CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — It’s that time of year again. The holidays are coming up and we’re about to travel again for the season, or so we thought.

Unfortunately, for a lot of us, it’s getting harder to travel due to high prices, inflation, and even high gas prices. We always look for less expensive alternatives when it comes to traveling.

While we still expect a large number of travelers during the end-of-the-year holiday travel season, there are still people who prefer a less expensive trip closer to home than a cross-country drive or flight.

Conveniently and luckily, the beautiful state of West Virginia offers picturesque scenery and plenty of year-round recreational opportunities and attractions for family and others who are choosing to enjoy activities a little closer to home this Thanksgiving and holiday season.

Lori Weaver Hawkins, the Public Affairs Manager for AAA Blue Grass, happily shared her bullet pointed reasons for alternatives to holiday traveling, also to make sure it doesn’t hurt our wallets.

  • If you did have your heart set on a trip out-of-state, there are sometimes deals to be had on flights close to, or on, a holiday. If timing isn’t so important, talk to a travel advisor about finding you a great deal as the holidays approach.
  • AAA travel advisors are a great source of travel information, whether or not you are traveling a great distance. They are also helpful with tips on staying safe while traveling and the best routes to take for those who are driving to their destinations.
  • One popular destination, especially for families, is Winterplace Ski Resort in the Flat Top area, near Interstate 77. Known as one of the best places to learn to ski, the resort also features other activities for the whole family, including snow tubing. Snowshoe Mountain Resort is another popular place for all levels of skiers―it even features a snowboarding and skiing school. Yet another popular ski destination is Oglebay in Wheeling.
  • The Greenbrier resort is also a popular destination for those looking to get away without going too far away. It’s a great spot for a day trip or an overnight, and offers plenty to do, including an ice skating rink as well as an indoor heated pool.
  • Another popular wintertime activity in West Virginia is cross country skiing in areas like the White Grass Ski Touring Center in Tucker County.
  • Depending on the weather, another popular destination, even in the wintertime, is the Blackwater Falls State Park where you can enjoy a winter hike or go sledding.
  • Others looking for winter adventure may want to try snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling in areas like Snowshoe Mountain.
  • For those looking for indoor pursuits to avoid the cold, there’s the Tamarack Marketplace in Beckley, a one-of-a-kind store featuring crafts and art by local artists and artisans. The West Virginia State Museum, located at the Culture Center on the west side of the state capitol building, is another great day trip that keeps you warm indoors while providing the opportunity to learn about the state’s history.
  • For the kids, the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad in Elkin hosts a Polar Express-theme ride for kids of all ages as well as other activities.