Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

Sunday, May 2, through Saturday, May 8, is National Travel and Tourism Week.

This annual tradition celebrates the value travel holds for the economy. Last National Travel and Tourism Week, we celebrated our resiliency. This year, we will celebrate our role in recovery.

Belmont County Tourism will be celebrating the week by helping you check off your travel bucket list while staying in our area. Looking to fill your travel bucket list with epic adventures while planning a staycation can be hard. But it can be done in Belmont County. In this column I will share several places to go and things to do that many of us travel out of the area for. Whether you are looking for adventure, beautiful destinations or unique experiences, this travel bucket list will keep you busy. This list covers some of the best locations and things to do in Belmont County, Ohio.

I hear so many talks about traveling to the southeast part of our state to experience hiking trails, rock formations and waterfalls. There is no need to drive two to three hours to experience this. Just located on the far west side of Belmont County, near Beallsville, Ohio, you will find astonishing rock formations and waterfalls, while hiking the trails of Raven Rocks. Native Americans of the Ohio River and Captina Creek valleys left evidence where they set up camp and hunted in the fall and winter months. You will be surprised to find dramatic ravines, streams, and rock formations right here in our county’s backyard.

We have visitors come to the office looking for a taste of nostalgia, longing for the past. Most of these visitors are not aware of the museums and historic landmarks in the area that would satisfy their need to walk down memory lane. Belmont County’s historic sites are locations where pieces of social, political, military and or cultural history have been preserved due to their cultural heritage value. Experience our rich history through our museums. In Barnesville you will find the most incredible house museum known as the Victorian ,Mansion Museum. This award-winning home was built in the 1800s. It showcases 26 rooms of elegance, including carved oak fretwork, butternut and hand carved wood mantels. Located in Bellaire is a museum dedicated to preserving the history of the Imperial Glass Corp., paying tribute to its employees, educating the public and providing research for glass enthusiasts. Imperial was one of the largest handcrafted glass companies in America. Other museums in the county include the Underground Railroad Museum (Flushing), Tri-State Military Museum (Belmont), Watt Center for History & the Arts (Barnesville), Sedgwick House Museum (Martins Ferry), Bellaire Toy & Brick Museum (Bellaire), Great Western School (OUE Campus), and the Belmont County Heritage Museum (St. Clairsville). The latter houses artifacts from all of the communities in the county. Our historic sites and landmarks include Walnut Grove Cemetery, located in Martins Ferry, Ohio’s first settlement, that pays tribute to Revolutionary War heroine Betty Zane; the Great Stone Viaduct that was featured in the Hollywood movie “Unstoppable;” Blaine Bridge, Ohio’s oldest S bridge; and a picturesque covered bridge located on the OUE campus. Epworth Park, or the “Garden of Oaks,” located in Bethesda, was established in 1870 as a Methodist campground, a place for spiritual fellowship, instruction, and renewal. The park is home to Victorian cottages. These are just a few of our many museums and historic landmarks.

If attending a music concert is on your bucket list, there is no need to travel far. Whether you enjoy the oldies, rock and roll or country music, we’ve got it. And your ticket to these won’t break the piggy bank.

Just outside of St. Clairsville, you can enjoy country music and campground carousing July 16 and 17. This year, the headliner for the Blame My Roots Fest is award-winning Miranda Lambert. Also returning is the crowd favorite Neal McCoy.

But, if you would like to start small, your can enjoy music in the park. Call your local parks and recreation department for that information. Also, many of our locally owned establishments host music entertainment weekly. You can find that information on our Calendar of Events website page.

For those looking for adventure, and who may have ziplining on your bucket list, we have that also. Visit Zion Retreat. This 800-plus acre retreat and nature center also has a 27-acre lake, various small fishing ponds, rustic and luxury cabins, walking trail, paddle boat and kayak rentals and again ziplining. Barkcamp State Park also offers kayaking, archery range, boating and camping.

Check off items on your travel bucket list in Belmont County. Celebrate National Travel and Tourism week with Belmont County Tourism.

Stop by the office located in the Ohio Valley Mall, Monday through Friday and receive your free brochure, our 2021 Calendar of events, as well as a bucket of treats, compliments of Belmont County Tourism.

For more bucket list inspiration, visit our website at www.visitbelmontcounty.com or you can follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.


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