More to see Bridge Day Weekend

Jumpers & Rappellers highlight the Annual Bridge Day Festival

Jumpers & Rappellers highlight the Annual Bridge Day Festival

If you’re joining the crowds at Bridge Day, don’t forget that there’s more to explore!

Bridge Day is the biggest event in Southern West Virginia. In fact, during the festival, more people convene in Fayetteville than in any city in the state. It’s our largest pop-up population.

It’s easy to see what attracts the crowds: BASE jumpers parachuting from the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, rappellers descending into the canyon,  unique WV foods, tons of local vendors with great crafts, and amazing foods.

But the festival isn’t all there is to see! Make it a weekend, and explore the area before and after Bridge Day.

Here are some of the highlights:

Around Fayetteville (5 min drive)

Go enjoy the outdoorsy, happening little town that helps make this adventure-fest possible.

Weekend Events

As a part of the Bridge Day weekend, Fayetteville hosts the after-party with a downtown chili cook-off, and the evening before Bridge Day, Adventures on the Gorge brings restaurants in for Taste of Bridge Day, where you can sample all the region’s most loved dishes in one place, with a beautiful scenic view.

Truly Unique Dining

Fayetteville is a haven of culinary creatives from around the world. Taste gourmet pizzas from Pies and Pints, upscale Appalachian cuisine from Smokey’s on the Gorge, sweet-potato stuffed tortillas at the Burrito Bar, or smoky BBQ at Fire Creek BBQ & Steaks. That’s barely scraping the surface of your eatery options around downtown.

Local Shops


Hiking in the New River Gorge

Downtown is also full of quirky shops and top-quality gear stores. You can find antiques at the New River Antique Mall, recycled and natural goods from Cathedral Cafe  Feeling adventurous? Rent a bike or get some top-notch gear from Arrowhead Bike Farm, or explore climbing and camping gear at the legendary Waterstone Outdoors. You can even see a show (The Butler Did It!) at the Historic Fayette Theater!

Around the New River Gorge (up to 20 min drive) 

With more than 70,000 acres of the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve to explore and the lots of small towns to visit that support the park, there’s plenty to see all around the gorge.

Outdoor Adventure

It’s no secret that the New River Gorge is the capital of West Virginia adventure. Recreation activities include hiking and biking, along with world-class whitewater rafting (the Gauley River is one of the Top 10 across the globe) and renowned sandstone cliffside climbing. If the BASE jumpers inspired you, you can soar the skies doing stunts in a Wild Blue WWII plane. Zipline through the trees hit the trails horseback, challenge yourself to an aerial obstacle course, stroll across the bridge catwalk, go underground among the caves… that’s just a glimpse at what you can try.


Beckley Mine

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine

Head into the commercial center of the gorge area in Beckley. There you’ll find some of West Virginia’s top crafters on display at Tamarack, with some in-studio artisans creating away in front of you with live demos. Then, delve into history and underground at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, where you’ll ride an old mine car into the cavern for a look at one of the state’s most famous industries. The kids might be more interested in the Youth Museum, where they can roam the Appalachian frontier or learn about history with fun interactive exhibits.


Tucked back a bit more than Fayetteville, Ansted is full of its own unique charm. Ride over the aerial tram at Hawk’s Nest State Park for a beautiful view, and swoop down into the marina for a New River Jetboat Ride then head out to discover the oddities at Mystery Hole.


While the lake might be chilly, you can get an amazing landscape view from atop the lighthouse. Or, throw on a wet suit to stay warm and roll down the scenic Gauley River that drains from the lake. Stop in to taste the mountains with a sip of wine & spirits at Kirkwood Winery, where you’ll find wild flavors like dandelion, ginseng, ramp, blackberry, and more.


Thurmond wv

Thurmond, WV

This old mining town is nearly abandoned, but it’s a great place to explore. The depot has been restored, and is now a visitor’s center and museum, where you can hear all of the town’s tales. If you’re interested in exploring even more abandoned coal sites, ask about finding some of the ghost towns and ruins in the area.

Across Southern WV (within about an hour’s drive)

Escape the crowds to see some of WV’s other cultural treasure troves.

Glade Springs

If all the Bridge Day adventure got you tuckered out, spend a day at the spa. Glade Springs Resort’s massive private estate has plenty to enjoy, from fine dining to bowling and recreation, and, because we’re approaching Halloween, they’ll also have 4 huge haunted attractions this weekend, including a 3D haunted house, hayride, and zombie laser tag game.


This charming little town is full of character. Stroll historic downtown for jam-packed antique and artisan shops, art galleries, outdoor gear stores, boutiques, and more, there’s plenty to browse. Take a break to dine at a charming cafe, quirky coffee shop or upscale eatery. The eclectic vegetarian-friendly Wild Bean, lauded Stardust Cafe, farm-to-table Stella’s and modern Food & Friends are a few local favorites. The town is also home to one of the world’s 4 Carnegie Halls, and several other entertainment venues. Nearby, you can find trails and caves to explore.


History buffs can delight in the Eastern Regional Coal Archives, where you can find diaries, artifacts, records, photos and more from the coal boom era. Take home a piece of WV’s heritage with classic coins and fine glassware from the Bronze Look. A little further from town, you’ll find Bramwell, with streets still lined with lavish, sprawling mansions from when the town was home to more millionaires than anywhere else in the country.


Historic Hinton Rail Depot

Historic Hinton Rail Depot

Stop off in nearby Sandstone Falls to catch the water crashing, stretched 1,500 feet across the scenery. Then drive on to this old rail town, and dig right into its history at the Hinton Railroad Museum. If you’re still in town the weekend after Bridge Day you’ll definitely want to check out the Historic Town of Hinton as they host their annual Hinton Railroad Days, the town will be bustling with activity. You can even ride the rails along the daily Amtrak rides (just plan out a route back, too!) The historic area is full of unique architecture, like the Romanesque Revival style courthouse. Entertain yourself with a show at the Ritz Theatre, or just flip on the AM radio for some old-school hits & chat on Historic Hinton’s Hometown Radio.

What are you exploring on Bridge Day weekend