Top 4 excuses to book a winter cabinFebruary 10, 2017
Many of us may be dreaming of summer, but don’t rule out winter just yet – a snowy cabin vacation can be good for the soul!
Here’s how to get cozy, well fed and entertained in the Gorge:
1. The Fayetteville dining scene
Outdoor recreation might be the New River Gorge’s claim to fame, but creative cuisine is a close— very close— second.
When you wake up in your cabin, make the drive to Cathedral Cafe. This former church now serves as a groovy restaurant, complete with stained-glass windows, friendly service and dishes of homemade fare. From fresh blueberry muffins and custom espresso beverages to farm-fresh sandwiches, there’s something for every appetite.
Another popular watering hole is Vandal’s Kitchen, a delightfully cozy cafe. Step inside for artisan espresso drinks, fresh country fare and “a solid cup of coffee.” As an extra incentive, the owner decorates every table with local greenery— a bright touch sure to thaw your chilly bones.
Pies & Pints has the most delicious, imaginative pizzas in Fayetteville. Try Grape & Gorgonzola, a sweet n’ salty combination that’s irresistible. Other favorites include
Chipotle Chicken, Cuban Pork and a full menu of craft brews.
For a truly exceptional lunch, head to Secret Sandwich Society. Bread and cheese aside, everything is homemade— including condiments like ketchup and pickles. Burgers and sandwiches approach gourmet heights, like the “McKinley”— a seasoned meatloaf affair with chipotle-bacon jam, Thousand Island and onions on sourdough.
You’ll easily fall in love with Secret’s creamy, garlicky mac n’ cheese, too. But save room for the house key lime pie!
Gumbo’s Cajun Restaurant bids defiance to Old Man Winter with dish after dish of Creole specials like fried crawfish, jambalaya, po’boys and blackened shrimp. Other standouts include hot deli sandwiches and southern side dishes— just what you want on a freezing day.
2. Baby, it’s warm inside
No winter is complete without a fireplace, hot cocoa and perhaps some pie. Enjoy simple pleasures like these in the cabin-rich New River Gorge!
Typical highlights include:
- Screened-in hot tubs: taunt Old Man Winter with a soak from your private porch at Opossum Creek Retreat.
- Full kitchens: cook and bake all weekend long at New River Gorge Preserve, where cabins are anything but rustic.
- Rooms with a bar: stay at Wolf Creek Cabins for a host of perks like zipline rides and evening cheer at Red Dog River Saloon.
- History: bunk up in an antique cabin or spread out in a modern Amish-built home at Gorge Gateway Center.
3. Steals n’ deals at Winterplace Ski Resort
Not far from the Gorge is southern West Virginia’s premier ski resort. Winterplace’s soaring elevation, snowmaking machines and acres of terrain ensures months of play time. Better yet, discounts are now in season!
Combine your cabin stay with incredible winter discounts like:
- Holiday specials: purchase a 3-day equipment rental and 2-day lift ticket for President’s Day weekend, and ski free the following Monday!
- Cheap rental fees: get 10 percent off your ski or snowboard rental gear. Just fill out and print the online rental form and coupon.
- Learn-to-Ski & Snowboard: get a lift ticket, lesson and equipment rental for $55.95 Monday-Thursday (non-holidays only).
- Ski Free package deal: lodge with a Winterplace partner (via Winterplace Central Reservation) and you’ll get a free lift ticket for every night of your stay.
- Collegiate Thursdays: enjoy a $26 lift ticket or $25.50 snow tube pass if you’re a student, staff or faculty member. Bring your college ID for deals throughout the week, too.
During winter, silvery snow laces the Gorge and air gets crisp. While you can always go for a hike, there’s a better way to immerse yourself in nature: from a zip line!
The Zip Line Canopy Tour at ACE Adventure Resort treats you to exhilarating views and thrills. Skim the rim of the New River Gorge with “Cruise Control,” then blast above Rush Run Canyon on “Terminal Velocity,” an 800-foot-long ride. With 9 zips and 2 aerial bridges, you’ll be having too much fun to feel cold— guaranteed.
There’s also the TreeTop Zip Line Canopy Tour at Adventures on the Gorge, which sends you deep among hemlock groves. When snow dusts these conifers, they resemble something from a vintage postcard. Climb onto tree platforms and soak in the view, then caper over the landscape on 10 zip lines, 1 rappel line and 5 aerial bridges.
River Expeditions goes a step further. In addition to zips and platforms, this outfitter has a cargo net climb and adventure bridge!
How are you going to spend the winter in the Gorge?