July 4th is one of the biggest holidays of the summer! There are tons of fun annual events, live music at almost every venue, and of course, the Fire on the Mountain fireworks display! The fireworks are launched from Wisp Resort’s tubing park and burst high above McHenry cove. If your rental home is located in the McHenry area, you’ll most likely have an unbeatable front row seat to the show! If your rental is not in the direct viewing area, though, we have lots of great spots for you to watch the fireworks from!
From the Water
Embrace the lake life at Deep Creek – catch the fireworks show from the water!! Boats fill McHenry Cove starting around dusk and drop their anchors or tie off to one another and simple enjoy the show. If you’re a relatively new boater or renting your boat, ask one of the marinas for tips on best practices for your particular boat! Because kayaks, canoes, and jet skis do not have running night lights, they are not permitted on the lake after dark.
Almost every place in the immediate McHenry area has a view of the fireworks. Some of the popular places people park are Wisp Resort, Shop ’N Save, and Funland. You can also watch the fireworks from the parking lot at the Garrett County Fairgrounds. The local robotics team will be parking visitors at Sunset Village, which offers a great vantage point off the main road. Many people also park along Rt. 219. If you park alongside the road, please use extreme caution and be aware of traffic. Do not cross the road or venture onto the road.
For either place, you’ll want to get there early to get the best spots. Pack lots of supplies for the evening, including snacks and food, drinks, blankets, sweatshirts or jackets, chairs, and make sure your phones and cameras are charged!
Traffic (both on the lake and the road!) is a little congested as everyone heads home, so take your time and be patient! We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable July 4th!
The Railey family legacy and history of Deep Creek Lake go almost hand in hand – from small stone cottages on the shores of the lake to the largest and most productive real estate company in the area. The Railey family pioneered using personal vacation homes as vacation rentals at Deep Creek Lake – forming Railey Mountain Lake Vacations 36 years ago. The concept of renting your home to guests has exploded across the country and even the world.
Railey Realty has always worked alongside Railey Mountain Lake Vacations to support the cycle of real estate and vacation rentals. Providing the best of both services allowed each company to grow and succeed. In 2009, the owners of Railey Realty made the strategic decision to open their own vacation rental company, forming Deep Creek Lodging Company.
We’re very excited to announce that the Railey family is coming back together in 2018! Railey Realty’s Deep Creek Lodging Company and Railey Mountain Lake Vacations have merged to create the largest vacation rental company at Deep Creek Lake, Railey Vacations! The real estate sales company, Railey Realty, remains separately owned.
If you are a Deep Creek Lodging homeowner, you will greatly benefit from the 36 years of local repeat renters, the large in-house support personnel, and the company expertise found at RMLV. All of the Deep Creek Lodging staff that you have worked so closely alongside has all been offered employment with Railey Vacations. Please feel free to reach out to our office or your owner representative for more information.
If you are a Railey Mountain Lake Vacations homeowner, your financial partners now include the area’s largest and most productive real estate company. As before, the entire management team at RMLV is committed to providing you with the service and professionalism you have come to know and expect.
If you are a guest or returning customer, your current reservations and any new reservations made this summer will remain the same. Operations for both companies will continue separately throughout the summer. You can still make your reservations for Deep Creek Lodging Company on our website, www.deepcreeklodging.com, as you normally would. In the fall, we will be transitioning our online reservations to www.deepcreek.com. Renters arriving in the fall and beyond will be given updated instructions for check-in and check-out procedures closer to their stay.
Both homeowners and guests can rest assured that Railey Vacations will maintain the 5-star customer service and vacation experience you have come to expect. We will be sharing best practices across both companies to better support your financial goals. Our management team and support staff are committed to our shared growth and success.
See you at the lake!
Jon Bell – Deep Creek Lodging Company
Chad Ward – Railey Mountain Lake Vacations
Congratulations! You’ve booked your trip to Deep Creek Lake! After planning and organizing and carefully picking dates, your summer vacation is officially on the calendar. So, now what? We broke down some of the top questions we get from renters before and during their stay to help you prepare for your vacation!
Reserve Your Boat
There’s no way of knowing what the weather will be like for your trip ahead of time, but we can guarantee you’ll be hard pressed to get a last minute boat reservation. It benefits you greatly to plan ahead and reserve a boat for your stay. If you’re staying in a Lakefront or Lake Access home that has a boat slip, make sure to check with the office to make sure you can keep your boat there overnight. That will help you decide the length of your boat rental and other options.
If You Bring Your Own Boat
Many guests have their own boats, and often ask where they can put the boat in and what the regulations are for Deep Creek Lake. Remember, if you’re bringing your boat from another body of water, it’s very important to have thoroughly cleaned the underside of your boat to make sure no invasive species are hiding anywhere. You can read other regulations about life vests and safety for children here. You can launch your boat at the Deep Creek Lake State Park Boat Launch located on State Park Road. Need a place to park your trailer? If your rental does not have space for your trailer or a community spot for boat trailers, call us! We have space at our office for trailers.
Yes, You Do Need a Fishing License
The Deep Creek Lake area is fantastic for fishing! Not only is the lake a wonderful place to fish, but there are also several rivers and other smaller lakes. Almost all public waterways are stocked, too. The State of Maryland does require a fishing license for anyone over the age of 16. You can get your license online ahead of time or stop the DNR Office, Bill’s Outdoor Center, or Deep Creek Outfitters! There is some reciprocity with other official licenses and free fishing days where no license is required – you can read all of those details here.
Check Your Rental’s Appliance List
Each vacation rental home is equipped with different appliances and amenities. Everything from coffee pots to blenders to crockpots, each home will have different appliances. Knowing what the home is equipped with will help you plan your meals and not have any unexpected surprises or disappointments. If you bring anything from home, make sure you put your name on it just in case you would happen to forget it.
Does My Home Have Furniture for Children?
If you’re bringing young children, you’re probably wondering, does my rental have what I need? Packing things like high chairs and cribs can take up a lot of space in an already stuff car. If you think you need extra things for your house, please call the office! We use a rental company that provides furniture and even delivers it right to your rental and picks it up when you’re finished.
Carefully Read The ‘What to Bring’ List
Packing for vacation is difficult, especially when it’s for an entire week. When your reservation is complete, you’ll receive a confirmation email that will include a what to bring list. Carefully read this over to make sure that you pack all of the things you’ll need. Some household things you may take for granted and assume they’re in the house, like toilet paper or paper towels, and you’ll want to make sure you have all of the essentials when you arrive. If you want to wait until you get here to purchase some of the things you’ll need, just make sure you have a running list to take to the store.
Early Check-In/Late Check-Out
Deep Creek Lodging Company’s policy generally requires 48 hours notice to request early check-in or late check-out. During back-to-back stays, early check-in or late check-out may not be available. Feel free to call out office to inquire about the possibly for these services; we’re more than happy to answer your questions! Early check-in and late check-out do come at an extra fee.
While Deep Creek is a rustic area, we don’t except you to be splitting your own firewood. You can have firewood delivered to your vacation rental either ahead of your stay or during your stay! Just call the office and let us know what you need and we’re happy to assist. You can also buy firewood bundles at the stand at our office and also at some shops around the lake like Arrowhead Market.
Renting Kayaks/Stand-Up Paddleboards/Canoes
Not everyone has a truck or an SUV with racks suitable for water vessels. Lucky for you, most of the companies around the lake that rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards will actually deliver them right to your vacation rental and pick them up when you’re finished. Having them delivered also means you don’t have to worry about going to pick them up, strapping them down, and making sure they’re back on time.
Make a Rough Schedule and Plan Ahead
If you’ve visited before, you may already know what you want to do during your trip. If it’s your first time, you might be a little overwhelmed! Our advice – look around, plan ahead! You typically do not need reservations for activities like zip-lining or the adventure courses too far in advance unless you have a large group. Knowing what you’d like to do during your trip, though, will help you plan your stay. Make sure to plan for some indoor or rainy day activities! Check out DeepCreekLake.com’s Things to Do page for some help getting started! You can also check out our events page to see what fun events are happening around the area during your stay! The page is constantly being updated, so make sure to check back before you arrive!
This is just a short list to help you get started on your vacation – if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to call us at the office or send us an email! Our staff are area experts and have tackled every situation in the book.
It’s going to be an ‘eggs’cellent weekend! If you’re visiting our area over the Easter holiday and are looking for a few ideas for the kids – you’re in luck! We rounded up some of the kid-friendly Easter events around the Deep Creek Lake area to help you plan your weekend.
New Germany State Park EGGstreme Easter Egg Hunt – March 31 – 10 AM – 2 PM
Search for 1,000 eggs hidden over 10 miles of trails at New Germany State Park!
Smiley’s Fun Zone Easter Egg Hunt – March 31 – 11 AM – 1 PM
Hunt for eggs, earn prizes, and meet the Easter Bunny!
Discovery Center Natural Egg Dyeing – March 31 – 10 AM – 12 PM
Learn how to dye eggs naturally and meet the Easter bunny!
UNO’s & The Honi Honi Easter Egg Hunt – April 1 – 1-2 PM
Come out for a free egg hunt and get pictures with the Easter bunny!
Here at Deep Creek Lake, 3-day weekends are probably our favorite kind of holidays. Many local businesses have awesome specials, host special events, and we get an extra day of weekend fun! Presidents’ Day Weekend is one of the biggest winter weekends at Wisp Resort and Deep Creek Lake, and we’re super excited about the fun things to do! We broke down some of our favorite events and things we’re looking forward to this weekend to help get you started.
Oakland’s Winterfest – It seems that each community offers their own version of a Winterfest celebration, but we have to say that Oakland’s is pretty hard to beat. Take a carriage ride through historic downtown, watch live ice-carving demonstrations, browse through museums and local shops, and more! This two-day event is definitely a local favorite!
Blackstrap Rail Jam Series #2 – Inspired by the Olympics? Show off your best tricks at the second installment of the BlackStrap Rail Jam Series! Contestants compete and accumulate points through three events spanning the winter season. If you’re not ready to show off your skills, it’s a super fun event to watch! Come out and cheer on the contestants!
Snowshoeing & Hiking – It looks like we’re in for sunny, mild weather this weekend – which means it’s perfect for a brisk hike! It doesn’t look like we’ll have snow on the ground for the upcoming weekend, so the trails should be clear, too. Enjoy all levels of difficulty hiking at one of many state parks around the area or join a guided tour that takes you off the beaten path and into the stunning unknown landscape. All Earth Eco Tours offers snowshoeing tours when there’s snow cover or standard hiking when there isn’t!
Live Music – The biggest weekend all winter means the best live music! You can usually catch a live band at Moonshadow, Mountain State Brewing Company, Black Bear Tavern, and the Honi-Honi! Wisp Resort also offers a concert series!
Shopping – While there’s no malls nearby, Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County have pretty awesome local shops! Any holiday weekend usually means lots of great sales, which is still true for these mom and pop shops! Find winter and ski gear at High Mountain Sports or Outdoor Elements at Wisp, find souvenirs and cute Deep Creek stuff at Bear Creek Traders or the Tourist Trap, or browse downtown Oakland’s wide selection of shops during Winterfest!
There’s plenty to do if you’re itching to get out and enjoy winter at Deep Creek Lake! Long weekends are also a good time to really kick back and relax, too, so make sure to enjoy your time at Deep Creek Lake with your family and friends.
While the slopes of Wisp Resort are one of the main draws to our area during the winter months, there’s so much to do that’s not skiing or snowboarding! We rounded up some fun things to do during the winter months other than skiing!
Snow tubing is fun for the whole family – seriously. Tubing takes little to no athletic ability (for those of us too uncoordinated to ski!) and Wisp Resort’s tubing park features two magic carpets to carry you to the top and groomed tubing lanes! Hook up your tube to other people in your group for a faster ride or race each other down the lanes.
Glide across the ice and channel your inner ice hockey or figure skater! Wisp Resort features a temperature controlled and groomed outdoor rink that is perfect for all skill levels and open 7 days a week during the winter months. For the first time in recent memory, there have also been several sightings of skating and ice hockey on the frozen lake itself, too!
Sledding is probably the most nostalgic winter activity – and it requires nothing but snow and a sled. We currently have about 1.5 feet of ground cover, so there’s still plenty of snow! If your rental doesn’t have a great hill or yard and you’re up for a little adventure, Blackwater Falls offers a sledding park with a lift to the top, and it’s only about a 45 minute drive from the lake. Thomas and Davis, WV are neat little towns and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon if you’re looking to get out of the house.
We know what you’re thinking – no way! It’s freezing out there!! And while the temps don’t seem like perfect hiking weather, our landscape is so incredibly beautiful in the winter. Swallow Falls State Park takes on an entirely new definition of natural beauty when Muddy Creek Falls starts to freeze. It’s a good way to get out of the house for a few hours without it being too physically demanding or extreme.
Okay – so this is still technically skiing – but so much different than downhill skiing! Runners, hikers, and even downhill skiers all love the physical challenge of cross-country skiing. Several of our local state parks offer trails (some groomed!) and rentals. Check out Herrington Manor and New Germany State Parks for trails conditions and more info! After a few tries, you’ll get the hang of the motion and be gliding across the snow in no time. Wisp Resort also offers cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing!
Bet you didn’t think Deep Creek Lake had dog sledding! Husky Power Dog Sledding offers many different options from meeting the dog sled team to actual sled tours!! No snow? No worries – they also have a sled made to run on dry ground!
If you’re just not up for the winter elements, there’s still plenty of fun, warm, inside things to do in the Deep Creek Lake area. Everything from laser tag at Smiley’s Fun Zone, movies at Garrett 8 Cinemas, arcade games at Funland, or bowling at The Alley, you’ll have no trouble finding some places to stay inside and still have fun.
With Wisp Resort’s opening weekend just a few days away, it only makes sense that Mother Nature would add some fresh powder to their snowmaking efforts!
The Deep Creek Lake area is currently in the midst of lake effect snow system – projected to drop anywhere from 3-8 inches! Snow started early this morning and is supposed to continue through Wednesday afternoon. We’re almost up to two inches after a few hours, so we’re hoping that we’ll luck out and see 6-8 inches! It’s going to be a fabulous weekend at Deep Creek Lake with everything perfectly blanketed and Wisp Resort opening!
Wisp started blowing snow late last week hoping to keep their tentative opening date of Saturday December 16. They made tremendous progress over the weekend, pumping an astounding 37 million gallons of water and logging in over 151 hours of operation and have just announced they’re now opening Friday December 15!! They won’t have all the trails open, but they will most likely have at least one slope f
or each skill level. The tubing park should also be open!! With perfectly groomed lanes, two magic carpets to carry you to the top, and several ways to tube down, it’s the perfect activity for all ages. You can also enjoy th
e outdoor ice-skating rink and the mountain coaster!! They’re even offering a brand new program for new skiers that’s FREE!
If you’re looking to make a last minute trip up to the lake to hit the slopes or simply enjoy a snowy weekend – we’ve extended our 3rd Night Free Special to include this weekend!! Stay an extra night on us at select homes – including several close to the slopes and some with direct access to the slopes. Search properties online or call us at the office to take advantage of this awesome opportunity!
If you can’t make it up this weekend, don’t worry, the snow isn’t going anywhere. The extended forecast shows cool temps and plenty of chances for fresh snow to finish out December. We offer so many incredible Ski-In/Ski-Out and Wisp Ski Area properties perfect for your winter getaway! The winter season includes two 3-day weekend holidays – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and President’s Day Weekends – and fun events like Oakland’s Winterfest and the Deep Creek Dunk!
Don’t miss your chance to experience this magical season at Deep Creek Lake! Don’t forget to tag us in your vacation photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter – or use #vacationdcl so we can follow along!
While it’s hard to believe, Thanksgiving is already here! For those spending Thanksgiving at Deep Creek Lake, you’re in luck – this is a super fun weekend at the lake! We broke down some of our favorite things to do this weekend to keep your holiday spirit glowing.
Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner – If you’re in town and not quite sure you want to tackle Thanksgiving dinner in your rental home, there are plenty of options around town to help you out. You can order your full Thanksgiving dinners at places like Shop ’N Save and Arrowhead, or enjoy delicious Thanksgiving specials at several local restaurants! While most places around the lake area will be open Thanksgiving day, it’s best to find their hours online or on their Facebook page to see their holiday hours.
Black Friday like a Local – While Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County do not have most of your traditional shopping outlets for Black Friday shoppers, there are going to be some awesome sales at the local stores! Stock up on your winter gear at High Mountain Sports, Outdoor Elements at Wisp Resort, or Bear Creek Traders, find the perfect Christmas gift for anyone on your list at Schoolhouse Earth, The Tourist Trap or The Christmas Chalet, or get lost in the wonderful variety of stores in downtown Oakland. If you still have the itch to score deals at more familiar places, you’ll find Walmart 15 minutes south of the lake, and shopping centers and most major stores in nearby Morgantown, WV and Lavale, MD (both about 45-60 minutes from the lake).
Small Business Saturday – In an effort to help growing small businesses, Small Business Saturday follows Black Friday each year to attract buyers to the ‘mom and pop’ stores all the locals know and trust in. Basically every shop you’ll find around the lake area is a small business – so you won’t have to search far. If you’ve been to the lake a few times, we strongly encourage you to venture to downtown Oakland and check out all of the wonderful stores! While many stores have been a staple on 2nd Street, like the Book Mark’et or Rudy’s Clothing, there have been several new stores that have opened in the last few years – including a couple in just the last year. Small Business Saturday extends beyond retail, too, so make sure to stop by one of our wonderful restaurants, bakeries, or coffee shops to get the full experience.
Festival of Trees – The annual Festival of Trees at Deep Creek Lake kicks off the Friday following Thanksgiving and continues through Saturday evening! This can’t miss event features intricately decorated trees on display, an entire hall packed with local vendors and artisans, children’s activities, and more! Kids can enjoy breakfast and pictures with Santa, decorating cookies, and shopping in the $1 Elfenheim Mall! All of the trees, wreaths, and tabletop displays are decorated and donated by local businesses and individuals and are auctioned off Saturday evening to the highest bidder. Highlights last year included an absolutely breathtaking, oversized glass snow globe made by local glass blowers at Simon Pearce. The proceeds from the auction help support The Dove Center, a local shelter for women and children. We’ll see you there!
Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Party at the Honi-Honi – Head down to the Honi-Honi for a night of festive, family fun! Enjoy free hot chocolate, Christmas carols, grab your picture with Santa, and watch the tree come to life. Pets are welcomed, too! Stick around after the tree lighting ceremony for live entertainment.
We hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving weekend at Deep Creek Lake! The weather forecast for the holiday weekend shows plenty of sunshine and dry weather with just enough chill to get you in the spirit of winter. Make sure to tag us in your photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or use #vacationdcl so we can see how you vacation the Deep Creek Way!
P.S. Booking your vacation rental home should be easy and fun! If you’re considering staying at the lake for upcoming holidays (even next year!), call us to chat with one of our reservationists to find the perfect home for your family or group. Holidays are a popular time to vacation at Deep Creek Lake, the earlier you book, the more selections you’ll have!
November is the official start of the holiday season, and it’s not hard to get in the spirit at Deep Creek Lake, with snow often in the forecast and fun holiday events filling our calendars. This year, we decided that we wanted to help give back to our community this holiday season by starting a holiday food drive! In addition to a donation box at our office, we’re also giving our guests a way to give back after their stay.
Starting this month, guests will find a red bag in their vacation rental homes specifically for food drive donations. Most guests who rent make a much needed run to the grocery store upon their arrival to stock up for their stay. When they depart, however, it’s not always convenient to pack any leftover food. With our food drive bags already in place right at the home, our hope is that our guests will donate any of their unwanted nonperishable food items. Guests can also purchase foods to donate, too!
The winter months can be very straining on struggling local families, especially during the holiday season. Donating this food to local food banks and charities will not only help feed families, but it will also take some of the burden off of families who must chose between food and presents for their children.
Here at Deep Creek Lodging Company, we think that booking a vacation rental home should be fun, easy, and affordable. With so many third party sites, you may be wondering what the advantages of booking directly with the rental company may be. We’re going to break down some of the hidden fees and common issues found on third party sites like VRBO, Homeaway, and Trip Advisor to show you why booking directly with us can save you time and money!
No Hidden Service Fee
As with most third party sites, the host displays information either provided from the main site or entered by an individual and allows users to see multiple properties from different companies or homeowners in one search. It’s easy to see why sites like VRBO and Homeaway are extremely popular when it comes to booking a home for a vacation. Recently, though, these sites have come under scrutiny for charging users fees up to 9% of their total. And while there is a service fee cap of $499 on VRBO, it’s still an additional cost to vacationers. This fee goes directly to the third party site – not the homeowner or property management company. The easiest way to avoid this fee? Book directly with the rental company.
Website Catered to Deep Creek Lake
Most websites are high tech and built specifically for their intended purpose, so it’s no surprise that VRBO or Homeaway are easy to use and navigate. That being said, our website has one major thing going for it that you won’t find on VRBO – Deep Creek Lake specific information and searching tools. If you’re planning a vacation to Deep Creek Lake, why not learn all that you can about our area and our rental properties? We not only break down what each property type or location means, but we also offer more area-specific information, events, and searching tools based on what’s important for our area.
When booking on Homeaway or VRBO, the contact or question methods may not get you to a person who has answers. There are many benefits of digital communication, but let’s be honest, sometimes you just want to pick up the phone and talk to a real person about your questions. Our reservation staff knows everything about our area, our properties, and our website, making them your all-in-one Deep Creek & Deep Creek Lodging expert. They can explain the rates, specials, seasonality, and any other questions you may have.
One of our primary goals at Deep Creek Lodging Company is to provide our renters with an unforgettable stay at Deep Creek Lake. That includes a smooth and transparent booking process. The money you’ll save skipping that hidden service fee alone could cover the cost of a boat or ski rental, a night out on the town, or the perfect souvenir to remember your trip. We’re here to help you have the best vacation for the best price. Call us or browse online to start planning your Deep Creek vacation today!