Briana Heaney Published

Department Of Tourism Launches W.Va. Culinary Trail

An assortment of fresh vegetables are laid out before being prepared for a meal.Adobe Stock

The West Virginia Department of Tourism is highlighting 27 restaurants in the state in its new Culinary Trail. To participate in the program, users need to download the Culinary Trail passport and then check in on their phones at any one of the participating restaurants. The app uses the GPS locations of the restaurant to confirm users check in.

The restaurants were chosen by one of nine chefs working with the Department of Tourism. West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby encourages travelers to visit state and national parks while visiting Culinary Trail restaurants. 

“While you’re tasting the best dishes the Mountain State has to offer, you might as well enjoy a side of adventure, too. Plan a foodie road trip and stay a while in ‘Almost Heaven,’” Ruby said.  

Every time a user checks into a new restaurant, they receive a point towards a prize. Lauren Hough, public relations manager for the Department of Tourism, said three points can be redeemed for a Culinary Trail branded bottle opener, 10 points gets a chef-selected local ingredient and corresponding recipe card, and checking into all 27 restaurants gets a locally made charcuterie tray. 

“It’s made by our good friend Matt Thomas at Thomas Works. He’s based out of Gilmer County, and he’s great,” Hough said. “I think any foodie, even if you’re not a foodie, I think you would enjoy having this tray in your home.”

The trail is part of an effort to give travelers an idea of where to go when visiting different parts of the state and encourage them to try out a new local restaurant. The Culinary Trail launched Nov. 15. 

“This is a way to spread awareness about those restaurants that are off the beaten path, so that you can’t miss while you’re visiting,” Hough said.