Beckley is trying really hard to be the cultural center of the Eastern United States and, to be honest, it isn’t doing too badly. Its efforts are aided in large part to its spectacular forest and farming landscape – how can you go wrong when surrounded by the natural beauty of no less than 3 national parks? But this town isn’t all beauty and no brains. With a rich heritage, stellar cultural attractions, and a community of locals who are welcoming at every turn, this little town is the next big thing.
Things to see
One of the largest steel bridges in America, the New River Gorge Bridge is the perfect stop on a road trip between Beckley and the nearby town of Fayetteville. Standing at a mammoth 3,000 feet high, this overpass is sure to leave an impression.
Beckley is nothing if not famous for its national parks. Hawks Nest State Park is the best known for white water rafting. Visitors can pass through for a day or stay overnight at one of the many park lodges.
Beckley city center is a landmark in itself. Many visitors like to be based here amid the downtown cafes set against the backdrop of the nearby majestic mountain ranges.
The nearby town of Ghent is a natural gem in is own right. Surrounded by the Bull Falls, several national parks, and a couple of lakes just waiting to be dipped into, the town is ideal for both daytrips and weekends away.
A walk around Fayetteville is the only way to appreciate all that this small neighboring town has to offer. Bed-and-breakfasts rest next to home-run restaurants, while the Boston Mountains peek over the horizon.
Hotels in Beckley
Beckley was once a sleepy city. It has since awakened from its slumber and embarked on an impressive process of development and rejuvenation.
The hotel landscape is characterized largely by mid-range inns and home-style bed-and-breakfasts run by born and bred ‘Becklians’. Due to its recent rejuvenation, however, the city now boasts some great starred hotels and even a few sprawling resorts which offer high class services at reasonable prices.
Where to stay
The essence of Beckley’s old-town character is concentrated in the quaint downtown area. There is no need to fret about finding accommodation here, with hotels and inns on every second corner.
Battle Creek is first pick but nearby Fayetteville comes a close second when choosing where to base yourself. There are myriad accommodations here and the town itself is filled with enough charm to woo even the most refined traveler.
Ghent is a great place to be based if you’re big into adventure sports. It really is the seat of outdoor activities in the area and while it has much to offer in the way of attractions and accommodations, it’s the surrounding environment that will really blow you away.
How to get to Beckley
Beckley’s regional airport is Raleigh County Memorial Airport. This gateway is open to commercial flights but offers infrequent services and is not equipped to handle international traffic. Visitors from outside the US are most likely to land at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the closest international gateway to the city at 3 hours’ drive south of Beckley.
Getting from Raleigh County Memorial Airport is easy since the terminal is only 3 miles from Beckley city center. A public shuttle bus service operated by the Raleigh County Community Action Association covers most of the city and a few areas in the county at large.
Both bus and train services are available from regional areas, including Charlotte and Charleston. The best known bus company is Greyhound, which offers daily services, while Amtrak offers reliable journeys by rail from New York, Chicago and Washington DC.