White Sulphur Springs Cabin Interior
Each of the one-room cabins at White Sulphur Springs is about 750 square feet, with vaulted ceilings and an open, airy feel.
The new cabins on a scenic 145-acre property are a wooden bridge away from the slow-flowing Ararat River, and not much farther away from the Blue Ridge Parkway and the charm and shopping of Mt. Airy.
Ben Cooke and his wife Lone had been invited to a “highfalutin Cotillion party” in their hometown of Mt. Airy, N.C., Ben says, and arranged for Lone’s parents to look after their three kids for the night. The couple decided to really take advantage of having some time to themselves, and rented one of the new cabins at the nearby White Sulphur Springs for the night of the party. It would be like a little mini-getaway right in their own backyard.
After the festivities, Ben and Lone made the 10-minute drive to their night’s accommodations.
“Even before we got to our cabin we were sold on the place,” Ben says of their December visit.
It’s easy to see why. Although the cabins are situated only about three miles outside of downtown Mt. Airy, they feel far removed once you turn off Riverside Road onto the scenic, 145-acre property.
A quaint wooden bridge that spans the slow-moving Ararat River ushers visitors into White Sulphur Springs. After the bridge you cross over a wide, unpaved walking trail that winds along the river and into heavily wooded sections along the perimeter of the property. The land then opens up onto expansive, rolling green fields, where guests can enjoy a picnic, relax in a hammock or play a game of horseshoes.
There’s also a spring near the river, housed in an octagon-shaped granite enclosure, where guests can collect clear, mineral-rich water said to possess restorative powers.
As you continue deeper into the property, it become obvious why developers chose to build a grand, 165-room hotel at this picturesque site in the late 1800s. Well-to-do guests from the East Coast, Europe and South America would arrive by train to enjoy the cool temperatures and vistas of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains. At night guests would gather at the hotel’s 2,000-square-foot dance pavilion to socialize and listen to the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra perform. The hotel hit hard times during Prohibition and the Great Depression, and it was eventually divided into residential housing units before it burned down in the 1950s.
The property’s unique history is partly what convinced Burke Robertson last year to build the six new cabins clustered together and overlooking the woods. He has plans to eventually develop vacation homes, townhouses and an inn on the historic site.
“It’s such a unique piece of land,” says Robertson, who also developed Main Oak Emporium, a shopping and dining complex in downtown Mt. Airy housed in three beautifully restored structures built in the early 1900s.
That same craftsmanship and attention to detail can be found in the White Sulphur Springs cabins. Each one-room, Arts and Craft-style cabin is about 750 square feet, with vaulted ceilings and an open, airy feel.
The simple layout is efficient and easy, with conveniences such as the kitchenette’s refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, toaster oven and coffee maker within easy reach. Each cabin has a king-sized, pillow-top bed, as well as a queen-size sofa bed. There’s also wireless Internet and a flat-screen TV. The cabins have a modern yet rustic feel, with nice homey touches such as the knotty pine trim and cabinets.
Ben Cooke says he and his wife particularly enjoyed the cozy gas-log fireplace during their stay in the cabin.
“They’ve really been done with class,” he says. “It’s got a nice cabin feel to it, even though everything is new and modern.”
Richard Smith says that during their two-night stay, he and his wife Veronica most enjoyed the cabin’s spacious back deck that looks out into the woods.
“Both of us like being outdoors, so we really enjoyed the scenery,” says Smith, who lives in Rockwell, N.C. “It’s really the perfect place for a couple or small family. It’s a wonderful setting.”
Steve Lindsley, pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Airy, says the cabins’ serene and picturesque surroundings provided the perfect environment for a weeklong retreat he spent there working on his sermons.
“It was so nice to be able to sit there and write and look out into the beautiful landscape. It was really inspiring.”
New Yorkers Marisa and Paul Casey were visiting family in Danville, Va., for Christmas when they decided to spend New Year’s Eve somewhere special.
“How fortunate that we found the White Sulphur Springs Cabins,” says Casey. “It was the perfect getaway for us.”
Casey says she and her husband spent a long weekend nestled in their cabin. “We appreciated how much care went into the construction and decoration of the cabins. Our favorite part was having a grill on the deck that overlooked the beautiful woods. We sat out there cooking, listening to birds and stargazing.”
Casey says they also took long walks around the property and alongside the river, and visited Mt. Airy, where they went shopping and dined at several local restaurants.
“Our goal was to find a tranquil and comfortable place to spend New Year’s Eve, and that’s exactly what we found at White Sulphur Springs.”
While You're There
While you may be content to never leave the pastoral grounds during your stay at White Sulphur Springs Cabins, there are several great destinations nearby.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is just an eight-mile drive from the cabins, easily accessible from the Fancy Gap Virginia exit on U.S. 52. Several nearby attractions along the parkway include Cumberland Knob, an ideal spot for a picnic and leisurely hike through hardwood forests. There’s also Mabry Mill in Meadows of Dan, Va., the historic water-powered gristmill that features a blacksmith shop, old-time basket weaving and the Mabry Mill Restaurant and gift shop.
It’s about a five-minute drive from the cabins to Riverside Park, where you’ll find a new greenway and boat put-in at the restored Ararat River. It’s the perfect spot to launch a canoe or kayak, and take a leisurely paddle down about a 2 ½-mile stretch of the river to Tharrington Park. Or, stroll along the paved greenway, popular among joggers and bikers, as it meanders under Donna Fargo Highway Bridge and along the river, past wooded areas, rock formations and picnic areas. For details:
The closest shopping and dining destination is the quaint town of Mt. Airy, perhaps best known as the childhood home of the late Andy Griffith. From Sept. 27 – 30 the town will host Mayberry Days (mayberrydays.org), featuring food vendors, artists, live music and a parade. In addition to a movie theater, outdoor outfitters, antique shops and candy stores, there are numerous retailers along Main Street that offer Andy Griffith gifts and memorabilia. And fans will recognize popular downtown attractions mentioned on the TV program, including the Blue Bird Diner, Floyd’s Barber Shop and Snappy Lunch, famous for its enormous pork chop sandwiches. There’s also the Andy Griffith Museum (AndyGriffithMuseum.com), home to “the world’s largest memorabilia collection.”
The Cabins at White Sulphur Springs
133 White Sulphur Springs Road
Mount Airy, N.C. 27030