West Virginia Your Way

Things to do in West Virginia!

A Day In Pineville

By Guest Blogger: Sherry McCormick-Hawkins

Recently I had the privilege of spending a day in Pineville. It is a small West Virginia town with a lot of things to offer in regards to lodging, food and shops.

First, Bill and I checked into our room at “Trails Lodging.” We decided to “splurge” and we got a great room with our own private Jacuzzi! The room was terrific and had just been remodeled. The bathroom was large and spotless. We enjoyed sitting in the Jacuzzi and watching old movies! The cost was well under $100 and definitely a bargain. The staff is friendly and the lobby and atmosphere are inviting. On top of that they are located right beside the fascinating “Pinnacle Rock” and across the street from the Wyoming County Courthouse.

Pat’s Fashions

Wyoming County Courthouse

I felt like I was stepping back in time as we ventured out after checking into the room. The downtown area is small, but exciting. Our first stop was “Pat’s Fashions”. After looking around a few minutes I urged Bill to head out because I knew that I would be “busy” for quite a while. He gladly complied once he realized how large the store was and he knows I love to “look around.” I was amazed at the HUGE assortment of formal dresses as well as fashionable clothing ranging from jeans to dress clothes. They also have a large variety of jewelry, purses, shoes and other things that women can’t live without. I bought myself a really neat shirt while I was browsing around. The ladies working there were all very friendly and eager to help me find what I needed. In fact, one of them owns a new lodging place herself named “Mimmies Place” which sounded like the perfect place for ATV people, business people and travelers. It is out in the country and has all of the amenities of home. I’ll be back at “Pat’s Fashions” soon.

Mimmys Place

Once I left Pat’s I crossed the street and headed to “The Blossom Bucket.” This is a really neat store. First, it is a florist where you can get exactly what you need for weddings, funerals, and anything else. They also offer fruit baskets, balloon and candy bouquets, silk flowers and other items. I love how the store is decorated! You can buy curtains, bedspreads and other home décor. They have candles, primitives and many other items available for sale. Again, just like every place else in Pineville I was greeted with a smile and a willingness to help me find what I needed.

Blossom Bucket

That night we ate at the “Cornerstone Grill” which is located in “Trails Lodging”. I love the décor of the place and they have a great menu with a wide variety of items. I especially enjoyed the steak salad! It was so good that we ate there again a few days later on our way to McDowell County! Their prices are budget friendly too and that is always good.

Cornerstone Grill

After leaving Pineville I told Bill that I definitely want to come back again soon and stay overnight. The folks are friendly, the area is beautiful and the atmosphere is perfect for relaxing. The perfect place to come and leave your cares behind!

Trails Lodging

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November 13, 2012 Posted by | Businesses, Lodging, Restaurants, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Plaid Eagle Antiques

 Guest Blogger: Sherry McCormick-Hawkins

Being relatively new to West Virginia and the Greenbrier Valley I have taken some time to explore some of the businesses here.

Silver & Glassware

One of my favorite places is a shop in downtown Lewisburg is called the “Plaid Eagle.” First off, the moment I walk into the store I am greeted and feel welcomed! This is a friendly place! The owner, Karen McClung, definitely loves her store and enjoys seeing people come in and browse. Also, she is readily available to talk to you about her large assortment of antiques and is happy to answer any questions.

The store makes me “feel young again” when I check out the toy section. Wow! There are several toys there that I used to play with as a child. I also have a small collection of antique dolls so I enjoy looking at the dolls that are available for sale.

Another neat aspect that brings back memories for me is the large assortment of glassware and silver. It definitely brings back memories of my grandmother’s house in Central Pennsylvania where I loved to visit. The Depression glass is my favorite!

The variety of vintage clothing and quilts in the store are amazing too.  If you are into those types of items I highly recommend Plaid Eagle to find what you’re looking for!

Small Dolls

Another aspect that is unusual is the large collection of medical items and old medicine bottles. This would be a perfect place for the collector of these types of items.

My husband is a collector of old books and has an extensive library.  Plaid Eagle has a large collection of antique books available for sale and a large amount of them are about West Virginia and the history of the state.  Hmmm…this might just be the place to shop for his Christmas present.

Karen is a specialist when it comes to antiques.  She has been in the business for over 25 years.  Not only does she have her store she also does Estate Sales.  She can do an Estate Sale of contemporary items as well as antiques.  She had a large sale recently which featured fine, contemporary items that was quite successful.  If an estate sale is something that you have been contemplating please contact her about it.

Please take a moment and check out the pictures and see for yourself.  Then, head on over to Lewisburg and the Plaid Eagle Antiques.  While you’re there enjoy yourself and shop away!

To find Plaid Eagle Antiques and similar stores go to www.WVyourWay.com and click on the Tourism heading.  Scroll down and select the keywords: Antiques, Books, Collectibles, Primitives, Prints, Quilts and Vintage Clothing.  Then scroll down to the map and click on “The New River/Greenbrier Valley” region.  Just below the map is the “search” button.  Click on the search button and in moments everything you are interested in, and nothing you are not interested in, will come up.  If you want directions to any of the places that are displayed, simply click on “Add to Itinerary” and you will be able to see the places you added separately and see the written out directions.  So go search and have fun!

October 12, 2012 Posted by | Businesses, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Blind Art & A Country Store

What’s better than a scenic drive through the mountains of West Virginia?  Thank you for asking!  I’ll be happy to answer that little question.  The answer:  Finding treasures along that beautiful scenic drive.  Theres a highway between Hinton and Peterstown (State Route 12) that has two fabulous little treasures along the way.  I drove through there last week and stopped in to see Marcia at Wake-Robin Gallery and Emma Jean at Emma Jean’s Country Store.  This is a case where the people are just as interesting as their art and store.  And that’s saying something, since both are outstanding.

Wake-Robin is a pottery and gift gallery located in Forest Hill, and Emma Jean’s Country Store is a turn of the century country store located in Marie.  (One of these days I’ll  have to be sure people understand I mean the early 1900’s when I say turn of the century.)  The gallery can be found under the Tourism heading and the following keywords:  Art – > Gift Shop – > Pottery.

Wake-Robin Gallery

Marcia’s gallery is elegant in its presentation and reminds me of a museum.  However, you can buy the pieces in this museum, and they’re worth the money!  You see, Marcia is a potter of renown who uses her hands to shape functional pottery.  What makes her different is Marica has been blind since birth!  I love a quote she has that goes, “My hands remember how the pots grew, and my heart is gratified.”  When a person realizes she has only seen her pots with her hands, being gratified takes on a whole new meaning.

While I was there some people came in  and bought some gifts.  When they paid I was able to observe Marcia as she typed on a brail typewriter, which I had never seen before, and folded her bills a certain way so she would know which denomination they were.  The gallery had much more than pottery, though.  She had creations by other local artists ranging from jewelry and candles, to iron working and wooden utensils.  There were also woven items, some of which are provided by blind students of Berean College.

Inside Wake-Robin

Emma Jean’s Country Store is exactly that, a real country store that is like going back in time.  There are plenty of things to see and buy, or you may just want to talk to Emma Jean.  While I was there a few people came in and the talk was of neighbors and people helping each other out.  Just what comes to mind when someone thinks of how things are done in the country.  Since I was in a country store, I had to buy a bottle of grape Nehi.  I mean, what is a visit to a country store without buying something from my childhood?

Inside Emma Jean's

If you look at the photo that goes with Emma Jean’s listing for her store on www.WVyourWay.com, you may think you are looking at a painting.  I know that a lot of people, including myself, thought it was a painting when they first saw it.  So, if you like the idea of walking into, not only history, but a painting, you may want to visit her and talk awhile.  Oh yeah, and you just might show up the day The History Channel will be filming a story about her store.  I know they’re coming, we just don’t when yet.  Her store can be found on WVyourWay under the heading Tourism and the following keywords:  Antiques – > Collectibles – > Country Store – > Groceries – > Primitives – > Wine Store.

Emma Jean's Country Store

So take a drive down Rt. 12 and stop and see two very nice ladies.  The trip is worth it and it’s an experiance you won’t soon be forgetting.

August 1, 2011 Posted by | Tourism | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Creature at Lost World Caverns?

Nearly 25 years ago I saw Lost World Caverns on a highway map for West Virginia and decided to stop and check it out.  In the days before the internet all I knew about the place was that a cavern was involved.  Even now, to find the place using an old-fashioned search engine, like Google, you still have to type something about caverns.  Thankfully, www.WVyourWay.com let me find the place without even thinking about caverns or typing anything in.  That way, when I searched for Dinosaurs and Natural History, I was able to find just what I was looking for.

 So off I went and I took a date with me.  We got there early so there wasn’t a crowd to deal with, but the owner suggested we take the tour first since a few busloads of elementary kids was on the way.  My date was from the city, so I knew my chance of scaring her was pretty good.  This was my second date with her, but would I get a third?

 We walked down the tunnel which was a much easier way in than the original entrance, which was a straight drop somewhere around two or three hundred feet.  Actually, you can still see a tiny chain ladder that was used.  I call it tiny ‘cause it appeared less than a foot wide.

 Keep in mind that the temperature drops as you enter the cavern, so bring along a light jacket if you want to keep from shivering.  If I recall, the cavern stays at a cool 55 degrees year ‘round.

 The fact that these tours are self-guided played right into my hands as I thought of what I was going to do to scare my date.  As we walked along the path and viewed the myriad of formations, I came up with an idea.  I wanted to wait until we were deeper into the cavern, though.  One of the good things about Lost World Caverns is that so much is packed into the place that you can pretty much see everything caverns have to offer in one giant room.  It’s almost like someone collected all the different formations and placed them there for safe keeping.

A WV man set a world record by sitting on top of this for way too many days.

 As we reached the lowest depth of the cavern, I said to my date, very matter of a fact, “They say there’s something that lives deeper in these caverns, but I don’t believe it myself.”

 The city girl looked at me wide-eyed and asked, “What are you talking about?!”

 So I told her how there was some kind of creature that was alleged to have been spotted down here several times.  When she said I was just trying to scare her, I simply asked, “Why do you think we’re on a self-guided tour?  They can’t get tour guides to come down here ‘cause the locals know all about it!”

 At that her eyes grew as big as saucers and she inched closer.  My plan was working to perfection.  I had forgotten about the cave bear sign, but when my date saw it, my story gained even more credence when I suggested they had to call it a cave bear since the description of the creature matched nothing else anyone had ever seen.  By this time she wanted me to stay very close to her the rest of the tour.

 Once you leave the cavern take the time to tour the little museum and the expansive gift shop.  If you like dinosaurs, you’ll love seeing the fossils and giant bones.  The gift shop has something for everyone, including fun things for the kids.  You can even do some gem stone mining while you’re there.

 And fella’s, if you want to have a fun date, take your girl to Lost World Caverns.  Not only did I get a third date, but it looks like I just might end up marrying that city girl!

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Tourism | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Restaurant Row in Sutton

Something is happening in Sutton, West Virginia!

A few years ago I visited Sutton and came across a town similar to many downtowns all across America.  Empty storefronts, dust-covered windows and a feeling a despair as a once vibrant downtown was crumbling before the eyes of people who remembered the busier days.

There are reasons for the decline of downtown areas, and I’m sure there are good reasons for the decline of downtown Sutton.  However, this is not about decline, but it’s about a resurrection of a small West Virginia community!

This summer I returned to Sutton and was surprised by what I saw.  The people were redefining their downtown and there was a sense of excitement in the air.  Al Surgei, owner of Summit Media, called the road between Flatwoods and Sutton, “restaurant row.”  He then went on to name five restaurants along that road: Café Cimino, The Town Market, p.j. berry’s, The Century Restaurant and Stancatti’s.  So I visited these restaurants in the order of coming off the interstate at Flatwoods.

You can visit them online too at www.WVyourWay.com.  At the end of each paragraph about a restaurant is the category it can be found in on our Information Engine.  Feel free to browse the site to find what you are searching for.

The first restaurant you’ll come to is Stancattis.  It recently returned to the original owner who is restoring it to the way it used to be.  You will see it on your right after you leave the cluster which has become Flatwoods.

Drive on toward Sutton and when you reach the “Y” you will see The Century Inn Restaurant sitting on your right.  This is the local homestyle restaurant if you’re wanting a taste of the more traditional West Virginia cooking.  The make their breads, pies and other desserts freshCentury Inn Restaurant at the "Y" daily.  Actually, they make nearly everything from scratch and it’s really quite good.  The also have a small gift shop where you can buy local jewelry, candles and other such items. [Restaurants – > Breakfast All Day – > Family – > Home-Style Cooking – > Take Out] [Tourism – > Candles – > Gift Shop]

p.j. berry’s is on the opposite side of the square and it’s located in the old department store bearing the name of Mr. Berry.  Yes, it’s spelled all lower case, so no need to correct me on that one.  This is the newest restaurant in Sutton and it reminds me of a place like the restaurant bar in the old TV show “Cheers.”  However, the emphasis is on restaurant and not the bar. 

Interior photo in p.j. berry's restaurant

The food is also very good and the prices aren’t too bad either.  There is even a section set aside for crafters, which is very nice.  They also serve locally brewed micro beer, which I hear is very good.  I don’t drink beer, so I’ll take their word for it.  [Restaurants – > Casual-Fine Dining – > Micro Brewed Beer – > Sports Bar/Grill]

The Town Market is located on the corner of courthouse square, and it offers some excellent food as well.  The thing I enjoyed most about the restaurant was the menu, though.  That might sound funny, but the names of the sandwiches was quite entertaining and humorous.  The food was delicious and the kind a cut above the ordinary.  The food is grown on their own local farm, so it doesn’t get any fresher.  [Restaurants – > Breakfast – > Casual-Fine Dining – > Family]

Cafe Cimino could be called the anchor  for Sutton and the revitalization of the town seems to be built on the success of this excellent restaurant.  There have been many write-ups in various magazines and newspapers around the state and elsewhere that testify of the high quality of food being served.    When I visited, I looked at it as a trip back in time.  The restaurant is part of the country inn where you can also stay in luxury as part of the lodging facilities.  The difference between a Bed & Breakfast and an Inn is the restaurant that comes with an inn.  In days of yore, inns were required to not only provide a place of rest, but also a place of refreshment and a good meal.

The Cafe Cimino Country Inn

The Inn is located in a late 1800’s mansion built P.J. Berry, a business man of wealth in the area.  The food is a mediterranean/Italian style and the service is done with flair and class.  This is the type of restaurant for special occasions, or when you want a delicious meal and wonderful ambiance.  They also have Mountain Made Products for those interested in taking home a unique West Virginia made product.  [Lodging – > Bed & Breakfast] [Restaurants – > Casual-Fine Dining] [Tourism – > Historic Homes]

So next time you’re passing by Sutton, take a little bit of time to try one of their fine restaurants and discover the other gems in this renewed town.  I will write more about the rest of the town and attractions in the area soon, so come back to check it out.

January 18, 2011 Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

On The Way to Ski Snowshoe

So you’re heading to Snowshoe in the mountains of West Virginia to do some skiing.  You can speed up and speed back and miss all the points in between, or you can take a few minutes to enjoy some things along the way which will offer some variety from what you will see, and pay, on the mountain.

There are different routes to Snowshoe, so I’ll cover more routes in other blogs.  Let’s start with US 219 between getting off I-64 at Lewisburg and heading north to the mountain.  There are plenty of shopping venues in Lewisburg, so let me just highlight a few.  Downtown there is the Old Hardware Gallery (China, Gift Shop, Jewelry), which has nothing really to do with hardware.  It is mainly a gift shop with a wide variety of unique items to choose from.  They also carry FiestaWare, which seems to be very popular.  I liked it because the staff was very friendly and you can even get a free cup of coffee or glass of lemonade.

The Hardware Gallery in Lewisburg

Bella’s The Corner Gourmet is another place downtown right on the corner of US 219 and US 60 which offers gourmet cheeses and unique gift items.  They even have a very nice suites if you need a place to stay (Cheese Shop, Shopping, Wine Store).  Discount Decorating, which is located between the interstate and downtown offers some very decorating items and gifts for the home.  Plus, the ladies are very friendly and helpful to answer questions (Arts & Crafts, Gift Shop, Primitives).

I love books, and so does Plaid Eagle Antiques located in the downtown area.  They have many rare books dealing with history, and especially West Virginia, that you will drool over.  They have more quality items than most antique shops, so they’re definitely worth taking a look at (Antiques, Books, Collectibles, Primitives, Prints, Quilts, Vintage Clothes).

Now, head north on US 219 and 3.2 miles north of the I-64 you will find the Ruby Rooster Antique Mall.  They have 25 dealers specializing in furniture, glassware, pottery, books, decorative items, primitives and various collectibles.  It’s under a large roof, so be prepared to do some browsing.  There’s also a small bakery and cheese shop located next door (Antiques, Collectibles, Shopping).

Nine miles north of Lewisburg in Frankford is Lowell’s Bakery.  This place has some good eatin’!  If you like hot dogs with chili, you have to try their’s, ’cause they have a smoke flavoring that is making me hungry right now just thinking of it!  Check out their listing on www.WVyourWay.com which has even more information about  this nice little place.  Oh yeah, and they also have some nice memorabilia from the area on the wall (Bakery, Desserts, Pizza).

Continue driving north and you will reach the top of Droop Mountain and enter Pocahontas County.  On this mountain is the biggest Civil War battlefield in the state.  It also has a very nice overlook with a grand view of the Little Levels and Hillsboro.  Once you drive down into Hillsboro you may want to try the Pretty Penny Cafe.  It’s a nice restaurant that utilizes locally grown produce and organic fare to create a familiar but jazzed up version of your favorites (Casual-Fine/Dining, Catering, Family, Wireless Internet, Music).

After leaving Hillsboro and not far after passing US 55 heading toward Richwood, you’ll come across Grandpa’s Pantry on the left.  It’s a little off the road, but there are good signs to guide you.  The small store sits on a knoll and it has some very good cheese and deli products you’ll want to stop and enjoy.  They have Amish selections, sweets, WV made food products and many other tasty items (Amish Goods, Cheese Shop, Country Store).

Right after you pass by Marlinton you’ll go up a hill and sitting on the right is Gunter’s General Store.  They have a slew of WV made crafts, jewelry, candles, wind chimes and other collectibles.  They also have a nice selection of antiques (Antiques, Arts & Crafts, Gift Shop).

Right before you turn up Snowshoe Mountain you’ll see a strip of stores on your right.  From about the middle of that building to the far left you’ll find the Route 60 Why Not Shop.  This is a must stop store with all kinds of gifts.  And I do mean all kinds.  They also have a delicious deli where they serve some of the best sandwiches I’ve had in the state.  It’s also a place you can rent ski equipment.  So stop and tell them you saw them on www.WVyourWay.com! Oh, and spend some time reading all the interesting signs.  You’ll get a good laugh (Biking, Canoeing, Gift Shop, Shuttle Service, Skiing, Tubing)

Bella's

January 11, 2011 Posted by | Restaurants, Tourism | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments