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Best views on the I-77 and kid friendly stops?

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Best views on the I-77 and kid friendly stops?

Driving back to South Bend, IN from New Bern, NC. Drove down here in one shot at night, driving back slow with my 4 year old to take in the views and enjoy ourselves. Looking for the best view off the I-77. I did read that I should get off on the 52 right after entering WV. But anywhere else we should stop for great views? Especially a great place for sunset?

We plan on hitting the children’s museum in Raleigh on the way out. Any other suggestions for kid friendly short stops on the way back? We would love caves or trains! Although, he loves anything.

Want to make the best of this vacation with my kiddo. So will be driving back slow. Will need at least one hotel room(perferably with indoor pool), although, if we find enough to do may extend it to 3 days 2 nights. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

3 replies to this topic
Any Beach
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, West Virginia
Level Contributor
11,546 posts
153 reviews
1. Re: Best views on the I-77 and kid friendly stops?

Not sure about getting on 52. But, stay on 77 to the Athens exit and head on 20 to Pipestem St. Park. There is a fire tower there you can climb with breathtaking views from the top. Get back on 77 north to the I-64 split, taking 64 to Grandview National Park. (only about 4 miles up on 64, then another 4 or 5 on a lovely country road, ending at the park. The main overlook is amazing. You could continue on east on 64 to Lewisburg, (about 45 miles from Grandview) and go to the Lost World Caverns and do a self-guided tour of the caves. I highly recommend it. It takes about 45 minutes or so, depending on your pace. Worth it! You will have to back-track on 64 back to Beckley to get on 77. You can stay overnight in Beckley. Lots of hotels to choose from. Courtyard and Country Inn and Suites both have indoor pools. There is a really neat coffee shop/indoor rock wall just down the road from the hotels. Highly recommend. (There is a very cool mini-golf course there too if you are coming in Spring/Summer/Fall) Beckley also has an actual old non-working coal mine that you can go into on mine cars, he would love that!...open from April to November. There is also a very nice Youth Museum on the grounds that he would love. Open year round.





You could also do a quick run up to the New River Gorge Bridge, about 25 miles from Beckley on Rt. 19. Go to the Canyon Rim Visitors Center and wander around there, then take a little walk to the Main Overlook. Worth it too...and great exercise for the little one. (lots of steps!)


Hope this helps. Have a good trip!

Destination Expert
for West Virginia
Level Contributor
2,219 posts
73 reviews
2. Re: Best views on the I-77 and kid friendly stops?

Beachlady gave some great advice! I immediately thought of Grandview because it is a pretty easy trip from I-77. Here is the NPS link. This is not the time of year for trails, but the main overlook is easily accessible.


Normally, Blennderhasset State Park in Parkersburg is a great stop, but it is closed this time of year....involves a sternwheeler ride to the island....

I like Pipestem too, but haven't been there in winter.

Have a safe trip!

Canton, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Ohio, Garden City Beach, Surfside Beach
Level Contributor
3,970 posts
284 reviews
3. Re: Best views on the I-77 and kid friendly stops?

For great views with little to no hike, check out Pilot Knob State Park in North Carolina. There is a great overlook from the parking lot!


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