Beckley is a city of 17,254 people in West Virginia. It was founded in 1838 and named for John J Beckley, the first Clerk of the House of Representatives and the first Librarian of Congress.
Beckley is situated at the southern end of I-77, the West Virginia turnpike, 70 miles south of Charleston. From Beckley, both I-64 and I-77 head towards Charleston in the northwest; I-64 continues to Virginia Beach, Virginia in the east, while I-77 heads south towards Charlotte, North Carolina.
Raleigh County Memorial Airport, 176 Airport Circle in Beaver, 304-255-0476, . Located three miles east of Beckley. Offers three commercial flights on weekdays, one on Saturday and two on Sunday to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Uptown Beckley includes the brick-paved Main Street with shops, galleries, eateries and the courthouse. The area is undergoing revitalization and features events throughout the year, including a chili night when visitors can sample the entries in a chili-judging contest.
Theatre West Virginia, 4700 Grandview Road in Beaver, 304-252-6800 or 800-666-9142, . A professional touring and historical outdoor drama theatre company, holding performances in a dramatic amphitheatre. Among their outdoor musical dramas: "Honey in the Rock", which tells the story of the birth of West Virginia, and "Hatfields and McCoys", which relives the famous feud. Tickets $15.
Beckley is the northern terminus of the Coal Heritage Trail, a 97-mile scenic drive that passes mine-owners' mansions, miners' homes, company stores, coal tipples and state parks, before ending in Bluefield.
Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, 513 Ewart Avenue, 304-256-1747, . Tours available 10 am to 5:30 pm daily, April 1 through November 1. Visitors get a realistic look at coal mining as it was at the turn of the century, by travelling 1500 feet underground in authentic mining cars and touring the historic coal camp on the grounds, with veteran miners as guides. Be sure to bring a jacket, as temperatures underground stay at 58 degrees year-round. Adults $15.
Winterplace Ski Resort, 100 Old Flat Top Mountain Road in Ghent, 304-787-3221 or 800-607-SNOW (7669), . Open 9 am to 10 pm on weekdays, 8 am to 10 pm on weekends and holidays, December through March. 27 trails, a terrain park, 16 snowtubing lanes, 9 ski lifts and 5 tubing lifts, and a vertical drop of 603 feet. Rental shop and four restaurants on-site. Skiing and snowboarding lessons available. $27 - $137 (lift tickets, including multi-day), $22 - $71 (rentals), $42 - $104 (lessons).
Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, 513 Ewart Avenue, 304-252-3730, . Open 10 am to 6 pm daily, April through October; and 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday, November through March. Four railroad boxcars, a planetarium, a recreated Appalachian mountain homestead, and three rotating exhibits designed to entertain and educate on subjects like biology and art.
The local newspaper is the Register-Herald, 304-255-4400 or 800-950-0250, .
Mountain State University, 609 S Kanawha Street, 800-766-6067, . An independent not-for-profit university founded in 1933 with more than 40 undergraduate and master's degree programs, mostly in business, technology, health, and human services.
Tamarack, 1 Tamarack Park, 1-88-TAMARACK, . Open 8 am to 7 pm January through March, and 8 am to 8 pm April through December. Selling "the best of West Virginia", Tamarack offers a one-stop-shop for high-quality and authentic West Virginia culture, heritage, handcrafts, fine art, regional cuisine and music. It's one of the best places in the state to stop if you're looking for a really nice souvenir: you can buy hand-carved furniture, glass, pottery, Appalachian quilts, and regional specialty foods. The food court features signature dining options from the Greenbrier Hotel. There are six resident artists on-site who give demonstrations throughout the day, and Tamarack boasts a 178-seat theatre for live musical, theater, dance and storytelling performances.
Char Restaurant, 100 Char Drive, 304-253-1760, . Open 5 pm to 10 pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 5 pm to 9 pm on Monday; closed Sundays. A family-owned and -operated restaurant since 1965, voted "Best Restaurant in West Virginia", with excellent food, friendly service and inviting ambience. Steaks, chops, seafood and traditional Italian favorites. Try the fried olives, brascioli and their bread pudding.
King Tut Drive-In, 301 N Eisenhower Drive, 304-252-6353, . Open 10:30 am to 11 pm daily except Wednesdays, weather permitting. A family-owned drive-in since the early 1940s, serving recipes handed down for generations. Sandwiches, pizzas and full dinners, with freshly-baked bread, soups made from scratch, and homemade pies. Try their award-winning pork barbeque sandwiches, stone-baked pizza and twice-baked potatoes. $1.50 - $8, pizzas $11 - $17.50.
Young Chow's, 219 Pikeview Drive, 304-253-5772. Traditional Chinese-American favorites at reasonable prices; try the fried ice cream.
Daniel Vineyards, 200 Twin Oaks Road in Crab Orchard, 304-252-9750 or 877-378-1990, . Open 10 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 pm on Sunday. International award-winning estate-grown wine, with a tasting room. 11 red and white wines, including one made entirely from blackberries.
Glade Springs Resort, 255 Resort Drive in Daniels, 800-634-5233, . Lodging for up to 350 people in an inn, manor houses, villas, executive suites, lodges and a stone manor. Two golf courses, fitness center, spa offering massages and facials, whirlpool, steam room, sauna, canoe and kayak rental, paddle boats, fly-fishing, clay skeet shooting, horseback and pony rides, bike riding, walking trails, day camps. Five on-site restaurants. $99 - $509 (double occupancy), $1000 (9-person manor).
Quality Inn Beckley, 1924 Harper Road, 304-255-1511, . 103 rooms. Exercise room, heated outdoor pool. On-site restaurant and lounge called Morgan's Food and Spirits. Jacuzzi rooms available. Full complimentary breakfast buffet.