White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is one of the few places left in the United States that perfectly encapsulates the combination of small-town charm, rich history, and beautiful scenic views. White Sulphur Springs is located in the county of Greenbrier and has a population of just over 3,000.
White Sulphur Springs grew in the first half of the nineteenth century as the southern “Queen of the Watering Places” and it became a place for Virginia locals to seek refuge from the summer heat and occasional bouts of disease in city centers. As its popularity grew, White Sulphur Springs became an exclusive destination for the social elite all around the South.
All these cultural elements are still evident today to anyone who visits. However, today, White Sulphur Springs is welcoming to everyone and also offers fun and modern tourist attractions, great food, and beautiful views of the springs.
Below are the best sites and activities for those who are lucky enough to experience the unique charm of White Sulphur Springs.
The Greenbrier Resort
If you have the opportunity when visiting, stay at the Greenbrier Resort in Greenbrier County. This resort’s inherent luxury and prestige was the main driving force to Southern aristocrats visiting in the 1800s. Established in 1778, the Greenbrier Resort is considered a National Historic Landmark and has hosted 27 U.S. presidents, royal families, and celebrities alike.
The building’s allure is evident as its grandeur, stoic white pillars, and detailed interior are not only breathtaking, but convey a deep sense of history. Additionally, the resort’s 11,000 acres of beautiful gardens and stunning views of the Allegheny Mountain range make for the perfect setting to relax and enjoy the scenery.
The Greenbrier Resort is much more than just prestige as the establishment has worked to incorporate its sense of tradition with fun and relaxation. With more than 55 indoor and outdoor activities available, the Greenbrier offers something for guests of all ages and interests. Activities include: alpine tower climbing, swimming, horseback riding, paintball challenges, and much more.
Avid traveler Ryan Gibbs was thoroughly impressed with everything the Greenbrier has to offer: “The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs is a wonderful Summer getaway as well as a perfect place to spend the holidays with family. It is host to a professional tennis events in its onsite stadium and is also known for its hot sulphur springs and world-famous “Old White” golf course.”
As everyone in White Sulphur Springs loves any activity that allows them to enjoy the area’s panoramic scenic views, golfing is a favorite activity to partake in. It is evident how important golf is to the community as the new disc golf course was built in 2020 by the local Eagle Scouts.
The nine-hole disc course takes players through the woods and right next to the Chapel Path hiking trail. It allows for a little bit of adventure while you still get to relax and enjoy a fun game of disc golf.
For those who are more serious about the sport, the previously mentioned Greenbrier Resort has a long history with golf. In fact, golf in the United States began near White Sulphur Springs when the Montague family founded Oakhurst Links in 1884, making it the oldest organized golf club in the country.
The Greenbrier continued the area’s golf legacy when it hosted the first Ryder Cup to feature the current competitive setup of the United States and European sides in 1979. Moreover, for many years, the incredible Sam Snead was the resort’s golf pro. The Greenbrier’s course is nothing less than outstanding and its beauty grips everyone, even those who have never picked up a club.
B Sweet Confectionery
B Sweet Confectionery embodies the southern charm of White Sulphur Springs as it is a bright pink and turquoise shop that is a mini dessert wonderland. B Sweet Confectionery offers beautiful cupcakes as well as some satisfying and freshly-made breakfast and lunch items for those who don’t have a sweet tooth.
B Sweet Confectionery is not only aesthetically pleasing, but the love with which the food is made is evident. In fact, customers regularly report that when they do not spot their favorite dessert item on display, the bakers make it for them there on the spot. True southern hospitality.
And here are more places to eat in White Sulphur Springs:
Like many towns that value their connection to nature, White Sulphur Springs offers amazing horseback riding tours. There are guided trail rides that allow you to explore the beautiful mountains and springs from the comfort of your saddle.
Typically, these rides are 45 minutes (for those 8 years and older) at an affordable price. For those with younger children, there are opportunities such as corral rides that still allow for family fun.
Hiking is another great way to experience a new area for those who love to get in touch with nature. White Sulphur Springs is lucky enough to have a great variety of rolling hills, fields, streams, ponds, and forests, creating a peaceful atmosphere that begs to be explored.
There are over 14 miles of trails that are marked and are of various lengths and difficulty levels. There is truly a path for everyone. Shorter trails require about 30 minutes to complete and longer trails provide up to 2.5 hours of hiking adventure.
The North House Museum
For those who are intrigued by the intricate history of this area, the North House Museum is a must for your travel itinerary. Not only is the building stunning from the outside, but it holds so many compelling stories, artifacts, and paintings on the inside that wow and educate everyone that visits. The North House Museum’s history is not limited to White Sulphur Springs but includes the whole Greenbrier county.
The knowledgeable staff make guided tours a worthwhile experience as they cover a variety of topics and exhibits. Visitors can view exhibits such as Conflict and Consequence- Military History of the Greenbrier Valley, Edward Beyer – Albums of Virginia Lithographs, Echoes of Slavery in Greenbrier County, hands-on textile displays, and explore various period rooms.
Although West Virginia is not what first comes to mind for many people when they think of their ideal vacation spot, White Sulphur Springs should not be forgotten about when making your travel plans this summer. Its beautiful scenic views paired with its small-town charm and plethora of activities make it one of the best vacation spots in the United States.
About the Author
More Places to Visit on the East Coast of the United States
About the Photo
The photo in the header above was taken at the Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, USA. Photo by EyeMark.
About the Author
Jason Ortiz is a travel blogger who has visited 20+ countries around the world.
If you enjoyed this article, please pin it to share later.