How to explore West Virginia on a budget: Fayetteville

West Virginia

FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. (WOWK) – Summer in Fayetteville is indescribable. The small town is packed with tourists looking to explore the wild and wonderful adventures West Virginia has to offer. Some of the summer’s biggest attractions include boating on Summersville Lake, White water rafting both the Gauley and New Rivers, or even camping. The busy season has come to an end, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! and for many, winter adventures are the better option for folks traveling on a budget.

“Fayetteville turns into a sleepy charming small town in the off season. It is the best time for an authentic intimate experience with this beautiful place and it allows you to truly experience what makes it so special here. You can take the time to chat with a shop owner and interact with the locals. Our community and the people here are what makes Fayetteville what it is and the off season is where people really take time to unwind and come together. Fayetteville is like a big ol hug that you didn’t even know you needed to rejuvenate from the hustle and bustle from life. “

Tabitha Stover , Fayetteville CVB


One of the best things about traveling to Fayetteville in the colder months is the cheap lodging options! While the summer months are fun there is nothing like sitting in a porch rocking chair with a hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning and taking in the fall colors and even the pristine snow-covered wilderness. Once you have a place to stay you can really just explore the town until you find something that sparks your interest! River Expeditions is one of many outfitters in town that is packed in the summer months, however, they call the winter their “secret season”.

“I think the secret to secret season is the affordability and the availability, you are going to have uncrowded trails for hiking, restaurants, shops and it’s just a neat time to be in the New River Gorge,” says River Expeditions owner, Heather Johnson.

River Expeditions offers half-off lodging options that include their Luxury Cabins that feature a gas fireplace and hot tub as well as their quaint bungalows. The lodging deals will be enough to pull you in and keep you coming back. There is something so cozy about a cabin in the wintertime.

Adventures on the Gorge also offers some promo deals and discounts on lodging during these cold months. If you are looking to stay in town or an easy way to find unique options the Fayetteville Convention and Visitors Burea tells us that Airbnb is another great option and prices tend to drop dramatically during the winter months!

The Fayetteville area is a great middle-ground meeting spot for holiday get-togethers. Can you imagine waking up Thanksgiving morning in a cozy cabin?


The other great thing about the offseason is that town and restaurants are way less crowded! Even the popular mom and pops, like The Catherdral Cafe, on Saturday mornings are just a brief wait away from a unique small-town dining experience. A lot of the restaurants offer seasonal specials and promos you will only see this time of year.

The Secret Sandwich Society is also a popular stop in town! Their out-there sandwich options and local brews make this a fun lunch stop. There are also a number of breweries in the area for anyone into the local beer scene.

“I like to eat and go into hibernation and we are the food capitol of West Virginia so there is no better place to get your grub on. Winter is the time our favorite restaurants get creative and play around with the menu. Secret Sandwich is doing a Chicken and Waffles dish right now that is the perfect hardy winter lunch and it is only offered this time of year.  The Curry House is experimenting with brunch items. The Station loves to highlight seasonal fresh ingredients and some of their hardy winter dishes are out of this world. Many of our restaurants offer specials throughout the week in the winter.”

Stover speaks on Fayetteville food sceene

Things To Do

You may think that there is less to do in the winter months, but many of the exploring options are still available PLUS some local music and events that make this small-town so special.

“It is the best time to beat the crowds and escape into nature. We have lots of activities that run through the winter like ziplining and The Bridge Walk. You can have the best trails all to yourself and the views are breathtaking on a foggy or snowy winter morning,” says Stover.

By throwing just a few extra layers on you can still experience the great outdoors. Some of the best adventures are the ones that are free. To take in some true Appalachian culture you can hike to an old abandoned riverside mine and town. The Kaymoor Mine Trail is more than 100-years-old and includes a number of historic markers along the hike. **Disclaimer this is not the easiest hike and includes an 800-stair-treck to the bottom. But it is worth it for history and scenery!

Another cheap thing to do is take a long way home! If you are driving to and from the Charleston area RT 60 is a great scenic drive that can fill your Sunday with pit stops and scenic overlooks. Things like Kanawha and Cathedral falls will take your breath away and they are FREE with a lot of parking options.

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