New Year’s Welcome

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell The Old Stone Presbyterian Church stands in the silence of the afternoon sun. Established in 1736, it is an important part of Lewisburg’s Historical District.

The New Year welcomes us, and we begin to consider the possibilities ahead. Whether we are ready or not, it seems change always finds us, and we must be determined to meet any challenge with good sense and skill.

Seeking to find some area where we can generate more control is in the planning of our leisure time. Increasingly, more people are opting for travel to closer destinations and spending fewer days. This practice allows for taking more breaks in a single year and having mini-vacations of three days at a time instead of doing nine-day treks to the beach only once a year.

Fortunately, West Virginia and the surrounding areas are especially equipped for this vacation type. When one considers shelter, dining, shopping and fun events, our state can easily provide a variety of perfect venues.

Consider the state parks and forests, which are not only able to provide cabins and hotel rooms, but winter or summer sport activities. Real bargains can be seen in meal prices, too, along with available events.

Three-day excursions to our State Capital, Charleston, can feature musical concerts at the Clay Center or the new Civic Center that feature noted artists along with dramatic plays or sporting contests. Good restaurants can be found not only in the downtown area, but at Southridge off I-64W’s Oakwood Road exit where several new malls and Cabela’s have taken residence.

Baritone Jason Brown enhances the Greenbrier Valley Chorale’s presentation at Lewisburg's Carnegie Hall with lyrics from ‘The Road Home.’ Brown sings, ‘There is no such beauty as where you belong.’

Not to be outdone, Wheeling also has a Cabela’s store just beside 60 other businesses. With Oglebay Park nearby, a Children’s Zoo and a signature golf course they can be part of the vacation plan.

If one is a history buff, Lewisburg’s historical district might be a great attraction. Set beside several quaint shops, one is never far from an excellent dining establishment. Both The Greenbrier Valley Theater and Carnegie Hall team up to promise some outstanding play or concert that can dominate evening hours.

Harper’s Ferry is another historical site that focuses on West Virginia’s role in the Civil War. The federal government has invested a great deal in this Eastern Panhandle park to promote tourism, and while on roadways there, look for the Bavarian Inn at Shepherdstown for a tremendous meal.

Of course, we do not have to travel very far to become involved in summer water sports with Stonewall Jackson Lake and Tygart Lake nearby. Golfing and excellent restaurants are housed at each of these vacation spots along with splendid room accommodations.

With winter snows assuredly waiting to seal us in our homes for the next few weeks, we will have plenty of time to pursue internet assistance and seek information to construct some plans involving these several vacation areas. We can give 2019 some flair by giving some thought to all the possibilities.

William Shakespeare reminds us, “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” Godspeed your journey into the New Year, and I hope the planning yields many happy moments for you and all you hold dear.