We visited Lewisburg in April 2023, as part of our Spring in the mountains quickie.
We left Seneca Rocks a day earlier than expected to cut a chunk from the longish drive to Asheville, the final stop on our spring Airstream trip. While hiking up to Chimney Top (where we had some cell service to do research), we discussed the options we’d considered when trip planning, and it came down to two finalists: Lewisburg or Fayetteville. The places we were most interested in visiting in Fayetteville (The Handle Bar and The Burrito Bar at Breeze Hill) weren’t open the evening we’d be there (we were too early in the season), so Lewisburg was the winner!
Lewisburg and White Sulphur Springs are neighbors across the Greenbrier River: Lewisburg to the west, and WSS to the east. Lewisburg, the larger of the two and the county seat, is a cool little city with a picturesque downtown, plenty of eating and drinking options, numerous historic buildings (including a Carnegie Hall!), an osteopathic medical school, and easy access to the super awesome Greenbrier River Trail. More on that below!
The State Fair of West Virginia happens every August in Lewisburg, and RV camping is available the rest of the year at the fairgrounds. We’d stayed at fairgrounds before, in Nashville, Indianapolis, and Chippewa Falls–all positive experiences, so we were happy to camp at the fairgrounds in Lewisburg, just a quick drive from downtown.
We had a super evening at the fairgrounds. The non-state fair time camping area is small with full hookups and no other amenities other than peace and a good location. The rest of the camping area for use during the state fair is a huge, rolling green space, and Lewisburg citizens (Lewisburgians? Lewisburgers?) were out in the evening and the next morning running, playing with dogs, and power walking with friends. We thought it was really cool to see people using the massive campground as a city park.
The website is confusing; it’s not clear that camping is available outside the State Fair dates (it is, in a small area), and it’s not easy to find where to reserve a campsite. Use this link to reserve a campsite online.
Eating and drinking
We only had time for a beer, a bit of food for dinner, and a morning coffee. In addition to the places below, Thunderbird Tacos and Del Sol Cantina also appealed to us. Lewisburg has so much more going on than when we last visited about 20 years ago!
Briergarten is a beer garden with a clever name, beers from near and far, non-beer drink options, and sausage/pretzel-type foods. We took Bugsy to the patio for a beverage; it’s a cool spot and many people seemed to be enjoying after-work drinks.
After walking around town, we picked up really delicious salads to take home from Stardust Cafe. It’s a small eco-friendly and locally-focused cafe, with a nice-looking dining room (although we preferred our dining room sitting outside at the fairgrounds).
Wild Bean Coffee
We were up early for our last hurrah on the Greenbrier River Trail before leaving Lewisburg and grabbed caffeine at Wild Bean. They sell matcha, which can be hard to find, and all the usual espresso drinks, baked goods, and some good-looking breakfast options.
The humans didn’t get any food there, but Bugsy got some local biscuits from Bella and Beau’s, which she heartily recommends.
Lewisburg has a quaint downtown with shops and cafes and pretty green spaces, but a surprising amount of traffic zooming very close to the sidewalks, which was a little disconcerting. Downtown hosts a First Fridays series with music and art, a concert series on the lawn of Carnegie Hall, and various other festivals throughout the year. The dog-friendly businesses we popped into that we especially appreciated were Robert’s Antiques (also a wine/beer/gourmet food shop) and Bella The Corner Gourmet (full of gifts and kitchen gadgets) (can you tell we love a good gourmet food store).
The expansive lawn in front of Carnegie Hall and the Greenbrier Historical Society’s North House Museum was Bugsy’s favorite part of downtown Lewisburg, and a quiet place to relax and admire the architecture.
Greenbrier River Trail
The Greenbrier River Trail is a 78-mile former railroad that’s now a multi-use trail running along the scenic river and passing through tiny towns. The southern terminus is in Lewisburg and we were thrilled to take our dog and our coffees for a walk on the trail.
We have such fond memories of biking the GRT in the early Aughts, staying at a sweet B&B at about the halfway point. It’s a wonderful asset to the communities along the Greenbrier River.
From Lewisburg, it’s a 4.5-hour drive to our next and final stop on this trip, Asheville… but the route passes through Johnson City, so we took some of the sting out of the long drive with White Duck Tacos! We were able to park our 28′ Airstream across the street from White Duck at the visitor’s center, but be careful taking any really long trailers into that lot!