Town guide: Elkins
Elkins is a mountain oasis rich with history, outdoor fun and beautiful art. Located right on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest, this quaint city makes it easy to play in the mountains while staying in luxury.
Vintage Restaurant and Wine Bar: Enjoy a cozy atmosphere and a fresh menu every season at this “casual fine dining experience.” Try some wines alongside an array of appetizers (think portobello fries, pimiento cheese dip or an antipasto platter), or dig into a meaty dish of grilled veal steak or tender pan-seared duck breast.
1863 Grill: This grill packed with southern hospitality has been an Elkins staple for more than 50 years. Start off a meal with their made-from-scratch cinnamon-sugar sprinkled rolls and stay for the handcrafted steaks, BBQ, seafood and pasta.
C.J. Maggie’s: There’s something for everyone at this all-American grill, which prides itself on fresh ingredients. They cut all their own steaks, stuff their own sausages and whip up their own soups and dressings.
El Gran Sabor: Authentic Venezuelan food tucked into the West Virginia hills? You’ve got that right! El Gran Sabor literally translates to “The Great Flavor.” If you’ve never tried Venezuelan food before, you might want to start with their most popular dish, cachapa… but be sure to venture out and order some fried plantains as an appetizer!
Randolph County Community Arts Center: This nonprofit located in a beautiful historic church highlights Randolph County’s vibrant arts community. The center hosts classes led by talented local artists for both adults and children. Learn to draw, create your own mug, make some jewelry or even hone your Jack-o-lantern carving skills!
Mountain State Forest Festival: Make sure to plan your trip around this festival, which is one of the largest celebrations in the state year after year. The first week of October turns Elkins into one giant party featuring some real mountain flavor for everyone— carnival rides, concerts, a lumberjack competition, art exhibits, parades, delicious local foods and a family-friendly block party.
Mountain Rail Adventures: A number of exciting rail adventures regularly depart from Elkins. There’s no better way to explore the splendor of nature’s scenery than chugging deep into our mountains via rail. Snake through valleys and peaks on the vintage Cheat Mountain Salamander, or hop aboard the Polar Express for a magical holiday ride.
Main Line Books: This charming small-town bookstore rivals the big-box giants with personalized service and hard-to-find local and regional reads, as well as national best-sellers.
Artists at Work: A one-stop shop for some of the region’s best artists. This space packs in the work of 23 local artists and designers, featuring everything from jewelry and pottery to baskets and watercolor paintings.
Monongahela National Forest: Elkins is located on the brim of the expansive Monongahela National Forest. This recreational hotspot offers boundless opportunities for hiking, backpacking, biking, fishing, hunting and skiing.
In warm weather, Seneca Rocks is a world-class destination for rock climbing and hiking. The breathtaking rock formation juts nearly 900 feet into the sky above the North Fork River. When the mercury dips below freezing, Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Blackwater Falls State Park and Snowshoe are perfect for some hair-raising winter sports, including downhill skiing, snowboarding and tubing.
Places to stay/History
The Forks Inn: This cozy inn plopped atop Kelly Mountain offers breathtaking views of the area’s rolling landscape. A family comprising two generations renovated this wooden wonderland by hand. When you stay here, you have everything you need: beautiful scenery, modern amenities, a cozy bed and upscale dining right on site.
Davis & Elkins College: Don’t forget to take a stroll through this gorgeous hillside campus, featuring 6 historic landmarks. One of the campus’ most notable structures is a stone mansion called Graceland, which was the summer home of Senator Henry Gassaway Davis. Until 1970, the mansion was used as student housing. It has been fully restored and is now an inn.