CHARLESTON, W.V. — Travel writer Melody Pittman, co-author of 100 Things To Do In West Virginia Before You Die, has explored as much of the Mountain State as anyone, but it didn't take her long to come up with her favorite travel destination when pressed.
"The Greenbrier," Pittman said referring to the luxury resort spa at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. "I realize a visit to The Greenbrier can be pricey, and it's not for everyone, but it's my favorite place, and if anyone has the inclination, I recommend it."
Since 1778, visitors have traveled to the hotel and its mineral springs to "take the waters." The posh hotel on more than 11,000 acres includes 710 guest rooms, 20 restaurants, more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities and sports, and more than 35 shops.
However, Pittman emphasized the experience of exploring the historic property, which includes multiple salons and galleries as well as gardens, golf courses, and promenades.
Twenty-eight U.S. presidents have stayed at the hotel. It was also the site of a massive underground bunker meant to serve as an emergency shelter for Congress during the Cold War. The bunker was code-named "Project Greek Island," and guided tours are offered frequently.
"It's an amazing place, and I'd recommend that anyone allow themselves at least a day to tour it," Pittman said.
After years of exploring West Virginia, Pittman, and co-author Angela Richards, published the book in March through Reedy Press. The two have included personal recommendations and carefully crafted itineraries for cultural and natural landmarks across the Mountain State.
A book-back synopsis of the 100-item work outlines the breadth of remarkable destinations Pittman and Richards have included:
"Take the back roads and discover the smallest church in the continental U.S., built before Hawaii and Alaska entered statehood, its white steeple standing out amongst picturesque scenery. Visit the most powerful and largest steerable radio telescope in the world, nestled in the middle of a national forest. Breathe in the fresh mountain air and hike through some of the prettiest scenic vistas you will find anywhere, especially along the Hatfield-McCoy Trails, named after that famous family feud."
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