Foodie Road Trip: What’s So Magical About the Waters of Bedford?
Take your fill of Appalachian-inspired charm and cuisine in this spa town.
Suffering from arthritis, circulatory complaints, tummy troubles, asthma, colds, fevers or just a general malaise? There’s magic in the waters of Bedford.
For centuries, the town’s spring water has held a reputation for its healing properties. As it bubbles up through fissures in the earth, the water picks up traces of therapeutic salts, sulfur compounds, minerals and gases that are believed to be good for what ails you.
The Omni Bedford Springs Resort takes full advantage of these waters with its popular Springs Eternal Spa, but don’t get so relaxed and pampered that you forget to eat while you’re visiting. Fuel your feel-good vacay at the breakfast buffet in the Crystal Room, then find your bliss with world-class golf, the Duchess of Bedford Tea Experience, cooking demonstrations, yoga and Pilates, hiking and biking trails, fly-fishing instruction, wine tastings, trap shooting, horseback riding, tennis and more.
To burn extra calories, hit the Evitts Trail, a 4-mile loop through isolated terrain winding among native pines and oaks along a creek bed. If you’re feeling fancy for dinner, the upscale 1796 Room puts steaks and chops on the table. If it’s a jeans-and-sweater night, grab a seat at the outdoor fire pit at the Frontier Tavern for burgers, fries, artisanal brews and s’mores.
Just a 5-minute drive away from the resort, you’ll find many restaurants and shops in the quaint downtown area. Our favorite spot for dinner is Horn O Plenty, housed in a charming log and stone cabin built in the 1730s. Locally sourced ingredients are put to great use by the Horn family, which opened the restaurant in 2012. Gourmet fare with an Appalachian spin is the lure here, from fire-roasted cornish hen and the More Rocin’ Pork Bowl (slow-roasted pork, fire-roasted veggies, seasoned rice, hummus, slaw and tzatziki) to pizzas baked in the brick oven. Don’t miss the Cuban Zing, with a spicy sweet-pepper sauce, roasted pork, pineapple, onions and bacon.
Desserts are the big draw at Horn O Plenty. If the bread pudding with cream caramel is on the menu, don’t pass it up.
While you’re in Bedford, stop in to the Coverlet Museum for a history of textiles, or discover a reconstruction of colonial life at the Old Bedford Village. To start your own tradition of serving elaborate Italian meals, step into Lifestyle for old-world ingredients, cookbooks and pastas.
When autumn colors are at their peak, visit Bedford’s annual Fall Foliage Festival, held over two weekends in early October. More than 400 craftsmen take over the beautiful downtown strip as an antique car parade putters by.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort: omnihotels.com/bedford
Horn O Plenty: myhornoplenty.com