There is a moment in every person’s life where they hear a phrase that will be echoed into countless days of their life. A phrase that is always met with an equally consistent monotone response, which often leads to a dead end.
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know. What do you want to do?”
I have made it my mission to eliminate this repetitive exchange by exploring Wheeling for a day to show just how much it has to offer. This planned day in Wheeling includes some of my favorite local spots and some hidden gems that even people who were born and raised in Wheeling might not know about. Click here to download the itinerary.
A bonus of this adventure is that most of our stops support local businesses and require no more than a quick, 15-minute drive between each destination. Since your day has been planned to a T, here’s a list of essential items to enjoy your day:
First things first: PKW (Phone, keys, wallet)
Emphasis on essential: Your mask
A light jacket
A cozy blanket
If you don’t have some of these items on-hand, you can purchase some of them locally in Centre Wheeling. REstyle Consignment has some great secondhand name-brand shoes to choose from and Ziklag has a few blanket options.
Be sure to keep your phone or camera handy and document your day, like I have.
My splendorous day in Wheeling starts off the way any good thing starts — with coffee.
10 a.m. — Good Mansion Wines (GMW) — 95 14th Street
Have you ever walked into a restaurant or even a theme park and have been impressed from the moment you arrived?
Well, that is essentially everyone’s reaction when arriving at Good Mansion Wines. In the words of my friend on her first visit there with me, “Can I live here?”
GMW offers so much more than wine – you will also find a variety of authentic Italian food and beverages. While at 10 a.m., I always get a latte and croissant, this oasis has a slew of options. From traditional Italian pizza to decadent desserts, you may have to get a bit more than just a flakey pastry.
For now, all food is served take-out style, so I chose to enjoy my breakfast on their front porch.
While the food is refreshingly unique, just walking through this townhouse with its original woodwork and beautiful stained glass windows is an experience of its own.
As you approach this literal work of art, you are greeted at the front door by a grand red carpet which upon entry, leads you into the business’ front parlor. You will then be met with hundreds of bottles of wine and a crystal chandelier.
As you make your way towards the back, you can browse through champagne from France, white wine from southern Italy and so on.
Once you happen upon the black and white tiled flooring in the back, you’ll notice an array of cheeses and meats, again, all traditional Italia.
After ordering your coffee and croissant at the back counter, you can marvel at the open kitchen filled with tarts, dome desserts and handmade pasta.
Once you are finished relaxing on the front porch with your goodies, you can try and learn how to slide down their railing out front like I did.
After this leisurely mid-morning treat, I decided it was time to head off to the next location!
11 p.m. — Nicky’s Garden Center — 476 Warden Run Road
Nicky’s Garden Center is one of Wheeling’s hidden gems, in my opinion. It is tucked away on a backroad that is perfectly decorated with foliage. Here we checked out some fresh pumpkins and shopped for some locally-made candles and seasonal flowers.
When I went, I opted for a second round of coffee. If you feel so inclined, Nicky’s Garden Center makes a mean cold brew coffee with CBD oil.
I met up with my husband Zachary and our friend Joe, who had the pleasure of taking some photos of me having too much fun with the assorted pumpkins. If you have any kiddos with you, this awesome location has a little play area for children as well.
One of the things I like most about Nicky’s is that it never seems to be too crowded. You can take a stroll and never worry about bumping into too many people and you could be here all day and the employees wouldn’t bat an eye.
Plant enthusiasts are the primary guests here, which – in my experience – means everyone, employees and customers alike, are exponentially kind. So the people you meet here will always be open to chit chat or give a thoughtful hello.
Inside, you can shop for a slew of household items — indoor and outdoor.
After you buy your pumpkins, handmade wreaths and a fresh cup of cold brew – I’m betting you took my advice on that second coffee – you can head out for lunch at one of the most popular eateries in town.
While Oglebay Resort and Conference Center has a lot to offer, I always enjoy their walking trails because it really gives you a taste of the ‘wild and wonderful’ West Virginia experience.
This walking trail starts near the Schrader Science Center and is suitable for children, families and dogs to join in on the fun.
Falls Vista is a little less than a mile long and while you do need to turn around and walk back at the end, you will be rewarded with a featured waterfall and overlook.
I snapped a few photos at the waterfall, but other than that, I decided to make this experience unplugged, as you should as well.
I enjoyed taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of nature and even closed my eyes for a few minutes to feel the sun — it was a pretty wonderful experience.I know everyone who comes to this spot appreciates what it has to offer. Some even come here for family photos and marriage proposals.
There are plenty of other walking trails you can explore at Oglebay, but I suggest Falls Vista purely for the final view and its accessibility.
Up next, our final location!
4:00 p.m. — Route 88 BBQ and Brew and Par 3 Driving Range — 465 Lodge Drive
Just up the road at Oglebay, you will have the opportunity to show off your golfing skills.
This is a family-friendly location, so if you want to see your three-year-old throw a golf ball further than you are able to hit a ball, now is your chance.
The Par 3 supplies everything you will need, so no need to worry about bringing golf clubs or other supplies.
I was doing pretty well with my long game, but my friend’s son, Joey, happened to be stealing the show on the driving range in the cutest way possible.
After a few hours of allowing a five-year-old to show me proper golfing skills, we made our way up the stairs to Route 88 BBQ.
Here, you can fill up with some delicious brisket, pork, kielbasa and all the carbohydrates you can eat. I chose to get the brisket meal, which came with jo jo potatoes (swoon).
Just outside of Route 88 BBQ, there is a fire pit surrounded with chairs and picnic tables to relax and enjoy a fall night. This is the perfect way to end a fun-filled day with your friends – this is also where your cozy blanket comes into play.
While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting the sweetest couple who happened to be celebrating the anniversary of when they got engaged.
Jeannie and Jack Collins said they have been coming to this very spot for 24 years just to reminisce on memories that they have created together.
Jeannie and Jacks’ daughter,Elizabeth, has joined them for this special celebration for years.
I couldn’t help but gush over her parents’ love and meeting them really rounded out my day in Wheeling perfectly.
I was enjoying myself so much that the next few hours flew by and the sun began to set on a nearly perfect day.
How Will You Experience Wheeling?
Whether you are from out of town, new to the area or have been here for years, there is something here for everyone to enjoy. I hope that through my journey, you can glimpse into what the Friendly City has to offer and inspire your own adventure.
What would your perfect day in Wheeling look like? Share your adventures and tag us using #ExploreWHG. Check out how my day went by following Weelunk on Instagram and visiting the ExploreWHG stories highlight.
• With a background in journalism and being a true Wheeling native, Jessica Broverman was destined to work with Weelunk. She holds a degree in journalism with a minor in criminal justice and works with Williams Lea Tag as a legal proofreader. When she isn’t typing away for Weelunk or WLT, she is enjoying a coffee at one of her many favorite spots in Wheeling, spending time with friends, or having fun with her husband Zachary and their two cats, Proctor and Max.