Things to Do in West Virginia: Perfect Fall 4 Day Itinerary

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glade creek grist mill

Things to Do in West Virginia

Just returned from the Mountain State of West Virginia, and I can honestly see why it’s called “Almost Heaven”!

Through every turn on these country roads, you see gorgeous mountains filled with foliage that look even more dreamy during the fall! You’ll also find charming mountain towns, great local food, friendly people, and of course the scenic Mountain views!

In this West Virginia Itinerary, I’ll break down the best things to do in West Virginia showcasing Charleston, the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve, Fayetteville, and Babcock State Park

This Itinerary is perfect for a weekend trip or a 4 day trip to West Virginia. I’ve included a handy map at the end of this post to help plan your trip. 

This post is sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Tourism. It also Contains affiliate links.

 

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When to Visit West Virginia

If you want to visit West Virginia during the fall season, plan your trip from early October through the end of October. Different parts of the state peak at different times so here’s a handy graphic for the peak season of fall foliage in West Virginia. 

I visited during the first week of October and the leaves were just starting to change. I noticed that some areas in West Virginia had more color than others. 

 

How to get to West Virginia

Plane: You can easily reach West Virginia by flying into Yeager Airport (CRW). This airport is just outside Charleston making it the perfect starting point for this itinerary. Learn more about the many transportation options here. 

Car: You can also arrive by car. West Virginia is centrally located, just hours from Washington D.C, Philadelphia, & Baltimore. And it’s within a day’s drive from nearly 2/3rds of the U.S. population!

West Virginia Fall

things to do in west virginia

 

How to get Around West Virginia

The best way to get around West Virginia is by car. You’ll want to be able to venture off these country roads on your own time and in this West Virginia itinerary, driving a car is a must.

If you are flying into West Virginia, rental cars are available at the airport. 

 

Day 1: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston WV

Start your fall road trip in West Virginia’s capital city, Charleston West Virginia. Spend your day exploring around this walkable city. 

Things to do in Charleston: head down Capitol Street for restaurants & shops, visit the Capitol Market for local finds, take in the architecture of the Capitol building, and walk along the Kanawha River waterfront. 

Capitol Market, Charleston

Capitol Market is a indoor/ outdoor market is a local favorite and offers everything from local produce, take-away food options, local goods, grocery items, and a great wine selection. The outdoor market is filled with seasonal items. For fall expect plenty of pumpkins and everything fall!

 

Dinner 1010 Bridge

Specializing in Low country food, 1010 Bridge was THE place to be in Charleston. The menu offered Appalachian favorites including zucchini chips with homemade ranch, hot oysters, pancakes with jalapenos (funky, but OMG so good). 

For our main dishes, we ordered Scallops with Risotto, Steak with Lobster Mac & Cheese, and brussels sprouts. 

From the plating to taste everything was so delicious. This is a must-stop when in Charleston! 

Gelato Caffe Romeo

If you want a sweet treat, walk next door to Caffe Romeo for fresh Gelato. There are plenty of flavors to choose from and it’s the perfect way to end the night!

 

Day 2: Elk City & New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

Elk City, Charleston WV

Start your day exploring the Elk City Neighborhood in Charleston, West Virginia. Here you will find cute cozy coffee shops, boutique shopping, and creative murals that line the street! 

This neighborhood is an easy drive from anywhere you are in Charleston and shouldn’t be missed. Here are my recommendations below for a fun morning. 

Fuel up at Mea Cuppa Coffee

Mea Cuppa Coffee is a local hang-out, and it’s the perfect start to your morning. This cute coffee shop features a retro design and features unique espresso creations (as well as your coffee favorites!)

Instead of ordering my usual cafe au lait, I went for something more adventurous. I tried the Aztec Latte which has cayenne, cinnamon & dark chocolate, and Alsenio had the Pumpkin Latte. This spot is the real deal because the Pumpkin Latte is made with actual real pumpkin and spices (unlike other spots where it’s just syrup!)

 

Homemade Doughnuts at The Vandalia Co

charleston wv

Just around the corner from Mea Cuppa Coffe, The Vandalia Co is known for sweet treats and homemade doughnuts!

Here you’ll find all sorts of seasonal doughnut creations, as well as hearty salad bowls. So whether you are in the mood for something sweet or a healthy bite, this spot is a must. Plus, the Interior was also so charming. Had a cozy laid back feel!

 

Charleston Shopping

  • Kin Ship Goods: This spot has you covered for quirky fun finds from West Virginia goods, clothing, soaps, candles, sappy socks and so much more! 
  • Base Camp PrintingFind West Virginia hand-made letterpress prints ranging from home decor, cards, and custom prints! Everything is made by hand on old-school printing presses! 

 

Drive to New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

After your fun morning, make your way to the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve. This drive will take around 1 hour 30 minutes from Charleston.  

Tip: take the more scenic route HWY60 vs HWY64. You’ll catch a gorgeous view of the Kanawha River and Catherderial Falls on your way, plus more fall foliage on quaint streets. 

 

Where to stay: Adventures of the Gorge

adventures on the gorge
Sunset Deck @ Adventures on the Gorge

To get the full West Virginia Experience, stay at the Adventures on the Gorge. Here you can find deluxe cabins, RV & campsites for a relaxing and scenic stay. 

I stayed in a deluxe ‘Sunnyside’ cabin and it was equipped with a nice oversized bathroom, mini-fridge, coffee machine, wifi, cable, two queen beds, and a beautiful wrap-around porch. Basically everything you’d need for a cozy stay! 

Adventures on the Gorge not only offers places to stay but has plenty of adventures including white water rafting tours, ziplining, mountain biking tours, horseback riding, and so much more! 

 

Lunch at The Handle Bar & Kitchen

fayetteville wv

Stop for lunch at The Handle Bar & Kitchen. This is around the corner from the hike I mention next and a perfect way to fuel up. The menu offers fish tacos, vegan burritos, and quality West Virginia-made brats. Plus a variety of craft beer is available on tap. 

This Restaurant is entirely outdoors and has plenty of picnic tables & fire pits in the Biergarten for any size group. 

 

Hike New River Gorge National Park & Preserve

New River Gorge

West Virginia is home to America’s newest national park, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve!

There are plenty of trails and hikes you can take throughout the park, so depending on how much time you have on your trip you could add in a few more hikes to your itinerary.

But if you’re looking for one with a view, check out the Long Point Trail. It’s a mostly flat 1.5 miles in & 1.5 miles out hike totaling 3 miles. 

The view from the Long Point trail hike is completely worth the stop. You’ll see the New River Gorge, New River Gorge Bridge, and the beautiful landscape surrounding the park. And I am surprised that the view was so epic for a fairly simple hike – so it’s not to be missed!

How to hike the Long Point Trail: You can find the trailhead start at Parking lot, County Rte 9-8, Fayetteville, WV 25840. 

There is plenty of parking and the trail starts directly from the parking lot. The hike itself is mostly flat and no special hiking shoes are needed for this hike. 

 

Dinner at Chetty’s Pub

adventures on the gorge
View from Chetty’s Pub

End your day at Chetty’s Pub, located at the Adventures on the Gorge. This pub serves American pub fare including house-smoked meats, homemade sauces, and a rotating draft beer selection. 

If you’re visiting on Monday, it’s wing night which includes wing specials & live music!

We ordered classic buffalo wings and took in the gorgeous sunset view from the outdoor second-level deck. A perfect way to end the evening. 

 

Day 3: Fayetteville, Wv & Babcock State Park

fayetteville WV

Things to do in Fayetteville West Virginia

Start your morning in the charming mountain town of Fayetteville, named one of America’s coolest smallest towns! Here you’ll find a handful of unique local shops and restaurants. 

Plus, Fayetteville was only a 5-minute drive from where we were staying at the Adventures on the Gorge. We frequented this town many times for the best food in the area!

Breakfast at Cathedral Café

Have a yummy breakfast & coffee at Cathedral Cafė. This former church has been turned into a local gathering place serving hearty grub for breakfast and lunch.  

We tried the breakfast burrito (so good, Alsenio wanted to go back the next day for the same thing, bacon egg, and cheese on an asiago bagel and I couldn’t resist one pancake stack! 

Shopping around Fayetteville:

  • D & K Collectibles: Family-run antique & collectibles shop.
  • Hobbit Hole: Eclectic vintage finds
  • Wild Art, Wonderful Things: Cute shop featuring local art & handcrafted pieces.
  • Studio B Art & Wine Gallery: Local art & gifts plus wine, cheese, and craft beer
  • Lost Appalachia Trading Co: Sharing goods featuring that capture the spirit of West Virginia.

 

Grab Lunch to go at The Station

The Station Market & Bistro is a local favorite offering food-to-go, along with fresh and local food right in Fayetteville. The menu is consistently changing to serve only what’s fresh from the local providers. 

The Ferarri Sandwich was a hit, and I have to quote Alsenio the saying it was “best sandwich of his life!” 

 

Drive to Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park

glade creek grist mill

With your grab & go lunch take the scenic 30-minute drive to Babcock State Park. This park is home to the Glade Creek Grist Mill and is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia. 

The Glade Creek Grist Mill is the most picturesque fall scene- it looks straight out of a movie! Plus, it’s located right next to the State Park Offices & Rest Stop. There are plenty of tables and chairs where you can eat your takeaway lunch to enjoy the scenery. 

Don’t just stop at the Glade Creek Grist Mill. This park is made up of 4,127 acres with 15 hikes and trails you can take in Babcock State Park, plus Boley Lake. 

 

Dinner at Pies & Pints

pies and pints

Head back to Fayetteville for dinner at Pies & Pints. This pizza & craft beer spot offers traditional pizzas like Margarita, Mozzarella Caprese, and classic.

But don’t just order your classics here. Pies & Pints offers unique pizza creations like Street Corn (tajín, jalapeños, parmesan, lime, cilantro & chipotle crema) Grape & Gorgonzola, Pesto, Mushroom Garlic and so many more. 

We ordered half a pie of their special Heirloom Tomato (all locally sourced) & the Street Corn! I loved both, I just can’t pick a favorite, but definitely loved trying something unique here. 

 

Southside Junction Tap House

Finish off your night at the local corner Fayetteville bar. Southside Junction Taphouse offers 17 craft beers of draft and is a local hangout in Fayetteville. 

 

Day 4: Fayette Station Road

Wood Iron Eatery 

Start your morning at Wood Iron Eatery, a staple spot in Fayetteville serving coffee and breakfast favorites! I opted for the “Hipster Toast, and Alsenio chose the Chicken & Waffles”. This spot is buzzing in the morning and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. 

Note: Open Thursday – Sunday 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM

 

Fayette Station Road Scenic Drive

new river gorge national park

things to do in West Virginia

If you love scenic drives, the Fayette Station Road drive is a must! This one-way drive winds through the New River Gorge to cross the Fayette Station Bridge. 

The entire drive takes around 30 minutes, but allow more time because you’ll be wanting to stop at the many scenic viewpoints of the New River Gorge Bridge. 

Start the drive at Canyon Rim Visitors Center and follow the signs for Fayette Station Road. 

 

What to Pack for West Virginia? 

  • Hiking Boots: most trails don’t require any special boots, but if it rains some areas can become slippery. Adding some traction to your step may become helpful on more difficult hikes. 
  • Umbrella: If you’re visiting during fall, you might get caught in some rain. Bring a small lightweight umbrella that doesn’t take up too much room in your bag.
  • Foldable JacketI love bringing my foldable warm Uniqlo jacket that packs up nicely! 
  • Bug Repellent: If you plan on staying outdoors at night, you’ll mostly need some bug repellent. Public Goods has a natural spray that works efficiently. They don’t offer a travel size, so you’d have to de-pot if flying with a carry-on. 

Find more of my travel essentials for any trip!

 

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One Comment

  1. Nice post on WV. I’m from Brazil and your suggestions will surely be part of a future hiking scenic trip through this awesome landscape.

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