The Valley offers plenty of ways to while away a warm, summer day. In fact, we asked Greenbrier Valley residents and visitors to assemble a checklist of favorite things to do. Whether you prefer the “great outdoors” or the “great indoors,” you’re sure to find summer in the mountains as refreshing as a heaping bowl of sun-ripened berries.
1. CHECK OUT THE TRAILS. If jumping on a new trail is your idea of summertime fun, the options run the gamut in the Greenbrier Valley. Take your pick -- the Monongahela National Forest or Lake Sherwood, Blue Bend Recreation Area or the Greenbrier State Forest – there are thousands of acres and miles of trails to explore. They follow rivers and creek beds, wind up mountainous terrain and steep ridges, they take the form of remote mountain roads and lead to vast overlooks.
Be sure to allow time to check out the Greenbrier River Trail. There are ample opportunities for a refreshing summer dip as it follows 78 miles of the longest free-flowing river in the East. Winding through quiet back-country, its mellow 1-percent grade, gravel-packed path and numerous access points make it easy for all ages and skill levels.
2. JUMP ON THE GREENBRIER RIVER. Kayaking, canoeing and tubing are just some of the popular pastimes on this wide, peaceful river. Relaxing, quiet stretches alternate with easy Class I and II rapids. Bring along a vessel, gear and some snacks. Make a day of it. And jump on in. The water feels great!
3. EXPERIENCE AMERICA'S RESORT. It doesn't cost a thing to visit America's Resort and stroll around the grand hotel and lavishly landscaped grounds. The Greenbrier holds more than two centuries of rich history. It’s hosted world leaders and celebrities and witnessed vital events in the American Chronicle. Explore and experience how it came to be America's Resort through the declassified cold war Bunker Tour or take a scenic carriage ride around the grounds. If there's time, enjoy dinner at Draper's, The Greenbrier's iconic southern diner, detailed in lavish style.
4. DRIVE THE COUNTRY ROADS. Mile-after-mile of scenic back-roads wind along creeks and over hills, cutting across lush farmlands and through covered bridges. US Route 60 follows the path of the old Midland Trail, dating back to the early days of buffalo and Native American travel. US Route 219 was once an Indian warpath. It’s no coincidence the two “trails” cross in downtown Lewisburg.
5. TOUR LEWISBURG. Lewisburg’s roots run deep, and its 200-year-old story is fascinating. Pick up a free guide at the Visitors Center and embark on a self-guided tour back in time. We suggest a stop at the North House Museum, which has documented much of the county’s diverse history and preserved many of its artifacts. "Meet" Anthony and Fanny Carter, and learn how this enslaved family was emancipated 30 years before the end of the Civil War. From there, move on to Carnegie Hall, the Old Stone Church and Confederate Cemetery where 95 unknown soldiers lay to rest… there are lots of choices.
For those who like to wine and dine in the great outdoors, café society is alive and well in downtown Lewisburg. The Asylum's rooftop decks are hot spots for impromptu gatherings and evening jam sessions. At Hill and Holler, you can nosh on wings and sample the local beer menu all from its back deck. And the roomy, garden seating at The Humble Tomato is just right for conversation around the "dinner" table. The Livery Tavern, Del Sol, Briergarten and The Historic General Lewis Inn also feature relaxed outdoor seating.