Thursday, May 29, 2008

Memorial Day - Part II - The Homestead

After spending the morning of Memorial Day honoring those who have fought for our country, the second part of our Memorial Day celebrated the outdoors. We officially kicked off our summer with a great gorgeous mini-road-trip to The Homestead resort in the Allegheny Mountains.

The Homestead is an absolutely amazing mountain resort founded in 1766. The building is a National Historic Landmark built around legendary healing springs. Today, The Homestead continues to offer unequalled hospitality, elegant accommodations and distinctive Southern charm. For those who have been, it is a Southern mountain version of the Hotel Del Coronado. It is located in Hot Springs, Virginia, less than an hour from our home in Lexington.

Although the mountain location is very rural, there are tons of fun things to do at The Homestead. The hotel boasts a world renowned spa, a bowling alley, a movie theater, shopping boutiques, and many lounges and restaurants. The 3,000 acres of outdoor activities include horseback and carriage rides, a shooting club, fly-fishing, miles of scenic hiking trails, indoor and outdoor pools, falconry, ski slopes, and more.

Perhaps most importantly, The Homestead has 3 championship golf courses, with the Cascades Course consistently ranked as the top mountain course in the U.S. The legendary Sam Snead was born nearby, began caddying at The Homestead at age 7, worked as an assistant pro at 19, and became a professional there in 1934.

As you might guess from the video, to actually stay the night or take part in many of the paid activities is a small fortune. We enjoyed the Homestead the "free" way (some activities are free). We took a number of hours to stroll all of the halls and grounds stopping to see every ornate ballroom, beautiful restaurant, the spa and the other diversions. We enjoyed part of the free movie (Chicken Little) in the theatre, ate our picnic on the lawn, played croquet on the back lawn, visited both the indoor and outdoor pools, saw the fish in the fishing pond, and soaked our feet in one of the many healing springs in the gardens.

On our way home, we happened to find the BEST Mexican resturant located in the mountains of VA. Chuck is already plotting a reason to travel the 35 miles back to Covington to enjoy San Juan's.


  1. Looks like a fun weekend! Congratulations on finding great Mexican food in VA. It was so hard for us to find anything decent when we lived in PA. I once got so desperate for fajitas that I ordered them at Denny's. Which, by the way, I DO NOT recommend.

  2. Wow, that place looks amazing! Just another thing to put on the list of things I didn't see when I lived on the east coast and would still like to see someday! Thanks for the reminder/history about Memorial Day, one of the best things we ever did in DC was to go to Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day weekend and see all the flags. It makes the huge number of graves even more significant.