A Western Night at Virginia Creek Settlement (Hotel Review)
I don't know about you, but when I travel, I love staying at hotels that feature local architecture and culture. It's great to get a sense of place of the destination, it's even better when you can learn about the unique history and local lore from the hotel.
On our recent Eastern Sierra road trip with kids, we stayed at just a place like that.
Right off Highway 395 which runs on the east side of the Sierra Nevada in California, Virginia Creek Settlement is a quiet property full of western rustic charm. If you're in the region to see Mono Lake, Bodie Ghost Town, or June Lakes, Virginia Creek Settlement's location will provide a perfect base to explore these areas.
As you approach the hotel, the tall windmill and wooden barrel water tower greet you from a distance with a western welcome.
A western welcome it was for some visitors that misbehaved.
To get to the reception and the restaurant in the main building, you'd first pass the armed cowboys guarding the entrance.
Once we checked in, we walked further down the hill into the little "village". It felt indeed like a gold-rush era settlement with wooden cabins and wagons around.
On warmer nights, you can spend the night in one of the covered wagons to truly get a western experience like in the yesteryears.
But in October when the temperature would drop under 32°F/0°C at night, we were happy to stay in a warm little wooden cabin complete with a welcoming brown bear and a fire circle outdoor.
Some of the cottages stood right by Virginia Creek, and guests would be lulled by the sound of the stream to sleep.
Virginia Creek, like many streams in the area, is full of trouts. So if you have your fishing supplies ready, you could fish directly from your front porch.
As for me, with a quiet stroll along the creek, I caught an eyeful of beautiful fall colors.
We stayed in one of the new cottages built on the old tent grounds. The cottages were small and cozy, and had everything a family could ask for. There was a queen bed, an adjoining small room with a bunk bed, a studio kitchen, a table and chairs. The cottage was simple, clean, and charming. The bear-motif quilt was a hit with the kids.
After a day out exploring, follow the colorful lights and come "home" to Virginia Creek Settlement. A homey restaurant with hearty meals await you. Be warned, though, you'll be served a three-course meal with very generous portions, enough for a cowboy I'd say.
We woke up in the far west in 1849.
There was abundant morning light, which fell through the remaining fall leaves into the creekside forest. With our little brown bears, we rustled through the golden fallen leaves on our morning walk at the settlement.
We headed back to the main building for breakfast.
If you want to be impressed, do order the pancakes, as they are so big and shiny you'd need to put on some shades to look at them.
We gathered our belongings and continued on our western journey.
Virginia Creek Settlement provided us a lovely stay, we were well-fed and well-rested in a truly western atmosphere. If you're ever in the area, I'd highly recommend staying at this unique property. Oh, don't forget to ask them about the history of the property. It's full of fun western tales!
Click to book your stay at Virginia Creek Settlement
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