The leaves and temps are falling this time of year, which makes Mountaineer Country, West Virginia a prime destination. Visit between September and early October to see the most vibrant colors on the Appalachian Mountains, renowned for their vibrant hues of amber and russet. Better yet, this is the season for buckwheat, beer and covered bridges!
The Wild and WonderFALL weekend starts Sept. 26-29 with the 78th Preston County Buckwheat Festival, held in Kingwood, W.Va. This cultural celebration of the fall buckwheat harvest is best known for its buckwheat cakes: thin “pancakes” served with lots of butter, maple syrup and a side of country sausage. The festival itself includes Appalachian artisans, and agricultural displays.
While in Kingwood, stop for a java at family-owned and operated Brew Ha Ha. The coffee beans are roasted onsite and fresh-baked pastries are a glorified injection of sweetness, which is most likely why this homegrown establishment was named one of the 101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia.
Friday evening, Sept. 27 take an “Arts Walk” from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in historic downtown Morgantown. Whether you’re a serious collector, fan or an artist yourself, this fabulous selection of art spread through 40 businesses is worth the visit.
Mountaineer Country is full of unique craft breweries and a number of them will offer tastings during Home Run and Hops Craft Beer Festival, Friday, Sept. 27, set inside the Monongalia County Ballpark. (The ballpark is also home to the West Virginia Black Bears, Minor League Baseball team affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.) The following day, Sept. 28, enjoy the second half of beer lovers weekend during Hops on the Mon Craft Beer & Food Festival, held in the heart of downtown Morgantown.
You can always expand on your Mountaineer Country beer tour by downloading the do-it-yourself Craft Beer Crawl guide at tourmorgantown.com/greater-morgantown-craft-beer-crawl. A local favorite is Chestnut Brew Works Tap Room, open Wednesday through Saturday (check hours). Their Halleck Pale Ale pairs well with West Virginia’s official food: the pepperoni roll cheese melt!
A fall driving tour of Mountaineer Country’s covered bridges is an afternoon filled with history and relaxing landscapes. You’ll visit five bridges, erected between 1852 and 1953. The route includes Philippi Covered Bridge, the oldest and longest (285.5 feel long) covered bridge in West Virginia–which somehow managed to survive the Civil War. Your tour ends at Tygart Lake State Park featuring a series of waterfalls created by the Tygart Valley River. There are a number of scenic places to spread a blanket and picnic in the crisp fall air. Download directions at www.tourmorgantown.com/ride/#covered-route.
On the way to Tygart Valley, take the short drive to Copper House Grill in Fairmont, W.Va. The upstairs and deck provide a casual space for sampling their legendary hot pepper bruschetta: toasted baguettes topped with hot peppers and onions sautéed in a garlic butter sauce, then topped with diced tomatoes and melted mozzarella.
If you’re looking for that perfect “Man Trip” this fall, Mountaineer Country is giving one away! The package includes two rooms for two nights and 18 holes of golf for four at the luxurious Lakeview Golf Resort. If the guided fishing excursion (equipment included) with McFly Outdoors doesn’t promote bonding, then two hours of tossing sharp objects at Mountain Man Axe Throwing will! Guys are also treated to a private tour and craft beer tasting at High Ground Brewery. The package includes $250 in dining gift cards as well. Register at tourmorgantown.com/mantrip.
Accommodations in Mountaineer Country range from rustic cabins–complete with hot tub and breakfast basket–to boutique hotels situated in the heart of downtown Morgantown. Discounted rates are available at MountaineerDeals.com.
Mountaineer Country is centrally located in the mid-Atlantic, just 2-1/2 hours from the Metro DC market or a short flight on Southern Airways from Baltimore Washington International (BWI) or Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW). Daily flights from Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) arrive in North Central West Virginia Airport (CKB).
For help planning your weekend getaway, contact the Greater Morgantown Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-458-7373 or visit tourmorgantown.com.