From gorgeous mountain vistas to wide stretches of forested wilderness, West Virginia lives up to its slogan of “wild and wonderful.” Spend your Thanksgiving getaway nestled away in a cozy vacation rental in West Virginia where you can enjoy peace and quiet, as well as be in proximity to breathtaking woodland. Choose a location in town for easy access to shopping and events, or opt for a more secluded spot to be closer to nature. Here are some of the top West Virginian cities and towns for an unforgettable Thanksgiving vacation.
Make Martinsburg your Thanksgiving vacation destination, and steep yourself in American history. With roots going back to before the Revolutionary War, this city is a great place to explore the roots of the nation. Consider having your Thanksgiving dinner at the Purple Iris, located in the historic Hartwood Mansion, built in 1895, and then spend some time exploring other historical sites, including the 1728 Morgan cabin, the 1770 General Adam Stephen House, and the Civil-War era Belle Boyd House. Be sure to head to Main Street for Small Business Saturday. Antique lovers enjoy perusing Antique-ish, Primitive Country Corner, Second Tyme Around, and the Patriot Antique Center.
For a Thanksgiving full of delicious foods plus Southern charm, book a vacation rental in Lewisburg. Visit Food and Friends to enjoy a bountiful feast in a casual environment, or head to the Jefferson Dining Room in the historic General Lewis Inn for a more formal setting and a meal sourced primarily from local farms. On Saturday, head into town for the annual holiday open house, and take a carriage ride, sample locally produced treats, and visit scrumptiously decorated shops and historic buildings. The day ends with a traditional tree lighting and a visit from Santa.
The capital of West Virginia gives you a Thanksgiving vacation full of history and culture with a breathtaking backdrop of gorgeous mountain scenery. Head into town early on Friday for super Black Friday specials, and then linger throughout the afternoon for the city’s annual artwalk, with extended gallery hours and special displays. Save some time on the weekend to enjoy a late autumn hike in Kanawha State Forest, or hit up the clubs or take in a show in the beautiful downtown area.
Hillsboro offers vacationers small-town charm plus easy access to the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, the perfect place for a little outdoor Thanksgiving exploration. This boggy portion of the Monongahela National Forest features wide swaths of wild cranberries plus rare carnivorous plants and other flora typically found only in arctic regions. The wide boardwalk is wheel-chair accessible and provides a comfortable path for those with limited mobility. In town, be sure to stop at the General Store for some old-fashioned shopping. If you love history or literature, the Pearl S. Buck House is a must-see.
Thanksgiving week in Beckley immerses you in West Virginian culture, and a vacation rental gives you a homey place to enjoy a traditional family feast. The day before Thanksgiving, head to Biscuit World for a Southern-style breakfast, and take some home-baked biscuits back to your vacation rental to complement your turkey dinner. Then, head to King Tut’s Drive-In to pick up a pumpkin, pecan, or sweet potato pie. Reserve Thursday for a family feast at your vacation rental, and spend Friday at the nearby Tamarack Cultural Center, browsing the work of local artisans and dining on traditional Appalachian cuisine. If you in the holiday spirit, check the date of the local Christmas parade to see if it’s happening during your stay. This yearly event includes fabulous floats and musical entertainment, plus a visit from Santa himself.
For a glorious Thanksgiving morning underneath the spacious autumn sky, vacation in Shinnston and participate in its Turkey Trot 5K Walk/Run. This family-friendly event includes a Gobble Wobble Kids’ Race for the younger set, and parents may bring strollers on the longer course if they wish.
7. White Sulphur Springs
The Greenbriar is the place to go for Thanksgiving dinner in White Sulphur Springs. Served family style in the Colonial Hall, Thanksgiving at the Greenbriar includes everything you love about a formal Thanksgiving feast, and you won’t need to spend hours in the kitchen. The venue also hosts a family-friendly Gobbler Gala and Dance in the evening. Reservations are required, so be sure to call ahead. Add some relaxation to your vacation time by visiting The Salt Cave and Spa, where you can relax in the salt cave or book a variety of massage therapies.
Settle into an Elkins vacation home for a wonderful Thanksgiving amidst the mountain landscape. Elkins offers several choices for your Thanksgiving feast, including a three-course dinner with special holiday cocktails at The Forks Inn or a scrumptious buffet at the 1863 Grill. Of course, there’s more to a great vacation than food. Round out your experience by savoring the fantastic views with one of the railroad excursions starting at Elkins Depot, or take a scenic drive to nearby Pumpkintown.
Start your Thanksgiving with a spirit of generosity and a little exercise at the Morgantown Family Fun Run. This annual event takes place at West Virginia University, where the organizers take donations of clothing, school supplies, and food in exchange for a race goody bag. Many area restaurants serve up dinner Thanksgiving style, including Sargasso, Atria’s, and The Clubhouse Grill. Reservations are necessary at many area eateries. On Black Friday, head to the Shoppes at the Seneca Center for a unique shopping experience. This historical gem used to be the Seneca Glass Company, and it incorporates the old glass-melting furnace as well as murals of the glass-making process into its decor.
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