I want to tell you about a really neat overnight, dry camp (no electric/water/etc.) spot in “Wild and Wonderful” West Virginia. About an hour or so into West Virginia (coming from Virginia), there’s a town called Beckley (little known fact: it’s named after the first Librarian of Congress). And that’s where we found Tamarack!
We found it by accident. We were looking for a place to pull over and spend the night. We found Tamarack, an artisan center/conference center/eatery that welcomes RVs to spend the night in its parking lot.
I was immediately struck by the uniqueness of the building! With its striking, peaked red roof, I knew immediately this was an artistic venue.
We spent the night in the parking lot, along with a handful of other campers. We enjoyed a safe, well-lit, quiet night where I had lots of clean, trimmed grassy areas to roam and sniff. I even made a new friend!
In the morning, my parents let me nap while they explored the venue. They returned with a shopping bag full of goodies.
Inside Tamarack, there is a restaurant featuring local foods and produce. There is also a conference center, a theater, a fine art gallery, and several artisan studios where you can watch artists make their passions come to life (my parents watched a glass blower make ornaments). Tamarack also offers classes – given by the artists – for anyone who wants to learn an art skill such as glass blowing or wood working.
But what really blew us away was the size of the artisan center itself. Not only is it architecturally stunning (sunlight streaming in from all angles), it is full of locally-crafted art, most of it unique, hand-made and exemplifying West Virginia. Tamarack has paintings, jewelry and one-of-a-kind souvenirs made of wood, glass and other materials. There is also beautiful, hand-made furniture, pottery, musical instruments, tools (including a working crescent wrench made of wood), homemade specialty foods, and metal sculptures.
My parents got a kick out of the fun, highly-creative pottery items…
And few other creations!
Tamarack has an outdoor sculpture garden too… and they’re all for sale. I’m thinking we need a horse on top of our bus…
Dad and I enjoyed sitting outside in the sculpture garden, soaking up the sun.
After a few hours of shopping, sunning and sculpture gazing, it was time to hit the road again!
Do you have any artisan centers you recommend travelers stop and visit? Leave a comment and share your ideas!