Race the School Bell: Last-Minute Summer Vacations

Summer in West Virginia brings about days of exploring, nights spent up with friends and memories that will last until the end. Although the sun is starting to set on summer break, there’s still time for a last-minute summer vacation. Pack a bag and sprint for the car, so you can spend the rest of your time off in Almost Heaven.

Escape to the Lake

Summersville Lake

Summersville, WV

One of the best parts of summer is the days spent on the lake, sitting back on the boat or venturing out by paddleboard. With 2,700 acres of crystal clear water, Summersville Lake is the perfect place to spend your late-summer days. In addition to boating and paddleboarding, you can swim, raft, kayak and even scuba dive.

After a day full of fun in the sun, you’ve likely worked up an appetite, so head on over to Hole in the Wall for some fresh and filling food. Be sure to leave some room for dessert, as you’ll want to check out a local favorite, Fat Eddie’s. Here, get a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream flavors to end the perfect summer day.

Hit the Town

Hip & Historic Charleston

Charleston, WV

With its lively atmosphere, top-notch eateries and opportunity for fun, Charleston is the perfect place to spend the remainder of your summer vacation. Explore small boutiques, bookshops and farmer’s markets by day and jam out on the riverfront at Live on the Levee by night.

With so much to do and explore, you’ll certainly need to eat a few meals in between. For breakfast, head over to Swiftwater Cafe and choose from an array of high-quality and decadent dishes. Be sure to fuel up on some coffee for adventurous days ahead. Check out Starlings Coffee and Provisions to get your caffeine for the day. For lunch and dinner, take a stroll on Capitol Street and you’ll soon find there are not enough meals in the day.

Explore the Gorge

New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

Oak Hill, WV

What better way to end the summer than by visiting America’s newest national park? Here, you can conclude a summer of adventure with hiking, biking, ziplining or whitewater rafting. Equally as memorable as the outdoor recreation options are the great eateries and impeccable people in the area. Head on over to Fayetteville to grab a slice or two at Pies & Pints, or stop by Smokey’s at Adventures on the Gorge for dinner and a view.

After an action-packed day, set up camp at ACE Adventure Resort or head for a cozy stay in one of their cabins. Sit back around the campfire and soak up the remainder of those sweet summer nights with your friends.

Rest Up & Relax

Oglebay Resort

Wheeling, WV

Before school starts back up, be sure to take some time for yourself. The West Spa at Oglebay Resort allows its guests to unwind and be pampered. Choose from reinvigorating massages, relaxing body treatments, refreshing nail services or rejuvenating facial treatments. No matter which you choose, you’ll leave feeling at ease.

After a tranquil time at the spa, treat yourself to a dining experience. Stop by Oglebay’s Route 88 BBQ & Brew for a mouth-watering meal and weekly live music by the campfire. With a range of flavors to choose from, it’s all up to you.

Hit the road one more time before you hit the books. Check out our free vacation guide for even more last-minute summer vacation inspiration in Almost Heaven.

This post was last updated on July 12, 2021