2015 Bucket List ItemsJanuary 5, 2015
What’s your plan for 2015?
Did you resolve to do something crazy? Something exciting and new? Have a memorable getaway with the ones you love?
Here are some amazing Southern WV bucket-list items you should work on crossing off in 2015:
For a truly unique experience, head to Bridge Day in 2015. It’s our state’s biggest festival, and for good reason. You can watch BASE jumpers leap from the bridge more than 800 feet into the gorge below. Rappellers also glide down their ropes, and other adventure demos change from year to year. You can even get in on the action yourself with a highline from the bridge into the gorge below. If you can’t make the date, you can cross the bridge’s catwalk year-round.
See some spirits on a ‘Natural Presence’ tour, or at least something truly spooky at the haunted amusement park at Lake Shawnee. From the man who lingers eternally in the locked ferris wheel to the little girl who still rocks in the spiny, circular swingset when the wind is calm, there are plenty of ghastly tales to discover, and chill-inducing glimpses to catch of something a little… off.
Sake through the wilderness in an old-fashioned train car with New River Train Excursions. Wind into the gaping New River Gorge to the tiny rail town of Hinton as the leaves are alight for fall, or to the elegant, historic Greenbrier County through the calm winter woodlands.
Delve into our nation’s coal history from its heartland. Head underground for a tour of the old mines at Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine or Pocahontas Exhibition Mine. You can also uncover old abandoned mining towns like Coalwood or Thurmond scattered throughout Southern WV. To see how the coal barons lived, tour their mansions along Bramwell’s Millionaire Rowe.
Discover Appalachian Arts
You can find truly unique Appalachian versions of every kind of artistic endeavor in SWV. Our state has a long history of crafting, which has been passed down through generations. You can see artisans working at Tamarack, where the top works are on display artists in residence give demonstrations. Or, head to the local theaters or Carnegie Hall for productions about heritage, or just a good show. If you’re looking for a band, try some bluegrass, authentic roots music from the mountains.
Visit State & National Parks
The Mountain State has many natural areas that have been nationally recognized for their beauty, and designated to worth preserving for generations to come. There are plenty of ways to explore our State and National Parks:
- Hike out to scenic overlooks of the rolling hills
- Gaze from scenic lookout towers at Pipestem Resort State Park
- Swoop over the New River Gorge National River in a bi-plane
- Boating through Moncove Lake State Park
- Strolling the historic sites at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park
- and more.
Raft the Gauley
Have you been whitewater rafting yet? If so, have you been on any of the world’s top 10 rivers? They’re spread across the globe, but the East Coast has one tucked away right here. The Gauley River is only flowing for on select days in September and October, but it’s one of the wildest runs you’ll ever raft, with 5 unique class V rapids (the highest runnable wave rating), including a waterfall!
It always looks so relaxing on TV, doesn’t it? Secret: it’s even better than it looks. Think of all you’ve accomplished in 2014, your stresses and your hard work. Don’t you deserve a nice getaway? Don’t dip into some city spa; get the full immersion in a place of natural beauty and serenity to set the tone for your relaxation. Both Pipestem Spa and Creekside Spa offer amazing services and surroundings.
Taste real Appalachian flavor
Our best distinct palate was honed from ingredients found around the mountains. Taste the flavors of the hills at homestyle restaurants like The Dish, The Market at Courthouse Square or Smokey’s on the Gorge. Bring home specialty items like spicy pepper jelly from Blue Smoke Salsa, apple butter and jams from Amish Barn Country Store & Deli, or handcrafted spirits from Smooth Ambler.
So, what Southern WV resolutions are you adding to your 2015 list?