Trip Report – West Virginia (and parts of Virginia)

West Virginia is one of the prettiest states. It’s very similar to Arkansas in the fact that the beauty is being outside. There’s no one place to visit in West Virginia as the population is very spread out. The largest city is Charleston with a population of only 51,000 people. We made Beckley, population 15,000, our home base for this Columbus Day weekend trip. To really see the state, prepare to drive around — a lot! But the real beauty is found on the scenic winding roads through coal towns. If you’ve never been, put West Virginia on your bucket list! Please click on the individual links for more pictures and details of the sites we visited.

 

Itinerary for a Weekend in West Virgina 

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Outside Beckley Miner's Museum, WV

 

Day 1:

Scenic Drive – Abingdon, VA

Exhibition Coal Mine Museum – Beckley

Scenic Drive to Charleston, WV

 

 

Day 2:

The Greenbrier Resort – White Sulphur Springs, WV

The Omni Homestead Resort – Hot Springs, VA

Covington, VA area

Spruce Knob & Seneca Rocks

Blackwater Falls – Davis, WV

 

 

 

Day 3:

New River Gorge Bridge – Fayetteville, WV

Mt. Airy, NC (home of Andy Griffith)


The Omni Homestead Resort – Hot Springs, VA

Founded in 1766, the Omni Homestead rivals the Greenbriar. Remember these were both in Viriginia when founded as West Virginia didn’t become a state until 1861. A little less pretentious and right in the middle of town, we drove through a residential area (reminiscient of the Grove Park Inn) onto the grounds into a parking lot. the massive red-brick, Federal style hotel looked very Thomas Jefferson. The sun glistened on visitors sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch.

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Come sit for a spell on the broad veranda

Inside, a large 2-story, classical lobby, also with palladium windows but not a zillion varieties of chintz, greeted us. At the far end, a more casual restaurant bar with more updated furnishings awaited.

Main Lobby at the Omni Homestead

Main Lobby at the Omni Homestead

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We veered towards the right past Martha’s (like a Starbuck’s with coffee and pasty counter service) to the George Washington Library. Two women played a game of checkers. Pictures of famous dignitaries who visited the resort flanked the book-lined cases. On the other side, visitors sat on floral lounge chairs in a light-filled sunroom. This is the front of the Tower, which was built in 1929 as an addition to the property.

The George Washington Library

The George Washington Library

 

Solarium

Solarium

Photos of celebrity guests

Photos of celebrity guests

Continuing along, we walked through rooms used for private events. Turning back around, we headed the other direction and walked past the arcade. Outside we saw the golf clubhouse and pool with water slide. A baby in a stroller cried. Kids ran by. The atmosphere seemed less pretenscious.

One of the Homestead dining rooms

One of the Homestead dining rooms

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The town reminded me almost of a ski town. We wanted to eat at Sam Sneads Tavern but it was closed for Sunday lunch. We settled on ___ and had hamburgers before departing.

Hot Springs, VA

Hot Springs, VA

We had another hour in Virginia and the towns just seemed to be a little bit better maintained. The scenery was beautiful as we were in the George Washington National Forest. For more information, click here.


Covington, VA

Between the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV and the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA lies Covington, VA. The Humpback Bridge is one of the last covered bridges and it is absolutely splendid.

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Humpback Bridge

The other thing worth seeing in the area is the Falling Spring waterfall, which is right off the side of the road.

Falling Springs Waterfall

Falling Springs Waterfall