Gather your girlfriends: Mountaineer Country is the perfect balance of relaxation, culinary exploration and (surprise!) shopping. This is also the mountain home to West Virginia University (WVU), so there’s a fair amount of nightlife as well! From its tranquil green lawns and historical brick buildings, to the Appalachian cultural scene, this is a casual destination with serious style.
Rise early and meet the sun with a long, leg-stretching hike to Coopers Rock State Forest. The 1,200-foot high scenic overlook delivers beauty in every season and has been dubbed one of the most “Instagrammable” places in Mountaineer Country.
Relaxation is on every girlfriends getaway itinerary and a unique option is Himalayan Salt Spa and Cave in Bruceton. Start with a hot stone or deep tissue massage, followed by 45 minutes in a comfortable zero gravity chair, listening to soothing sounds of music and breathing the mineral-saturated therapeutic salt air.
Another oasis where girlfriends create memories together is Harmony Esthetics. Imagine rustic glam meets pure relaxation to deliver a personalized spa experience — all in the heart of Masontown.
Grab lunch at The Farmhouse Café. Fresh, made-to-order salads and sandwiches take second place to the adorable gift shop that is impossible to ignore.
Did we mention shopping? Do yourself a favor and leave some room in your suitcase! The Elegant Alley Cat’s shelves are brimming with personal gifts, WVU souvenirs, home décor and jewelry, like Puravida bracelets from Costa Rica.
Morgantown’s tree-lined downtown is compact, friendly and filled with local proprietors that are anxious to please. Start with Hoot and Howl, an eclectic collection of artisan chocolates, vintage antiques and bath products. Girlfriends love creating something together in their workshops; take home a stenciled pillow as a memory of your time in Mountaineer Country. Just around the corner, River Fair Trade stocks handmade gifts (the denim wine bag is a winner) and accessories that span the globe, from cloth beehive lanterns to socks made from organic cotton and vegan certified. Coni & Franc is a fashionista destination for women, and you’ll find all those jaw-dropping accessories that complete an ensemble.
This would be a great time to drop by the Cupcakerie, where it’s hard to say no to a “Chocolatey Caramel Kiss” — decadent chocolate cake filled with a chocolate caramel candy, topped with silky caramel butter cream and sprinkled with dark chocolate shavings. Or a “Red Carpet Red Velvet.” Or a “Gimme Some More S’More.”
Downtown Morgantown is packed with timeless eateries — most with sidewalk chalkboards boasting old-world family recipes. Iron Horse Tavern is a local favorite for fine pub fare that includes bulgogi pulled pork tacos and wild mushroom pierogies. For a great craft beer — and a bartender who knows her brews — stop by Apothecary Ale House & Café.
Ask any local where the best “guac and margaritas” can be found and they’ll steer you to Black Bear, a homegrown gastronomical experience. The owners are WVU alum and the ingredients are fresh.
The flavor-packed cuisine tour continues along Morgantown’s riverfront with Table 9, Morgantown Flour and Feed, Bourbon Prime and Mountain State Brewing, home to wood-fired flatbreads and craft beers that are West Virginia born and brewed. A walk along the rail trail will drop you at Sargasso where you can cap off the night with cocktails. The menu is decidedly “cutting edge.” We’ll “cheers” to that!
Speaking of nightlife, the scene at Bartini Prime is upscale and energetic, a perfect place for the late-night party — which makes it a great place to cut loose on a girls weekend!
Go completely Zen on land and water! Take an afternoon stroll through the West Virginia Botanic Garden, complete with Butterfly Garden and Secret Garden — both natural masterpieces. Plan accordingly and you can catch one of their farm-to-table dinners prepared by the area’s master chefs and accompanied by live entertainment. The waterways in and around Mountaineer Country provide a serene opportunity for kayakers. There are plenty of rental companies and an occasional tour guide that ensures an informative, yet enjoyable experience.
For year-round festivals that celebrate motorcycle riding, wine and jazz, art, Broadway and buckwheat harvest, Mountaineer Country ticks all the boxes. But that isn’t the only reason northcentral West Virginia is a popular girlfriend getaway. With wineries and whitewater rafting, this memorable Appalachian paradise is simply a delightful place to visit. You’re bound to run into friendly people, eager to reveal the local hidden treasures and share the best-kept secrets for hometown attractions.
Accommodations range from mountain cabins — complete with hot tub and breakfast basket — to boutique hotels situated in the heart of downtown Morgantown. Discounted rates are available at MountaineerDeals.com.
Mountaineer Country is centrally located in the mid-Atlantic, just 2-1/2 hours from the Metro DC market or a short flight on Southern Airways from Baltimore Washington International (BWI) or Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) to Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW). Daily flights from Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) arrive in North Central West Virginia Airport (CKB).