A couple of weekends ago I was invited to The Peaks of Otter Lodge.
The Peaks of Otter.
A lodge perched high in the mountains, just off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, about an hour from Roanoke, Virginia.
I had never been there.
I know, right?
I mean, I work in Roanoke for WSLS quite often. I go to Roanoke to eat. To shop. To hang out with friends. And yet, I had never been to the Parkway, a few short miles away.
I hate making mistakes like that.
So, after a beautiful drive along the Parkway, I found myself pulling in to the parking lot of a fogged in resort early Friday evening, not knowing at all what I was up against. I could sort of see the lodge. I could see a lake? A pond? I could see water. But the fog was thick and blanketed the entire area…a wonderland I couldn’t quite see yet, but really wanted to.
After an easy check in at the small and friendly front desk, I drove the short distance to my room.
The rooms were contained in three large, two story buildings. My room, located on the upper floor of the middle building, had a balcony (like the others) that faced the lake, still covered in mist. I had 2 double sized beds, a desk, large TV, and plenty of room to mill around. The room reminded me of a camp for grown ups – not fancy, but clean, and quaint, and just sparse enough to make you want to get out and explore the area versus stay cooped up in your room.
My first foray into exploring was to walk back to the Main Lodge for dinner. A meandering, light filled path lead me over a cute bridge along the lake shore, and up the stairs into the lodge. I was met by a happy hostess, who took me to a comfortable seat, and encouraged me to give the Seafood Buffet a try. She was spot on with her recommendation! An impressive array of seafood (shrimp, scallops, you name it) and a full pound of crab legs were all a part of the meal – and delicious!
After dinner, I slept like a baby, and awoke to find myself still fogged in, but the sun was trying to make itself known. A very nice breakfast buffet – complete with a waffle station! – made for a great start to the morning. I was in syrupy heaven, as it was the first day I had really cheated on my diet in almost a month! (Totally worth it!)
From breakfast, I met up with a few others, and we took a quick, damp hike around the lake. The fog was finally lifting there, and we were greeted by a large blue heron as he took off from the lake’s edge. A few deer were playing in the field as we made our way up the hill, and finally, we found ourselves ready to board a bus that would wind us up the mountain to Sharp Overlook.
The bus ride was such fun, and our driver knew all there was to know about the mountain. At the top, some of the group opted to hike a bit further up, but due to the really thick fog at that altitude, I rode back down to the lodge and settled in for a nap!
Dinner later that evening was delicious – again. No buffet this time, but instead, a perfectly prepared prime rib, incredible salad, and a chocolate on chocolate cake! (Yep, cheated again!)
Another sweet night of sleep, another bountiful breakfast, and lots of stunning views rounded out the remainder of my Peaks of Otter weekend.
I could write all day about the solitude. About the convenience of this treasure, and how it feels a world away, but in reality, is just around the corner from civilization. It makes an excellent stopping point on the Parkway, with for a few nights, or simply for a great meal. it feels, like I said, like a camp, but a camp you want to go to. A camp you’d want to share with the people you love.
I see myself going back, time and again. The drive there now, and for the next couple of weeks will be absolutely stunning with the changing of the leaves, so if you are in the area, I highly suggest you making Peaks of Otter Lodge a part of your journey.
85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Bedford, VA 24523
Disclaimer: I was invited to Peaks of Otter on a press trip. All thoughts and opinions are my own.