
What We Wish We Knew Before We Went
While Capon Springs and Farms was spot on in providing us all of the basic needs, there are a few things that we would to suggest to newcomers.
- Bug spray is a must. Whether you are hiking or just hanging out playing shuffleboard, you will want to have it available.
- Walkie Talkies would be a fun and practical way to keep in touch with your kids if you should feel inclined to let them run free around the grounds.
- Curfew is at 11 p.m., but if you or your little ones are out during the dark hours, give them some glow bracelets. While attending the campfire sing-a-long on Saturday night, we wished we brought some for our girls to wear to make them more recognizable while walking around in the dark. Flashlights would also be a good addition for night time activities.
- Bring snacks. We brought graham crackers, fresh fruit, and trail mix just in case we needed to nibble between meals.
When my husband and I told our girls that it was time to head home, we were met with teary eyes. Our six year old quickly grabbed her camera and started taking pictures of just about everything she could, afterwards asking, “Do you know why I am taking all of these pictures? Because I want to remember this trip forever.”
Capon Springs and Farms is a place that allows you to strip yourself of obligations, screen time, traffic jams, and your never ending to-do list. A whole new world awaits you and your family at Capon Springs and Farms; one that will envelop you in charming hospitality, leaving a lasting piece of serenity on your soul.
Photos courtesy of Marcy Fisher.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary 1-night stay for review purposes and paid for a second evening on our own to extend our trip. All opinions expressed here are my own.