Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Consider a Summer Vacation Right in Your Backyard

From The Governor’s Desk: A weekly column by Gov. Joe Manchin

Next month marks the beginning of the traditional summer travel and vacation season – something that most of us no doubt look forward to. The tourism industry is hoping that the rising cost of fuel doesn’t cause Americans to cancel their plans to tour our amazing country. Here’s an idea that may help: Vacation close to home.

The cost of gasoline obviously is a concern for most West Virginians, as well, and it cuts into our budgets for vacation. That’s another reason why you should consider the Mountain State for a family vacation if you haven’t already made summer plans. If your vacation plans are already made, then think about taking a long, romantic weekend with your spouse or a quick getaway with your family here in West Virginia.

A West Virginia vacation isn’t great just because it’s nearby and because it requires less fuel – it’s an exciting destination with countless opportunities for every member of your family, regardless of which corner of the Mountain State you visit. Take a trip on which you can learn about your state and our nation’s heritage at historic locations such as Harpers Ferry or the International Mother’s Day Shrine.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Mother’s Day in Grafton, W.Va., so there are special events marking this occasion. And this year, the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine debuts a new $3.5 million company store, museum and gift shop that will help to tell our coal mining story.

Of course, West Virginia is renowned for its vast outdoor recreation opportunities. From hiking to boating and fishing to bird-watching, there’s an activity that is sure to keep kids and parents entertained and relaxed. One of my favorite summertime activities is fly fishing for an elusive trout in one of the hundreds of tumbling mountain streams. It’s great fun for kids of all ages and gives you an opportunity to experience the best of West Virginia outdoors.

And for people looking for a special souvenir trinket, a unique gift or a handmade decoration for their home, shopping is continually ranked as one of the favorite activities for West Virginia vacationers. We have lots of great locally owned shops from panhandle to panhandle.

Lodging choices are as varied as the West Virginia landscape. Bed and breakfast inns and their hard-working innkeepers provide a personalized touch and add excellent local knowledge to your vacation plans. But we also have terrific luxury resorts, rustic state park cabins or tent and camper options that give each vacation and destination its own special flavor. These choices fit all tastes and budgets.

Our tourism industry is made up mostly of small business owners who are committed to making West Virginia a top-notch tourist destination and showing their guests the best in hospitality. In the coming days, I will join them to proclaim the 25th “National Tourism Week,” which encourages us to discover the outstanding cultural and recreational opportunities available in West Virginia and throughout the United States. I hope that this summer you join in that discovery.


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