Your Step-By-Step Staycations Planning Guide 

This winter forgo far-off destinations and opt for relaxing staycations instead! This type of getaway offers a refreshing break from monotony without straying far from home. From day trips to weekend getaways, the New River Gorge is the perfect place to visit. Our area’s small-town charm and cultural treasures will reestablish lost connections with nature and allow for the ultimate end-of-the-year break. Whether with the family, your loved one or on a lone adventure, the New River Gorge has so much to offer that you will want to staycation here more often.

The definition of a staycation is a trip in which an individual or family participates in leisure activities within a day trip distance of their home. So, if you are ready to play tourist in your own state, here is our step-by-step planning guide. 

Step One: Book Your Lodging 

With a little creativity, it’s amazing how much you can break up your routine and free yourself from the rut of your usual surroundings. The first step is to book your lodging and, thankfully, the New River Gorge has accommodations for every visitor! 

Unwind in a cozy cabin or vacation rental in the woods, or wake up refreshed at one of our convenient hotels. Enjoy all the comforts of home at a local bed-and-breakfast. And of course, what is a staycation without your four-legged friend? We have a great selection of pet-friendly stays, too! 

Our lodging options range from rustic to luxurious and can accommodate groups of all sizes. Each accommodation comes with a wide range of amenities. From hot tubs and fireplaces that keep you warm on chilly nights to high-speed WiFi to keep you connected, find all the luxuries you may need here. 

Step Two: Get Outdoors

The New River Gorge is the best spot to disconnect from your busy life. Home to the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve and two West Virginia State Parks, there are endless outdoor opportunities

Hit the trails on a scenic hike. Experience the beauty of the Gorge and take in panoramic views on trails like Endless Wall (2.4 miles) and Timber Ridge (1.1 miles). Marvel at the iconic New River Gorge Bridge while hiking Long Point Trail (1.6 miles) or view the bridge from the easily accessible Canyon Rim Boardwalk (0.1 miles). If you are searching for a history lesson, head to Kaymoor Miners Trail (1 mile) or the Rend Trail (3.4 miles). Lastly, for family-friendly fun visit the White Oak Rail Trail (8 miles). Many of these trails are also mountain bike-friendly, so stop by Arrowhead Bike Farm or New River Bikes to rent a bike and learn more about the mountain biking opportunities in our area. 

Take some time to explore our two state parks – Babcock and Hawks Nest. Babcock State Park is one of West Virginia’s most iconic locations. The Glade Creek Grist Mill, a fully functional replica of the original Cooper’s Mill which once stood on the grounds, is one of the top photographed spots in the state. Make sure to snap some pictures and tag us by using #GoGorge. This state park also offers hiking, fishing and mountain biking. 

Also rich in West Virginia history, Hawks Nest State Park features the work and craftsmanship of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC stonework includes the main overlook, fencing, retaining walls and stone walkways. The state park is known for its scenic overlook, which provides a bird’s-eye view of our rugged national park below. Other activities at Hawks Nest include hiking and fishing. 

Step Three: Try Something Spontaneous 

The New River Gorge is a base camp for all adventure, so why not try something spontaneous during your staycation? 

Climb to new heights on a guided rock climbing trip. What was once an activity that attracted thrill-seekers to wild places, rock climbing has now become widely accessible to just about anyone craving a climb. For more aerial adventures, try out a scenic canopy tour through the hemlocks or a challenging ropes course! Looking for a unique view of the Gorge? Walk across the catwalk below the New River Gorge Bridge during a Bridge Walk tour. The tour is two to three hours long and allows guests to walk the entire 3,030-foot length of the bridge. Lastly, book a one-of-a-kind biplane ride with Wild Blue Adventure Company! Fly through the Gorge in a World War II Stearman biplane. You can even add aerobatics to the flights like barrel rolls, cravats, hammerheads and s-turns for even more excitement!

Step Four: Enjoy Local Businesses

Our local businesses help make the New River Gorge a special place to visit. Spend an afternoon shopping at our local antique stores for a unique, irreplaceable treasure. Or pick up handcrafted art from local artisans. From boutiques filled with one-of-a-kind trinkets to adventure outfitters that supply the best outdoor gear, browse our stores to take home some souvenirs.

Step Five: Relax

Staycations are all about relaxing and rejuvenating. This might mean waking up every morning to a beautiful view with a hot cup of coffee, curling up every evening by the fireplace or attending a yoga class in town. Regardless of how you define resting, you’ll be able to find it here. 

The ultimate relaxation is to let us help plan your staycation! Request a free travel guide to get started.