West Virginia Travel: Paint your Picture in Stonewall Country

~Travel is like a giant blank canvas and the painting on the canvas is only limited by one’s imagination

-Ross Morely
View of Stonewall Resort, Roanoke, West Virginia
Above Photo: Courtesy of Lewis County, CVB

I took my first trip to Stonewall Country over 15 years ago. It was exciting to find a place that I could make my own. It would become my three day escape from the hassles of everyday life. I have a painting of Stonewall Country in my mind where I see painted landscapes, twisting roads and peaceful waters. In the fall, the skies are often the color of denim blue against the changing leaves. Sunsets along the lake are the prettiest shades that you ever remember having in your crayon box as a kid. The land is rugged and wild with beauty that is incredibly hard to describe, yet it is so much more. There are friendly and familiar faces, museums, historic places, unique shops, art, and amazing restaurants. That is my picture of Stonewall Country. We all need a place like this. If you could paint a picture of a travel destination what would it look like? I can give you many reasons why you too may want to paint your picture in Stonewall Country.

Stonewall Resort

Located in Roanoke, West Virginia, the resort is secluded amidst mountains and the 2,600 acre Stonewall Jackson Lake. This is your year-round resort where you can do everything, or just kick back and relax.

Above Photo: Courtesy of Lewis County CVB

The resort boasts its own marina which offers guided fishing trips for the angler. In addition, the golfer can enjoy a relaxing day on the Arnold Palmer Signature Course. Some of my personal favorites at the Stonewall include; the Mountain Laurel Spa, hiking trails, and indoor/outdoor pool. However, the outdoor fire pit remains on the top of my list. Who wouldn’t want to eat smores and drink wine under the stars? Guests are entertained with live music and events such as bourbon tastings, barbeques, and wine and chocolate tastings. Yes, I said wine and chocolate! These are just some of the many events. There are three restaurants on the property; however, my favorite is Lightburns. It sits at the top of the hill and boasts some of the most stunning views of the Palmer Golf Course, lake, and mountains.

Photo: courtesy of Lewis County CVB

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Years ago, I stumbled upon this place before it opened to the public. It is hard to miss due to its enormous presence in the historic town of Weston. I got out of my car and was taken in by the massive building and its stone facade. I walked around the exterior and tried to imagine what it was like back in the day when it began as a state asylum. In 1864, it first opened its doors in order to house 250 patients. The building is considered to be one of the largest in North America. Reportedly it is second in size to the Kremlin. You simply cannot see this place in one visit. How about a flashlight or a paranormal tour? How about a ghost hunt? In addition, there are historic tours which tell the tales of civil war raids. They even have a costume themed Halloween ball which is one of my personal favorites. For those who get shook easily, the expansive grounds play host to many fun and informative events. Visiting the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a must!

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Lamberts Winery

The owners are an amazing couple who make you feel right at home. The building and grounds are stunning and play host to many beautiful weddings and receptions. You might want to linger here just a while longer in your favorite rocking chair beside their indoor or outdoor fireplace. The scenery is stunning and hard to forget. I keep coming back to relax with a glass of wine, hear stories, or listen to music that makes me happy that there are weekends. Oh, and every May through August, be sure to stop by on a Wednesday Night for some wood fired pizza, wine, beer, and live entertainment! If you happen to be here in February, check out Lamberts Winery at the Sweet Escape Wine and Chocolate Festival at the Stonewall Resort. I know, I mentioned wine and chocolate again….

Jackson’s Mill

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it just happens to be one of my favorite places to take my camera. A former Grist Mill, it was built in 1837. If you are a history lover, this place is for you as it is a civil war historic site. Besides touring the buildings and learning the history, Jackson’s Mill plays host to events and conferences throughout the year. It is important to add that it is a special mission campus of West Virginia University and is also home to the 4-H campers in the US.

Stonecoal Lake Wildlife Management

Stonecoal Lake, WV
Stone Coal Lake, WV

One of my favorite places for sunsets is this 2,985 acre area. It is a haven for fisherman, hunters, or wildlife enthusiasts alike. It is also home to one of my favorite places to stay in Stonewall Country, Lakeview Cabins. The views of Stonecoal Lake is something out of a dream. The sunsets are most stunning here and they are always free.

Curated

Located in historic Weston, at Curated, you can find some of the most unique gifts with a very chic boutique and funky kind of vibe. I love that the products are locally made which supports local businesses. You can find everything from local honey, teas, rare pottery, bath products, paintings. and jewelry. Owner Anna Cardelli is an amazing woman with a tremendous vision for her town of Weston. This can be witnessed by her two other Weston businesses that she owns with her husband Erico.

Thyme Bistro

I found Thyme Bistro on a rainy night after spending a spooky day at the Asylum with my girlfriend. When I walked inside, the fact that I was wet from the rain didn’t seem to bother me anymore. There was a fireplace and red walls which reminded me of something that I would see in NOLA or a cafe on a back street in Paris. Jazz music was playing in the background. Such a cool vibe. I love it so much that I keep coming back every chance that I get. This restaurant has won many awards. The food is farm to table. You can tell as soon as you take a bite. Geoff Kraus and Dwayne Metz have something special here. They have combined simple with fresh ingredients and elevated them to the spectacular!

Ember Arts

Anna Cardelli and her husband Enrico understand what Weston needed and I think that it is perfect! At Ember Arts, you can choose from pottery, canvas painting,glass fusing and painting, as well as mosaics. There are classes as well as the opportunity to just drop in and leave with something amazing! What a perfect place to chill before or after a meal in town.

West Fork Eatery

Another vision of Anna Cardelli and her husband which is already gaining attention. The West Fork Eatery opened its doors approximately four months ago and is getting excellent reviews!This is a great place to start your day before touring the town of Weston. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and a dinner menu. Oh and the stuffed french toast is divine! I will be stopping here the next time that I am in Weston.

In addition to those amazing places, be sure to check out the following:

-The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia, Appalachian Glass Products, and Mountaineer Military Museum. All in Stonewall Country.

 

 

Natalie
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