Couple Vacation Guide: Smoke Hole Cavern

For our anniversary this year, in August, we booked the sweetheart cabin at Smoke Hole Cavern.

We originally were supposed to go in August, but due to a death in the immediate family, we had to reschedule. They have a 48 hour cancellation policy and we had to give shorter notice, so we had to reschedule instead of cancel. We also only had a very short time we were allowed to reschedule or they told us they were going to lose our deposit.

We rescheduled for a new date in September and ended up going during a very cold, rainy weekend and we were both starting to get sick BUT the cabin made up for everything. We stayed in the honeymoon (sweetheart) log cabin. The cabin was made for 2 people (actually has rules that you can’t have visitors) and they offer several extras- champagne, souvenir coffee mug (I loved it and used it daily until I dropped it) and some romantic foods. Since neither of us drink alcohol and I have to watch what I eat very carefully, the only extra we got was the mug, which like I said, I loved.

Our view from directly behind the cabin

We were recovering from a four hour car trip so went straight to our cabin after grabbing a bite to eat in the gift shop and crashed a bit with some movies and trying out the hot tub the first night. The second day we went on tour of the caverns and shopped around before going back to try to find the football game.
The food was good at the gift shop and there were tons of shirts and stones for sale. We got a gold hunt game and a few pieces of rock for the kids as souvenirs. The staff was friendly.

The tour of the cave lasted around 1 hour. It was decently lit but some parts were dark, they take people in groups, so you’ll be going with several other families more than likely. The tour guides know the cave well and will answer any questions you have.

They have grills spread out randomly through all the cabins for grilling out, there is a small kid fishing pond and a bait shack in the middle and it’s only a couple hundred feet from the river where you can go and fish (make sure you have your license, though).
It was too cold and rainy for us to use those accommodations but we would like to go back to use those and see how great a vacation it is for the whole family.

If you’re looking to get away with your partner, honeymoon or anniversary, I highly recommend staying at the Sweetheart log cabin.

Advertisements

Vacation Destination Hotel Recommendation: Myrtle Beach, SC Compass Cove

Just stating first that this is a WV travel site, but Myrtle Beach is the go-to vacation for us WVians.
We go every year as a family (grandparents, me and my husband and our kids)
Every year now we stay in the Compass Cove. As a child and teen, we did stay at a few different hotels but none as memorable as Compass Cove and now, I can’t see myself staying at a different hotel.

Compass Cove could be a vacation all in itself. There is a DJ 1-2 days a week live at the pool (the Tiki Hut right outside the main building). They offer three buildings- the Pentacle, the main building and the Indigo (the Indigo used to be a hotel itself but they bought it out and it’s now under their ownership). They offer five kiddie pools, seven hot tubs, two indoor pools and water slides, four outdoor pools and three lazy rivers.

Picture- my husband sitting in the Crow’s Nest
My father in law and child eating breakfast at the Compass Rose


There are a few notable restaurants located inside the hotel as well. If you’re looking for a place to go when the kids are in bed (if you have more than yourself with the kids), The Crow’s Nest, located on the second floor of the Pentacle building has a great atmosphere. They serve foods like hamburgers, hot dogs, onion petals and a lot more, including a full bar. They are also a fun place to take the kids. The prices aren’t bad either and the onion petals are the best I have had. They offer vodka made with corn, for those who have gluten intolerance/Celiac (Eddy’s flavored vodka) and sweet tea or pop for visitors who don’t drink.
They have nights with live music, karaoke and always have the TV on at the bar.

When you make your reservation, you can get free breakfast buffet tickets for the Compass Rose. The Compass Rose is located near the check in desk on the main building (Schooner). They open at 6 am and close for breakfast at 11. The buffet has something for everyone- if you like bread, they have biscuits and gravy, bacon, eggs, sausage, cereal and anything else. The coffee is actually good and you can also get coffee to go after you finish.

The Tiki Hut offers slushies, drinks (alcoholic and non) and other fast/grilled foods poolside. They are open from 11 to 7 at the main pool in front of the Schooner building.

The Compass Joe is located on the bottom floor of the Pentacle building. They sell Starbucks brand coffee as well as pastries (mostly Starbucks brand)
The bad thing is that you don’t get points with a Starbucks card, can’t use Starbucks gift cards nor the app- but it’s still Starbucks food/coffee.

If you go to the fifth floor in the Schooner building, you will find a fitness center, reservations come with a free DVD rental (the DVDs are located in the pentacle building), if you have a room with no washer/drier, there is a laundry room in the pentacle building but some rooms come with washer/driers and dishwashers. They have grills for resident use located by some of the pools with plenty of picnic tables.
They offer free Wi-Fi for residents as well as a business room with computers and printers.

From the friendly service when you check in at the front desk, to the friendly staff you constantly see working hard around the hotels, this hotel has me expecting a lot from a hotel and the staff. We haven’t ran across unfriendly servers any of the times we visited any of the restaurants and even when you walk back to your room and interrupt housekeeping, you still get your fresh towels and trash taken out (although it’s extremely easy to take it out yourself). There are ice makers in some of the rooms and ice machines all over.

One problem we run across nearly every year, though, is that at least one of the three elevators is always broken down in the pentacle building. My father in law stayed in that building this year while we stayed in the Schooner. At one time, two of the three elevators were broken down.

Baby pool in front of Schooner building
Playing on the beach in front of the hotel, digging a 3 foot deep hole in the sand.


We always stay in one of the family suites, ocean front. It offers a large, wrap around balcony with a great view of the beach. The room has three beds, two bed rooms, dishwasher, coffee makers, microwave, range, washer and drier and large living room with a pull out bed.
The single rooms offer one bed, a large room, ice maker, coffee maker, range and microwave and both room types offer all dishes, pots and pans.

This is a hotel I always recommend to people when they’re thinking about going to Myrtle Beach. It’s my favorite hotel out of the hotels I have stayed in, in any state. There is always something to do and even days it storms, you are bound to find entertainment.

The Very Best of West Virginia — Sorting Life’s Issues with Jess

West Virginia is a beautiful state with so much natural beauty. There are so many things to do and see when you visit. From eating good ol’e fashioned home cooking to white water rafting you will be able to find something for anyone in your family. Below are some of the best and lesser known […]

The Very Best of West Virginia — Sorting Life’s Issues with Jess

Join Me in A Tour Around WV

I am a born and raised WV citizen. My childhood is filled with memories of going to parks, visiting different towns and I’m working on giving my kids the same experience I had.

Every year around our anniversary, my husband and I try to take trips to different WV areas.

When I was in middle school, I had to do a presentation on the tourism industry and ended up with a whole bucketlist of places I wanted to visit and things I wanted to try.

WV tends to make headlines for drug use, high poverty and high obesity as well as being at the bottom of the positive lists but this state has so much to offer and I’m wanting to show as much as I can of this beautiful state.

Welcome to my site and hope one day you’ll want to come to visit WV.