West Virginia is one of those states that tends to get overlooked. Most people either forget, or don’t even realize all that it has to offer. Being the most mountainous state in the US and having 78% of its landmass covered in forest, West Virginia is the outdoor enthusiasts dream! From summer activities like hiking, mountain biking, and whitewater rafting to winter activities like snowboarding/skiing, snow shoeing, and snowmobiling, you’re bound to find something to peak your interest! And on top of that, it also offers some amazing urban experiences in cities like Charleston and Morgantown! Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised with how much we loved West Virginia after visiting. In this itinerary, we cover everything that we did (plus a little more) on our most recent trip to the Mountain State! If you would like to see more of our experience, you can go check out our "West Virginia Travel Vlog"!
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5:00 pm: Arrive at the Cabins at Pine Haven for the night (242 Log Cabin Rd, Beaver)
Sure, you could stay at any hotel off the interstate before diving into your activities here in West Virginia, but why do that when you can stay in a tree house!? Especially one with a hot tub! While the Cabins at Pine Haven does offer regular cabins as well, we highly recommend booking one of their two tree house cabins. It was the perfect, romantic way to start our trip in West Virginia.
8:00 am: Breakfast at Tudor’s Biscuit World (1325 Ritter Dr, Daniels)
Before diving into a morning of skiing/snowboarding, you’ll want to fuel up, and what better way to do that than with a West Virginia original! They’re known for… you guessed it… their biscuits! But they offer full breakfast platters that will get you through a morning packed with winter activities.
9:00 am: Snowboard/Ski at Winterplace Ski Resort (100 Old Flat Top Mountain Rd, Ghent)
Now it’s time to work off all of those calories you just consumed, and what better way to do that than sliding down a mountain?! Neither of us had much or any experience with snowboarding or skiing, but thankfully Winterplace has been voted the best place to learn how to ski/snowboard in the Southeast! We decided to give snowboarding a go since we have more experience with board sports (wakeboarding, surfing, longboarding, etc), but we were quickly informed that snowboarding is nearly nothing like any of those! Fortunately, our teacher Terrill was excellent at what he did and had the patience of a saint! He made the whole experience so enjoyable and made it apparent why Winterplace was the best place to learn how to ski/snowboard in the Southeast. Whether you're a novice or a pro, we highly recommend checking out Winterplace Ski Resort, and if you’re not into snowboarding or skiing, they offer some of the best snowtubing in the Southeast as well!
1:00 pm: Lunch at Dish Cafe (1466 Ritter Dr, Daniels)
If you’re like us, after a (hopefully successful) morning of snowboarding/skiing, you’re probably starving! Thankfully, Dish Cafe is just a short 15 minute drive up the road and Chef Paul Almond is serving up some of the most delicious farm-to-table dishes you can find! They source all of their beef from Swift Level Farm which is just up the road in Lewisburg, and they put emphasis on fresh, in-season ingredients for all of their dishes. We ordered the “Hey Jack Burger” and “Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup with Edamame & Feta Craisin Salad” and couldn’t have been more satisfied!
2:00 pm: Drive 20 minutes to the Grandview Main Overlook (4700 Grandview Rd, Beaver)
The Grandview Main Overlook is an Appalachian version of Horseshoe Bend and a part of the newest National Park in the US, New River Gorge National Park. The overlook sits 1,400 feet over the valley and is positioned at the bottom of a U-shaped bend in the New River creating amazing panoramic views of the mountains and river below. It’s definitely worth the pit stop!
3:00 pm: Depart on a 50 minute drive to Fayetteville (one of America’s Coolest Small Towns to visit)
With more local eateries and breweries than stop lights, Fayetteville is in fact one of Americas the coolest small towns to visit! Some of the stand out establishments are Pies & Pints Pizzeria, Secret Sandwich Society, and Free Folk Brewery, but don’t let these suggestions keep you from trying any of the other half dozen or more outstanding options!
4:30 pm: See the New River Gorge Bridge at the Canyon Rim Visitor Center. (162 Visitor Center Rd, Lansing)
At 3,030 feet long and 876 feet above the New River, the New River Gorge Bridge is the longest steel arch bridge in the US and is a modern marvel that shouldn’t be missed!
5:00 pm: Continue drive towards Charleston via the Midland Trail Scenic Highway (U.S. Route 60). Highlights include Kanawha Falls and Cathedral Falls.
Due to inclement weather we weren’t able to do this section of the trip which we were super bummed about, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t include it on your trip! Everyone that we talked to agreed that it’s a gorgeous scenic drive that is well worth the trip. Plus, despite the winding turns and slower speed limit, it’s actually the quickest route to Charleston from the New River Gorge Bridge.
6:30 pm: Check into the hotel. We stayed at Four Points by Sheraton which had amazing views of the Kanawha River (600 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston)
8:00 pm: Dinner at 1010 Bridge (1010 Bridge Rd, Charleston)
After catching a little siesta at the hotel, it’s time for some dinner! 1010 Bridge is one of Charleston’s newest and most promising restaurants. With Chef Paul Smith leading the charge, they are taking the Charleston culinary scene by storm! It’s located in the South Hills neighborhood and is housed in an unassuming storefront, but the second you step inside, you know that you’re in for a treat! The atmosphere is relaxed but upscale with a touch of southern charm. They’ve done an excellent job at retaining the history of the building and have even repurposed past tenants left behind items into decor! Once we were seated, we wasted no time... For starters, we got the White Cheddar Pimento Cheese which is topped with Pepper Jelly, Fresno Chile, and Candied Pecans and served with Spiced Saltine Crackers. It was a classic southern dish elevated to a new level without losing the essence of what the dish is, and it was delicious! For the main course, Natalie ordered the Cast Iron Seared “1010” Cut which is served with Lobster Mac & Cheese, Candied Brussel Sprouts, Cabernet Bordelaise, and Foie Gras-Shallot Truffle Butter (and we added the Pan Seared Scallops to make it a Surf & Turf) and I ordered the Berkshire Pork Osso Buco which is served with Spanish Olive & Golden Raisin Farro, Tomato-Fennel Broth, and Fried Capers. We can’t speak highly enough of just how good these dishes were! Everything was cooked to perfection and all of the flavors complimented each other in a magical way. Where there was salt, there was just the right amount of sweet to balance it out. Where there was acid, there was just the right amount of fat to make your mouth water. When I say these two dishes were perfect, I absolutely mean it! Typically when we go out and order two different meals, there is a clear favorite, but in this case, we couldn’t decide… they were both that good! After indulging in the savory, we ordered the Chocolate Silk Tart (Graham Cracker Crust, JQ Dickinson Salted Caramel, Toasted Marshmallow) and again, Chef Paul and his team knocked it out of the park! the chocolate couldn’t have been more silky smooth, the salted caramel was the perfect balance of salt and sweet, and the homemade toasted marshmallow was the icing on the cake… figuratively and literally! It was the perfect way to wrap up an already outstanding meal! If you are ever in Charleston, WV, you HAVE to eat at 1010 Bridge! They are currently operating on a reservation only model and are only offering dinner, so make your reservations early, because they go fast!
10:30 pm: Bedtime… or not… you’re a grown adult! Do what you want! Lol
8:00 am: Coffee/Breakfast at Mea Cuppa Coffeebar (800 Smith St, Charleston)
Mea Cuppa came highly recommended by Chef Paul from 1010 Bridge, and it did not disappoint. We went to the Capitol Market location which is located inside the main hall of the market. I ordered the Velvet Elvis which is a latte with blackberry, dark chocolate, and toasted almond whipped cream and let me tell you… they named it appropriately, because it was smooth as the King himself! One of my favorite lattes I’ve ever had! Natalie got the Chai Latte which was delicious as well. It was on the spicier side rather than the sweet side, but it was a nice balance. We didn’t order any food, but they do have a selection of pastries and baked goods to pair with your coffee or tea for a light breakfast.
9:00 am: Take a self-guided tour of Charleston’s art scene - there are nearly 75 murals in all!
With coffee in hand it’s the perfect time to drive and/or walk around the city and see the many works of art on display… and it’s not just murals! There are so many interesting and unique sculptures, murals, and functional pieces to see, plus it’s a great way to explore the city!
10:30 am: Explore Capitol Market (800 Smith St, Charleston)
Even though you were just here for coffee/breakfast a couple of hours ago, the rest of the market doesn’t open until 10am, and you can’t leave Charleston without roaming through the market, tasting artisan chocolates and exotic cheeses, and shopping for local, West Virginia crafted goods to take home!
12:00 pm: Lunch
1:00 pm: Head home!
We hope that this itinerary helps you make the most of your next visit to West Virginia, and that you have an even more amazing time than we did! And if you’re interested in a FREE PRINTABLE of this itinerary, you can download that HERE! Happy adventuring!