Stephanie Hill: Resort at Glade Springs an excellent vacation destination

What a great read about our little slice of heaven right here in Southern West Virginia. From our beautiful state parks to the Resort at Glade Springs to The Dish Cafe, we are a unique and wonderful place to be!

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“There are cookie-cutter resorts, and then there are endless possibilities that define your experience at The Resort at Glade Springs. You won’t believe the options you have — from the dizzying array of recreational activities to lodging and dining choices. You envision your perfect vacation, and we’ll make it come to life.” — The Resort at Glade Springs website

“The vacation of a lifetime awaits you at our resort in WV. Reconnect with your family in a place that’s close to home, but a million miles removed from your hectic life.” — The Resort at Glade Springs website

It began as a classic misty mountain morning in Appalachia as John and I drove along the West Virginia Turnpike. Sunshine, muted, but still golden, slowly seeped through the milky mist as our vehicle moved us closer to our first destination, Grandview, part of the National Park, located in Glen Jean, W.Va. While Grandview was originally part of the WV State Park system, the National Park system took over its care and upkeep in 1990. John and I knew we would be joining members of the Brown Dog Yoga team for a morning hike as part of the activities planned for our instructor retreat; however, we truly had no idea what a dramatically scenic area we were about to experience.

Overlooking the New River, Grandview offers visitors, at Main Overlook, 1,400 feet above the river, some of the most incredible views of a seven-mile section of the New River.

Additionally, the sights from Turkey Spur Overlook were just as dizzyingly stunning during our crisp, early fall hike. In fact, Grandview offers five hiking trails, ranger-led walks/talks, a visitor center that is opened seasonally, summer outdoor dramas and picnic areas with playground and shelters. The trails over which John and I trekked with the group were long, rocky and a bit slippery from rain the day prior to the hike. Nonetheless, the magnificent views of the New River for which we were continually rewarded made every step worthwhile, not to mention the fun, friendship and fellowship felt along the way.

After more than two hours of hiking, our group made its way to the next stop, Dogwood Court, located in the resort at Glade Springs, home of our fearless BDY leaders, Rich and Katrina Mailloux. John parted at this point, and made his way to our room at the resort.

Meanwhile, the BDY team was treated to the Maillouxs’ warm hospitality and homemade lunch.

Furthermore, we were uplifted with two separate motivating presentations with team-building activities in between, one of which was participating in the Glade Spring’s Escape Room offering us a challenging adventure as well as abundant opportunities for good-natured ribbing and laughter.

By 6 p.m., I parted ways with the group to rejoin John at Glade Springs. Although John had forewarned me that our room, “an executive suite,” was a bit dated, I was delighted to find it to be spacious, comfortable and immaculately clean. While we were not located in the actual inn, we found our section of eight buildings, each named for a different tree, to be quiet, lined with plenty of walking paths, dog-friendly and within walkable distance to the main inn.

While I was bonding with the BDY team, John had showered, rested and enjoyed lunch at Bunkers Sports Bar, one of the restaurants on premise at Glade Springs. Overlooking the driving range, John happily watched college football while noshing on an over-sized barbecue sandwich with a side of house-made chips that he said were a crunchy delight. However, for dinner, rather than try another one of the other on-site restaurants, John suggested a highly recommended restaurant that he thought I would especially enjoy, The Dish.

The Dish, located in Daniels, W.Va. — mere minutes from Glade Springs — was created, according to their website, “by a group of partners who wanted to offer healthy food choices … of natural, whole ingredients.” In fact, their menu proudly boasts, “Real food tastes better and is better for you.” Using much locally grown/raised fruits, vegetables, eggs, and beef, the menu of The Dish asks patrons to allow time for the preparation of their meals as nearly everything on their menu is made from scratch. If that’s not enough, their menu’s food offerings are wide and varied, offering choices that are gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan as well as all plenty of meat-based entrees the carnivore-loving diner.

We entered the restaurant with high hopes, and we were not disappointed! We began our meal with made-from-scratch Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Dip topped with a bit of feta served with artichoke hearts, olives as well as toasted pita-points for John and carrot/celery sticks for me. This yummy-looking appetizer was beautifully plated, and it tasted divine!

For our main course, John ordered Chicken Parmesan Pasta with a side salad, and I chose the Black Bean Burger (bunless) with a side of grilled Brussels sprouts. Our taste buds were dancing the happy dance, for sure! John’s chicken was cooked to perfection with its panko breading, melted provolone and house-made marinara. He ate it all up — which is saying a lot as he is not a big chicken eater. Meanwhile, my gluten-free black bean burger, made with black beans, corn, red pepper and quinoa, was served on an emerald bed of greens, topped with chipotle aioli and sliced avocado — so very delicious.

I thought I was finished for the evening, when I recalled spying a gluten-free dessert on their menu — a rare, rare treat for me. I decided to fully indulge and order the gluten free Butterscotch Blondie, served with a sauce that reminded me of a scratch-made sauce my mom used to make when I was a teen for my birthday. I took it back to our suite, thinking I’d only eat half, but as the menu states, this dessert was “total deliciousness.” In fact, it was so unbelievably good, I ended up eating the entire generously cut piece!

The Resort at Glade Springs has unbelievable offerings. From three golf courses to fly-fishing adventures; from numerous hiking trails to disc golf, from a fitness center with indoor pool to an out-of-doors pool and playground; from volleyball, horseshoes, bowling, corn hole, tennis and horseback riding to shopping, dining, lounging, spa offerings, Escape Room, Haunted House and cinema (and I still haven’t listed all of offerings), Glade Springs is an affordable, West Virginia gem for which John and I will most certainly make a return visit, especially since it’s only two hours away from home!