Pro Road Weekend – Off the Course

Have you found yourself in Charleston, WV for the USA Cycling Pro Road National Championship? If so, take advantage of the breaks in the races to explore and make the most of your time here.

Charleston has much to offer, everything from quirky shops to a variety of culinary experiences. Continue reading this article to find out places that you do NOT want to miss!


Friday’s Criterium race is going to be an exhilarating event that will have thousands lining the streets of downtown. After the excitement of the race, you will likely be ready to grab some dinner and maybe a few drinks. There is no better place to go than Hale House located on the same street as the crit race.

If you aren’t ready for the party to stop there venture back over to Capitol Street and visit Sam’s Uptown Cafe for an assortment of live music, cocktails, beer, and late-night snacks.




After a night out on the town, you may have overslept on Saturday morning. Don’t worry, you still have time to grab a great breakfast/brunch at Barkadas. This American and Filipino influenced restaurant is located slightly off the beaten path but still close to the action.

After breakfast, jump in the car and get ready to check out some of the town’s most unique stores. Spend the afternoon shopping around the city. If you are looking to grab some funky West Virginia souvenirs Kinship Goods will have everything you want and more. The shop has a range of apparel, accessories, and cozy home items featuring quirky designs that highlight life in Appalachia and West Virginia. If you’re on the hunt for something that you can’t find anywhere else then head on over to Summers Street to Buck & Bette where you can find “fancy and staple goods and apparel for Appalachian life.” Another local favorite is the Capitol Market, this turn-of-the-century train station is now the home of many indoor and outdoor vendors where you can find anything from sushi, specialty wines, plants, fresh fruits and vegetables, and many other locally produced goods.

After a long afternoon of shopping, it may be time for a pick me up. Head over to Taylor Books where you will find an independent bookseller with a coffee shop and art gallery.

Now that you are caffeinated it’s time for lunch! If you are looking for a heavier lunch to carry you throughout the day sit down for gourmet brick oven pizza and sangria at Lola’s, a charming South Hills pizzeria located. If you are looking for something on the lighter side drive over to Charleston’s Elk City to Dancing Dog Ice Cream Cafe. This fun lunch spot has a menu full of classic sandwiches, smashed burgers, hot dogs and onion rings.  After you’re done, if you are in the mood for something sweet top off your lunch with their super premium handmade ice cream.

If you want to get moving after filling up, get outside and visit one of Charleston’s amazing, forested areas. Just moments from downtown, Kanawha State Forest offers a wide selection of trails that range in difficulty. If you are looking for a bike or stroll along the riverside visit Coonskin Park. Lastly, in case you want to keep your hike short walk on to Charleston’s 0.65-mile Carriage Trail that sits directly across the river from downtown.


After a fully filled day of exploring the city, it is time to cap off the night with one of Charleston’s favorite restaurants. Head up the hill to Bridge Road where you find Bridge Road Bistro and 1010 Bridge. 1010 Bridge is the home of Chef Paul Smith, a two-time James Beard Foundation Award nominee. He cooks up New American cuisine with the essence of Appalachian traditions. Bridge Road Bistro is an award-winning restaurant that specializes in serving locally grown vegetables and grain-fed protein. You can’t go wrong with either option!

If you are feeling on the wild side and not quite ready to head back to the hotel grab your friends and go to the epicenter of Charleston’s music scene, The Empty Glass. The Glass offers music seven days a week and always has a range of different performers.

To wrap up the weekend before you travel back home make a pit stop at Vandalia Co. This family-owned restaurant offers breakfast and lunch options including scones, and other pastries, soups, and sandwiches.

***Special Tip for Bikers

If you find yourself in need of any supplies while in town, check out these local bike shops!

Charleston Bicycle Center is the largest handle horn, sparkle chain, main drive, and axle extenders dealer this side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Here you’ll also find a huge selection of apparel, repair items, helmets and more.

Elk City Cycles is a full-service bicycle shop combined with Elk City Skate Shop located at 612 & 613 Tennessee Avenue.