We’re continually on the hunt for experiences that add richness to our lives. In the spirit of the revival of road trips, we are proud to feature a monthly section featuring destinations within driving distance of Charleston. We feel that our smart and savvy readers will find these trips interesting and entertaining.
Driving two hours Southeast of Charleston, West Virginia brings you to Lewisburg, a place named one of the coolest small towns in America in times past by multiple magazines. It is still a very cool and fun town to visit with a welcome change of scenery nestled in the Allegheny Mountains. History and the culinary scene are standouts in this adorable town, but you may be surprised at a few other finds.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN LEWISBURG, WV
Lewisburg is home to one of the four buildings that bear Andrew Carnegie’s name. At Carnegie Hall, you can enjoy theater, music, and dance productions. Located on the same street is the Greenbrier Historical Society, it is laden with artifacts, memorabilia, and tour options, including tombstone tours of the Old Stone and Confederate Cemeteries. With Lewisburg being the site of one of the last major battles of the Civil War, the cemeteries should not be missed. This is a magnificent town to explore the historical attractions and monuments, as well.
Historic downtown Lewisburg has a thriving shopping scene, with high-end women’s fashions, upscale food products and kitchenwares, outdoor gear, and art galleries. On the first Friday of each month, downtown stores, restaurants, and galleries offer late night hours and serve refreshments and entertainment. You can get educated and indulge in shopping at Edith’s Health and Specialty Store, a must-visit for natural foods and supplements. A small town favorite is the local antique shops with an arsenal of glassware, furniture, knick-knacks, books, toys, and home decor.
Visit Lewisburg in April when the annual Chocolate Festival runs. Purchase tickets to sample sweet treats and chocolate delicacies around town, or try your luck at a chocolate mousse eating contest. Other popular events during the year include the Literary Festival (August), TOOT (Taste of Our Town) (October), Renaissance Festival (June), and the nearby West Virginia State Fair (August).
You can also visit one of the most stately resorts in America (National Historic Landmark) without having to pay for a room only a few minutes away in White Sulphur Springs. The Greenbrier Resort, America’s Resort since 1778, has a shopping arcade and great restaurants, Christmas store, and natural mineral springs.
WHERE TO EAT IN LEWISBURG
For breakfast, you can go big or small, but rest assured each will be equally satisfying. For cheap eats, visit Tudor’s Biscuit World for local favorites such as the Peppy, Ron, and Rocket. The Jefferson Dining Room at the General Lewis Inn serves a killer weekend brunch with mimosas and bloody Mary’s, Benedicts, Shrimp and Grits, and Quiche.
Find the best lunch in town at the Stardust Cafe. Their sandwich combinations are sure to please any palate (the Gullino is delicious!), while the burgers, salads, and Sausage & Kraut are other yummy selections. For dinner, Food and Friends, Del Sol Cantina, and The Livery Tavern are all great choices. At Food and Friends, go for the house-cut steaks and unique salads. Del Sol Cantina and Grille has raved about pizzas, while The Livery Tavern is the place for sipping wine and sharing appetizers with friends on the lovely patio. Save space for Retro Donuts…and More! or an ice cream sundae from Purple Cow.
A family-favorite eatery in Lewisburg is Jim’s Drive-In with 16 flavors of milkshakes, burgers, potato soup, English dogs, fried green tomatoes, and more. This comfort food spot has been a staple in town for 60+ years.
WHERE TO STAY IN LEWISBURG
Perhaps the best way to enjoy Lewisburg is at a historic inn, perfect for embracing the luxe life. The General Lewis Inn is the premier accommodation in town, dating back to the early 19th-century and decorated with a lovely mix of old and new fixtures and furnishings. If you crave romance and a deep soaking tub, ask for the Pearl S. Buck room. Enjoy the scenery and fresh mountain air from the front porch rocking chairs, a highly sought after part of the property.
For a more rugged adventure, stay at Greenbrier River Campground & Cabins, also offering boat rentals, kayaks, canoes, and tubes. Choose from RV sites, primitive campsites, and cabins.
LEWISBURG: YOUR NEW FAVORITE WV TOWN
Sometimes it’s a great idea to explore the state we live in, getting to know more of the beautiful Mountain State. Lewisburg is sure to please and deliver a good time for those wanting a breath of fresh air and a friendly town that thrives on being an active community.
FYI: Be prepared to pay $8 in WV Turnpike tolls each way.