Mercer County is a vibrant area full of passionate individuals. Whether you’re sipping a craft brew or exploring one of our many galleries, talent and craftsmanship is everywhere. Appreciate the arts and get in touch with your own creative side during a weekend here.
Begin your artisanal tour at Sophisticated Hound Brewing Company which offers small-batch, craft brews made in Mercer County. Hang out for a while and try the Race 8 American Stout, the microbrewery’s flagship beverage named after owner Matt Barnette’s dog, Denouncer, or one of the other signature beers on tap. Hungry? Sophisticated Hound also has a food menu that includes appetizers, pizzas, paninis and more.
At the end of the night, you can rest up at one of Princeton’s hotels/motels.
Omelets, waffles, pancakes, biscuits and gravy — if you want to taste the craftsmanship that goes into creating the art of Southern breakfast classics, Dolly’s Diner is the place to go. Have a bite before heading out for a day of local culture and creativity.
Your first stop is Gary Bowling’s House of Art in Bluefield. Browse the work of skilled Appalachian artists and see how the gallery is transforming the former Ramsey School in order to make art easily accessible to the community. You’ll leave feeling inspired!
Just down the street is Bluefield Yarn Company. The owner, Karen Rideout, is an artisan of wool. She is a lifelong knitter and crocheter who opened the shop to meet the needs of other makers throughout Southern West Virginia and beyond. Take a look at all of the fine yarn and fibers for knitting and crocheting as well as needles, hooks, tools, notions, accessories, buttons, books, magazines, patterns and kits that are available for purchase. If you’re someone who knits or crochets or would like to start, this is the place to get what you need. Private lessons and classes are also offered.
Cruise around a bit before pulling into Lynn’s Drive Inn for a quick lunch. The hamburgers, hotdogs, hoagies and milkshakes are long-standing favorites among Mercer County residents.
Back in Princeton, do something a little different and book a game at Out of the Box Room Escape. Hunt for clues and solve puzzles to get out of the “Captain’s Cabin” or one of the other “locked” theme rooms before time is up.
Spend a couple of hours in the afternoon exploring the Mercer Street Grassroots District, where you’ll find more than 30 painted murals. Each piece is unique in style and subject, ranging fantastical monsters by Patch Whisky and bright butterflies by Promise Sloan to commemorative pieces that honor Vietnam Veterans (“In Honor of All Veterans” created by Elden Justice and Tom Acosta) and a famous country musician (“Blind Man Reed” by Jeff Pierson). Later, try your hand at painting your own pottery at Artistic Adventures.
Wind down with a dinner at Geminelli’s Italian Bistro (don’t forget the dessert or espresso!).