10 reasons why a winter getaway is better than a trip to the beach

Skip the long drive to the beach and head to a state park for the perfect mountain getaway.

Vacation season may be a few months away, but sometimes you just need to get away and relax. But finding a destination can be stressful when you need to find one in a pinch. Don’t worry about finding the perfect beach condo when you can find your Almost Heaven right here at a West Virginia state park. There’s nothing like a retreat to the mountains, enjoying nature’s beauty and cozying up in a quiet cabin. Here’s 10 reasons why a winter getaway to a state park beats any trip to the beach!

10. No messy sand

Beach sand gets everywhere, doesn’t it? You track sand into your hotel room and even bring some back in your car. But a little snow melt cleans up easily and you don’t have to break out the vacuum cleaner.

9. It’s (probably) a shorter drive

If you live in West Virginia, chances are there’s a state park within an hour’s drive of your house. If you don’t — well, you’re in luck! The Mountain State is within 500 miles of roughly half the population of the United States. You can get here faster than if you drove to the beach, which means you have more time to spend enjoying your getaway!

8. Winter is for snow sports

It’s winter! The beach can wait until summer. Enjoy some of the best snow sports in the Mountain State right at a state park. Experience the longest sled run on the East Coast at Blackwater Falls State Park. Zip down the ski slopes at Canaan Valley Resort. Or enjoy a quiet cross-country ski excursion on snow-covered trails at Pipestem Resort. If you don’t have your own equipment, some of our parks offer rentals.

7. Great deals on lodging

Our lodging rates are always affordable, for any traveler on any budget. And during the winter months, you can snag a sweet deal on a cabin rental or lodge room. With the money you save, you’ll have plenty left over to use on your next Almost Heaven getaway!

6. Everything is more affordable

Forget about paying for parking and beach entrance fees. Visiting a West Virginia State Park is free! And don’t forget about all of the free things you can do, like hiking and nature programs to swimming in the lodge pool or playing games in the lobby.

5. Dine at “home”

There’s no need to hop in the car and fight tourist traffic to go out to dinner. Our lodge parks have full-service restaurants that serve three delicious meals as well as special occasion buffets. And unlike those beach restaurants, they’re reasonably priced.

4. Family time around the fire

After a long day playing outside in the snow, it feels good to warm up with a hot drink around a cozy fire. Gather the family around the lodge fireplace or build a fire in your cabin and enjoy a round or two of board games.

3. It’s less crowded

If you’re truly seeking a “get away from it all” experience, you won’t find more peace, quiet and solitude than in the woods. Our parks and forests have hundreds of miles of hiking trails for you to explore, so you have plenty of opportunities to get lost in nature!

2. Unique activities nearby

Our parks offer access to unique activities you don’t typically find at the beach. Stay at Cacapon Resort and treat yourself to a spa day at Berkeley Springs State Park just down the road. Visit Chief Logan and tackle an adrenaline-charged ATV ride on the Hatfield McCoy Trails system. Or head to North Bend and enjoy a leisurely bicycle ride on the 72-mile historic North Bend Rail Trail that passes by the park.

1. Stunning mountain scenery

We saved the best reason for last. Sure, the ocean is pretty, but have you seen the sunset over the mountains? Or paused to observe the beauty of a snow-blanketed forest or frozen waterfall? Or checked out the awe-inspiring overlooks at Hawks Nest, Pipestem Resort, Blackwater Falls and Cacapon Resort? Regardless of where you go, you’ll find an abundance of natural beauty at a West Virginia state park or forest. There’s a reason our state earned the nickname “Almost Heaven!”

What are you waiting for? Beat the winter blues and start planning your West Virginia state park getaway today!

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