The undulating Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia embody the state's abundant natural beauty and colorful past. Tucked away in the mountains, Charleston, West Virginia's capital and largest city, sits only a 15-minute drive away from Nitro. At the West Virginia State Museum, 26 rooms of exhibits chronicle the mountain state's history, covering eras ranging from prehistory to frontier life and coal mining.About 15 miles from the hotel, the Kanawha State Forest hums with life, boasting 9,300 acres of flora and fauna, including 19 species of wood warblers. Twenty-five miles of hiking trails and nine mountain-biking trails crisscross dense woodlands, streams, and chipmunk duplexes.
After continually traversing the globe since its breakout television performance nearly 18 years ago Riverdance returns stateside. A cast of six principal dancers will clobber the Music Hall’s stage with the stomps, taps, kicks, and tackles of traditional Irish step dancing, which, when synchronized with a live band and 18 troupe dancers, sends waves of rhythm cascading over all 3,420 seats in the Spanish Baroque theater. The show’s 18 scenes break into two acts: the first depicting the mythical beginnings of the Celtic people as they hatched from a kelpie's head, and the second portraying the Irish famine and ensuing wave of emigration.
West Virginia's New River Gorge beckons thrill-seekers and nature-lovers alike with a stretch of unspoiled nature, and Adventures on the Gorge rests on the rim to make sure they find it. Blending quiet country peace with adrenaline-pumping excitement, the resort has a little something for everyone. Whitewater rafting expeditions, for instance, send paddlers of all skill levels across the rolling rapids and peaceful stretches of the Lower New River and the Gauley River. Ziplines, on the other hand, lift nature explorers into the canopy, and the TimberTrek Aerial Park lets guests navigate the forest the same way squirrels do?on a series of ziplines, swings, and bridges.
So that guests never have to leave, Adventures on the Gorge tends to all their creature comforts. Cabins nestled in the woods contain comfy couches and even hot tubs, whereas campgrounds allow people to get back to their simpler roots. Yet no matter where they stay, guests can swing into the onsite restaurants and pubs to grab a cold one and avoid the hassle of cooking a casserole over a fire.
Skydive Coastal California's air-riding experts take first-time and experienced jumpers to the stratosphere for jumps above the scenic vistas of southern California. Tethered to clients, they guide tandem rides to facilitate first tastes of terminal velocity before coasting in for a soft landing. To accommodate licensed skydivers with a current reserve parachute, the staff guides planes over the business's own scenic landing zone so jumpers can take to the air on their own. Beginners who wish to become full-fledged divers can opt for the Accelerated Freefall program, in which aficionados teach the skills necessary to make solo jumps such as how to handle equipment or merge into goose traffic without a blinker.
Led by outdoor adventure specialist Bobby Bower, the knowledgeable guides at PRO River Outfitters bring an average of 17 years of West Virginia river experience to their fishing trips. A multitude of fishing trips are designed to suit both novices and seasoned anglers eager to reel in smallmouth bass or walleye.
Outdoor adventurers raft, zipline, and climb across Ace Adventure Resort's 1,500 acres of wilderness along the New River Gorge National River, staying close to the action with a variety of lodging options. Whitewater-rafting trips satisfy all skill levels and include family-friendly Upper New River excursions with bouncy rapids, swimming holes, and a grilled lunch. Intermediate Lower New River trips balance rapids with calm spots to thrill both beginners and advanced rafters, and the Gauley River provides a challenging adventure with its raging rapids and predatory goldfish. More than a dozen off-river adventure activities send guests ziplining through the canopy, revving through the mud on ATVs, and horseback riding down shaded trails to catch views of the New River Gorge. The lake itself is stocked with big inflatable toys, including waterslides and trampolines for kids. After action-packed days, groups lodge in deluxe cabins outfitted with kitchens and bathrooms or opt for rustic cabins, cabin tents, or sites perfect for parking an RV or roadworthy caboose.