Updated: Sep 3
I have seen and done everything that WV has to offer. Well...... maybe not. But living there for 30 years I did see and do a lot. Since I now live in the Charlotte NC area, I'm just 3 hours away from my hometown of Bluefield WV, so I get back to those country roads quite often. There are a million things to see and do in WV, and so much of it being outside life, So I am going to break these WV posts up into sections.
Here are a few videos I made for YouTube of the Bluefield WV area, Check them out.
Bluefield, Mercer County. Southern WV.
As I mentioned before I am from Bluefield which is in Mercer County. One of the first things you see when driving into Mercer County on interstate 77 north is the East River Mountain Tunnel. What's neat about the tunnel is it goes through East River Mountain, and halfway through the tunnel is when you actually cross into WV from VA. Take exit 1 after going through the tunnel and that will lead you to Bluefield.
Top of the Mountain, on Route 460 in Bluefield you can drive to the top of East River Mountain and check out the overlook. It is a nice place to stop and take a few pictures. It can be quite Beautiful.
Downtown Bluefield is going through a much-needed revitalization. Bluefield was a booming city back in the day, due to coal and railroads, and during WW2 Hitler placed Bluefield on a list of possible air raid targets. But as coal declined, the city did as well, with many of the businesses in the area shutting down, buildings torn down, and people leaving the area. But recently, the past 5 years or so, Bluefield is slowly coming back.
Downtown has a few new restaurants that are delicious. The Railyard, and The Vault are my favorites downtown. Bluefield's downtown also has the Granada Theater which opened up recently and plays classic movies, but in the future will be playing new releases. In the winter on Raleigh Street there is ice skating, (this is new to me, I've never been, and it was not around when I lived there). If you come during the hottest summer days, and the temperature is above 90 degrees, Bluefield gives out free cups of Lemonade. Don't count on it happening, it very rarely reaches 90 degrees in the Air-conditioned city. One of the places they hand out lemonade is Chicory Square in downtown. New Year's Eve Bluefield does a lemon drop instead of the recognizable ball drop the NYC does, to ring in the new year. This also happens downtown.
ATV Adventures and Camps
For ATV adventure seekers, Route 52 in Bluefield takes you thru Brushfork, Bluewell, and then onto Bramwell, which will lead you to a section of the Hatfield McCoy Trail. Look up Hatfield McCoy Trail, it is massive and spans through 7 counties in West Virginia. Mercer, McDowell, Wyoming, Wayne, Mingo, Lincoln and Logan County. There are plenty of places to stay in the area, just book early. If you don't book early, there are plenty of hotels to stay in, in Princeton WV which is not too far away. There are only a couple in the Bluefield area I would recommend, but Princeton has more. One of my favorite ways to reach the trail system is by turning right in Bluewell, drive to Montcalm. This is where I have accessed the trails the most. (Wind Mill Gap rd.). Twin Springs, The Mud Pit, Coal Miners Hideout, Hillbilly Hideaway, are on a road between Montcalm and Bramwell, but Hidden Hollow farther into Montcalm is also good. Side track..... While in Bramwell eat at the Bramwell Corner Shop that was featured recently on America's Best Restaurants.
Bluefield has a cute little park near the VA line called Lotito City Park. Actually, a good portion of the park is on the VA side, there are a few hiking trails, picnic areas, kids play area, basketball goals, and a baseball field. Also, if you are lucky and come in the summer you can ride the Ridge Runner, a little train that used to be located on top of East River Mountain. If you come to the area in winter, check out the Holiday of lights. Where 1.3 Million lights make your holidays a little bit jollier.
If you are here on a Friday night in mid to late August, and you enjoy Football, check out the Graham/Beaver Football Game at Mitchell Stadium near Lotito Park. It is a major high school rivalry game, in which Bluefield WV plays Graham, (which is technically Bluefield VA). Both schools use this stadium to do all their home games. This rivalry was featured on ESPN back in the day b/c it draws such a crowd. and in 2019 Mitchell Stadium was voted America's Favorite Stadium.
The last thing about Bluefield I must tell you is a local favorite. I have to make a stop here every trip back to WV. Dairy Queen on Cumberland Rd. The best hotdog ever.!!!!!! Sweet Thingsz Bakery is right beside Dairy Queen, so get a cupcake too.
Accomodations in the area, I would only recommend 1 in Bluefield WV and that is Quality Inn. If you got to Bluefield VA I would pick Comfort Inn, but Princeton WV has several major hotels to choose from. Also there are several Airbnb places to rent.
I hope you have enjoyed this post. And if you all want my help in research and advice on a trip, just make an appointment on my website. If you would like to do the flight research on your own, check out the link below. Crystal Travel has been helpful for me in the past.
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