Around Town: How to Wow Your Guests This Holiday Season

So your family is in town for the holidays, and once you've gotten all the gifts unwrapped and the feast is over, it's time for them to kick into 'tourist' mode. Here's how to show 'em a good time in southern WV (while not compromising your own entertainment or happiness.)

A Different Glimpse of the Gorge

Having family in town near the New River Gorge and not taking them to see the New River Gorge Bridge is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. It's a standard-defying structure and a gorgeous work of art all at once. But instead of (or in addition to) the traditional overlook, what about a group hike to a more scenic view? There are tons of trails that overlook the Gorge. You can also get up close and personal with BridgeWalk, scaling the bottom catwalk of the bridge for an aerial view of the river.

Get Out

Outdoor adventure opportunities in the New River Gorge are vast year-round. Hike or bike the expansive trails, ATV through the mountain terrain or zipline from tree top to tree top. The more cautious of your guests can still have a good time, taking in the state's natural beauty with a woodland stroll. The iconic Babcock State Park Grist Mill is an especially breathtaking sight in the winter. Top off the day huddled around a campfire making s'mores.

Local Fair With Flair

While you're nearby, try Fayetteville's amazing array of eateries. The unique brew options at Pies and Pints pair well with their non-traditional topping pizzas. Or, treat your family to a taste of The Secret Sandwich Society's bacon jam, a spread that somehow makes the most delectable food on the planet even better. Beans and cornbread is a flavorful favorite Mountain State meal, so share it with your out-of-state visitors by dropping by Cafe One Ten.

Winter Funnerland

The best part about getting to visit WV around the holidays is the snowy slopes of the Mountain State, which are perfect for all sorts of recreation. Take a traditional sled or an old garbage can lid down the local hills if it's snowing! If it isn't, visit Winterplace Ski Resort, where you're guaranteed a layer of powder on the peaks. Skiing, snowboarding and inner tubing are family fun for all of your guests.

Spend the Holiday Cash on WV Treasures

Before you see off your loved ones for their journeys home, take them to pick out pieces of WV to take with them. Tamarack is only a short drive from the New River Gorge Bridge, and has a wide selection of work from some of the state's most prominent crafters. Fayetteville is also full of its own trinket and souvenir shops, with quality local goods nearly everywhere you go. Wisteria Gifts is a great place to start for home goods, antiques and glass. Stop for a beverage break at Cathedral Cafe and look through their assortment of handmade soaps and up-cycled accessories.

What kind of holiday experience are you planning for your family at Gorge?