Two Towns and a Story Teller
Begin your Two Towns and a Story Teller tour by reserving a room in one of Beckley’s hotels or B & B’s. Have lunch at TAMARACK “The Best of West Virginia” in the taste of the Greenbrier food court. Visit the home of Gereral Alfred Beckley, the “Wildwood” House Museum, built 1835-36. Beckley has also been referred to as Beckleyville and its nickname was the "Smokeless Coal Capital". See for yourself the “Smokless Coal” seams of the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine a National Historic Site where visitors can experience a unique underground tour in an authentic “man car” conducted by veteran coal miners. Tour a historical coal camp. Take a few steps back in time and discover what it was like living in the coal camps of Southern West Virginia. Located just steps away from the coal mine are the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia and the Mountain Homestead. Here trained interpreters will take you through a late 19th century two-story log house, one room school house, barn, blacksmith shop, weaver’s shed and general store. After visiting the exhibition coal mine travel to Fayette County via Rt 19 to the New River Gorge Bridge the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere with a 1,700’ span. After crossing the bridge stop at the Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center located immediately on your right. The visitor’s center has a small theatre where groups can watch a 15 min. film explaining the history of the gorge and coal mining in the Fayette County Area. There is also a small museum, an indoor overlook, an outdoor overlook with a view above the bridge, and a 175 step walk below the bridge. After leaving the visitor’s center continue traveling north on Rt 19 to Rt 60 also referred to as the Midland Trail. Travel east on Rt 60 to the most photographed place in West Virginia Babcock State Park. The Grist Mill is made from several working parts of other mills around the state. Visitors will receive a demonstration and a speech on flour and cornmeal making. Once you leave the park travel back west on Rt 60 to Blue Smoke Salsa where you can watch an international award winning salsa being made right on the premises and try each flavor at a salsa buffet. Tours are $5 per person and include a jar of salsa (prices subject to change). Next proceed west to Hawk’s Nest State Park and purchase tickets for a tram ride down into the gorge and ride Miss M. Rock’s the New River Jetboat up the New River under the New River Gorge Bridge. The ride lasts approximately 15 minutes and is senior friendly.
For evening entertainment Karen Vuranch owner of WV Enterprises and interpretive story teller will take you on a journey with Mary Ingles, Pearl Buck or a variety of other characters. Karen performs at several locations around our nine county region also offering great dining opportunities.