GETTING THERE: Fly West Virginia has a mailing address in Webster Springs but operates out of neighboring Bolair, about a 51/2-hour drive from Washington. Take I-270 north from the Beltway to I-70 west and then I-68 west through Maryland. At Morgantown, W.Va., take I-79 south to Exit 57, Route 19 south. Pick up Route 82 east to Cowen, then Route 20 north to Bolair.

FLYING: A beginning lesson costs $100 a day for three to five hours of instruction with Fly West Virginia (304-847-7765 or 304-644-4359, www.flywv.com). Other paragliding outfitters include: East Winds Paragliding of Arlington (703-772-2039), with Juan Ortiz, who takes beginners out to training hills in Virginia for $150 a day; Southern Skies Paragliding of Moravian Falls, N.C. (828-632-6000, www.southernskies.net), where two instructors give three- to four-hour lessons at training sites about 50 miles west of Winston-Salem, N.C., for $150 a lesson.

STAYING THERE: The cottages at Carnifex Ferry Cottages in Mount Nebo, W.Va. (800-701-0809, www.westvirginiacabins.com), have up to three bedrooms and rent for $140 a weekend night for four people. All cottages, including Driftwood Lodge on Summersville Lake, have fireplaces and outdoor hot tubs. Mineral Springs Motel (McGraw and Hoover streets, Webster Springs, 304-847-5305, www.mineralspringsmotel.com) would be unremarkable if it were not wedged between the Elk River and the court square of this former resort town. A room for two runs $49 a weekend night.

EATING THERE: Cafe Cimino is just off I-79 (Exit 62, 400 Fourth St., Sutton, 877-924-6466, www.cafecimino.com). Some of the Italian recipes were passed down from the owner's Grandma Cimino. Entrees start at $15. Be sure to begin with the homemade bruschetta. The Custard Stand (364 Webster Rd., Webster Springs, 304-847-2942, www.custardstand.com) serves "West Virginia's tastiest hot dog chili." A chili dog costs 90 cents; dinner for two, including frozen custard, is less than $10.

INFO: West Virginia Division of Tourism, 800-225-5982, www.wvtourism.com.