This Ain’t No Roadkill: A Delicious Culinary Day Trip Around West Virginia

day trip around west virginia

Hey Foodie! Ready for a Culinary Day Trip Around West Virginia?

Everything moves slower in West Virginia when you’re not on the interstate. This is good since you like to travel slowly on your RV road trip as you leisurely jaunt through one of the most beautiful states in America. It makes for a great day trip around West Virginia exploring it’s culinary delights in addition to the gorgeous scenery.

The Appalachians dominate the landscape here. A new adventure greets you around every twist and turn (if you doubt that, drive U.S. Highway 60 between Charleston and the Virginia border sometime).

If you’re up for a gorgeous autumn drive to see the foliage, embark on a culinary day trip around West Virginia in your RV.

Start Your RV Road Trip in Charleston

Charleston is the logical choice to use as your base of operations. It has the most RV rental places in the state.

There are plenty of great places to eat in Charleston if you want to start your culinary day trip in West Virginia from the state capital. Begin your day at Starling’s Coffee & Provisions. Bread is baked daily from scratch, and you must try a breakfast sandwich or the Green Eggs ‘n Ham sandwich (made with avocado).

Head North to Parkersburg for Your Next RV Stop

Just 80 miles north of Charleston is Parkersburg, a great town to enjoy lunch. It’s on the border with Ohio.

On your way there, stop at historic Ravenswood, along U.S. Highway 33, a historical gem on the Ohio River. At this point in The Mountaineer State, the Ohio River isn’t as wide or mighty as it passes by Cincinnati or Louisville. 

The architecture of downtown, the quaint shops, and historic churches are enough to visit Ravenswood.

Washington’s Riverfront Park represents an excellent place to stop, stretch your legs, and walk your pup. History buffs can visit Buffington Island Battlefield Memorial Park, a battlefield during the Civil War.

Turn East to Mountwood Park for RV Camping in WV

If you’re not quite hungry for lunch yet, bypass Parkersburg temporarily and head east on U. S. Highway 50.

About 12 miles later, you’ll come across Mountwood Park near Waverly.

The park has something for everyone: RV camping, hiking, biking, birdwatching, fishing, boating, a dog park, and disc golf.

Parking your RV here for a few nights (or weeks) is a fantastic option when you feel like a leisurely trip through West Virginia. Camping season runs through Oct. 31 for a fall foliage tour to add to your culinary delights.

Now Head Back to Parkersburg

Parkersburg is a foodie haven in West Virginia (yes, it feels a little weird saying that).

Stop off at Cham’s Lebanese Cuisine for Middle Eastern delights at lunch. Located downtown on Market Street, you can’t go wrong with the hummus or shawarma.

Try Philippines Best Food for authentic Southeast Asian dishes if you’re into other exotic foods. Sweet and sour chicken, chicken curry, and chef’s specials are served in large portions in authentic disposable aluminum bowls. 

No trip to Parkersburg is complete without a stop at Blennerhassett Island to see the historic Palladian mansion and the history museum.

If you’re traveling with kids in your RV, they’ll love Fort Boreman Park with a playground and scenic overlook. You might be fortunate enough to go there on a day when re-enactors are there firing off the cannon.

Drive East to Clarksburg for Great Food

There are even more great spots to visit on your RV journey through West Virginia. About 70 miles east of Parkersburg is Clarksburg, where U.S. Highway 50 and I-79 meet.

When you’re ready for dinner, go upscale on your RV road trip: The French Goat is a farm-to-table French bistro in the heart of downtown. Sunday brunch is to die for if you’re traveling here on a Sunday morning.

Get lost in the super fresh, farm to table cuisine at Lost Creek Farm

This place is a treat deserving of its own section in this culinary day trip blog. Lost Creek Farm, just south of Clarksburg, hosts regular supper clubs that need reservations in advance.

Chefs Mike Costello and Amy Dawson are James Beard-nominated chefs, specializing in farm-to-table cuisine. Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain visited here and called the place “really inspiring.”

They literally pick the food that day, cook it, and serve it to you for dinner. Choose your culinary RV day trip on the right date, and you can sample some of the best local food in West Virginia.

You have to be a Patreon member to find out about tickets in advance. But trust us, the atmosphere is well worth it for genuine mountain cuisine. You might find string beans, tomatoes, squash, and corn on the menu, all grown from local farms. Some of the food might come from Lost Creek itself.

Tygart Lake State Park for More RV Camping

Another 25 miles east of Clarksburg lands you in Tygart Lake State Park. In case you haven’t noticed, West Virginia has some fantastic state parks with RV camping, and lake activities abound at Tygart Lake.

Known as an adventure park for kids and adults alike, Tygart Lake has a campground with ten spots for water and electric hook-ups (but no sewer). The rolling foothills offer beautiful views and scenic hikes.

Spend a night or two to enjoy the gorgeous mountain scenery and the air before going east.

Thomas and Davis Near Blackwater Falls State Park

Now you’re diving into tiny towns near yet another gem of a West Virginia state park on your RV road trip. After your refreshing campout at Tygart Lake, drive east on Highway 38. (We warned you about adventurous roads in West Virginia. Here you go!)

Head to The BreakfastNook in Davis, where you can order a massive plate of biscuits and gravy, chipped beef, or locally raised eggs and pork. Then head to Blackwater Falls State Park to set up your base camp. The falls are 57 feet tall (a six-story building), and you can get there via 20 miles of hiking trails. 

Near the entrance to this park is Restrite Campground, where they cater to RV campers and road trippers. The campground in the park doesn’t have the right RV hookups. Explore the park to work up an appetite for lunch. You’re going to need it!

Farm Up Table’s menu is rarely the same daily, and they get their food from local farmers and growers. After lunch, you must get dessert from Macy Lou’s Gourmet Apple Company.  Granny Smith apples are dipped in chocolate and then rolled in a topping of your choice. Right there in front of your eyes.

A culinary day trip in West Virginia by RV isn’t complete without seeing a winery. Cork’s Turkey Knob Wines in Hambleton fits the bill perfectly. The winery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tuesday through Thursday is by appointment only. It’s on the other side of the state park, about 12 miles from Thomas.

While in Parsons, Piccolo Paula’s Caffe is the place to eat a laid-back dinner. Angus beef burgers, deep-fried turkey, and naan bread; an interesting combination you probably thought you’d never find in rural West Virginia on your RV trip. The place looks cheap, but the food is delicious.

For something a little higher-class, The Smokehouse at Blackwater Falls State Park has the best canyon views, live music, and gourmet food. Who says you have to rough it when you’re camping or going on an RV trip?

Getting back to Charleston is another 170 miles when you’re ready to return the RV rental (if you’re ready to return it yet).

Honorable Mention: Go South to Lewisburg From Charleston

For an honorable mention, simply load everyone up into your RV rental for a culinary day trip south to Lewisburg. Near the border of Virginia, Lewisburg is about 100 miles to the southeast of Charleston. You can get there the easy way: take I-64 east.

Or you can climb on the wild road of U.S. Highway 60 (we warned you at the top of this article). If you take U.S. 60, stop at Hawks Nest State Park in Ansted. Bring your binoculars. The train tracks along the New River Gorge look like a model layout.

About 10 miles south of here is the famous New River Gorge Bridge, the one everyone bungees off of. Rest easy! New River Gorge is a national park, not a state park! There are plenty of RV-friendly campgrounds in the area.

Back to Lewisburg: Hawk Knob Hard Cider & Mead features handcrafted, single-batch hard liquors and a tasting room open afternoons and evenings. They host live music occasionally.

For hearty food, go to The Asylum in downtown Lewisburg. They’ve got some of the best burgers in the state.

PS – Don’t let Gas Prices Get You Down

Inflation is hitting everyone and you want to know how much gas will cost for your RV Day Trip. We are seeing more people taking day trips and weekend getaways over the longer, 7-14 day vacations to offset some of these higher prices. You will find that the rising prices at airlines and resorts, make your vacation plans perfect for an RV road trip. So, fire up the engine, load up the family, and get ready to hit the road for an Epic Day Trip Around West Virginia and try out some of the best food in the state.

If you need a rental RV to make your journey easier, check out RVnGO — they’ve got everything from small campers to luxury motorhomes available for rent. Happy travels!