Our Area

Southern West Virginia

Our part of West Virginia is wonderful. We’re comprised of the nine counties spread east to west and south to central across the Mountain State. To truly get an understanding of these mountains, you have to experience them.

Maps and Locations

It’s okay if you’re not familiar with our area – we can help with that. Check out our map.

Scenic Views & Endless Experiences (Raleigh, Fayette and Nicholas Counties)

The heart of Southern West Virginia, Raleigh, Fayette and Nicholas counties are known for exciting outdoor recreation and one-of-a-kind attractions.
From forested trails and rugged rivers to sandstone cliffs and deep valleys, the region’s natural beauty is always on display. Need to unplug? Go on a hike or horseback ride or take a zipline tour, whitewater rafting trip or rock climbing excursion. Spend a day at the lake, fishing or splashing about in the cool waters. There’s plenty to explore.
Add in the famed bridge where West Virginia’s largest one-day festival occurs every October, the state’s largest snow tubing park, a renowned arts and cultural center, historic museums and education sites, a diverse dining scene, and you’ve got an unforgettable destination.

Timeless Towns & Farm Country (Summers, Monroe and Greenbrier Counties)

Revitalized railroad towns, quaint communities and rolling landscapes found in Summers, Monroe and Greenbrier counties are a delightful addition to your Southern West Virginia trip.

Take a stroll through downtown districts or set out on a hike along one of the area’s famous foot trails. See where the three rivers meet and discover local legends. Admire remnants of the past and unwind among nature. Discover art, culture and a thriving food scene. From museums and galleries, to historic churches and cemeteries, to restaurants and breweries, this area appeals to all interests.

Experience the timeless charm of small-town life and the quiet appeal of the countryside here.

Historic Coalfields and Off-road Adventures (Wyoming, McDowell and Mercer counties)

Whether you are tackling the trails or exploring the rich coal history, excitement is waiting for you off-the-beaten-path in Wyoming, Mercer and McDowell counties.

Venture to one of the area’s three state parks to discover cascading waterfalls, scenic vistas and miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. For an extra adrenaline rush, kick up some dust on an ATV, UTV or dirt bike on the Hatfield- McCoy Trails network, one of the largest off-road vehicle trail systems in the country.

From coal camps and houses that dot the countryside to a recreated 1830s homestead, to the first World War I Memorial Building, historians will also enjoy the remaining traces of the past found in these counties.



About Us

Visit Southern West Virginia Who We Are The mission of Visit Southern West Virginia is to promote southern West Virginia as a visitor friendly travel destination. Visit Southern West Virginia is a 'destination marketing' organization. We are a not-for-profit organization that works independently under the auspices of a board of directors. Visit Southern West Virginia is directly responsible for travel and tourism 'product awareness' to visitors for the 9 county region that we are promote. Funding The primary funding source for Visit Southern West Virginia, as well as other bureaus like ours, is derived from a tax that is placed on lodging in the area in which we promote and contract to represent. We also offer a membership program to enhance revenue. Marketing Initiatives Visit Southern West Virginia's marketing initiatives are achieved through the following: trade association marketplaces, travel shows, advertising, creation & distribution of promotional and collateral material, direct sales, hosting familiarization tours and other hospitality functions. What We Do Visit Southern West Virginia promotes 9 counties in Southern West Virginia. These 9 counties are: Raleigh, Mercer, Fayette, Greenbrier, Monroe, McDowell, Nicholas, Wyoming and Summers. Southern West Virginia is an ideal place for individual leisure travel, conventions, meetings and group tours. Visit Southern West Virginia is the marketing arm for member businesses of the hospitality community. With this in mind, our Official Visitors Guide and Visitwv.com website is designed to be your authority on any and all tourism related information in southern West Virginia. We enthusiastically encourage you to use this website and our official visitors guide as a valuable resource in planning your next visit, meeting or group tour to Southern West Virginia. Visit Southern West Virginia, the official sales and marketing organization of Southern West Virginia, is proud of our region and cities and stand ready to ensure that your time here will be nothing less then outstanding. Call us toll free at 1-800-847-4898 or locally at 304-252-2244. Email us:


Southern West Virginia is located less than a day's drive from over 50% of the US population. Our region is easily accessible via automobiles from I-64, I-77 and I-79, via Amtrak Train and area Airports. Yeager Airport in Charleston, the West Virginia State Capitol, is only 50 miles away from Beckley, WV. Gateway airports such as Raleigh County Memorial Airport and Greenbrier Valley Airport service flights into the heart of Southern West Virginia.     Area Maps PDF - County Map PDF - City Map


Raleigh County

The Heart of Southern West Virginia Raleigh County, considered the Hub of Southern West Virginia, is home to Beckley, The City with a Mine of Its Own. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is where you can find yourself underground in a cool 58 degree mine shaft while your tour guide, a retired coal miner, tells you about the days of coal. Newly expanded facilities at the Exhibition Coal Mine include a reproduction of a coal tipple that houses a coal mining museum, visitor's center, country store and much more. Raleigh County is also home to several great parks including Little Beaver State Park where you can fish, camp and paddleboat and Lake Stephens where you can swim, play on the Aqua Park lake toys, bring the kids to the Sprinkler Splash Pad,  camp, fish, boat, bike and hike! Grandview Park, a unit of the New River Gorge National River, hosts a dramatic overlook of the New River Gorge and is complimented by the seasonal outdoor drama presentations by Theatre West Virginia. Tamarack, the state's premier arts & crafts center, located off of I-77, Exit 44/45 in the Beckley/Raleigh County area invites you to come see, taste and experience WV handcrafts and culinary delights in a unique setting. While many vacationers think that Southern West Virginia is only a fair-weather travel destination, we are blessed with all four seasons, including SNOW. Raleigh County is Home of Winterplace Ski Resort, boasting 27 trails and 9 lifts; the Resort is located just off I-77 in Flat Top. Winterplace is the home of West Virginia's largest snowtubing park. Check out Burning Rock Outdoor Adventure Park, which has miles of off-road trails. camping and cabins. Trails are suited for ATV's, side-by-sides and Jeeps! There is so much more to see and do Come and learn the History, experience the Outdoor Recreation & Fairs & Festivals and shop 'til you drop in our antique stores, malls and specialty shops. We invite you to see it all! Call 800-VISIT-WV.

Fayette County

New River Gorge Country Welcome to Fayette County - West Virginia's New River destination! Fayette County is the home of the famed New River, one of America's National Heritage Rivers, and the New River Gorge Bridge, the longest steel arch bridge in the western hemisphere. Mark your calendar for Bridge Day, West Virginia's largest one day festival, held annually on the third Saturday in October. One of Fayette County's most unique attractions is Bridge Walk. This unique tour takes you 851 feet above the New River and underneath the New River Gorge Bridge on the catwalk. Experience exhilarating whitewater on one of the oldest rivers in the world: the New River. Explore hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails, or climb the vertical rock walls of the Gorge. We share Fayette County and the New River with over a million visitors each year. Step into the past and discover Fayette County's multi-cultural and diverse heritage. Learn about our rich background on the Coal Heritage Trail or the Midland Trail Scenic Byway. Enjoy your stay in Fayette County in a local hotel, choose one of our historic Bed & Breakfasts or cozy up in deluxe cabin in the woods. Visit our towns where you will find quality specialty shops and great dining opportunities. No matter what your enjoy, you'll find it in Fayette County. For additional information on Fayette County you can visit the New River Gorge Convention & Visitors Bureau's website.

Wyoming County

Coal Country Wyoming County is known for its coal mining heritage, with coal camps and houses dotting the countryside. Twin Falls Resort State Park is a hidden treasure in the Appalachian Mountains offering an 18-hole golf course, meeting facilities, restaurants, lodging and more. You can also take a step back in time while you view and photograph the Pioneer Farm at Twin Falls. This is a living history farm of the 1830's - buildings are not open to tours. Wyoming County boasts the Castle Rock Trail Head, part of the Pinnacle Creek Trail which is known as the most scenic trail system in Hatfield-McCoy Country. The Hatfield McCoy Trails, also referred to as 'Trails Heaven', is open to off-road vehicles. R.D. Bailey Lake, part of the Guyandotte River Basin, has the 2nd highest dam in West Virginia, towering 310 ft. high and is open for boating year-round. For More information call the Wyoming County Convention & Visitors Bureau 304-560-8939

McDowell County

Coal Country Named after Governor James McDowell in 1858, McDowell County is located deep in the heart of coal country. The largest coal producing county in the world for many years, it fueled the steel industry and was responsible for the making of weapons and ships that won WWI and II. The county seat is Welch, located at the forks of the Tug River and Elkhorn Creek. The city is noted for having the first World War I memorial building and the first municipally owned and operated parking building, and a nationally recognized historic district diverse in architecture and cultural styles. The county's present day fame is the setting for "Rocket Boys," a novel by Homer Hickam that traces the story of a few boys from Coalwood whose innovations and aspirations in the art of rocket science gained the town national recognition. McDowell County is home to two trail off-road systems in the Hatfield-McCoy ATV Trails family: the Indian Ridge Trail System and the Warrior Trail System. Indian Ridge has 75+ miles and the Warrior Trail System has 65+ miles or rugged terrain. The remote wilderness in this region offers renowned hunting opportunities. While many counties offer gun hunting during deer season, McDowell only permits bow hunting. Great Wildlife Experiences Await You! Call the McDowell County Commission for more information on the area, 304-436-8548.

Greenbrier County

Timeless Charm A county rich in history still remains a voluptuous rolling landscape. Lewisburg, the county seat and one of the oldest towns in West Virginia, was named in the top 100 Best Small Art Towns in America. Established in 1792, Lewisburg has a 236-acre National Register Historic District containing 18th & 19th century buildings of historic and architectural significance. Greenbrier County's White Sulphur Springs is home to world renown, Greenbrier Resort. The town is also the home of Oakhurst Links, the first organized golf club in the United States. Numerous outdoor opportunities await you, including hiking and biking along the Greenbrier River Trail and in Greenbrier State Forest and fishing, camping and canoeing on the Greenbrier River. Tour underground in nearby Lost World Caverns and make plans to attend the State Fair of West Virginia held annually in August. There are also plenty of shopping, dining and crafted spirits, including Smooth Ambler, Hawk Knob Cider and Meade and Greenbrier Valley Brewing,  available in Lewisburg and the surrounding area of Greenbrier County. Lewisburg, voted Budget Travel's Coolest Small Town 2011, is a town rich in the arts and is home to Carnegie Hall and the Greenbrier Valley Theatre. Whatever your taste - Culture, History, Recreation, and Adventure await! Visit the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitors Bureau for more information.

Nicholas County

The Lake District Nicholas County is home to West Virginia's largest lake; Summersville Lake has over 28,000 acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline. The lake provides recreational adventure for everyone from weekend vacationers to outdoor extremists. Enjoy swimming, fishing, scuba diving, hiking, biking, climbing and some of the best whitewater rafting in the East! This great recreational lake located in the Gauley River National Recreation Area is controlled by Summersville Dam. The water released from the Dam feeds the world-renowned Gauley River, where whitewater enthusiasts flock each fall to challenge the rapids of this mighty river. Nicholas County, rich in history, is a great place for those interested in early settlements, Civil War sites including Carnifex Ferry State Park, and the lumber industry in West Virginia, which formed the town of Richwood. Fairs and festivals are part of life in Nicholas County. Annual events include the Feast of the Ramson in April, Gospel & Bluegrass Festivals in June and the Civil War Weekend and Gauley Fest in September. In Summersville, the county seat of Nicholas County, is the Summersville Arena and Conference Center. This Center is a 73,000 square foot multi-use facility and brings in great entertainment and events to southern West Virginia. For more information contact: Summersville Area Chamber of Commerce at 304-872-1588, Richwood Area Chamber of Commerce at 304-846-6790 or the Summersville Convention & Visitors Bureau at 304-872-3722.

Summers County

Where Three Rivers Meet A county of three rivers the New, Bluestone and Greenbrier, is filled with seemingly unending natural beauty. Hinton, the County seat, was once a railroad boom town servicing the coal industry in its heyday. The Ballengee and Hinton families were influential in the county 's success as a railroad hub. Summers County is rich in outdoor activity with superb fishing, hiking, horseback riding and more. Two of West Virginia's great state parks are within the Summers County boundaries. Pipestem Resort State Park, offers golf, horseback riding and fishing. Bluestone State Park, located on Bluestone Lake, offers fishing, hiking and swimming. History abounds in Summers County. Visit Graham House, one of the oldest and most historic homes in West Virginia which is sure to captivate your interest. Take time to stop at one or all of our many museums we have to offer: The Veteran's Museum, Bluestone Museum, Railroad Museum and the Flannigan Murrell House. Summers County is rich in rail and coal history and home of the Legend of John Henry, The Steel Drivin' Man. Annual festivals include: John Henry Days, the West Virginia Water Festival, Festival of the Rivers and Hinton Railroad Days. Visit Summers County, stroll through Historic Hinton, stop at the John Henry Monument and Tunnel and don't leave before viewing the gorgeous Sandstone Falls. Come Fish, Relax, Explore and Enjoy!

Monroe County

Untouched Farm Country Monroe County, West Virginia offers you a place to Get Real! This rural, agricultural community has retained and enhanced many of the characteristics of previous times. It is still possible to have an authentic and memorable experience in this scenic country county! Monroe County is where you'll find: Restored covered bridges, old grain and blacksmith mills, historic churches and cemeteries, and the remnants of historic mineral springs resort hotels. Step back in time! Access to the Appalachian Trail and Allegheny Trails, George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Moncove Lake State Park, and the Hanging Rock Observatory (where hawk and eagle counts take place every fall). All ages and stages of you who love the outdoors will be delighted! Scenic By-Ways and Backways, The Rural Heritage Quilt Trail, and several Civil War Trail sites. Country roads along with the quaint winding courses of Indian, Second, Rich, Cove, Potts, and Hans Creeks; the gently rolling plateaus of karst farmland; and the picturesque valleys, nestled along the lofty ridges of the Appalachian Mountains. Remember the road trip! Here people greet each other, wave at strangers passing by in their cars, and enjoy a simpler lifestyle of safe communities with deep traditions and heritage. Get Real! In a place called Monroe!

Mercer County

Explorers Welcome Identified by the East River Mountain tunnel along I-77 lies Mercer County. Exit 9, Princeton, is the county seat and offers a variety of motels and restaurants. Exit 1, Bluefield, once the financial hub of the coalfields has a rich history, an active rail yard and various attractions. The area guarantees fun and excitement for everyone. For the outdoor adventurists Mercer County offers hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, skiing, ATV riding and two state parks: Camp Creek and Pinnacle Rock. For those who prefer indoor activities, you'll find meeting facilities, fitness centers, nightly entertainment and some of the finest dining in southern West Virginia. Mercer County, West Virginia is home to Bramwell, a national award winning Preserve America Community. See the beautiful elaborate homes built by the wealthy coal operators and hear the stories of their elegant and active social life. Visitors are invited to explore a rich heritage in West Virginia's southern coalfields and hear stories of miner's hardships. Learn about the railroad's role in developing Mercer County, particularly Bluefield and Princeton, into a hub for a flourishing region. The Princeton Railroad Museum offers additional information on railroad history. With this thriving economy, the area developed a heritage rich in the arts with a heavy musical influence. Visit the Vietnam Memorial and the Mercer County War Museum. Talk with veterans who served and see a unique collection of wartime memorabilia at the Mercer County War Museum. Enjoy a variety of shopping options from a modern shopping mall, antique stores or quaint specialty shops. Spend your evenings cheering at one of our many sporting events, including two Appalachian league professional baseball teams Bluefield Blue Jays and Princeton Rays. We invite you to enjoy all that Mercer County and Southern West Virginia has to offer. For more information contact: The Mercer County Convention & Visitors Bureau: 800-221-3206 Bluestone Travel Plaza: (304) 384-7535 Princeton Tourist Information Center: (304) 487-2214