April 2010 Issue
The Great Escape
Head to West Virginia for adventure, entertainment and relaxation.
Hiking in the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, Monongahela National Forest.
Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism
Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism
Whenever you need to get away, West Virginia is waiting.
Known for sublime natural beauty, captivating history and heritage and warm hospitality, West Virginia really is the great escape.
“The Mountain State” is located within the Appalachian Mountain Range. The rugged and rolling landscape provides the perfect backdrop for unforgettable outdoor adventure. Whitewater rafting, rock climbing, rappelling and caving are available in abundance. More than 375 miles of train tracks have been converted into trails for walking, hiking, biking and horseback riding. The rail trails (30 in all), with their gentle or level grades and wide rights of way, are easily accessible and are among the most beautiful and scenic in the country.
The same rivers that carve West Virginia’s gorges also provide outstanding fishing and boating opportunities. With its year-round fishing season, including an open season for trout, more than 20,000 miles of streams and more than 100 public fishing lakes, West Virginia provides anglers with a variety of fishing opportunities and experiences.
You’ll also have plenty of opportunities to have fun on the water in West Virginia. The Ohio and Kanawha rivers are popular for owners of pleasure boats, fishing boats and personal watercraft. Several of the state’s lakes provide wonderful boating opportunities. Favorites include Bluestone Lake in Summers County, Burnsville Lake in Braxton County, Stonewall Jackson Lake in Lewis County, Sutton Lake in Braxton County and Summersville Lake in Nicholas County.
If you’d rather swing a club than cast a line, you’ll find West Virginia to be a fantastic golfing destination. In fact, the Mountain State actually has the distinction of having the first golf club established in the United States (Oakhurst Links). Today, there are more than 100 courses in West Virginia, among them new venues that enhance the state’s reputation as a golf destination. When it opened in 2002, the Palmer Course at Stonewall Resort was named to Golf Magazine’s “Top 10 Courses You Can Play.” The Greenbrier’s Greenbrier Course was one of Golf Digest’s “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses in 2004,” and the resort ranked fifth in the magazine’s “Best Golf Resorts in North America.” Golf Digest
awarded Wheeling’s Oglebay Resort courses 41/2 stars (Palmer) and 4 stars (Jones). The Palmer Course, opened in 2000, earned a 4.6 (out of 5) average user rating in Golf Magazine’s
online voting, drawing comments such as “unbelievable value and service” and “long hitters and finesse players can both score well.”
West Virginia’s history is filled with as many twists and turns as her famed country roads. Here you’ll find Native American burial mounds still standing in towns like South Charleston and Moundsville; re-creations of frontier forts such as Prickett’s Fort State Park in Fairmont; sites that recognize the heritage of our early presidents, like George Washington’s Bathtub and Jefferson Rock in the Eastern Panhandle; and locations of great battles, like the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Point Pleasant. The state also has a rich Civil War history. Re-enactments, historical dramas and theater productions, and 18 Civil War Discovery Trail Stops, such as the Philippi Covered Bridge, commemorate the conflict that led to the creation of the state of West Virginia. If history is your passion, a visit to West Virginia should be in your future.
The Mountain State may provide endless outdoor adventure, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a wonderful place to relax and be rejuvenated. The state’s renowned spas are a wonderful way to soak away your stress in a hot mineral springs bath, and a host of relaxation and beauty treatments are provided by certified and trained professionals. Swedish massage, saunas, European facials, manicures, pedicures, and mud and herbal wraps make for a euphoric and relaxing getaway.
West Virginia’s hospitality is legendary, and after one overnight visit, you’ll understand completely. West Virginia has a collection of places to stay while traveling through the state. Experience the life of luxury at an upscale resort, or sleep under the stars along a swift-moving stream at one of our parks or campgrounds. Wake up to a gourmet breakfast in a charming B&B or rent a cozy cabin nestled deep within our towering forests.
Whether you prefer relaxation or exhilaration, the outdoor recreation capital of the east offers a great adventure that will suit you perfectly. Are shopping and dining more your flavor? Then come enjoy some truly unique shopping and a culinary destination that is a complete departure from the norm. And when it comes to arts and entertainment, the Mountain State holds many surprises, from world-class venues and major productions to small-town acts that remain true to age-old mountain traditions. Why not plan your West Virginia escape today? Visit WVtourism.com
or call 800/CALL-WVA. West Virginia is waiting.