Though we’re still in the grips of winter, you might be thinking ahead to some wonderful Ohio road trips. Hillbilly Hotdogs is not an Ohio institution, but it is just across the river in Lesage, West Virginia.
Getting There is Half the Fun
If you’re traveling from Columbus, or points north, your drive will take you through some lovely countryside. You can make a day of it, where getting there is half the fun. The drive from Columbus is about two and a half hours each way.
Your drive will likely take you through Ohio’s first capital, Chillicothe. There you can visit the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park and the Adena Mansion.
Further south, you’ll pass through Jackson and then Rio Grande. Here you’ll encounter the University of Rio Grande and the Bob Evan’s Farmstead before continuing onward to Gallipolis.
At Gallipolis, you’ll cross the Ohio River into Point Pleasant, West Virginia. If you’ve seen Richard Gere in the 2002 movie The Mothman Prophecies then you’re familiar with Point Pleasant’s claim to fame. A look around town will lead you to the site of the Silver Bridge collapse, a large Mothman statue and the local Mothman museum.
From here you’ll continue south along the river until you come to Lesage. Now you’ve found your destination, Hillbilly Hotdogs.
Hillbilly Hotdogs Claim to Fame
Hillbilly Hotdogs is actually quite famous. The restaurant, and their famous dish the Homewrecker, were featured by Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network in 2007. It’s since been featured on Food Paradise on the Travel Channel and has been named the “Best Hot Dog in West Virginia” multiple times.
Hillbilly Hotdogs: A Lot of Food and a Lot to See
If you’ve taken your time on the drive, you’ve likely arrived hungry. You’re in luck. Hillbilly Hotdogs is a great place for a lot of food at a small price. Even better, if you’re after a free hot dog learn the Weenie Song from their website. If you sing it to them, you’ll earn yourself a free original Hillbilly Hot Dog!
Spend a few minutes walking around the location, it’s a feast for the eyes. There are all types of junk, license plates and interesting signs to read. There are picnic tables to eat outside, or you can eat inside one of their modified school busses.
We’ve been a few times and had great food each time. My husband always orders the Homewrecker, because they’re famous for it and it’s delicious.
I order something different each time, but I will say that I favor the deep-fried dogs. The girls order whatever strikes their fancy at the time. But as I mentioned, we’ve loved everything we’ve ordered. It’s delicious and always a great experience.
Our first visit was in 2007, I believe the same week that Guy Fieri made his visit. All of the pictures are from that first visit. My oldest, Marina, was very excited at the time to sing the Weenie Song and get her photo with the owners, Sonny and Sharie Knight. They were gracious hosts and she felt she’d just met celebrities.
The Road Trip Home
After you’re full, or maybe overly full, you can take the same route home. Or for just an additional ten-minute investment, you can take an alternate route that will take you through Athens. Athens is an interesting community and home of Ohio University. You can certainly spend some time exploring the town.
Continuing on, you’ll pass through Nelsonville and then Logan. Here you’ll find easy access to the Hocking Hills region. If you need to walk off your lunch, you can stop off at Old Man’s Cave or one of the other trails in the area.
Hillbilly Hotdogs and an Ohio Road Trip
Even though Hillbilly Hotdogs is a West Virginia destination, your travels will lead you through a classic southern Ohio road trip. Leave early and plan on getting home late. Make the most of your time on the road to visit these amazing Ohio locations.
And Hillbilly Hotdogs won’t disappoint.
It’s definitely worth the trip. If you visit, be sure to tell Sonny and Sharie that FindingOhio said hi!
Thanks for FindingOhio (and West Virginia) with us today. Check back often for more great Ohio day trip ideas and if you have a sense of wanderlust, we’ll share our far-flung travels with you as well.
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