Appalachian Culture and Colors: October 18-27, 2017

10 Days    $1,587.00

 

Imagine yourself in the hills – maybe even back in a holler of the beautiful Appalachians of West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky. Add to that the vibrant colors of all the hardwood trees in autumn. We’ve also included a good splash of their culture. We’ll enjoy a storyteller, some mountain music, a coalmine, a train ride, Appalachian crafts and much more for a true flavor of the culture of the Appalachians.

 

Day 1: Today we enjoy getting acquainted with our traveling friends, or reacquainted with former passengers. Relax as we make our way across KS and MO and stay east of St. Louis for our first night.

Day 2: It’s another day of driving east as we start seeing some hardwoods with the fall brilliance on the hillsides. We’ll overnight in Marietta, Ohio, just across the Ohio River from West Virginia. Marietta is a bustling riverboat port from its earliest history. They have been welcoming tourists for more than 215 years now and still do it with great pride. This evening we are in for a real treat, as we have a local resident entertaining us with Appalachian Folk Music and storytelling plus an included dinner.

Day 3: Today we will tour the Willow Island Lock and Dam then visit Blennerhassett Island, which is located in the Ohio River near Parkersburg, WV. The only way to experience the enchantment of the island is via a sternwheeler ride just as they did in a bygone era. Lunch will be included on the island.  Then on to Buckhannon, WV, which will be home for 2 nights.

Day 4: Today we get deeper into the hills of West Virginia where we’ll visit the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Scientists come from around the world to study here. Next we head to Cass, WV to ride the Cass Scenic Railroad and the Cheat Mountain Salamander! The Cass features a powerful 1900’s steam locomotive while the Salalmander is a 1940s diesel-powered locomotive. Our ride takes us to the most remote and mountainous region in the state during the middle of the brilliant fall colors and includes lunch.  Back to the same hotel for the night. 

Day 5: Today a local step on guide will join us for the day as we visit many sites in the Appalachian Mountains.  We’ll take a look at the New River, down 876 ft from the New River Gorge Bridge.  Visit Historic Fayetteville, situated in the mountains of picturesque southern WV with an old fashioned brand of small town friendliness.  We will also stop at the picturesque grist mill at Babcock State Park in Clifftop WV. Overnight will be at the beautiful setting of Hawks Nest State Park, in Ansted, WV. After an included dinner, we will enjoy a local storyteller recounting her memories of the Coal Camp.

Day 6:  This morning, we’ll take the exciting tram ride, 446 feet down, for an exhilarating jet boat ride on the New River for a spectacular view of the New River Gorge Bridge, the world’s longest single arch, span bridge. By lunch time we will arrive at Tamarack for an experience of WV-made gifts, products, food, and craft demonstrations.  Beckley, WV is known for an abundance of coal mining. We will tour the Coal Exhibition Mine and visit the museum. Here we will experience a ride on a “man trip” with a retired coal miner with authentic views of low seam coal mining from its earliest manual stages to modern mechanized operation.  Our hotel tonight will be in Beckley, WV.

Day 7:  This morning we will be joined by a local step on guide for the day as we stop at the Hatfield & McCoy Museum and visit the historic McCoy Well site. After an included lunch, we visit Stone Heritage Museum, built by Henry Ford. Then we will witness the Pikeville Cut-through project. With its tree-top foliage overlooking the river and city of Pikeville, the views from this engineering wonder will take your breath away! Tonight we will have an included dinner with live entertainment with the local cultural flare at our hotel in Pikeville.

Day 8: Today we again have our local guide with us as we visit Butcher Holler, home of Loretta Lynn & Crystal Gayle. We will also stop at the Van Lear Historical Museum and see the old mining office, Dr. Turner’s office, and 3 floors of historic items.  This afternoon we will visit the Heritage Farm Museum & Village in Huntington, WV, for a guided tour. The historic 500-acre site has 7 different museums, 30 structures including a 19th century village, and is the first Smithsonian Affiliate in WV. We overnight in the Georgetown, KY area.

Day 9:  This morning we visit “Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farm.” The farm provides a dignified retirement to Thoroughbreds whose racing and breeding careers have come to an end. You can meet many of the horses and hear about their stories. Next we tour the world-renown Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchhill Downs. The museum has 2 floors of interactive exhibits where you can learn all about the history of the great race! We will also take a guided, historic walking tour of the Churchill Downs Racetrack, stable exhibit, and grandstand. Tonight we will stay in the St. Louis area.

Day 10: Today it’s homeward bound, with wonderful memories of the Appalachian colors and culture.   

Includes 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners.


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