If you live in the Northeast, South, or Midwest, you’ve probably heard of Canaan Valley Resort. One of the fun ski spots in Davis, West Virginia, the four-season resort is a travel hot spot in winter, but, man, you should see it in summer! Mr. Locke and I hit the road for Memorial Day weekend and spent it with flabbergasted looks on faces compliments of its warmer-weather offerings. Here’s the scoop.
Canaan Valley Resort – An Overview
Since we got into skiing a few years ago, Canaan Valley Resort has been on our radar. Only three hours from Pittsburgh, the location in Davis, WV, is an easy drive for us. Its latest renovation offers 160 guest rooms and there’s many styles to choose from including one bedroom and spacious king rooms (that’s what we had). If you like it a little more rustic, there’s also 23 cabins/cottage rentals and 34 campsites.
The lodge is really beautiful. Decorated with rustic beauty in mind, the giant lobby area is really stunning. There’s a giant fireplace with plenty of seating, flat screen teles to watch the news or check the weather, but our fave spot was the outdoor balcony. There’s a few seats on it, but we enjoyed standing at the railing to look at the property. It’s here you can see the large, outdoor swimming pool, golf course, and rolling hills in the distance. It would also be the spot for pretty sunrise photos if you like getting up early.
If it happens to rain (we encountered rain everyday. Not a problem.), there’s an indoor pool and small game room to keep the kids occupied.
CVR is situated in Canaan Valley State Park, which is a beauty in itself. With its 6,300 acres of land, it sits right on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest so there’s a bit of everything in regards to land features. And when I write everything, I meant it: there’s wetlands, hardwood forest areas, and even large meadows where the animals like to hang out. No kidding, there wasn’t a day that went but (or a trip in the car, for that matter) that we didn’t spy a deer or two. We even had the pleasure of checking out baby groundhogs chasing each other around a rock formation. So cute!
I know I only touched on it a little on the resort accommodations, so I’ll set into some detail about our king room. Facing the main lodge entrance, our room was in the left wing on level two (the main lodge level). The guest room wings are angled so we were able to look out our patio doors and into the main lodge area and it was certainly pretty to see at night.
Let’s talk room amenities. We had a mini fridge that was definitely on the larger size, a microwave, and coffee maker in one of the room areas. You know what that meant? We headed into the small town of Davis, WV, and hit the local grocery store to stock up on supplies. Our mini fridge had a small freezer area so I was able to grab frozen items as well. If you like staying on a food budget when you travel, it’s much easier with a mini fridge and microwave at your service.
The room itself was just lovely. Decorated in muted earth tones to blend with the rest of the lodge, we had a set of patio doors that opened (no patio, though.), a sitting chair, and a pullout sofa bed. A large, flat screen tele, desk, and chair, and closet completed the room.
The bathroom was sizeable as well. We had a decently-sized sink area which was inside the bathroom. The shower/tub combo was nice, too. I took baths every night and relaxed in the tub after a full day of activities (will get to those in a sec). Our tub had a fold down seat for folks that need (or want) to sit for a shower.
Canaan Valley Resort has a three dining spaces for guests and visitors. The main lodge dining spot, Hickory Dining Room, is where we headed for breakfast every morning. The restaurant has beautiful views of the back lodge area that overlooks the golf course. While we could have ordered off the breakfast menu, we opted for the massive buffet. It was filled with exactly what a southern-style breakfast buffet should have – including grits. We enjoyed fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, two styles of eggs, pancakes, and waffles. The standout for me was something I’d never tried before and it was delish. It was a white gravy with pieces of chipped beef in it. Add that to a delicious biscuit? I could have eaten an entire vat of it.
Hickory Dining Room offers three meal services a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and its prices are very affordable. The seating is plentiful and the decor the same, pretty rustic look and feel.
Seasons Cafe is for folks that want something a little lighter – and pizza! You can also grab ice cream or a handmade milkshake, too. Located right off the main lobby entrance, the cafe is a great spot for families or if you happen to be hungry during Hickory Dining Room’s down time.
Laurel Lounge is a dinner only spot for guests. Opening at 5pm each day, there’s a bar that Mr. Locke enjoyed and appetizers on the menu. You can also grab a pizza here as well.
A Murderous Dinner
I love murder mystery dinners. Like, really love them. It’s my time to channel my inner sleuth. While I rarely realize the guilty parties until they’re announced, I dig the acting, hunting for clues, and talking to the actors. Mr. Locke and I had the absolute pleasure of enjoying “The Murderer Who Came to Dinner” on our first night visiting.
The Murder & Merriment Interactive Murder Mystery Company put on a great show and kept me guessing. Each ticket to the event came with a full buffet dinner filled really good food and two hours of trying the catch the murderers. So fun!
There’s tons of activities at Canaan Valley Resort and State Park to keep you hopping! We enjoyed the summer Scenic Chairlift Ride so much that we ended up riding it both days of our visit! The views are gorgeous even if you hit a rainy patch – a foggy ride to the top of the Black Diamond Ski Area is gorgeous.
At the park’s Activities Center there’s plenty to keep the kiddos entertained including a rock climbing wall, Eurobungy, a small mini golf course, and bike rentals. Head out to the back of the lodge and there’s a tennis court and outdoor pool, horseshoe pits, and bean bag toss games.
During the summer, the lodge offers afternoon wagon rides. Lasting about an hour, each goes around the property and highlights pretty areas of the park. We didn’t have the pleasure of riding as it rained for most of our visit, but I’d definitely have been up for it.
And then there’s golf. Ranked #12 in the state of WV, it offers 18 holes, filled with 65 sand bunkers and eight water hazards. Designed by Geoffrey Cornish, the par 72 golf course is open from April through the beginning of November.
Of course, if you visit for the sole purpose of relaxing, there’s plenty of that, too.
Oh man, there’s plenty of places to venture out to! First of all, let’s chat about THE most photographed spot in West Virginia, Blackwater Falls. Located in Blackwater Falls State Park, I didn’t realize just how beautiful it was until I was standing near it. It’s a truly awesome experience. The rush and sound of the water is like nature on steroids and I could have stood there for hours. But, there was more spots to explore. The State Park is roughly 12 miles away from the resort and the drive is easy.
We explored two small towns near the resort during our visit, Davis and Thomas. Both were in hosting the annual ArtSpring Festival that highlights local artists. It was a blast to stroll the main street of each and chat with the artists.
If you’re looking for dining spots while you’re out venturing, I’ve got three good ones to recommend. The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV, is exactly what I love in a laid back restaurant: really good live music (think traditional Bluegrass) and a creative menu. There’s also plenty of craft beers on tap and in bottles to sample.
If you like coffee shops, it’s Tip Top Coffee Bar in Thomas as well. It’s filled with colorful art, amazing pastries and lighter food items, and really, really good coffee. What I loved most? The gang that works there. They seriously couldn’t have been any sweeter and made our visit a fun one.
In Davis, if you like ice cream, there’s no way not to stop at its famous Ice Cream Shop. It has the best soft serve (if you can’t choose between chocolate and vanilla, get the swirl. You won’t be disappointed.), sundaes, and creative offerings for the kiddos.
In a Nutshell
If you’re the outdoorsy type you’ll LOVE Canaan Valley Resort. Even if you’re not truly outdoorsy but like to be for a few hours a day, it will be up your proverbial alley. The resort is plentiful with daily activities, offers gorgeous accommodations, and its staff are so kind and gracious. I highly recommend CVR to guests of all travel styles, families with kids of all ages, and everyone that doesn’t fall into those areas. Two massive thumbs up for me.
Disclosure: Mr. Locke and I were graciously hosted by the gang at Canaan Valley Resort to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes the resort so amazing for its visitors and guests. I was not asked to state a particular point of view. All opinions are my own!