Go jump in a lake!

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Ohhhhhhh believe me, I want to! I’m sitting on a darn good discounted stay at our favorite getaway, and it’s burning a hole in my pocket and has got me daydreaming….

I am lake person; not a beach person. In fact, I will fully admit that the idea of a beach vacation is not my idea of relaxation. The (my) problem is that I cannot sit still, I don’t like to be hot, and I burn to a crisp. And don’t get me started on sand. It’s insidious. I will say that I’ve had some great times at the beach:  Surrounded by my best gals or my family and some cold adult beverages = winning. It’s just that much like the ocean calls Moana, the lake is where I’m most relaxed (a state that doesn’t come easily to me). #tightlywound

My hope is that this piece will inspire anyone reading it to #gotoWV (state tourism hashtag for the win!) and visit one of our favorite places here in our beautiful state: Stonewall Jackson Lake & Resort. We have spent countless days there enjoying all that lake, resort and area have to offer, both on and off the water. We have even spent holidays there (Mother’s Day, 4th of July, and Easter) and gosh they do them well! Added bonus: the Easter Bunny knows where SJR is! *Wink wink.*

It’s kind of in the middle of nowhere, which I think is part of the charm. A beautiful Adirondack-style resort in Lewis County, it takes us about 2.5 hours to get there from Huntington; the perfect distance for a weekend trip. So, what do they have? A little bit of everything: fishing, hiking, swimming, water recreation, activities and recreation specifically for kids and holidays, great views, a campground, a boardwalk, a marina, segways, wildlife, biking, golfing, a spa, great food, cold beer, nice wine…. Have you started packing yet? I have.

Even though right now we are probably heading out of peak season, the fall foliage is stunning, and nothing would be more breathtaking than a jaunt around the lake on their double-decker excursion boat, the Little Sorrel. We ride it every time we go, and the kids always manage to somehow get behind the helm. Brave captains! Sometimes, on special occasions, they will serve food and drinks (i.e. Mother’s Day).

For water recreation, of course you can take your own boat to the marina, or you can rent one of their water craft such as a kayak or paddle boat, or even a SUP, aquacycle, or CraigCat. The kayaks, SUPs, and paddle boats are part of the Outfitters Pass you can purchase, and you basically walk out the back of the resort and jump on one and go. Life jackets provided! The motorized watercraft are available over at the marina.  The have an indoor/outdoor pool and it has always been impeccably clean during our visits. In fact, the whole resort and grounds are quite well-kept.

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There are three restaurants on property, two of which are in the lodge itself (Stillwater’s and T.J. Muskies). The other dining option, Lightburn’s, is fancier and up at the top of the hill overlooking the property and golf course, and it is seasonal in operation last I checked. Of all three, it is probably the priciest.  Stillwater’s has the BEST buffet and brunches you’ll ever eat; we were particularly impressed with their Easter spread. T.J. Muskies is more of a lounge experience with good pizza and burgers and a good selection of snacks and drinks for “pool breaks.” They also often have entertainment in T.J. Muskies in the form of local musicians or comedy acts. If you find you have indulged a little too much, take a hike on one of their trails! Stonewall boasts 16+ miles of trail ranging in distance and difficulty. I recommend the Chipmunk Point route for beginners or families with little kids.

Some additional info:

  • You have options for accommodations: the lodge, cabins, or camping. Pro tip: The lodge often runs really great deals, and even further discounts for WV residents!
  • Definitely get a s’mores pack for beside the fire pit! It’s a cute touch and fun for all, but make sure it doesn’t get dropped. (Looking at you, Caroline.)
  • Check out nearby Weston to visit a winery and/or a “haunted” Asylum. (I’d recommend wine before the ghost tour, but that’s your call my friend.)
  • When you are at SJR, you are officially in the “Mountain Lakes” region of West Virginia. Pro tip:  download the “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia” app from the App Store to get more details on local adventures, history, and cultures.

All in all, this is an easy and fun trip that will help adults relax and allow families to enjoy the true beauty that is our Wild and Wonderful state of West Virginia! Be sure to visit their website and sign up for their emails as these often include some great discounts and information about upcoming events and specials!

See you at the lake!

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