Guide to Extraordinary Boutique Getaways in West Virginia

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Advisor - Sarah Keim
Curated By

Sarah Keim

  • Luxury Travel

  • Boutique Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Wellness Travel

  • Outdoor & Nature

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Birthdays

  • Laidback

  • Hiking

  • High-end

  • Sightseeing

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Curator’s statement

West Virginia has always had the advantage of being well-located for weekend getaways from major cities like Washington, DC and Charlotte. However, its fine dining and lodging scene was long-hampered by lack of investment and out-migration of talent. But today, West Virginia is now attracting travelers interested in luxury or boutique lodging and high-quality dining with personal service rooted in the Appalachian region. They are drawn in by a slew of restaurants and charming accommodations sprouting up across the state, most with a focus on highlighting the special history and culture of the region.

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Where to stay in West Virginia

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Things to do in West Virginia

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Numerous destinations in West Virginia are experiencing a renaissance in lodging options, dining and recreational activities. Here, I focus on only the White Sulphur Springs / New River Gorge region because it is within a 4-hour drive from Washington DC, Charlotte or Pittsburgh and offers an excellent variety of itinerary options.

New River Gorge National Park

America's newest national park includes over 70,000 acres anchored by the white water of the New River. Serious rafters and hikers have enjoyed the recreation opportunities here for many years, but the national park status has injected new investment in the area. Scenic drives and lighter hiking are also plentiful for those not up to taking on the rapids.

Golfing

Golfers will appreciate the three classic courses offered by The Greenbrier. One boasts a Sam Snead record from 1959, while another is geared toward the more casual duffer (a 9-hole par 3 course.) The Old White course will challenge most dedicated golfers.

Carnegie Hall

The historic Carnegie Hall (the one in Lewisburg, not New York City) continues to host top artists and musical entertainers like Wynton Marsalis and Kathy Mattea. Meanwhile, the Greenbrier Valley Theatre and Theatre West Virginia feature plays and musicals appealing to a wide audience.

Mineral Springs

The natural mineral springs of West Virginia play a starring role at the luxurious Greenbrier Mineral Spa. Their signature Greenbrier Treatment involves soaking in the famous waters of the White Sulphur Springs, followed by a Swiss Shower and Scotch Spray and a Swedish massage.

Organic Produce

Sunset Berry Farm is family run and offers their quality produce for u-pick or in their store. They specialize in strawberries, peaches and gorgeous sunflowers. They have the sweetest berries in the state!

Places to eat & drink in West Virginia

Inside of a restaurant with an elderly couple sitting.

The White Sulphur Springs / New River Gorge area offers numerous inventive fine dining restaurants as well as casual spots. In either case, the service is friendly and attentive.

The French Goat - In charming Lewisburg, this is an excellent example of the new farm-to-table cuisine of West Virginia. European classics like panzanella, garlic escargot and duck confit are elevated by the use of local ingredients.

The Greenbrier continues its rich culinary tradition via 20 restaurants, bars and lounges. Dressing for dinner is still required at The Main Dining room where throw-back dishes like suckling pig, wedge salad, and foie gras feature prominently on the menu. A real southern resort experience not to be missed!

Big Draft Brewing in White Sulphur Springs is taking on the role of the community pub where people gather to socialize and organize. Over a dozen of their own beers are on tap for sampling, and Sunday's feature a casual Sunday brunch with a strong southern undercurrent to the menu (think buttermilk biscuits, meatloaf and gravy.)

Stardust Cafe (Lewisburg) - Prides itself on high quality food and great service in a casual atmosphere. Lunch and dinner menus do not give short-shrift to the vegetarian options — the red thai curry bowl and the walnut and mushroom pasta are standouts.

In Hinton, a Victorian-era railroad town, the Lucky Rivers Cafe offers casual salads and sandwiches showcasing Appalachian flavors as well as global influences. I recommend the vegetarian Buddha Belly Bowl. Better yet, they'd love to cater a gourmet picnic lunch of antipasto, fresh salads and baked goodies for you to enjoy at nearby Bluestone State Park.

The Thistle Lounge at the Historic General Lewis Inn is a charming cocktail bar featuring seasonal hand-crafted drinks. After an aperitif, enjoy dishes in The Dining Room, like local mountain trout and braised pork shank with sauteed Fuji apples and spicy plum chutney.

Jeff's Breads is a European style artisan bakery, including naturally leavened breads like country sourdough and German style pumpernickel. You can find Jeff's Breads at the local Lewisburg and Greenbrier Valley farmer's markets and the Edith Store in Lewisburg.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Packing Luxury and Adventure Into a 4 Day Costa Rica Itinerary.

Advisor - Sarah Keim

Travel Advisor

Sarah Keim

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to West Virginia.