WV, if you still haven’t tried these 7 staples, get on it in 2017!January 31, 2017
If you’re from West Virginia but you still haven’t done these 7 things, you need to get them on your things to do resolution list, and trust us, these resolutions are worth keeping.
Southern WV is crammed full of history and culture. If you haven’t toured much of the region, add these attractions, parks and activities to your resolution list, and explore from there:
1. Tamarack: the “Best of West Virginia”
This enormous art center really does seem to represent the best of the Mountain State.
For starters, Tamarack has fine art from every genre you can imagine. Ceramics, glass, baskets, textiles, candy and toys from regional artists fill one section after another. The sheer depth of talent is astonishing.
While you’re there, get a taste of Appalachian culture at the gourmet food court, too. Professional chefs serve delicacies like fried West Virginia rainbow trout, smoked tenderloin and hot cobbler.
2. Theatre West Virginia
Discover our colorful folklore at a Theatre West Virginia performance outside in the mountain air. The stage at Grandview sits in front of the scenic New River. Watch a play in the evening, right as the sun sets.
The shows are exciting, too. Catch some of their renowned performances, the 2017 season will feature “Hatfields and McCoys” and “Footloose” and “Jungle Book”,
3. Babcock State Park
Photograph one of West Virginia’s most photogenic attractions: the Glade Creek Grist Mill.
In fact, you may have already seen this quaint old-fashioned mill on postcards, Christmas bulbs and wind chimes. Seeing it in person, though, is so much better. Lush trees surround the mill, while a stream swishes over sleek boulders.
Did you know that more millionaires once lived here than anywhere else in America? During the coal boom, barons settled here Bramwell by the dozen.
Their magnificent mansions still tower over the tiny brick streets with lacy trim, intricate woodwork and copper shingles. Some have opulent ballrooms and bank vaults, too! Time your visit just right, and you can tour inside some of them.
The Corner Shop is another Bramwell gem. It’s a nostalgic diner with an authentic soda fountain, marble countertops and waiters in pillbox hats. Go ahead, order a sundae, milkshake or banana split! It’s a delightful, old-fashioned American experience.
5. Bridge Walk
Combine astonishing views with a hike unlike anything you’ve ever experienced: a catwalk tour beneath the Western Hemisphere’s longest steel-arch span.
At 3,030 feet long, the New River Gorge Bridge is a dramatic sight. It’s also pretty high— 876 feet. But the scenes from the catwalk are just as breathtaking. Wander from rim to rim and take pictures along the way!
6. Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine
The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine takes you underground on a mantrip tour. With a veteran miner as your guide, you’ll plunge deep into the earth to hear stories about the mine days and watch equipment demonstrations. It’s a tour you’ll want to take again and again.
Above ground, explore a restored miners’ town, complete with shanties, clapboard homes and a school house. It’s an interactive history lesson.
7. Hatfield McCoy Trails
If you’ve never gotten around to off-road trekking, make it a goal for 2017! All you need to do is head south to the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, one of the East Coast’s largest off-road networks.
With more than 600 miles of exploration to do, you won’t get bored. There are trails for all levels of riders, too. Some have challenging mud pits, while others lead you through wild scenery.
Sign up for lessons or go on a tour with a local outfitter; there are “Hatfield-McCoy communities” right around the trailheads, so you’ll have plenty of places to dine, sleep and drive.