A Weekend in Southern West Virginia

From raging rivers to mountain peaks, the possibilities for adventure are endless in Southern West Virginia. Conveniently located within a day’s drive from major East Coast cities, you don’t have to go far to get away for a bit. Between the New River Gorge National Park, 12 state parks, and miles of trails in the area, you’re going to want to make this a regular trip.

Exhibition Coalmine
Exhibition Coalmine

Day One

Morning

Start your day at one of the local cafes with a great cup of coffee paired with a tasty treat and a veggie or fruit smoothie. Then make your way out to America’s newest national park, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, for more than 100 miles of trails to hike and bike, plus some of the best rock climbing and whitewater rafting on the East Coast. 

Afternoon

Just a few miles down the road, experience what is perhaps the biggest part of West Virginia heritage—coal mining history. At the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, take a trip through what once was an operating coal mine in a ‘man car’ as veteran miners guide you through the past and into the future of mining in West Virginia. After the tour, enjoy the Coal Camp, highlighting restored coal camp houses, miner’s shanty, church, school, museum, and gift-shop.

Evening

After a day of exploring and adventuring, you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Southern West Virginia is filled with locally owned and operated restaurants with menus full of flavor. Many of these staple restaurants offer live music and events. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep, so cozy up in a cabin or vacation rental. Whether you’re looking for a home away from home, a cabin in the woods, or a unique flat for your retreat, there are a variety of options to make your home base. 

Tamarack Marketplace 

Day Two

Morning

Adventure is all around in Southern West Virginia. If you’re looking for unmatched views of the Gorge be sure to check out Bridge Walk where they offer daily catwalk tours on the 24-inch catwalk, 851 feet above the New River. This 1.25-mile stroll offers breathtaking views and memories that will last a lifetime.

Afternoon

Make the short 25 minute drive east to Beckley, the heart of Southern West Virginia, for lunch at Tamarack Marketplace. This eye-catching peaked red roof building showcases Appalachian cuisine at its restaurant with indoor, to-go, and al fresco dining options. Once you’ve finished dining, shop and explore the products of the more than 2,800 artisans and artists from throughout the state in this regional showcase.

Evening

Cap your trip off with a visit to one of the area’s award-winning vineyards, unique distilleries, and craft breweries. Check out the calendar for a rotating schedule of food trucks and live music from regional hits. 

WVTourism.com/SouthernWV

Cover photo: View from Bridge Walk. Photos courtesy Visit Southern WV

Places to Go, Things to See: