West Virginia is best known for its awe-inspiring scenery of the Appalachian Mountains and important points of interest in American history. It's a scenic state with varying landscapes of rolling hills and sweeping valleys - making it the perfect destination for a fall foliage tour. These three unique places to visit in West Virginia offer an unforgettable experience, combining rich history with scenic exploration and fall foliage train rides.
1. White Sulphur Springs
White Sulphur Springs became a vacation hotspot for the wealthy in the first half of the nineteenth century when word spread about the purported healing powers of its mineral springs and the social elite arrived in droves to "take to the waters." The primary attraction in White Sulphur Springs is The Greenbrier, one of the country's most luxurious and exclusive resorts. Twenty-six presidents have stayed at The Greenbrier and it's the site of a massive underground bunker that was meant to serve as an emergency shelter for the United States Congress during the Cold War. Guests can roam the immaculate grounds, admire the intricate interior design, enjoy a bunker tour, a visit to Presidents' Cottage Museum (pictured above), afternoon tea, spa services and a wide range of activities like horseback riding, falconry, ziplining, carriage rides and more during stays at The Greenbrier Resort.
2. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
All aboard the Cass Scenic Railroad for unparalleled views of fall foliage! The Cass Scenic Railroad is an 11-mile-long heritage railroad that takes passengers to the third highest point in West Virginia, Bald Knob. The journey is made aboard vintage steam trains with powerful engines easily pushing the cars up grades averaging four to five percent, and at times an astonishing 10 percent. It boasts two of the few remaining switchbacks anywhere in the United States, is one of the highest non-cog railroads east of the Rocky Mountains and is home to the world's largest fleet of geared Shay locomotives. The trip departs from Cass Depot, which has plenty to explore between The Last Run Restaurant and Soda Fountain, the Cass Historical Theater and Historical Museum, the artisan shops at Leatherbark Ford, the Company Store and, naturally, the gift shop.
Charleston, a beautiful city where the Elk and Kanawha rivers meet, is the capitol city of West Virginia. Charleston's opulent capitol building rivals the nation's in Washington D.C., approximately 4 feet taller and adorned with marvelous gold leaves. It's one of the top attractions to visit in the city, offering guided tours to get a closer look at the impressive architecture and décor. Visitors can stroll down the historic Capitol Street, the heart of downtown Charleston where excellent local eateries, boutiques, art galleries and antique stores abound or dive into the history of the Mountain State at the West Virginia State Museum, which has expertly designed exhibits sharing the state's coal mining and war histories.
These three unique places to visit in West Virginia are featured in our Autumn at the Greenbrier & Historic Trains tour. It's an exceptional 9-day fall foliage tour through the mountains featuring time in Washington D.C., rides aboard three heritage trains and a stay at the exclusive Greenbrier Resort. We have several fall foliage tours on the East Coast that similarly pair historical exploration with scenic heritage railways for unbelievable views of fall foliage. Explore more in our Fall Foliage Tour Collection.