Why Mercer County Should Be On Your 2022 Travel Bucket List

Last updated: December 16, 2021

As we inch closer to a new year, there is no better time to start daydreaming about your 2022 adventures. And now more than ever is the perfect time to visit Mercer County. This month, West Virginia was selected as one of the “Best Places to Go in 2022” by Condé Nast Traveler. This news followed a series of recent major announcements by Lonely Planet and TIME Magazine that together ranked West Virginia as a leading global destination for travel in the new year.   

Experience all of the best things about West Virginia in Mercer County. From natural attractions and unique activities to historic landmarks and tasty eateries, discover all of the reasons why Mercer County is an underrated destination. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway, exciting outdoor adventure or a trip packed with family fun, Mercer County is the place to be!

A Four-Season Destination

Get the best from every season in Mercer County. Thanks to Mercer County’s high altitude and rugged wilderness, winter is full of adventures. Located just a short drive from our county, Winterplace Ski Resort is a snowy paradise for skiing, snowboarding, tubing and more! The ski resort is located right off of I-77 and is just 30 minutes from Princeton and 40 minutes from Bluefield. Spend a day tackling the resort’s 27 slopes, one terrain park, 10 lifts and the largest snow tubing park in the state! Once you are finished, head back to Mercer County for a warm dinner and cozy night’s rest.

In the spring, bright blue skies are great for long strolls and sightseeing. Spring rain and snowmelt help our local waterfalls flow and wildflowers grow, so head out on a springtime hike and catch the most stunning shots of Mercer County. But, make sure you pack all the necessities for our unpredictable spring weather!

Baseball rivalries, nostalgic drive-in theaters and sweet treats make summertime in Mercer County unforgettable. Catch our two local baseball teams, Bluefield Ridge Runners and Princeton WhistlePigs, go head-to-head, then cool off with a hand-scooped ice cream cone. End your family-filled weekend by watching a movie at a drive-in theater

Whether you are cruising on a scenic drive or hitting the ATV trails in the fall, you’ll be sure to find vibrant foliage coloring our beautiful landscapes. But make sure to plan your trip accordingly because peak autumn color only lasts for a few weeks! 

And with every season brings new exciting events! From Bramwell’s Spring Tour of Home to the Holiday of Lights Festival, there’s always something going on in Mercer County. Make sure to check out our events calendar for a full list of activities.

New Year, New Eateries 

On your next trip to Mercer County, treat your tastebuds to delicious cuisine. Local flavor paired with unique places to dine can be found throughout the county. From cozy coffee shops to historic spots serving up comfort classics, there is a restaurant for everyone. Treat your loved one to a dining experience like no other at The Vault Downtown — a fine dining restaurant located in a historic bank lobby. Take the whole family for ice cream at the Bramwell Corner Shop, which has been named one of the top “101 Unique Places to Dine in West Virginia.” Or get a taste of authentic Mercer County honey at Blue Ridge Bee Company

Art, Attractions, History and More!

From culinary gems to community murals, Mercer County is overflowing with artistic talent. Discover your new favorite piece of art in the lively Mercer Street Grassroots District. With vibrant murals, beautiful galleries and shops showcasing everything from traditionally-crafted glassworks to quirky creations, you can spend hours browsing our local art. If you are searching for live entertainment and intimate performances, head to Bluefield. The Chuck Mathena Center hosts performances ranging from off-Broadway shows and ballets to comedies and musicals. Make sure to stop by a movie at The Granada Theater, a recently restored theater that ties the arts and history of Bluefield together.  

Add more historic sites to your 2022 Mercer County visit with stops at Bramwell, a town that was once home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the nation, and Princeton, the first stop on the Civil War Trail in West Virginia. 

In addition to art galleries and historic sites, Mercer County is home to some eccentric attractions as well. Featured on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, Lake Shawnee Abandoned Amusement Park’s grim history lures many visitors to its eerie site. While on a lighter note, the RiffRaff Arts Collective and Gary Bowling’s House of Art are two unique attractions that truly offer one-of-a-kind experiences.

Escape to the Great Outdoors 

Hiking, biking, camping, fishing and, of course, ATV riding — Mercer County is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore Mercer County’s three state parks. With 6,000 acres of lush forests and over 35 miles of trails, Camp Creek State Park is one of the best places to hike in Mercer County. The park is also home to two of the best waterfalls in the state — Mash Fork and Campbell Falls. No visit to Mercer County is complete without taking in the view from up above! Trek to the top of the 3,100-foot unique rock formation at Pinnacle Rock State Park. In addition to hiking, Pipestem Resort State Park offers aerial adventures, a splash park and biking. Families interested in biking can also enjoy the appropriately named Family Friendly Trail at Lotito City Park

Add an ATV trip to your Mercer County 2022 list! Open year-round, the famous Hatfield-McCoy Trails offer over 700 miles of off-road riding through the mountains. Our vast network of trails and ATV-friendly communities make Mercer County a rider’s haven. Request our comprehensive ATV adventure guide to get started planning your next trip. 

With our charming towns and natural beauty, Mercer County makes for an exciting destination or convenient stopping point. Complete your getaway with a stay at one of our lodging accommodations – from treehouses to vacation rentals – and you’ll have a memorable 2022. 

Trust us, you’re going to want to put Mercer County on your bucket list.