ABC Guide to Summertime Family Fun
Plan your summer vacation with our guide to family-friendly adventures that won’t break the bank.
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A When visiting the Philippi or Grafton area, add a historic tour of Adaland Mansion to your day. Located outside of Philippi on top of a knoll with incredible views of the surrounding country, this striking brick home was built in 1870 and has been authentically restored.
Tours run from May 1–December 31. Adaland Mansion; 304.457.1587; 304.457.2415; www.adaland.org
B Visit Blackwater Falls in Davis and be wowed by the amber-colored waterfalls plunging five stories into an eight-mile-long gorge. Fallen hemlock and red spruce needles give the Blackwater River its unexpected “black” color. Enjoy the impressive view of the gorge from the lodge, rent a private deluxe cabin, or stay at the tent and trailer campground to enjoy nature’s effortless amenities.
C All aboard the Cass Scenic Railroad—a refurbished steam-driven locomotive that barrels through history. Feel as if you have been transported back in time, as you enjoy unparalleled mountain views to Whittaker Station, Bald Knob, and Spruce. When you visit, stay at a company house in Cass or rent a caboose. Reserve your spot for the special dinner trains—Fiddles and Vittles Train and the Murder MysteryTrain.
Keep cool this summer at Canaan Valley Resort, located in the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains. Geocaching, eurobungy, hiking, paintball, chairlift rides, wall climbing, and horseback riding are just some of the activities that this four-season destination offers.
D The unique scenery and vegetation of Dolly Sods, part of the Monongahela National Forest, attracts outdoor enthusiasts from around the world.
E Visit Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, the largest and most popular coal heritage destination in the region. This underground mine tour takes visitors 1500 feet beneath the ground, riding in authentic “man cars.” Visitors can explore the restored buildings, the historical coal camp, gift shop, fudgery, and the Rahall Company Store for a true representation of early 20th century coal camp life.
F Calling all animal lovers! The West Virginia State Wildlife Center at French Creek is a modern zoological facility of native and introduced state wildlife. Take a tour of the spacious enclosures, where the animals interact as if they were in their natural habitat. After touring the many exhibits, refuel beneath the sheltered picnic area and then visit the gift shop.
G Want a luxury getaway without the expense? Then visit The Resort at Glade Springs, a premier, four-seasons vacation destination. Glade Springs offers an abundance of on-site recreational, dining, and shopping opportunities and is conveniently located to many more. Make sure you carve out time to rejuvenate at the luxurious Spa Orange.
The Resort at Glade Springs, 255 Resort Drive, Daniels; 866.562.8054; www.gladesprings.com
H One of West Virginia’s true tiny-town-treasures, Helvetia is a small Swiss village first settled in 1869 by Swiss and German settlers, and its isolated location has allowed the Swiss and German traditions of dance, music, and food to thrive. Enjoy an unforgettable meal at the Hutte and stay at the Beekeeper Inn.
I Ice Mountain, located in Hampshire County, gets its name from the refrigeration effect that takes place inside its talus. For generations nearby residents would make weekend pilgrimages to Ice Mountain, where they’d chip off chunks of ice to cart home to make ice cream and chilled lemonade.
J Once just a log cabin and grist mill, Jackson’s Mill is the first state 4-H camp in the nation. The grandparents of legendary General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson settled the land in 1801. The original mill is now a museum housing artifacts related to the Jackson family history, as well as the history of milling in West Virginia.
WVU Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp, 160 WVU Jackson Mill, Weston; 304.269.5100; 1.800.287.8206; jacksonsmill.ext.wvu.edu
K Relive your own childhood favorites while letting toys and trains entertain the kids. Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum features tours, interactive displays, a scale model of downtown Wheeling, operating train layouts, a gift shop, and thousands of toys, from dollhouses to ride-on toys. There is even a restored railroad caboose on site!
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, 144 Kruger Street, Wheeling; 304.242.8133; 1.877.242.8133; www.toyandtrain.com
L In 2000, Allegheny Energy added a 20-acre park and 4.5-mile hiking and biking trail on the banks of the eight-mile-long Cheat Lake. Cheat Lake Park and Trail also contains a children’s play area, picnic sites, boat docking facilities, and a free motor boat launch at the Sunset Marina. Pack a picnic or grab a bite to eat at The Lakehouse at 165 Sunset Beach Road or at Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa that also overlooks Cheat Lake.