The Mountain State’s natural riches
offer a wealth of activities for groups
BY CAROLYN BLACKBURN
The West Virginia Division of Tourism touts the state as “Wild, Wonderful,” and with good reason. During the four seasons that grace the Mountain State, locals and visitors alike are thrilled to get outside to experience its natural bounty via engaging pursuits. Whether it’s a fun team-bonding activity, an alfresco
meal or an open-air reception, visiting groups will appreciate time
in West Virginia’s great outdoors.
Groups meeting at While Sulphur Springs’ The Greenbrier have
a year-round menu of outdoor teambuilding activities to choose
from, including off-road driving, scaling the Alpine Climbing Tower, horseback riding and the ancient sport of falconry.
“Not many can say they have participated in such a unique
activity,” says Kristi Godby, media relations manager at Greenbri-
er County CVB. “The bragging rights alone are reason enough to
The Greenbrier also accommodates outdoor dining at Kate’s
Mountain Lodge, a rustic venue that Godby says is surrounded by
gorgeous views of the Allegheny Mountains.
“It’s perfect for casual group functions,” she says, adding, “the
outdoor pool at The Greenbrier, with its expansive views of the
Allegheny Mountains and the greens of the Old White TPC golf
course, is perfect for a reception or meal.”
And in Lewis County is Stonewall Resort, which offers paddle
“It’s a wonderful teamwork exercise because you can’t move the
boat without paddling together and working together,” says Chrissy
Richards, executive director at the Lewis County CVB.
Also in Lewis County is Mary Conrad Park, which is situated on
the banks of Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park. Here, groups can
take a hike and enjoy lunch in a picnic shelter.
Lambert’s Winery, which serves woodfire oven pizza, salads and
cheese/pepperoni trays, also offers outdoor seating for group meals.
“Nestled in the mountains along the Kanawha and Elk rivers,
Charleston is an outdoor town,” says Alisa Bailey, president and
CEO of the Charleston CVB. “In minutes you can be out in the
woods or frolicking on the river.”
Opportunities here include kayaking on the Kanawha, Elk and
Coal rivers during summertime, and hiking and mountain biking
in Kanawha State Forest, which is particularly picturesque during
autumn when the trees are bursting with color.
“Go unescorted or ask for a forest ranger-guided tour for your
group,” Bailey says. “The Charleston CVB can arrange for box
lunches at one of many picnic areas.”
Back in town, the State Capitol is situated in a park-like campus
that Bailey recommends for group receptions, and attendees may
compete in a Charleston CVB scavenger hunt, during which they’ll
use smartphones to find hidden gems around downtown.
For an outdoor meal function, groups should check out Tidewater Grill, which specializes in blackened swordfish and other fresh
A walking tour of historic downtown Huntington, which boasts 59
architectural treasures, including the circa-1928 Keith-Albee Per-
Grandview, New River Gorge National River, Southern West Virginia