Best of November in WV

As crisp fall days slowly creep into winter, the mountains of West Virginia come alive with festive fun.

Here are the best events to hold on to the nice weather before it creeps away, or to kick start you into the holiday season:

1. Watch unique artwork take shape before your eyes

Trails and Trees Studio Tour, Nov. 5 & 6

Instead of an art walk, think of the Trails and Trees Studio Tour as an art drive. Leisurely traverse the scenic back roads of Berkeley County, venturing from one studio to the next. Get a behind-the-scenes look at 11 studios, where you can watch artisans work in their natural environment.

The artists that call Berkeley County home create very unique pieces. You’ll see cashmere-and-felt animals, gourd art, wooden hats, clocks made from repurposed items (seriously, one artist has made a clock out of a tea kettle!) and more.

2. Meet 24 Mountain State Artists

Over the Mountain Studio Tour, Nov. 12-13

Venture out in Jefferson County to meet 24 artists and see their work at 9 different stops. Follow your handy-dandy tour brochure to live demos, plated snacks, great conversation and wonderful wares, including pottery, baskets, stained glass, portraits, jewelry, toys and more.

3. Watch miniature trains chug along the tracks

Pocahontas NRHS Train Show, Nov. 12-13

Calling all train enthusiasts! Big and little train lovers alike will be filled with joy at the annual Pocahontas Train Show, as plenty of model trains chug their way through the Bluefield Youth Center. There will also be a slew of collectibles and memorabilia, if you want to take a little magic home.

4. Cruise a nationally-renowned lights display

Oglebay Festival of Lights, Nov. 11- Jan. 8

If you’re antsy to get into the Christmas spirit, one of the nation’s largest light shows opens mid-November. At Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, ooh and aah at more than 300 acres of twinkling lights on your 6-mile cruise through the beautiful resort. Enjoy more than 85 larger-than-life scenes popping out of the rolling hills in spectacular color.

The animals at the adjacent Good Zoo wanted in on the Christmas fun, too! They deck the place out with a dazzling light show, with more than 35,000 LED lights pulsing to the sounds of holiday music.

5. See where Santa gets all of those lumps of coal

Appalachian Coal Town Christmas, Nov. 25-26, Dec. 2-3

The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is a unique chance to board a bumpy ride through the dark passages of a vintage coal mine. The guides are veteran miners and provide firsthand accounts of the iconic industry.

During Appalachian Coal Town Christmas, the exhibition coal mine and adjacent youth museum celebrate the season with special underground tours, horse and wagon rides, planetarium presentations, marshmallow roasting, caroling and crafting!  Check out twinkling Christmas lights and decorations aboveground, and then delve into the underground for a captivating coal mining lesson.

6. Capture old-time moments on the tracks

Steam Shutterbug Weekend, Nov. 7-8

Trains and cameras make for an exciting combination, and fantastic photography opportunities. Hop aboard the Durbin Rocket, one of only 3 operating Climax-geared logging locomotives on Earth, or the steam-driven and refurbished Shay logging train of the Cass Scenic Railroad.

Cass is planning several workshops, under the lead of local photographer Chase Gunnoe, which allow railroad fans and photographers to do their thing in a unique setting. The workshops will be steps back in history using their authentic steam-powered locomotives, vintage props like antique cars, and human models dressed in 1940s clothing.

7. Get hot! hot! hot!

Way Back Weekend, Nov. 5

Heritage Farm Museum and Village in Huntington takes you back in time every month with their Way Back Weekends. November’s inspiration is early West Virginia industry. Things will get hot! hot! hot! to celebrate the intense heat of Appalachian labor in the 19th century. Enjoy the glass factory, potters kiln, blacksmith shop and village bread oven!

What will you explore this November?

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This post was last updated on July 22, 2020