Travel

Luxury, leisure, outdoor fun await in southeast W.Va.’s Greenbrier Valley

The section of southeastern West Virginia known as Greenbrier Valley has the strong and lovely Allegheny Mountains and Greenbrier River to thank for its wholesome genes. The gifts of nature are abundant here and call to all who love the outdoors. This area, occupied since before the Revolutionary War, has nurtured a lifestyle and culture that fit perfectly into the landscape.

Visitors began coming here (especially to White Sulphur Springs) in the mid-1700s for the healing powers of the white, sulphur water. The demand spawned The Greenbrier Hotel in 1778, which has been in continuous operation for 235 years. Today, the Greenbrier stands as the 710-room grande dame of resort hotels. Its five-star mineral spa now delivers health- and luxury-minded treatments. With five championship golf courses, stellar restaurants, whole corridors of designer shopping, 55 planned activities and a Casino Club, The Greenbrier offers one of the world’s most distinguished destinations for leisurely pursuits. Before leaving the property, delve into America’s Cold-War secrets with a tour of the Greenbrier Government Relocation Facility, commonly called “the Bunker.”

Seven miles away on U.S. 60 you will find the Greenbrier County seat of Lewisburg – “America’s Coolest Small Town” according to Budget Travel in 2011. Lewisburg’s vibe includes arts and entertainment, history, notable restaurants and shopping. The town has its own historic inn, the 85-year-old General Lewis Inn, furnished with period antiques.

Carnegie Hall is located here – one of a small handful of halls in America named after arts philanthropist Andrew Carnegie that is still in use for live concerts and arts education. West Virginia’s Official Professional Theatre, the Greenbrier Valley Theatre presents theatrical productions, musical concerts and literary events. The stage at the Trillium Performing Arts Collective is full of performance work that embraces dance, music, theater and film.

There are a few restaurants that have residents and visitors raving. Find your table at the elegant Food and Friends, specializing in steak and seafood. Take lunch to the next level at Greenbrier Valley Baking Company. The romantic Stardust Café is an excellent dinner choice, as is the restaurant at General Lewis Inn. Visit the lovely Stella’s Tea House for Sunday brunch. Enjoy tastings at the Smooth Ambler Spirits Distillery and the Watts Roost Vineyard. Go home with a culinary gift basket from Bella The Corner Gourmet or handcrafted wares from Plants Etc.

In White Sulphur Springs, have lunch at Mason Jar Restaurant and then mosey on over to B Sweet Confectionery for a special dessert.

Camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, bicycling and geocaching are popular activities. Set out for the 5,130-acre Greenbrier State Forest for outdoor adventures. Take in breathtaking views along The Greenbrier River Trail, a 78-mile rail trail that runs along the Greenbrier River, adding fishing and swimming to the mix. Depending on the season, you may even want to cross-country ski.

For area information, contact the Greenbrier County CVB: www.greenbrierwv.com.

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