We didn’t stop just because they’ve been crowned “The Coolest Small Town in America,” but we’ll admit the roadside sign did pique our curiosity. I mean, how cool could they be, right? Well, let’s put it this way– it has become a running joke around here that we never fail to stop in Lewisburg when we are hitting the West Virginia mountains. Never. What draws us? Is it the hospitality, the funky vibe, the mystic call of the peaks?
It is all that and more. The proximity to hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rafting, even natural hot springs, is irresistible. Frankly, after a long day playing outside, there is nothing better than strolling down to Stardust for an excellent meal, maybe catching a show at Greenbrier Valley Theatre, or a cocktail or two at The Livery Tavern before ambling up the incline to the Historic General Lewis Inn and climbing into a huge antique bed.
Here’s some of our favorite stops in this lovely little mountain town:
The Livery Tavern The owners of Stella’s Tea House have brought Lewisburg another great restaurant in the Livery Tavern. Whether you choose to dine in a lushly curtained booth or on a leather stool at the bar, you’ll appreciate their extensive wine list and meticulously executed dishes. 217 E. Washington St.
Cooper Gallery Exhibiting traditional and contemporary fine art in an airy, light filled corner of East Washington, Cooper Gallery is worth a peek. From plein air oil paintings to contemporary realistic figure work, Cooper Gallery carries a range of work that might surprise you. 122 E. Washington St.
The Wild Bean There’s no better place to relax than The Bean. This friendly coffee shop is Lewisburg’s favorite place to hang. The prime window seats are seldom unoccupied. Grab a cup of coffee from their organic, fair trade, bird friendly and rainforest alliance selections roasted locally. 119 E. Washington St.
Irish Pub on Washington Street was voted one of the top 100 bars in the South by Southern Living. Weekly specials include the $3 mystery beer night on Tuesdays which just happens to coincide with Pub Quiz at 8. Sounds like a plan. Or come for the regular music gigs or darts, if that’s your fancy. 109 E. Washington St.
Stardust Cafe We still dream of the glazed carrots, and that was just a side dish. There isn’t anything we don’t love about Stardust Cafe. As you would expect, after one bite, Stardust sources their ingredients locally, including grass fed beef; they serve fair trade coffee and teas, and buy their fish from sustainable sources. We order the “trust us” salad every time. Amazing. Save room for The Crazy Baker pastries. 102 E. Washington St.
Greenbrier Valley Theatre Take advantage of this wonderful professional theatre located in the heart of downtown Lewisburg. With a full season of live plays, literary readings, musical performances, poetry readings, and the Met opera series, GVT has plenty to engage and entertain you. Support the arts. 113 E. Washington St.
Greenbrier Valley Baking Company starts selling pizzas at 4:30–make a note. Really. You should seriously plan your day around this. We love their eggplant panini, but sadly, it now only comes around as a special. We’ll adjust because everything at GVBC is delish. Make sure to grab a loaf of GVBC‘s crusty artisan bread before you leave town. 110 S. Jefferson St.
Stella’s cultivates its own vegetable and herb garden out back. We love the restored 1890’s Victorian home, but where we really want to be is on the gorgeous secluded patio feeling like we just stepped out of the pages of The Great Gatsby, except there’s wi-fi. Even better. Stella’s is a solid choice for brunch. 111 S. Lafayette St.
Bella the Corner Gourmet
Greenbriar Valley Baking Co.
Wolf Creek Gallery
Hill and Holler Bicycle Works
Serenity Now Outfitters
Harmony Ridge Gallery
Bella the Corner Gourmet This gorgeous little corner shop carries all the products to make your foodie heart sing–kitchen gadgets, local gourmet goodies, artisanal cheeses, Blenko glass vases, craft beers, wine, and more. Owner Tamara Pence’s Bella Cooks Club hosts several dinners a year spotlighting different cuisines and local chefs; profits benefit local charities. See more details on their website. 100 E. Washington St.
The Bakery You will nearly always see locals bustling in and out of the screen door near noon. If you’re thinking about delaying lunch until after you browse the shops, you might want to reconsider. They regularly sell out of their popular roast chicken salad. No worries, all their sandwiches,served on homemade bread, are right tasty. Pick up your morning bagels here. 102 N. Court St.
Wolf Creek Gallery Born wedges, Frye boots, Free People vegan leather jackets–this little boutique will tempt you at every turn. Wolf Creek is also a great place to shop for jewelry or gifts. Make sure to pop into their children’s boutique upstairs. 112 W. Washington St.
Hill and Holler Bicycle Works Let Merrick and his team help you get out on the Greenbrier River Trail. With tuning and repair, shuttle services, rentals and a wide range of bikes for sale, Hill and Holler wants you in the saddle. Owner Merrick Tracy is even blazing new trails for riding in the area. Righteous. 118 W. Washington St.
Serenity Now Outfitters has all the gear you’ll need to take to the river. Whether you’re a paddler, or want to try your hand at fly fishing, Serenity Now can help you look like an expert. They even have supplies for your canine companion. Serenity Now carries a large selection of Patagonia clothing for women and men, plus footwear and accessories. They specialize in guided fly fishing trips, and we hear the head guide can whip up an awesome “stream side” meal. 207 W. Washington St.
Harmony Ridge Gallery Some places just make you feel a little lighter when you walk in, Harmony Ridge is one of those. With a eclectic selection of interesting jewelry, ceramic, wood and glass art, garden sculptures, as well as quirky novelties, Harmony Ridge will quickly become one of your favorite stops downtown. Oh, and they have a wine bar–just so you know. 209 W. Washington St.
The Spring This farm to table restaurant is part of a visionary project led by the Appalachian Mountain Advocates to promote “sustainable local farming, environmental education, and the arts”. Sit down to an incredible seasonal meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and support their mission to protect the natural resources of the Appalachia. The Spring hosts live music and community events such as The Young and Beginning Farmer Mixer. 204 N. Jefferson St.
Events Not to Miss:
Lewisburg Literary Festival Now in its third year, the lewisburg literary festival is heating up. great Guest authors, riveting panel discussions, live music, literary art walk, poetry jam, free writing workshops, literary film series–an epic celebration of the written word. Check out this year’s deets here.
First Fridays After Five every month like clockwork….except when it is super cold, like in january.
Lewisburg Farmers Market Open April through November Every Saturday from 8:30-1:00 pm. “Offering locally produced fruits, vegetables, baked goods, meat, honey, bedding plants, flowers, jams, as well as crafts.”
Lewisburg Chocolate Festival the beloved annual festival draws a huge crowd of chocolate lovers from far and wide. The festival includes chocolate tastings, themed dinners, chef demonstrations, a bake-off, live music, and naturally, a 10-K to burn off a little of the sweet stuff. we are still waiting for you to enter the chocolate mousse eating contest. Insider’s tip: Plan ahead; they sell out of tasting tickets early.