8 Of The Coolest Hidden Gems Found In Marion

woman dressed in 18th century clothing demonstrating the steps in weaving

Even at the end of summer, travelers are traveling and visitors are visiting. This morning, I welcomed to the Visitor Center a couple from the Eastern Panhandle. What brought them to Fairmont?

Their answer: Pricketts Fort. (What a good answer!)

In their research, they discovered that Pricketts Fort is not your typical idea of a fort. Instead of being built and used as a military installation, Pricketts Fort was solely a refuge fort. And that means plenty more activities went on there, and thus, still go on – like hearth cooking, the very event that brought them to town!

person holding a class of red wine and eating bruschetta from a bowl

The Fort might get you here, but it’s the food that keeps you here! Last night, the couple made an impromptu trip to Muriale’s Restaurant, a Fairmont favorite for generations and generations to come!

Aside from loving the food and the service, they commented that it was the best Italian food they’d ever eaten! (But that’s really no surprise to the Marion natives; just another day, another meal.)

Although they got lucky to stumble upon Muriale’s, I made sure they knew about some other must-see destinations…

Sweet Memories Antique Mall: Close to the Fort and perfect for a souvenir both from Fairmont and from eras past.

Country Club Bakery: Of course, they have to experience real pepperoni rolls! And no visit to the area would be complete without a stop at Country Club Bakery.

Colasessano’s: After going to Muriale’s and Country Club, I figured they might as well complete the Italian trifecta. Everyone who visits needs to and certainly should take a little piece – or an entire pizza- of Italian American love with them.

Valley Falls State Park: As the weather transitions from the heat of summer to the beginnings of fall, a drive to Valley Falls State Park is the perfect place to both relax and adventure!

man working on potters wheelBut this traveling couple had ideas of their own. They were looking for something hip, cool and caffeinated. Intrigued that Joe n Throw is part coffee shop and part pottery studio, they had to go – to refuel for the trip and find a locally handcrafted memento of their trip. And wouldn’t you know, luck was on their side again. ‘Where’s the Little Red Hen Bakery?’ they asked. ‘Conveniently located right next to the Joe n Throw! Get your coffee and your baked goods in one fell swoop!’

Armed with the Marion County Visitor Guide and a few extra brochures, they set off on their expeditions.

Many people wouldn’t realize the gems hidden within their own state, but not this savvy couple. We could learn a thing or two from them: Just pick a place (not too, too far) and go if for no other reason than to learn and see!

Where else would you send a visitor to our area?

When is the last time you visited any of our tourist attractions?


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