Get ready for an incredible family adventure in Fayetteville, West Virginia! Over the course of five days, you’ll discover a variety of activities that will keep every member of your family entertained. From exploring scenic rivers to diving into fun outdoor escapades and savoring mouthwatering dining experiences, our itinerary guarantees days packed with excitement that will create unforgettable memories for your entire family
Start your journey with a delicious lunch at Pies and Pints, where a wide selection of gourmet pizzas awaits. The little ones will have a blast at the onsite playground while you savor mouthwatering pies.
With a full belly, head to the New River Gorge Canyon Rim Visitor Center to pick up a Junior Ranger book! Embark on a hands-on learning experience for the kids and become a New River Gorge National Junior Ranger in the process. Once you are finished with your book, turn it into a park ranger for your official badge. Don’t forget to check for special activities at the park during your visit.
While at the visitor center, walk the Canyon Rim Boardwalk. This short .6-mile out-and-back trail takes you to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center’s overlook, offering breathtaking views of the New River Gorge Bridge and surrounding Gorge. Be aware that there are some stairs to reach the lower overlook, but the top overlook is stroller-friendly.
From the visitor center, take a drive down Fayette Station Road under the New River Gorge Bridge to take in the sights of the 63rd National Park. Take a left onto Route 19 and make a left onto Lansing Edmond Road shortly thereafter. In about a quarter-mile, turn right onto Fayette Station Road. As you proceed, you’ll encounter a fork in the road almost immediately; take the left fork.
Fayette Station Road, also known as Route 82, will lead you deeper into the Gorge, navigating a series of two- and one-way roads that pass under the New River Gorge Bridge twice. There are designated spots along the way where you can pull over and appreciate the breathtaking views. Keep following the signs for Fayette Station Route 82 as you continue down the switchback road.
Upon reaching the bottom of the Gorge, you’ll cross the Tunney Hunsaker Bridge. Look for the Fayette Station Parking lot from there. Wolf Creek is an excellent spot for allowing children to dip their toes in the shallow stream that feeds into the New River. The beachy areas nearby are also perfect for exploration and observing rafts as they pass by.
To cap off your first day, visit Arrowhead Bike Farm for family fun, food and goats! Arrowhead Bike Farm is home to a rolling loop trail system for all skill levels. Beginners can take advantage of instruction and rentals, as they host family and kid-friendly bike clinics throughout the year. Plus, the resident goats will be waiting to greet you when you are done biking!
After you work up an appetite biking, dine onsite at The Handle Bar + Kitchen. The restaurant offers a great view of the pump track and goats. Enjoy brats, tacos, pizza and their famous giant pretzels!
Satisfy your morning cravings with candied bacon and chocolate chip waffles at Wood Iron Eatery. The kids will love the playground located right outside of the restaurant, too!
The Upper New River provides an excellent family-friendly introduction to whitewater rafting, featuring class I to III rapids. Even children as young as six can partake in this adventure, and many outfitters offer special promotions where a child can raft for free with a paying adult. Paddle down the river in an inflatable kayak under the expert guidance of experienced guides, taking breaks to frolic in the water and savor the river’s scenic beauty during a leisurely picnic lunch stop. Typically, these trips last around four to six hours. Families with older kids seeking a more exhilarating experience can elevate their adventure by exploring the Lower New River or depending on the season, tackling sections of the Gauley River.
Once you are off the river, enjoy a delicious selection of fried wonders and the famous Bomb Diggity Burger at The 304 Restaurant.
For an after-dinner activity, enjoy a family outing at the Escape-A-Torium in downtown Fayetteville. Be transported to another time, place and even reality. Find clues as a team and solve the challenges. Many of the rooms and challenges have West Virginia themes like the “Feud” or “Secret Bunker.” The newest room is the ScareBNB!
Start your morning in a historic church at Cathedral Cafe, offering a unique atmosphere and delicious breakfast options.
Hawks Nest State Park is conveniently just a 20-minute drive away from Fayetteville, making it an ideal destination. One of the most popular activities for visitors of all ages is the New River Jet Boat ride, led by Captain Rick. This thrilling journey takes you along the New River, offering fantastic views as you travel from Hawks Nest Lake upriver, providing a perfect opportunity for capturing stunning photos of the New River Gorge Bridge.
Following your jet boat tour, be sure to visit the Hawks Nest Nature Center. Here, you can get hands-on with animal tracks and engage with the park’s resident naturalist to inquire about daily programs and activities. For those seeking outdoor adventure, consider taking a hike on the Hawks Nest Rail Trail. This scenic trail offers an easy 4-mile out-and-back hike, featuring numerous opportunities to see wonderful waterfalls.
Cap off your Hawks Nest experience with a delightful lunch at Hawks Nest Lodge Restaurant, where you can savor your meal while overlooking the stunning New River Gorge.
Return to Fayetteville and take a leisurely walk through our charming town. Make a pitstop at The Stache for some delicious ice cream while exploring their intriguing collection of unique toys and beloved candies. Take the shopping loop around town and let the kids burn off some energy at the Charlie McCoy Fayetteville Town Park. For a more active family outing, embark on a scenic hike along one of the nature trails, such as the Park Loop Trail, or consider a visit to the Fayetteville Skate Park. Another kid-friendly highlight is Playetteville, a nature-themed playground featuring entertaining elements like a spinning mushroom, an anthill and beehive structures perfect for climbing and playing.
Spend the afternoon soaring through the sky at Adventures on the Gorge! Kids as young as four can join in the fun at TimberTrek Adventure Park, an exciting high ropes and challenge course that offers different levels of difficulty suitable for all ages. For older kids seeking more adventure, the TreeTops Canopy Tour and Gravity Ziplines are sure to be a hit. Additionally, ACE Adventure Resort and River Expeditions provide ziplining experiences for those looking to add even more excitement to their outdoor adventures.
After a long day, head to Firecreek BBQ & Steaks for some comforting, down-home cooking. The restaurant offers the best BBQ in town and a variety of dishes sure to please the whole family!
Wrap up your day with a memorable outdoor movie experience at The Star Lite Drive-In, available on seasonal weekends.
Grab a quick breakfast from West Virginia’s famous restaurant – Tudor’s Biscuit World – before you hit the road to explore the southern end of the National Park.
Begin your day traveling south on Route 19 to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia. Here, step back in time as you immerse yourself in the history of an old coal camp town and homestead. Gain insights into the state’s coal mining past by venturing underground into an authentic mine. Just a stone’s throw away, the Youth Museum awaits with its ever-changing exhibits.
Next, venture to Grandview to explore the southern expanse of the National Park, where you’ll be captivated by the spectacular overlooks. Don’t miss the breathtaking views at the main overlook, and consider embarking on the Turkey Spur Trail and Tunnel Trail, which culminate at the Grandview Playground.
Continuing your adventure, make your way to Sandstone Falls. Your first stop is the Sandstone Visitor Center, conveniently located as you exit towards Hinton. After your exploration at the visitor center, take a scenic 10-mile trip into the charming town of Hinton.
For lunch, enjoy The Market on Courthouse Square, a casual dining restaurant serving soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches.
Time to hit the road and head back to Fayetteville. Plan to have dinner at the Breeze Hill Burrito Bar where you can take in the best sunset view of the Gorge.
Grab a quick breakfast to-go at Swiftwater General Store before heading out.
Beat the heat and dive into a refreshing family water adventure. Delight in a day of aquatic fun suitable for all ages with a guided stand-up paddleboard trip with Mountain Surf Paddle Sports. Discover hidden waterfalls and enjoy splashing around on this expertly guided tour.
For even more water excitement, spend the day at ACE’s Wonderland Water Park, which features a variety of obstacles suitable for different age groups, including a blob, slides and a splash pad. If you’re up for more aquatic exploration, Summersville Lake, just a quick 20-minute drive north of Fayetteville, offers the option of lounging at the Summersville Lake beach or renting a kayak from one of the lakeside outfitters.
Wrap up your day with a fun-filled evening of dinner and bowling at Pinheads.
Then, top off your trip with a picturesque sunset ride at Cowboy Town in Hico, just six miles north of Fayetteville.
Where To Stay
When it comes to family-friendly accommodations in Fayetteville, you’re in luck! Here are some excellent options to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for your whole crew:
Quality Inn New River Gorge: For proximity to outdoor adventures and a welcoming atmosphere, the Quality Inn is the closest hotel to the New River Gorge Bridge. During the summer, kids can splash in the on-site pool, play cornhole and shoot hoops on the basketball courts. Plus, everyone can start their day right with a delicious continental breakfast.
The Aviators Lounge: Elevate your family’s lodging experience by staying in a loft within an aircraft hangar. This unique option includes a saltwater pool and a hot tub right on the premises, promising an unforgettable stay.
Rifrafters Campground: If you’re seeking a more rustic getaway, Rifrafters Campground is the place to be. They offer RV and tent camping, as well as rustic cabin rentals in a family-friendly setting. Your kids will love the spacious grounds for biking and playing on the playground, and there’s even a large pavilion for special family gatherings.
With all the planning done, it’s time to pack your bags, hit the road and create memories that will last a lifetime in Fayetteville – the ultimate destination for family adventures.