Let’s Go America! As we work to get everyone comfortable and back out there traveling again, be it for leisure or business — we packed up our Travelpro luggage and kicked off the big RMWorldTravel “Let’s Go America! Tour” in grand fashion with a visit to West Virginia and the Greenbrier Resort — aka America’s Resort!
This was the perfect location for Stop #1 on this tour where we’ll be visiting and featuring a destination each month within the U.S. throughout 2021 and into early 2022. If you missed our live broadcast on Saturday, 22 May 2021 from 10a-Noon ET, it’s now archived on our website @ www.RMWorldTravel.com.
The Greenbrier Resort’s storied history dates back to 1778 when visitors were interested in bathing in the mineral springs in the hopes they would find healing properties from the water for various ailments. Beginning in the 1830s, the resort began attracting politicians, lawyers, diplomats, ministers, and many others. At this point, it’s only used as a summer resort, since the elevation of the mountains offered relief from the heat and humidity of the lowlands, as well as an escape from malaria which was common from mosquitos in the southern U.S. Imagine a summer resort lined with cottages where prominent politicians including U.S Presidents would come to negotiate, court votes and carry on business, but in a relaxed, bucolic setting. Before the Civil War alone, 5 sitting U.S. Presidents had stayed at the resort and mingled with guests. In total 28 have visited so far! If only the grounds could talk…
In 1858, the well-established reputation of the property leads to the building of the first hotel, the Grand Central Hotel — affectionately known as “Old White.” Although it closed for a period during the Civil War, in 1910 the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway swept in and purchased it, leading to a major expansion, including adding today’s central section, The Greenbrier Hotel.
There is far more history here, including the time the property served as a WWII Army Hospital, and the 30 year secret of a Cold War bunker built underneath the grounds to house Congress in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, so if you’re a history buff, this is an absolute must stay/see/experience to take it all in. You won’t be disappointed!
When you first step into today’s Greenbrier Hotel, you’ll feel the ambiance of another era, whether it’s in the famous hotel designer, Dorothy Draper’s bold colors and designs, the iconic Cameo ballroom, or as you gaze at the 38 crystal chandeliers including two from the movie set of Gone with The Wind. With more than 50 activities to engage all types of travelers, including world-class golf, tennis, indoor/outdoor pools, a casino, horse-back riding and carriages, an onsite bowling alley, off-road adventures, kayaking, cycling and walking trails, falconry, a gun range, fishing and more — there truly is something for everyone here.
Accommodations range from beautifully appointed rooms in the historic hotel, to a wide variety of cottages and homes to choose from. You’ll find more than 20 restaurants, lounges, and cafes and can enjoy everything from a casual burger or pizza to fine dining in the main dining room where guests experience culinary delights that embody the roots of West Virginia like fried green tomatoes, five onion soup, their famous peaches and more — to updated, modern cuisine that changes seasonally.
Again we say “Let’s Go America!” and if this all sounds stuffy and exclusive, it’s not as we experienced an open, diverse and wonderful time at America’s Resort. And in another twist, The Greenbrier is owned by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and his family, who aims to celebrate its Mountain State roots while sharing its famed history with everyone. It truly is a welcoming, timeless American treasure that needs to be experienced as it rivals some of the finest European resorts we’ve stayed in and there’s nothing quite like it anywhere else in the country.
Safe and Happy Travels!
Robert & Mary Carey, Hosts
America’s #1 Travel Radio Show