Visitors have been making the journey to Bath County for more than 250 years to soak in the natural mineral springs and stay at one of America’s first resorts. Now, people are rediscovering modern Bath County for a variety of wonderful reasons, including the remarkable culinary scene, motorcycle rides and scenic drives, unique accommodations and more. Our centuries old tradition of hospitality continues as we welcome new visitors.
Here’s a helpful list of tips that every first-timer should know about beautiful Bath County:
Don’t be startled when you see passing cars and pedestrians wave at you. They’re not angry and they’re not trying to flag you down. It’s simply a friendly gesture that happens every single day in Bath County.
Warm Springs and Hot Springs are actually not towns. They are villages — even though Hot Springs recently won the distinction as a Top Adventure Town from the readers of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. It’s a fairly minor technicality, but we think you’ll agree that term village is perfect for both of these charming places. They’re pedestrian-friendly and have shops, restaurants and historic sites.
Sam Snead Highway
One of the main routes passing through the county is named Sam Snead Highway. Visitors under a certain age may not recognize the name. Snead was professional golfer who was one of the top players in the world for nearly four decades. He was born in Bath County in 1912. As a kid he worked as a caddy at The Homestead. Sadly, he passed away in 2002 just a few days before his 90th birthday.
At the junction of Route 39 and Sam Snead Highway is a quaint gazebo with parking space for a few vehicles. The gazebo is stocked with helpful information for visitors, including maps, brochures and visitor guides, which can help first-timers find accommodations, restaurants, attractions and places to shop.
Perhaps the peaceful and unspoiled surroundings inspire creativity because the arts community is thriving in Bath County. Garth Newel Music Center is a world-class chamber music venue located on a beautiful campus in Warm Springs. Artisans are at work in their shops and studios creating jewelry, furniture and more. Local art can be found at numerous shops around the county and a wonderful gallery in Warm Springs. The annual Bath County Art Show and Bath County Plein Air Festival are both favorite events.
Bath County has 24 places listed on the National Register of Historic Places and 17 Virginia Roadside Historic Markers. There is a self-guided tour of historic sites in Warm Springs and West Warm Springs that can be found in the Visitor Guide, as well as on DiscoverBath.com
Most first-time visitors will fall in love with Bath County and return time and again. After spending some time exploring the back roads, trails, villages and dining in several restaurants, everyone develops their own list of favorite places. Feel free to share yours on Facebook and Instagram using #MadeInBathVA or tag the official Bath County Tourism accounts.