Fall Guide: How to Explore Mercer County, West Virginia this Fall

Last updated: June 28, 2024

Enjoy the symphony of colors, the cool weather and the relaxing atmosphere of Mercer County this fall. Whether you are searching for the sights, tastes or experiences of this vibrant season – you’ll find all that and more here! To help you explore our area, we’ve created five different fall travel guides below.  

For the Foodie

There is no better way to get into the fall spirit than with the delicious flavors of the season! From pumpkin spice and apple to pecan and maple, savor all the specialty flavors of fall in Mercer County.  

For the sweetest start, try some baked goods from Honeycomb Cafe or The Blue Spoon Cafe, each with rotating specials like caramel apple doughnuts, pumpkin rolls, maple glazed blondies and more. When lunchtime rolls around, stop by The RailYard for the “Best Burger in Town.” Or warm up with hearty chili, soups, and stick-to-your-ribs daily specials at Dolly’s Diner. And whether you are looking for a low-key dinner atmosphere or a full-scale gourmet dining experience, you’ll find it here. Head to the Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company — Princeton’s microbrewery and tap room in the Grassroots District — for a selection of craft beer and signature sandwiches. Or visit The Vault Downtown — a restored historic bank lobby in Bluefield — for fine dining with a hand-crafted cocktail menu. 

For the Artist

The arts truly come alive in Mercer County. The first stop on your art itinerary should be the lively Mercer Street Grassroots District in downtown Princeton. The district is full of vibrant murals, galleries and shops showcasing everything from traditionally crafted glassworks to more quirky creations. Snap a few photos at Artist’s Alley in the Grassroots District, too! The alley is home to 22 colorful murals, all painted by local artists. Swing by Gary Bowling’s House of Art (GBHA) for a unique art experience like no other! GBHA features a gallery of one-of-a-kind and interesting art pieces that span all genres. Enjoy live music and interactive performances at the Bluefield Arts Center and the Chuck Mathena Center. Lastly, create a piece of art to take home as your own Mercer County souvenir. Sign up for a class at Hammer & Stain, a do-it-yourself wood-crafting workshop. 

For the Adventurer

Photo credit: @laurelspringphotography on IG

Fall in love with the beauty of the season on an outdoor adventure in Mercer County! With three state parks and countless scenic mountain overlooks in our backyard, our area is the best leaf-peeping destination. Hike to the top of Pinnacle Rock for an aerial view of the stunning autumn foliage, or trek through the lush forests of Camp Creek State Park and discover the phenomenal colors surrounding the park’s two waterfalls. For a relaxing, scenic activity, drive to the top of East River Mountain for an amazing glimpse of the mountaintop landscape. Looking for an adventurous way to spot the changing leaves? Take advantage of the crisp weather and vibrant hues on an off-road excursion on the legendary Hatfield-McCoy Trails. Our vast all-terrain trail network is a rider’s paradise – featuring more than 700 miles of off-road trails. 

For the Romantic

When the weather begins to cool off, get cozy with your sweetheart in Mercer County! Find peace and quiet during a romantic retreat. Our area is a delightful backdrop for your getaway with lovely scenery, welcoming accommodations, and picturesque small towns. Head out on a scenic hike and take in the breathtaking views. Browse local businesses to find the perfect gift for one another. Looking for a classic fall date? We’ve got you covered! End your day in a secluded vacation rental or lavish bed-and-breakfast. From cliche (but cute) dates to unconventional and quirky activities — impress your love with a weekend away this fall. 

For the History Buff

Photo credit: @ataylorconnor on IG

Step back in time in Bramwell, a charming small town that was once home to the most millionaires per capita in the country. Take a stroll down Millionaire Row — a brick street featuring the sprawling estates of former coal barons. These properties feature fascinating details like intricate woodwork, stained glass windows and stones imported from Europe. The elaborate houses were all built during the early 1900s by wealthy coal owners and operators. In addition to the scenery, the stories of Bramwell’s history also resonate with people, from the coal mining heyday to heartfelt stories of a small Appalachian town. 

Along with historic Bramwell, Mercer County is also filled with a number of historic sites that offer a glimpse into the past. For a deeper look into the history of the area, visit the Mercer County War Museum. The war museum pays tribute to southern West Virginia veterans from the Civil War to present-day conflicts and features three floors of artifacts, photographs and memorabilia. Mercer County is known for its rich coal history, but it also served as a central railroad hub for southern West Virginia. With more than 100 historic lanterns, photographs and a red caboose, the Princeton Railroad Museum is a great stop for those looking to learn more about the area’s rich railroad history. 
Food, arts, history and more – Mercer County is the ultimate fall escape. Request a free copy of our travel guide to start planning your next adventure.