Dream Weekends 2005: Rocky Gap Lodge

At any state park, you can get great scenery and lots of activities at rates that won’t bust the family budget. Rocky Gap State Park, a 3,200-acre outdoor playground, has it all.

The 217-room Rocky Gap lodge edges silver-blue Lake Habeeb and its three sandy swimming beaches. It enjoys views across the water to forested Evitts Mountain. Guest rooms, restaurants, and other facilities are spiffier than you find in many parks.

There’s an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course. You can indulge in a massage at the spa. Fish from the pier or the shoreline. Rent a paddleboat or canoe. Hike five-mile Evitts Homesite Trail. Bike the nearby C&O Canal towpath.

The Lakeside Restaurant takes advantage of the views with floor-to-ceiling windows. So does the glass-enclosed indoor/outdoor swimming pool.

Bottom line: Few state parks have accommodations this nice.

Rocky Gap Lodge, 800-724-0828; rockygapresort.com. Off-season rates start at $109 a night for two. Summer rates range from $129 to $529.

This article first appeared in the April 2005 issue of The Washingtonian. For more articles from that issue, click here.