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Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
64 posts
40 reviews
Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

My husband and I (late 50's, good health) are traveling to Richmond Oct. 7-13. We want to make a loop starting in Richmond going to Monticello, Shenandoah National Park, White Sulpher Springs, the New River Gorge, Appomattox, and back to Richmond for our flight home.

Coming from Arizona where distances are much further, I'm wondering if we can fit all that in. We like history and nature. What places should we make sure we see? Where should we stay? Where should we spend more time? We do like to drive and stop/hike/sightsee. Any suggestions? I haven't made any reservations for rooms yet.

15 replies to this topic
Aldie, Virginia
Level Contributor
276 posts
92 reviews
1. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

I do think that's too much for six days.

There's plenty to see in Richmond and nearby, including the four plantations on the James River (http://www.jamesriverplantations.org/). Also the State Capitol and a great art museum.

I'd allow a full day for Shenandoah National Park. With over 75 scenic overlooks along the way, most people need at least 3-4 hours to simply drive through the park. I'd allow more to stop at a visitor center (good exhibits on the history, nature,etc.), go for a hike, attend a ranger program, etc.

Same for Monticello. The house tour itself is only about an hour (make reservations), but you should also allow time to see the gardens, take an optional topical tour, see the intro film, and tour the visitor center exhibits. And if you're at Monticello, I'd also go to Ashlawn (James Monroe's home), and to Charlottesville to see the University of Virginia (also designed by Jefferson). That's a full day there.

I don't know White Sulphur Springs well. If you have a chance to stay at the Greenbriar, with all its activities and restaurants, it would be great, but I don't know what else is there to see.

Cutting out White Sulphur Springs and New River Gorge would cut the driving by about 250 miles, and give you more breathing time at the rest of the places on your list.

Brookneal, Virginia
Level Contributor
1,739 posts
99 reviews
2. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

I'm going to respectfully disagree with the above poster.

I'm not try to imply that the James river plantations are not amazing, they are, but you seem to be more focused on the mountains and history there.

I'm assuming that you have good reasons for planning to visit these sites and know you will have to manage your time carefully.

If you left Richmond in the morning, it's only 1 hour or so to Monticello.

Go early, spend the whole morning, enjoy.

You may have specific reasons for Shenandoah park, but if it's only to hike, there are lots of places to do that closer to your route. But after Monticello, it's the closest route point to the park, that afternoon is a good time to do that.

For me, if there's nothing specific drawing you to that particular park, I would make reservations

at the Fort Lewis Lodge, as it's 2 hours from Monticello, on the route to White Sulphur Springs,

offers 3,200 acres of hiking, biking, river kayaking, swimming and fishing,

and they have splendid accommodations and top notch local seasonal fare

(dinner and breakfast are included). https://www.fortlewislodge.com/

We're very budget minded people, but we splurged on our 2 night stay at the lodge

and loved every minute of it!

In fact, everyone who has stayed there has reported back that it is an incredible hidden gem.

From the lodge it's only 1 hour and 16 minutes to White Sulphur Springs, and 1 hour further from there to Beckley.

I can't offer you any hidden gems in WV, my only stays there have been for business in Charleston.

On your way back, another wonderful spot is the Peaks of Otter Lodge https://www.peaksofotter.com/

The Peaks offer 3 options for hiking, Flat Top, Sharp Top, and Harkening Hill (which is more than a hill) and a historic old farmstead to explore.

The lodge has good fare as well.

The Peaks of Otter are outside the town of Bedford, VA, home of the national D-Day Memorial, which is worth a stop if you are into WW2 history.

From there, you could detour south to visit Red Hill, home and burial place of Patrick Henry. https://www.redhill.org/

Thomas Jefferson is widely regarded as the Pen of the Revolution, George Washington as the Sword of the Revolution, and Patrick Henry as the Voice of the Revolution.

It might be interesting, after a visit to Monticello, to compare and contrast these very different homes, and different men who left their mark on our nation and its history.

It's only 1 hour and 25 minutes from the Peaks of Otter to Red Hill.

There are wineries and a craft brewery close by and a lovely, highly rated B&B, Pruitt House Inn http://www.pruitthouseinn.com/

From Pruitt House, it's only 45 minutes to Appomattox Court House national park.

It might be worth a stop on your way to Richmond, at Petersburg National Battlefield, the Crater.

Site of a large battle and a large union victory obtained by digging under the Confederate fort and exploding a mine, killing many and creating a large crater. https:/…the-crater.htm

Here is a map of the above route: https://goo.gl/maps/p4xfLKHDCs62

It's a total of 622 miles over 6 days, you can add or drop specific sites as meets your needs and desires.

You could even reverse that route, and explore Civil War history first, with the Crater followed by Appomattox.

https://goo.gl/maps/eVUtgRJouhv

It looks like a lot of fun to me!

Edited: 17 September 2018, 15:22
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
64 posts
40 reviews
3. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

Thank you for your information. I will be doing some more research. You've given me good food for thought.

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
64 posts
40 reviews
4. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

We are hoping it will be much cooler than AZ and hoping that there might be some fall colors as well. I will look into all the info you gave me. Thanks so much! The lodges look like great places.

Any Beach
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
Level Contributor
11,679 posts
154 reviews
5. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

Do stop at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV if only to walk the grounds and inside the hotel. There are shops inside and a couple of little cafes plus a beautiful indoor pool you must take a look at. From there head to Lewisburg, WV, maybe walk along Washington Street. Lots of cool shops there too, plus lots of restaurants. On the edge of town is Lost World Caverns that I highly recommend doing a self guided walk thru. Takes about 45 minutes or so, depending on how fast you walk. Worth the stop. Head West on I-64 toward Beckley then take the North Beckley exit heading to the New River Gorge Bridge, stop at the Visitors Center on the north side of the bridge. There are many good hiking trails in that area. Long Point Trail is one I highly recommend for its amazing view at the end. It is a fairly easy/moderate 3 (or so) miles round trip. Again...worth it! Some very good restaurants in Fayetteville...Pies and Pints, Secret Sandwich Society to name just two of many. Head back to Beckley, stopping at Tamarack. A unique, high-end gift shop with great food as well. Lots of hotels in Beckley if you want to overnight there. A very cool and unique mini-golf course just down the road from all the hotels that would be lots of fun. It is also a nice coffee shop.

Head back on I-64 East, stop at Grandview National Park and go to the main overlook. (only 5 miles off the Interstate) Continue East to Richmond.

OR....from Beckley you could head south on I-77 to Princeton, WV getting on Rt. 460 east there. Maybe stop at Mountain Lake Lodge off of 460, where a lot of the movie Dirty Dancing was filmed. The beautiful lodge and cabins are all still there. Worth a drive up if it is a pretty day. Then continue on 460 to 81 to 64 back to Richmond.

http://www.greenbrier.com/

http://www.lostworldcaverns.com/

https:/…long-point

https://www.tamarackwv.com/

https://chocolatemoosewv.com/

https:/…grandview.htm

http://www.mtnlakelodge.com/

Yes, the weather should be cooler and you might see some colors that time of year. It will vary in different places and elevations.

If there is any way you could come or stay the following weekend..October 20, that is Bridge Day. They block off the New River Gorge Bridge and BASE jumpers parachute off the bridge..all day. It is a wonderful, fun, all day festival. Thousands and thousands of people come from all over for this weekends events. There is also lots of vendors with arts and crafts and food galore.

https://officialbridgeday.com/

Centerville, Ohio
Level Contributor
14,365 posts
3,388 reviews
6. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

You have limited time.

Do visit Tamarack for excellent WV arts and crafts and a very nice WV meal.

Montani Semper Liberi

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
64 posts
40 reviews
7. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

Thanks for the WV info. I really needed that. I was hoping we could make it to Bridge Day, but we have to go over my school's October Break. We will definitely try the restaurants and shops. Thanks again!

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
64 posts
40 reviews
8. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

Sounds great! I only have six states I haven't visited and WV is one of them. I hope we get a small taste of it.

Any Beach
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
Level Contributor
11,679 posts
154 reviews
9. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

You will have plenty of time/days to do the loop you want. If you drove the whole thing without stops it would be around 11 or 12 hours. So...yes, plenty of time.

I forgot to mention, if you visit or stay in Lewisburg, WV you should stop at the General Lewis Inn. A lovely Inn, very historic, you could have a meal there too if you don't want to stay the night.

http://www.generallewisinn.com/

Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
64 posts
40 reviews
10. Re: Richmond to Beckley, WV loop in 6 days

We just returned from our trip and we followed many of your suggestions. We stayed at Ft. Lewis and Peak of Otter Lodge and loved them both. Thanks for all your help you truly helped make our trip; I sooo appreciate it! We didn't get to Petersburg because the national park was closed due to Hurricane Michael, so we will have to come back. Thanks again.

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