West Virginia Weekend Escape

Photo: Gary Clark
The cool mountain town of Lewisburg offers outdoor activities, great restaurants, and its own Carnegie Hall.

It's easy to pass Lewisburg as you make your way along I-64 on the eastern edge of West Virginia. But turn off the interstate and follow the sign that points to "America's Coolest Small Town" and you'll find comfortable lodgings in a historic home, scenic sights along a bike trail, and a welcoming collection of shops and restaurants.

Friday 11 a.m.
The Historic General Lewis Inn 
Check in to this 25-room inn filled with Civil War relics and 19th-century antiques. Rates start at $110. generallewisinn.com

Noon
Stardust Cafe 
Start with owner Elizabeth Destiny's Trust Me Salad ($10), and then go for the perfectly moist sticky toffee pudding ($8) made by local pastry chef Hall Hitzig (aka the "Crazy Baker"). stardustcafewv.com

2 p.m.
Hill and Holler Bicycle Works 
Rent a bike ($40/day) from this new downtown shop, and head to the scenic Greenbrier River Trail, spanning 80 miles along the cool, sparkly Greenbrier. hillandhollerbikes.com

7 p.m.
The Livery Tavern 
Its Appalachian-inspired menu has such items as seared duck with apple cider glaze and hoppin' John ($14). liverytavern.com

Saturday 9 a.m.
The Wild Bean 
Wake up with a Swift Kick ($3), an iced 8-ounce shooter with three shots of espresso, cream, and brown sugar. thewildbrew.com

1 p.m.
Harmony Ridge Gallery 
This store stocks handcrafted American goods such as jewelry and pottery and has a coffee bar where you can rev up (again) for a Washington Avenue afternoon. harmonyridgegallery.com

3:30 p.m.
Carnegie Hall 
One of only four performance halls built by Andrew Carnegie that is still in use, the 1902 building features art galleries and a theater. carnegiehallwv.com

6 p.m.
Julian's 
Travel photographs taken by chef and owner Stephen Jackendoff fill the walls at this lively space, where the daily specials range from crispy veal sweet-breads to crabmeat risotto (both $24). 304/645-4145

Sunday 10 a.m.
Stella's Tea House 
Ask for a table in the garden, and order the crab-and-avocado Benedict ($15). stellasteahouse.com or 304/520-4937

1 p.m.
The Greenbrier Resort 
See a different side of the famous resort (about 9 miles east of Lewisburg) on a tour of the huge fallout shelter built underneath the hotel in the 1950s. greenbrier.com

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