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Explore Lewisburg

West Virginia at it's best!


If West Virginia isn’t on your list of places to visit, it should be. From the stunning Appalachian Mountains, to the flowing rivers cutting through the valleys, this state is a feast for the eyes. In between these mountain peaks, small towns with rich history dot the landscape. Recently, my family and I spent a day in the picturesque town of Lewisburg. There’s plenty of interesting things to do, even if you only have a day or two.  Here’s how to spend a perfect day in Lewisburg:

 



Visitor’s Center

Part way into our trip around Lewisburg, we stopped in the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. For anyone visiting Lewisburg, I’d recommend stopping here first (or after coffee), instead of scrambling around town like we did.

 

Brochures line the walls of the large visitor’s center, with tables spread throughout the building where you can plan your day or rest for a minute. The women at the information desk helped us locate the places we wanted to see around town. They provided us with a walking map and explained how it correlated to the markers in front of each point of interest, which made it much easier to find our way.

 

Look for the two-story brick building with colored awnings at 905 Washington Street in downtown to get your day started.




 

The Wild Bean

Our hours of sightseeing made us both hungry and thirsty. We found The Wild Bean coffee shop and café and stopped there – twice – during our day in Lewisburg. This restaurant has great food and delicious coffees to fuel your adventures in town. Stop by for a delicious house made black bean burger – seriously, it’s so good - or a seasonally inspired latte. The Wild Bean is conveniently located on Washington Street, where it intersects with Jefferson Street, among the town’s antique and gift shops.

 

Address: 1056 E. Washington Street, Lewisburg, WV 24901

Phone: (304) 645-3738

Hours: Mon – Fri 7 AM – 5 PM, Sat 7 AM – 6 PM, Sun 8 AM – 3 PM

 



Historical Walking Tour

If you want to find all the interesting historical stops on your trip to Lewisburg, you’ll want the Historic District Walking Tour brochure, available from the Visitor’s Center. This free brochure has a table of contents listing forty-six distinct sites, along with several others that are just outside of the downtown area. There’s also a map where you can plan how you’d like to get to each site.

 



North House Museum

Court clerk John A. North built this house, now part of the Greenbrier Historical Society, in 1820. This 200-year-old house had served as a home for various families, a hotel, and a boarding house for teachers at the women’s college, before becoming the museum it is today.

 



During our visit around mid-October, they decorated the rooms showing the popular occult, spiritual, and superstitious beliefs from the Victorian era. Upside down family portraits, black linens covering mirrors, stopped clocks, and black dresses adorned the beautifully creepy home with explanations about the rituals and beliefs of the time. The effect was fun, educational, and eerie.

 

The final exhibit on the first floor delved into the history of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, and Civil Rights in Lewisburg. This section has a lot of information to read, so you’ll want to make sure you save enough time at the end. There’s also an interactive display with myths about the Civil War.

 



Even if you don’t plan to go inside the museum, I’d highly recommend taking a stroll around the outside. The North House is a beautiful building, especially when it’s surrounded by changing foliage in the fall.

 

Address: 814 Washington Street

Phone: (304) 645-3398

Hours: Mon-Sat 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Fees: FREE self-guided tour of first floor, or $5/person guided docent tours

 



Confederate Cemetery

West Virginia was the only U.S. state born of the Civil War. The farmers and miners from the western side of Virginia had little control compared to the large slave-run plantations in the east. When Virginia joined the Confederacy, the inhabitants on the western side petitioned to create their own state.

 

Keeping this in mind, it may seem odd to find a Confederate cemetery in town.

 



After the Battle of Lewisburg on May 23, 1862, Union soldiers tossed the remains of ninety-five unknown Confederate soldiers into a trench near the Old Stone Church. Later, southern sympathizers gathered the bodies in a mass grave. This area is unique because the folks who organized the grave created a cross shape mound, with an 80-foot-long vertical line, and 40-foot-long horizontal line.

 

I don’t know if the raised cross in the ground would have been obvious to us under the freshly fallen leaves had a local not told us about the site first. Either way, it’s an interesting part of Lewisburg’s history and a worthwhile stop.

 



John Wesley United Methodist Church

Just off the main thoroughfare in downtown Lewisburg, the John Wesley United Methodist Church bears its own scars from the Battle of Lewisburg, and struggles with racism. A sign on the left side of the building above mismatched bricks shows where a cannonball entered the now 200-year-old building. Further down, a door-shaped indent in the exterior wall with another sign marks where the former slave staircase used to be. Prior to integration, slaves and freed black persons were required to attend services on a second-floor balcony, separate from white members of the church.

 

Location: 208 E. Foster Street

 



Lost World Caverns

On a cloudy, cool fall day, we rode over winding roads under crimson and orange trees, past bucolic West Virginia farms in the beautiful countryside to find Lost World Caverns. Two friendly horses greeted us in their pasture on one side of the parking area, with alpacas on the other.

 




The owner explained how the land was previously owned by a farmer who dumped his dead livestock and other farm waste into a hole on the property. He realized the hole never seemed to fill up, so he decided to investigate. That hole in the ground was the cave system visitors can explore today. They removed the farm waste long ago, cleaned the algae-covered rocks underneath, and exposed a wonderland of ancient stone for people to enjoy.

 




You’ll want to wear comfortable, closed-toed shoes with good tread, as some of the walking path here can get slippery where water drips in the caves. View the lights illuminating ancient stalactites and stalagmites, with posted information about the more impressive structures in the caverns.

 



Address: 907 Lost World Road, Lewisburg, WV 24901

Phone: (304) 645-6677

Hours: 9 AM – 4:15 PM, Daily

 



When You Get There

Parking: The town offers two free parking lots on Cherry Alley.


Restrooms: Lewisburg has two public restrooms on Washington Street, as well as inside the Greenbrier Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

 



In downtown Lewisburg, you’ll find shopping, dining, and entertainment possibilities. Take a tour of Carnegie Hall, check out other famous historical buildings, view art galleries, or stay in one of several boutique lodging facilities. Whether you visit for a day or a week, there’s enough to see and do here to keep you busy.

 

Looking for more trip-worthy places like this? Check out 3 Adorable Small Towns in New Hampshire and Micanopy: Visit Old Florida Like a Pro.


Have you visited Lewisburg before? Would you like to? Drop a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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