Most places we go in this world have delicious food and we can at least find one or two great places to stay. As we love to sleep and we most definitely love to eat, we had to separate where we did these things from our first post about Tucker County, West Virginia, which you can read here.
If you read that first Tucker County post, then you’ll know that we ended up in this area due to a natural disaster and a last-minute change of plans. Fortunately, our contacts at visitwv.com and Tucker County were able to scramble to help us find something in this area. And as it usually happens, everything worked out just fine!
We found that the Black Bear Resort near the town of Davis had some availability, so we emailed them and got ourselves quite the spot. The resort itself is located outside of town in a very rural area, in the Canaan Valley. It’s all hills and mountains, and has killer views of the surrounding area. It’ll also never be built on since this land is a wildlife refuge.
I mean, this is the balcony view we had. Come on!
The resort itself is made up of dozens of individually-owned houses – it’d do them no justice to call them cabins – which are rented out to visitors through their rental program. In addition to that, there is a building of condos that follow more or less the same protocol. Ours was on the top floor of the condo building.
I really like this setup because it means people can own a place here, but also rent it out when they’re away. I can think of more than one resort we’ve visited where I’d love to see the same thing happen. (Because I want one.)
They have quite a large lodge that also houses a conference and dining area, massive terraces, pool tables, and more. The grounds feature a heated pool, mini-golf course, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a few walking paths.
There’s lots of green space in the area, and we had a lot of it to ourselves as the timing of our stay wasn’t vacation for most other people. Nice!
The tennis court is clearly disused, which is sad. I wouldn’t mind hitting some balls around with this view. Everything else was more or less pristine.
I really wish they had a restaurant and bar here, as it’s quite a ways from Davis and there’s just no way to walk anywhere. One can easily drive 10 minutes and be in town, or be in Canaan Valley in the other direction. Most people don’t expect to be able to walk places here, though, so we’re probably alone in that sentiment.
I think they used to have a restaurant here, actually, but it just didn’t have enough year-round clientele to make it worthwhile.
Everything else was quite comfortable, and my only true beef is that the WiFi was just terrible. When it worked, it was slow, and we repeatedly had to take our gear to the lodge to get our work done for the day. We were told it was due to an outage in the area, but it was unfortunately never really fixed. Fortunately for us, though, the office always had a reliable connection.
Also, the people at Black Bear Resort are fantastic. Pam is a dream, and we sort of just wanted to hang out with her all the time. Hi, Pam! Jenni, who handles sales and management for the resort, was also really great and we were fortunate enough to share a beer with her at Stumptown Ales as we ran into each other there one night.
Would we recommend it for a stay here? Absolutely! If you want to get away, have great views, and be around nice people, this is the place for you. The only reason I couldn’t live here is because I have a stubborn requirement about being able to at least walk to a café. And, that really doesn’t matter to 99% of the population.
Oh, one more thing. An actual nighttime photo of our walks with the dog. Definitely away from civilization!
If you’re ever in Tucker County – which you really should visit some time – give them a holler and tell ’em we sent you!
And now, for the food!
Located about 10 minutes south of where we stayed, this is a large restaurant that also has a pub. As it wasn’t too crowded, we ate in the pub side and enjoyed some local beer and good, American staples.
We shared everything in order to not gorge ourselves too much, and it was all quite enjoyable.
A great meal after a long, mountainous drive on our first day in West Virginia!
The Ice Cream Shop
As it should, Davis has a delicious and locally-owned ice cream shop on its main street. It was crazy difficult to choose what we wanted since everything looked to die for. We survived the options and made it out alive – phew! – with way too much creamy goodness. We enjoyed it so much the first time that we went back another day, too.
The shop – or shoppe, as we like to call them – is only open in the warmer months, and understandably shuts down for winter when it’s just too cold for some people to want ice cream. Psh! As there’s no coffee shop in town, we think this would be the perfect place to also have a café. Let’s do it, guys!
To us, this felt like the most popular place in town. Everyone recommended it, and it felt like the entire town was there when we went for dinner. It was crazy crowded, and crazy good. They’re mostly known for their pizza and have been building their reputation for decades, but the menu is stacked and there are plenty of options for everyone.
As we don’t get great pizza very often when abroad, we went for that as well as some West Virginia beer and Italian sausage. The beer was just right, but the sausage could have used some pep.
Kayla was a great waitress and was patient with us two ignorant outsiders. Good food that hit the spot just right.
If there’s a place that can get more crowded than Sirianni’s, this has to be it. Hellbender is a Davis institution, serving up massive burritos of both the traditional and outside-the-box variety.
There’s a bar inside, and two small levels of dining area.
I don’t even remember the crazy things that went into Ang’s off-the-menu burrito, but I had a cheesesteak one and it was so freaking good.
I only managed to eat half of it, and I’d be rather scared if either of us finished what was on our plates. They were massive.
The Purple Fiddle
As I mentioned in our previous post, this is the top-notch music venue of the area. It’s in the neighboring town of Thomas, and is a regular gathering spot for everyone in the region. They bring in all sorts of acts, but also have a sandwich shop and café.
We stopped in here one afternoon for a bite, and sat outside on the patio enjoying our food, some local beer, and the great weather.
Ang went for the chicken salad, and told me it was very good. I don’t get near the stuff, blech! I went for a calzone, which was delicious and hit the spot that my stomach needed fulfilled.
This is the only coffee shop in either Davis or Thomas, and we had to stop by to see if we could get some espresso goodness. It came highly recommended, and we must have gone on a bad day because both of our espressos were crazy bitter. I hate that! I’d give it another shot, but I’m just warning you now that we did not have a good coffee experience here. And we’re not coffee snobs.
The pastries and cookies and whatnot were very good, though, and we enjoyed them as a sweet snack to fight off the coffee burn. Sad, and hopefully the coffee issue is not a regular thing.
Stumptown Ales and Mountain State Brewing
Mmmmmmmmm. Beeeeeerrrrrrrr. We covered both of these breweries in our last post, so head over there and check ’em out!
All in all, a really great eating and drinking experience in Tucker County, West Virginia. They have some great spots, could use a few things, but also have plenty of other places we’ll have to check out our next time in the area.
Thanks, West Virginia!
An extra-special thanks to Jessica and Brian at the Tucker County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Pam and Jenni at Black Bear Resort, and Lisa at Visit Southern West Virginia. Many thanks as well to all the fine folks who shared stories, opinions, philosophy, and beers with us during our time here. We love you all and we’ll see you next go ’round!
Read more of our American road trip posts right here, and read about the rest of our stay in West Virginia in this post.
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Have you ever been to this area? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!