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Anniversary Getaway to the New River Gorge

February 11, 2024

Couple kissing under a waterfall in the New River Gorge forest on their anniversary getaway.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been married; your wedding anniversary is always special. But planning an anniversary getaway can be daunting. Well, worry no more! With these helpful tips and our insider info, you can easily put together a trip to New River Gorge National Park that you both will enjoy – without stress or cliche romance.

You can keep reading for five actionable steps or pause and get the free Anniversary Getaway Guide that we created to accompany this post. It contains our specific recommendations, a sample itinerary, and a discount code for Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals, which was uniquely designed for couples!

Link to New River Gorge Anniversary Getaway Guide

1. Plan to be Awestruck on This Anniversary Getaway

It sounds a bit dramatic, but it’s important. Experiencing awe together – or even a little fear – provides an opportunity to connect and maybe even learn new things about each other. In fact, it’s been shown that couples who experience very strong feelings together form NEW bonds. Continually creating new bonds while strengthening the old ones is a formula for a long and happy relationship.

In New River Gorge National Park, one adventure activity that gets most people’s adrenaline flowing is Bridgewalk. This jaw-dropping tour takes you across a catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge which just happens to be the highest arch bridge in the western hemisphere. But for some folks, this kind of height is just not possible. In that case, we recommend experiences that are no less thrilling just a little closer to the earth like ziplining or paddleboarding.

Husband and wife on paddle boards under a waterfall in the New River with rock cliffs in the background.

ON YOUR GUIDE: Mark the adventure activities that most intrigue you. Then have your partner do the same. We know, there are so many to choose from, but find one that excites you both!

2. Set the Mood by Slipping into Nature

We can’t stress enough how important getting into nature can be for setting a relaxing mood. And you don’t have to be a mountain biker or a backpacker to enjoy the benefits. A simple walk in the woods lowers your blood pressure and stress level, improving your mood and energy. Now doesn’t that sound like a recipe for a restorative anniversary getaway with your partner?

The problem when traveling is that we seldom know where to go to have the best experience in nature. Which trail leads to that gorgeous vista? How do I find that waterfall? I only wanted a short hike, why have I been walking for hours? This is where a little insider info really comes in handy, and it’s all in our free guide. Or, you can turn it over to the professionals and schedule a New River Gorge Eco Tour. These guided forest walks are fun and educational, and guests at Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals receive a discount.

Couple hiking on the lush New River Gorge National Park trails.  The husband is pointing to a beautiful waterfall.

ON YOUR GUIDE: Mark all the outdoor experiences that look the most fun. You aren’t going to find these suggestions on Trip Advisor, so take full advantage of our insider info.

3. Trip Ideas Should Always Include Rainy Day Activities

Several years ago, we drove to Niagara Falls for the weekend. It never stopped raining and the falls were obscured by fog the whole time. Seriously. We never actually saw the falls! In addition to our positive attitudes, it was the 20 minutes of preplanning that really saved the trip. We’d created a list of indoor activities that interested us both. Now we look back fondly on that trip and laugh, especially when we see our photo in front of a SOLID white background with the caption, “Greetings from Niagara Falls.”

Indoor activities also often help us better understand and appreciate the location we chose to visit. For example, just 20 minutes from Fayetteville is Tamarack Artisan Marketplace. Inside you’ll find handmade West Virginia crafts, original WV fine art, and delicious Appalachian food. All under one gigantic red pointy roof. Right nearby is another truly West Virginian experience – a coal mine tour. That’s right, you can go deep into the mountain and out of the rain with a veteran miner as your guide.

Woman enjoying a bite of pizza while her husband admires her on their anniversary getaway.

ON YOUR GUIDE: Mark the rainy-day activities that most interest you. Then put a star by the ones you’d like to hit even if the weather is perfect. Also, keep in mind that the forest canopy is so dense in the New River Gorge that a little rain won’t even bother you on most trails. 

4. Soak Up Some Small-Town Charm

You probably deal with frustrating traffic, long lines, and noisy city life every day. No need to put up with it on your anniversary getaway too! On the rim of the New River Gorge sits the tiny town of Fayetteville, WV, and it’s a real charmer. Filled with great shops, restaurants, and pubs, this little town is a short drive to all the activities this area has to offer. In fact, you can access the New River Gorge National Park trail system from the town park!

Fayetteville is only a few hours’ drive from big cities like Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Richmond, but it feels worlds away. This town of only 3,000 residents is lovely and easy to get around on foot. And Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals sits in the heart of all the goodness. You can look over at the picturesque courthouse from your private original art-filled apartment and walk to the local taphouse for drinks.

Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals in the background with the Fayetteville, WV town clock in the foreground.

ON YOUR GUIDE: Note the unique shops you’d like to visit and the yummy restaurants you’d like to try. And definitely make time to visit the local watering holes we recommend. Also, keep in mind, that once you join our mailing list, you’ll be in the loop when new shops and eateries open in Fayetteville.

5. Enjoy a Delicious Meal (or Several) on Your Anniversary Getaway

There are so many great places to eat in Fayetteville, and we make several recommendations in our Anniversary Getaway Guide. But there are a few special places we want to call out. First up is the Gaines Estate. It’s a beautiful place for a celebratory dinner and a more upscale atmosphere than the other casual spots around town. Call to make reservations.

An equally delicious spot in downtown Fayetteville is Wanderlust Creativefoods. We are always impressed by the scrumptious contemporary cuisine they offer in this small restaurant. Wine and beer are also available when you order at the counter. Foodies take note: you need to dine here.

Both of these spots are walkable from Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals, but there are a couple of other nice restaurants in nearby Beckley, WV. Try Pasquale’s Fine Italian Dining or The Char for a nice throwback steakhouse.

A married couple in winter coats and gloves hugging outside on their snowy anniverary getaway.

ON YOUR GUIDE: Take advantage of the special offer included and book your stay at Lafayette Flats.

The New River Gorge has filled us both with so much love for this place and for each other. We want you to have this feeling too. Use this post and our free Anniversary Getaway Guide to plan a trip so special you both talk about it for years and years to come.

Who are we? Amy & Shawn, New River Gorge hikers, WV Master Naturalists, and owners of Lafayette Flats Boutique Vacation Rentals in downtown Fayetteville, WV.

You may also find these posts helpful:

Small Town by the Big Bridge: Little Love Stories

New River Gorge Spring Getaway Guide for Couples

Top Tips for Leaf Peeping in New River Gorge

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