As we strive to enhance our lives, exploring new destinations is always a fulfilling experience. That’s why we’re thrilled to share our monthly getaway section, showcasing incredible destinations near Charleston that are perfect for a rejuvenating road trip. Our devoted readers will surely love these new additions to their travel bucket list.
Driving two and a half hours northeast of Charleston brings you to Wheeling, West Virginia, the fifth-largest city in the state and twice the state capitol. Wheeling is experiencing an explosion of growth, so you might be surprised if it’s been a while since your last visit. Wheeling is set on the Ohio River in the Appalachian Mountains foothills and offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and modern amenities. Here is what to do on your weekend getaway.
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN WHEELING
Start your day with a stroll or bike along the Wheeling Island Heritage Trail, a scenic path winding through the city’s historic district. You’ll pass landmarks like Stifel Fine Arts Center (closed Sunday) along the way, housing an impressive regional art collection and the sprawling Centre Market Square Historic District. This exciting point of interest offers locally-owned boutiques, wine, ice cream, candy, and antique shops, a bookstore, and a bakery, to name a few.
Oglebay reigns supreme in Wheeling, and you are in for a treat as you experience some of the property’s hottest attractions: Mansion Museum, Glass Museum, Bissonnette Gardens, walking and hiking trails, horseback riding, adventure center, and the Good Zoo. You may only be able to cram some of them into a single weekend! Kids will love doing the swan pedal boats or kayaking on Schenk Lake and diving into a good game of mini-golf. There is a fun playground nearby. Adults may prefer a round of golf or a visit to the West Spa.
Over at Wheeling Island Hotel and Casino, experience live greyhound racing, play some of the 1,100 slots, or sit at the table games, including roulette, craps, and blackjack. For even more entertainment, check the schedule at Capitol Theatre to see if they have any Broadway shows or concerts during your visit.
A bonus Wheeling attraction is the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. For me, the bonus treat was shopping at Ditto, a ladies’ boutique on National Road.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK
Wheeling has plenty of tasty dining options. Grab a breakfast sandwich or muffin from Tim Horton’s, or enjoy a sit-down meal from Bob Evans.
Lunch at Generations Restaurant and Pub (also serving breakfast and dinner) has dozens of options, including the most amazing fried cheese cubes. Eat a West Virginia hot dog with a side of your choice for under $7.
I recommend Figaretti’s for superb classic Italian fare, or check out the dinner buffet at Wheeling Island, open from 2 to 10 PM.
Of course, you can dine at the Oglebay restaurants for a fabulous meal all day. Ihlenfeld Dining Room is where you’ll find a tempting breakfast buffet, and Glassworks Grill is always a good choice for lunch or dinner. I recommend the Oglebay Burger with bacon jam and gorgonzola. They also serve 10” personal pizzas.
If you’re a craft beer fan, stop by the Wheeling Brewing Company, a trendy brewpub with rotating house-made beers and delicious pub grub.
WHERE TO STAY IN WHEELING
For a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, book a stay at Oglebay Resort. This sprawling property boasts 1,700 acres of lush, rolling hills, gardens, and impeccable floral blooms. Choose from spacious lodge rooms or two- to eight-bedroom cottages featuring modern amenities and spectacular views.
Oglebay Resort is also home to a golf course, spa, and multiple dining options, so you don’t have to leave the property unless you want to.
Another choice of lodging is at the Wheeling Island Hotel. This energetic property offers comfortable guest rooms, an on-site casino, multiple dining options, and live entertainment throughout the week. Plus, you’ll be just minutes away from Wheeling’s top attractions, including the Wheeling Island Heritage Trail and Centre Market.
For the best room rates, check Booking.com or Kayak to comparison shop.