Road Trips from Virginia: New River/Greenbrier Valley
The New River/Greenbrier Valley Region is a beautiful, scenic area where upscale luxury meets small-town charm. With ample rock-climbing, whitewater rafting and hiking trail areas, this is a dream destination for anyone looking for top-notch adventure and excitement.
Begin your journey in White Sulphur Springs, where you can spend the day pampering yourself at the world-renowned Greenbrier Resort. Known as “America’s Resort”, this place dates all the way back to 1778 and is a must-visit while in the region. Having catered to some of the nation’s most well-known celebrities and 26 U.S. Presidents, this resort is the epitome of luxury and extravagance. At the resort, you can enjoy some of the finest dining options, peak southern hospitality, relaxing facials and massages at the spa, all while taking magazine-worthy photos of the uniquely stunning décor in each room. If you’re looking for more active ways to spend your time, you can try your hand at golf, swim in the indoor and outdoor pools, go on a horseback ride, shop, hike and take a tour of the resort as well as the historic government bunker that was completed in 1961. This 112,544 square-foot bunker, built as an emergency Cold War fallout shelter for all 535 members of Congress during the Eisenhower era, lies beneath the West Virginia Wing of this resort.
After enjoying all the resort has to offer, stop by one of the resort’s 20 restaurants, lounges and grills for dinner. Prime 44 West, a steakhouse restaurant that honors NBA legend and West Virginia native, Jerry West, boasts top-quality food with an upscale and modern atmosphere.
Located just 13 miles from The Greenbrier Resort, the town of Lewisburg is the perfect place to kick off your second day of adventure. Named the “Coolest Small Town in America” by Travel Budget Magazine, this town offers many historic pleasures and entertaining activities.
Stop by Stardust Café for delightful pastries, freshly brewed coffee, wine imported from all around the world and micro-brewed beer. This café uses locally grown and harvested products whenever possible and is the perfect place to stop and spend some time before exploring the rest of the town. Another great place to grab lunch if you’re looking for a quick bite is The Market, a local sandwich shop that offers unique twists on a common dish.
Head to the Lost World Caverns, a series of natural underground caverns that takes you through a 45-minute journey to experience the natural beauty of Appalachia. First discovered in 1942 and deemed a National Natural Landmark in 1973, this is an experience of historic magnificence that you won’t want to miss out on.
The North House Museum, which was built in 1820, has been Greenbrier Historical Society’s place of operation since 1976. The museum displays both permanent displays and temporary exhibits featuring items from across the Greenbrier Valley and historical artifacts from the Civil War era.
The Lewisburg Carnegie Hall, which was built in 1902, is just one of four Carnegie Halls in the world still used as a performance venue. The hall was once utilized as a college building until its closure in 1972. At which time, it was at high risk of being demolished until a group of locals banned together and made it into what it is today. The hall currently serves as a performance venue, gallery space and an arts education programming center.
For a hearty dinner after a long day, stop by Del Sol Cantina Grill for some authentic Mexican cuisine. With a cozy, laid-back atmosphere, this is the perfect place to kick back with a variety of delicious dishes as the day comes to a close.
Fayetteville, a town known for its amazing food, specialty shopping and outdoor recreation, is a must-visit area in the region.
Visit the New River Gorge Park and Preserve, home to one of the oldest rivers on the entire continent. Recognized as a national river since 1978, the New River area recently became West Virginia’s first-ever national park and the United States’ 63rd one. With this honorable upgrade comes lasting protection for the surrounding environment so that visitors can enjoy the untouched beauty for many years to follow. In this area, one can tap into their adventurous side with whitewater rafting, hiking and biking, or choose to relax in nature by picnicking, camping or simply taking a scenic drive around this tree-covered paradise. While you’re visiting, be sure to snap some photos of the stunning New River Gorge Bridge, a staple of the area since its completion in 1977 and the fourth-longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
Looking to test your wit in a fun and exciting way? Challenge yourself at Escape-A-Torium by solving mysteries and puzzles to get out of one of their three Appalachian-culture based escape rooms before your 60-minute time limit runs out.
For a delicious slice of pizza and a mug of craft beer, Pies & Pints is the perfect place to end your evening. With some of the best specialty pizza around and a friendly atmosphere to add to the experience, you’re sure to leave with a full stomach as well as a full heart.
End your day by staying at the Comfort Inn, located just 2.8 miles outside of Fayetteville.
When you embark on a journey to New River/Greenbrier Valley, both exhilarating outdoor adventure and sweet Southern charm will greet you.
This post was last updated on October 13, 2021