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Lewisburg, WV, a Really Cool Town
Lewisburg, West Virginia--Fun, Friendly & Full of Life
Online voters at Budget Travel selected Lewisburg, West Virginia as the Coolest Small Town of 2011--and for good reason.
Lewisburg is a pretty little town with over 40 busy restaurants and shops and its own Carnegie Hall. It also hosts an annual chocolate festival and monthly downtown celebrations.
Visit Lewisburg for a weekend or a week. You won't run out of fun things to do.
Lewisburg is located near a variety of other tourist attractions, including the Greenbrier Resort, Lost World Caverns, Pipestem State Resort, Bluestone Lake, Summersville Lake, Cass Scenic Railroad and numerous outdoor activities for which West Virginia is renowned: whitewater rafting, mountain biking, fishing, hiking and more.
How to Get There from Here
Lewisburg is near Pipestem, Bluestone Lake & Lost World Caverns, as well as the Greenbrier Resort, home of the PGA Greenbrier Classic.
Fun Fridays in Lewisburg
On the first Friday of every month, Lewisburg hosts First Fridays After Five. It's a free celebration from 5 PM to 9 PM that includes live music, art, food and fun activities throughout the downtown area.
For specific details about the next First Fridays celebration, click here.
The Lewisburg Chocolate Festival
April 7-9 are the dates of the Fifth Annual Lewisburg Chocolate Festival, which features chocolate-themed dinners, bake-offs, cooking demonstrations, a HospiceCare 10K Chocolate Chase, a chocolate mousse eating contest, musical performances and more.
On Saturday, April 9, downtown businesses host a Chocolate Tasting Extravaganza featuring local, state and national brands of chocolate treats.
To see a schedule of events and/or purchase tickets to the Fifth Annual Lewisburg Chocolate Festival, click here.
Where to Eat in Lewisburg
You won't go hungry in America's coolest small town. Lewisburg has a wide variety of eating establishments, from sandwich shops to fine restaurants.
Feeling informal? Try one of Lewisburg's barbecue joints. Our favorite is Wild Hog Bar-B-Que. The pulled pork platter with beans and coleslaw is delicious! Other great spots for an casual meal include The Wild Bean (a coffee shop with organic, vegetarian fare) and Jim's Drive Inn (located just outside town on U.S. Route 60). Jim's is an awesome spot for old-fashioned burgers and shakes delivered to your car.
There's good reason the Food Network featured Food and Friends on one of its broadcasts--the food's delicious! Be sure to try the crab dip. Stardust Cafe is also definitely worth a visit. It serves fresh, eclectic fare and has a marvelous wait staff.
If Italian is your favorite, Bella Casa is also a good choice for a meal. Sit outside in the patio garden or eat in one of the restaurant's cozy dining rooms. An excellent Mexican restaurant, Del Sol, is right next door.
Looking for contemporary cuisine? Head to Julian's or Stella's Tea House, both on S. Lafayette Street, for an outstanding fine dining experience. (Better make reservations!)
The Coolest BBQ--Anywhere
Cool Places to Stay in Lewisburg
Lewisburg is home to several comfortable inns and bed & breakfasts within walking distance of downtown. Perhaps the most well known is the historic Civil War General Lewis Inn and Restaurant, built circa 1834. Other good choices include the Lee Street Inn, Minnie Manor B & B and the Church Street B & B.
Lewisburg has the usual chain hotels as well--Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, Marriott, Quality Inn and Super 8--for those who intend to spend most of their days out and about.
Shop LewisburgClick thumbnail to view full-size
Super Cool Shopping in Lewisburg
Like to shop? You'll love Lewisburg. Its clean, colorful streets are filled with interesting boutiques, antique shops, art galleries and other fun stores. Here are a few you won't want to miss:
- Bella, a sweet little kitchen/gourmet food shop with everything from racks of wine to teapot trees.
- Serenity Now Outfitters, where you'll meet Logan, the coolest dog in Lewisburg--and find some neat outdoor gear.
- Studio 40, a charming boutique with wearable art, handmade jewelry, and contemporary and regional artwork. (Studio 40 is also located at the Greenbrier Resort.)
- Harmony Ridge Gallery, a large gallery filled with beautiful, fun creations. My favorite pieces? Quirky metal mooseheads for mounting on the wall.
- Cooper Gallery, featuring traditional and contemporary sculpture and paintings. (When we were there, a pianist provided delightful background music as we browsed.)
Pretty Pics from PipestemClick thumbnail to view full-size
Don't forget your camera!
I love my Canon EOS Rebel! Taking great pictures (and movies) is easy with this awesome camera.
If you're into fishing and/or boating, Lewisburg isn't far from two beautiful lakes, Bluestone Lake and Summersville Lake. For those who like hiking and biking, there are many trails nearby too. Our favorite is the Greenbrier River Trail, which we cycled two years ago from Marlinton, WV to Cass Scenic Railroad, another nearby attraction. As its name suggests, the Greenbrier River Trail parallels the Greenbrier River. It's a wide, well-maintained trail suitable for hikers, cyclists and equestrians.
Here are three more great places to visit in the Lewisburg area:
Lost World Caverns
Located down a country road just outside downtown Lewisburg, Lost World Caverns provides a great way to while away an afternoon. Take a Wild Cave Tour (reservations required) or drop in for a self-guided tour. No special equipment is needed, but you might want to bring a light sweater. The caves are a constant 52 degrees F year round. And don't forget your camera!
The Greenbrier Resort
Although it can be quite pricey to stay at The Greenbrier (even with a package deal, most rooms cost over $350 per night), visiting the historic resort is free. You can tour the grounds, which are beautifully landscaped; visit the Presidential Cottage; shop the resort's unique art galleries, clothing stores and gourmet shops; and dine in its excellent restaurants. You can also, of course, play golf. You can even hire a bicycle or a horsedrawn carriage. And be sure to visit the Greenbrier's Christmas store, located across the road from the resort at the train depot. A casino is also located on the premises, but it's for guests only.
Pipestem Resort State Park
Pipestem isn't just a state park--it's a resort that offers horseback riding, swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, archery and more. It also has cool accommodations, from small cottages in the woods to lodges that feature excellent dining opportunities. Take the aerial tram, which passes over charming Mountain Creek, down to Mountain Creek Restaurant. It has an extensive wine list and a menu that any gourmand would love. My favorite meal? Seared tuna on a bed of black-eyed peas dressed with sweet and sour chow-chow. Delicious!
Scenes from Greenbrier ResortClick thumbnail to view full-size
Souvenirs from the Mountain State
One of several cookbooks that feature recipes from The Greenbrier's famous kitchens.
For years, Sam Snead was the golf pro at The Greenbrier. Amazon customers give his how-to gold book five stars.
Charming vintage pictures of the area and its people.
A statue of John Henry, the steel-driving man of legend, may be found in Talcott, WV, not far from Lewisburg.
Just about every historical area has a few ghost stories, and Greenbrier County, WV, is no exception. Boo!