Blue Ridge Country - May/June 2018 - 44
Railway Heritage Center
tells the story
of the railroad and its
of the Arts. It's possible to take a class in painting, glass
fusing or other arts on your layover day.
Visitors also fish the Jackson River that flows
through town-rated #25 among top U.S. trout
streams-or hike Smith Creek Trail as it loops past the
The biggest draw for rail travelers may be the C&O
Railway Heritage Center. The railside museum tells the
story of the railroad that made this town through displays, equipment and buildings. Climb into the engineer's seat of a locomotive, ride a handcar down the rails,
or watch modern CSX operations from the signal cabin.
Four bed and breakfasts operate in the town, with
rates ranging from $56 to $245 a night. In addition to
Jack Mason's, Clifton Forge's dining options include Café
Michel, a fine French dinner restaurant, as well as Tiny
Italian Bakery, Deli42 and the Club Car, with its delicious
White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. The
venerated Greenbrier Resort dominates this little town.
The resort operates runs a glittering Christmas store year
in the train depot, the free shuttle that greets Amtrak
passengers trackside, and just about all of the town's fun
shopping-with one notable exception.
The popular DIY Network television show, "Barnwood
Builders," has opened a store on Main Street stocked with
lamps, carvings, furniture and decor made of old wood
and recycled relics by the Barnwood crew who recover
and restore 19th century log and timberframe structures.
And right next door is B Sweet Confectionary, where you
can find almost any kind of cupcake.
Then there's the Greenbrier-6,000 acres of landscaped grounds, grand hotel, golf courses, 38 upscale
boutiques, a colony of craft studios, spa, casino (alas, for
overnight guests only) and a Cold War-era underground
bunker day visitors can tour for a fee. The 240-year-old
resort is always spectacular.
Since it was purchased by West Virginian Jim Justice,
now state governor, the Greenbrier has lost its snootiness
but none of its elegance. It's possible to book a room here
for under $150 with the help of Groupon, online discounters, or a package. But you can also drop $25,000 for
one night, if you book the Presidential Suite. Alternative
lodging options are scarce in this town, so consider this
a time to splurge.
Hinton, West Virginia. When you step off at Hinton's station, you're within blocks of almost everything
the town has to offer-lodging suites, restaurants, two
museums, two art galleries, shops and a renovated 1929
theatre. It's so easy to explore this little town and even
easier to get a view-just stroll uphill to glimpse mountains towering over the river.
The New River runs along town, and the Greenbrier
and Bluestone flow in just upstream. The bassing is good
here. You can find lodging on the New River, and the
Cabin on Coney Island in the river. This furnished cabin
is a property of Guest House Inn on Courthouse Square
and is accessible only by boat. Berry's Campground across
the river also rents cabins-these on the riverbank-as
well as watercraft and can provide guiding services for
fishing and tubing.
In-town diversions include the Ritz Theatre for mov-