These 21 no-hassle vacation ideas are a travel game-changer
Vacation shouldn’t be work, right?
That’s our Mountain State mantra. West Virginia is real easygoing, so we bring everything together into one handy bundle.
Check out some of our best trips all packaged up, so there’s no planning needed and no hassle.
1. “The Voyage Package” | North Bend State Park
Romance… and treason! All in one escape.
Get 2 tickets on the sternwheeler over to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, headquarters to Vice President Aaron Burr’s treason plot in 1806. Take an elegant mansion tour, museum visit and wagon ride. Then, return to North Bend State Park for the night.
2. 2-Night Getaway | American Mountain Theater
Unwind in historic Elkins with 2-night hotel stay, dining and entertainment included. Catch American Mountain Theater’s “Premier 2-Hour Night Show,” roll on a New Tygart Flyer train ride, and enjoy fine meals at some of the town’s tastiest.
3. Custom coal trip | Fayetteville
Assemble your own mining heritage trip! Pick a hotel or cabin at “America’s Coolest Small Town” as your home base, then explore the New River Gorge:
- Uncover ghost towns and mining ruins in Thurmond, Nuttallburg and Kaymoor.
- New River Gorge Canyon Rim Visitors’ Center. Tour a coal exhibit, watch a short documentary and take a boardwalk hike by the New River Gorge Bridge— the longest steel-arch span in the western hemisphere.
- Whipple Company Store. Built in 1890, this quirky miners’ shop is an American rarity. Take a tour and hear all about the building’s oddities: a secret floor, ballroom, vault and more!
- Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. Go underground in a man trip with a veteran miner as your guide! You can explore a coal camp and buildings, too.
4. Custom Civil War trip
West Virginia is riddled with military history, particularly “The War Between the States.” If you have all the zeal of a Union or Confederate trooper, consider adding these hotspots to your list:
- Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park. Union infantry defeated General Echols and his Confederate soldiers at this site in 1863. Less than 100 years later, the CCC restored the battlefield and added a museum, observation tower and cannons.
- Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park. In 1861, high above the Gauley River, Union soldiers prevented Confederate troops from advancing deeper into the Kanawha Valley.
- Jackson’s Mill Homestead. Make a “Stonewall” Jackson family pilgrimage! This is where the Confederate’s most famous general (aside from Lee) and sister, Laura, grew up as tots. Tours, milled flour and tradecraft demos are trip highlights.
You know you’re headed for action with a state that’s mostly “wild, wonderful” forest. Paddle a river, pedal over a muddy trail or climb a sandstone cliff; the possibilities run in all directions. If you’re unsure of where or how to start, try a package trip!
Check out these outfitters:
5. Zip Line Canopy Tour Package | Adventures on the Gorge
Skirt the highest hemlocks as you play on zip lines, aerial bridges and lofty tree platforms. Add a 2-night stay, lunch and dinner, and you have the “Zip Line Canopy Tour” package.
6. Guided Fishing Trip Package | The Angler’s Inn
Withdraw to the quaint town of Harpers Ferry and spend 2-3 days by the grand Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. Package perks include hearty continental breakfasts and hours of casting with expert guide Bryan Kelly. Kids 12 and up are welcome.
7. “Eat your Wheaties” package | Opossum Creek Retreat
You’ll need the power of whole wheat for this adventure. Spend 2 nights in a cabin and 3 days in the New River Gorge, where you’ll ride mountain bikes, climb, and go whitewater rafting on the lower New River. You’ll also get lunch at Cathedral Cafe and a box of Wheaties cereal, complete with a jug of milk.
8. Groupventures | Snowshoe
Customize your winter getaway with luxurious packages like:
- Serenity Now. Private yoga sessions, spa treatments, wine n’ cheese … sprinkle perks like these (and many more) into your package.
- Family A-Go-Go. You’re never too old to relish tubing and cocoa, horse-drawn sleigh rides and snowmaking tours.
- Full Steam Ahead. Sip whiskey, ride snowmobiles and savor cigars as dusk settles over Snowshoe.
9. “Bike (or Hike) ‘n’ Winery” | Gillum House B&B
Walk along the scenic West Fork River Trail, tour historic covered bridges and visit 3 local wineries! The innkeepers will also give you a gourmet breakfast, a packed lunch and coffee.
10. “Golf, Stay and Play” | Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa
Base your headquarters for 2 nights at this picturesque retreat. Tee off at one of their two championship golf courses. Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead even set records here.
You’ll discover that when it comes to luxury, West Virginia is the vacation to beat! Add massages and farm-fresh dinners to your trip and discover the Mountain State’s gentler side.
Try these package trips:
11. “We Just Need to Get Away” | The Historic Morris Harvey House
Slip away to this gabled Victorian B&B in Fayetteville for a weekend of delights: country breakfasts, dinner at the famous Pies & Pints, dinner at Smokey’s on the Gorge, and entrancing mountain scenery. You can add a massage, sparkling cider, flowers and more to your package, too.
12. “We Gotta Get Outta Here” | Cafe Cimino Country Inn
Melt away stress at this gracious, historic estate. The candle-lit dining room, gourmet cuisine and views of the Elk River are the very definition of relaxation. You’ll also get a bottle of wine, 3-course breakfast and complimentary add-ons like kayaks and live dinner ballads on Friday and Saturday nights.
What kid wouldn’t thrill to the promise of a trip to the Mountain State? West Virginia’s nickname sounds like something from a fantasy story. Fortunately, its outsized adventures and rugged scenery live up to reality.
Delight your family with package deals like:
13. “Lower New River Rafting Package— All Day” | ACE Adventure Resort
Get ready to ride 20 rapids, all the way from peppy Class II waves to frothy IV+ rapids. It’s nature’s thrill ride, and one that folks 15 and up will remember forever. You’ll also get passes to Wonderland Waterpark, breakfast, lunch by the river and a buffet dinner.
14. “Lower New River Raft & Zip” package | ACE
Spend 2 days at this adventure resort, where you’ll get treated to Class II-IV+ rapids, passes to Wonderland Waterpark, zip line rides and hot meals. Kids 12 and up are welcome, too, because 16-foot rafts are available for this package.
15. Outdoor Quest package | North Bend State Park
When it comes to outdoor recreation, West Virginia is like a buffet. Try a little of everything with the “Outdoor Quest” package, which lets you build your own itinerary! Rent a cabin, then choose activities like hiking, navigation, biking, yoga, nature learning and more.
16. “Company Houses” | Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Book a refurbished cottage from the early 1900s at this forested park, which honors railroad history with working steam locomotives, restored buildings and a recreated logging camp. Stay for 5 nights, and you get 2 free tickets for a train ride! While you’re there, explore the historic town of Cass and visit Bald Knob— the state’s third-highest peak.
17. “Ski Package” | The Resort at Glade Springs
For every night you stay, get up to 2 lift tickets for Winterplace, one of West Virginia’s premier ski and tubing destinations. Shuttle rides are free, too. You’ll also get buffet breakfasts for your group and access to The Resort’s Leisure Center. Go bowling, swim in the indoor pool or play basketball!
18. Climb Via Ferrata | North Fork Mountain Inn
As long as you’re 13 or older, this safe but exhilarating adventure is impossible to forget. Scale double-finned rocks via safety harnesses and fixed anchors, and finish with a picnic lunch and gourmet dinner from the inn.
When you want to escape from modern cares, it’s tempting to think of holing up in a cabin. Instead, consider watching live theater or cooking traditional Appalachian cuisine— rare activities in today’s fast-paced world.
19. “A Night in the Arts” | The Blennerhassett Hotel
Spend the night in a luxurious room, surrounded by Gaslight Era mystique. Then, depending on what’s playing, you’ll get tickets to a show at the Smoot Theatre, the Parkersburg Art Center, or the Actor’s Guild of Parkersburg. As a bonus, enjoy sweets and a $100 hotel spending card, too.
20. Wine Tours | Hillbrook Inn & Spa
Spend the day at local vineyards, where you’ll sample West Virginia vino and munch on gourmet snacks. Optional additions include a lavish Hillbrook dinner, overnight stay and spa treatments!
21. “Foodie Foraging Fun” | Elkhorn Inn & Theater
The friendly innkeepers at this historic hotel know a thing or two about the wilderness that surrounds them. With their guidance, you can gather wild Appalachian plants and— with Chef Dan— eat the profits.
Try one of these workshops:
- Ramp hunts (April). These mountain onions deliver a garlicky punch to any meal. Search the woods for this Appalachian delicacy, then help the chef make ramp pesto. Note: you must bring your own ATV, equipment and gathering sack.
- Wild blackberry picking (July-Aug). Hike, drive or ride your ATV to a secret spot in the woods. Chef Dan will show you how to make spiffy cordials, sauce and salsa, too. Or, you can simply enjoy your harvest with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Pesto party (late summer or early fall). Pick fragrant herbs from the garden and transform them into a zesty spread.
Each workshop is $50 a person. Make your vacation complete with a sleepover at the inn; no room is the same, and some have clawfoot tubs-and-showers, too. You’ll also wake up to a continental breakfast.
That’s not all! You can find so much more in the Mountain State:
This post was last updated on July 28, 2020