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95 Awesome Things to Do in West Virginia

95 Awesome Things to Do in West Virginia

Beyond its lush landscapes and outdoor pursuits, West Virginia boasts an impressive roster of accomplished individuals, such as astronauts, movie stars, Olympic medalists, inventors, musicians, authors, and Pulitzer Prize winners. It may be an underappreciated state, but it exudes beauty, offers world-class outdoor activities, and is home to warm and welcoming people. Discover the state’s wonders with this curated list of 95 awesome things to do in West Virginia, shedding light on why visitors and locals alike adore the Mountain State.


A word from the author: West Virginia, my home state of “Almost Heaven,” holds a special place in my heart after 42 years of residency. Despite often being the target of jokes and negative portrayals, West Virginia is a hidden gem that deserves recognition. It provided my family with a safe haven, ample opportunities, and a vibrant cultural experience. It will always be home.

Table of Contents

Photo by Cassidy Stanley.

1. Tour the Mystery Hole

The Mystery Hole in Ansted on US Route 60 is a unique phenomenon where Earth’s gravity defies convention. Water even flows uphill in this peculiar attraction. The tour offers an enjoyable and distinctive experience, complemented by the scenic drive leading to it. 

It is an opportune moment to capture countless zany photographs! Mystery Hole operates from April to October.


2. Indulge in Secret Sandwich Society

Fayetteville’s Secret Sandwich Society is a renowned establishment with a captivating ambiance adorned by stunning artwork. It attracts patrons nationwide in search of gourmet sandwiches and live music. Offering a diverse menu inspired by esteemed US Presidents, each item showcases unique and unconventional ingredient pairings.

Indulge in the delectable Pimento Cheese Fries—a sheer delight.


3. Visit Green Bank’s Observatory

Green Bank’s Observatory (National Radio Astronomy), located in the NRQZ (National Radio Quiet Zone), is home to the world’s largest 17-million-pound astronomical telescope. This extraordinary scientific marvel is truly awe-inspiring. In addition to the main telescope, the campus also houses several other powerful telescopes. Please note that wireless devices are strictly prohibited on the premises.

Visitors can explore the wonders of the observatory by visiting the accessible Science Center or joining a guided, one-hour bus tour of the campus for a nominal fee of $10 per person.


4. Go Whitewater Rafting

West Virginia is a premier global river destination, celebrated for its unmatched technicality and stunning scenery, including towering cliffs. It comes as no surprise that countless adventurers journey here to conquer the class 5 and 6 rapids.

Those new to paddling will find solace on the Lower Gauley River, while thrill-seekers will embrace the relentless challenges of the Upper Gauley. These interconnected rivers cascade a remarkable 650 feet within a mere 24 miles. Prepare for an exhilarating ride!


5. See the Hatfield’s Cemetery and Devil Anse’s Gravesite

The Hatfields, renowned for their involvement in the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud, find their final resting place in Sarah Ann of Logan County, West Virginia. The Hatfield family cemetery is a significant historic site that preserves the memory of “Devil Anse.” While accessing the cemetery requires ascending a hillside, wearing suitable footwear and ensuring proper hydration is advisable.

This enduring feud held a special place in the hearts of locals. It was shared worldwide through Kevin Costner’s portrayal of the historical drama, captivating millions of viewers nationwide. For those who wish to delve deeper into the Hatfield-Mccoy legacy, numerous attractions across the state await exploration and immersion.


6. See the Almost Heaven Swings

The “Almost Heaven” swings, popular in picturesque West Virginia locations like state parks, provide opportunities for captivating Instagram photos. With a selfie shelf and clear instructions on capturing the perfect shot, these swings cater to solo travelers and groups alike.

Some of the Almost Heaven swing locations include Babcock State Park, Hatfield-McCoy Trails, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, and Philippi Covered Bridge. This tourism initiative embraces our beloved tagline, making it undeniably appealing.


7. Eat A Decadent Italian Meal at Muriale’s

When seeking a local’s recommendation for Italian cuisine, the favored restaurant is almost always Muriale’s in Fairmont. This iconic eatery showcases a tastefully adorned dining room and bar area, complemented by the friendly services of attentive servers.

While all dishes are noteworthy, I cannot resist the Spicy Sausage Rigatoni or the Manicotti. Muriale’s salad, featuring a blend of onions, cheese, olives, pepperoni, tomatoes, and roasted red peppers, unequivocally steals the spotlight. Such culinary delights make the trip to Fairmont a worthy endeavor.


8. Play the Dunbar Bingo

The Dunbar Bingo establishment offers high stakes, delightful homemade food, and the opportunity to win amazing prizes. With jackpots of $500 or $1K, this entertaining evening, costing less than $30 for an evening of fun, also supports local school groups.

Join on Saturday nights for the chance to win big while benefiting the community!


9. Shop the Greenbrier’s Holiday Store

The Christmas Shop at the Depot, located near the prestigious Greenbrier Resort train station, offers stunning year-round decorations. It is loved for its exquisite ornaments, holiday and seasonal retail items, and beautiful Christmas trees. The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia has attracted numerous US Presidents and elite guests seeking an exceptional experience.


10. See a Majestic Waterfall

Kanawha Falls is an awe-inspiring waterfall cascading over sandstone rocks, framed by a brick building on the shore at Glen Farris. Its undeniable beauty makes me take dozens of photos every time I visit. The juxtaposition of the short shelf falls extending across the entire Kanawha River and shimmering behind an aging power plant is truly remarkable.

This location holds the distinction of being one of the most frequently captured scenes in the Mountain State. Situated along the West Virginia Waterfall Trail, it offers an opportunity for travelers to veer off the conventional path and reconnect with nature.


11. Attend FestivALL’s Jazz & Wine Festival

The University of Charleston, situated along the Kanawha River, hosts the vibrant Wine & Jazz Music Festival during FestiVALL in mid-June. Boaters gather around the school to enjoy renowned jazz musicians, while guests sample wine, beer, and food. With a lively social atmosphere, attendees bring blankets and lawn chairs.

Tickets range from $35 to $45, benefiting the Fund for the Arts.

12. Eat at a Nostalgic Roadside Diner

Burger Carte, situated on I-60 in Smithers, is a distinctive and nostalgic retro eatery renowned for its exceptional burgers, fries, malts, and milkshakes. With limited indoor and ample outdoor seating, it offers a delightful dining experience. Take advantage of a creamy, delicious soft-serve in chocolate, vanilla, or swirl. 

Additionally, Burger Carte’s fish sandwiches are highly enjoyable. Their specialty is the Carte Wheel.


13. Tube or Kayak the Greenbrier River

Enjoy a serene day on the Greenbrier River with a range of recreational options. Floating in an intertube provides a relaxing experience accessible to all. Canoeing and kayaking are also enjoyable alternatives. Enhance your experience by securing your beer cooler.

Need to rent an intertube? Visit Jack Horner’s Corner in Seebert. We like to get in the water at Stomper’s Creek.


14. Catch a Thundering Herd Game

Marshall University’s football team is a significant attraction in Huntington, where 40,000 people gather at Joan C. Edwards Stadium to cheer on the Thundering Herd. Noteworthy football players like Randy Moss and Chad Pennington hail from Marshall. The stadium is the only one in the country bearing a woman’s name.


15. Go Gambling at Mardi Gras Casino

Mardi Gras Casino & Resort in West Virginia offers premier gambling facilities, including greyhound dog racing, slots, renowned restaurants, live music, a state-of-the-art sportsbook, and a 150-room hotel. Spanning over 60,000 square feet, the casino features over 700 slot machines and 35 table games utilizing the TITO method.

The captivating theme of the establishment is Mardi Gras.

16. Dig into Tasty German Eats at Bahnhof

Get ready to indulge your taste buds at Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten on 7th Avenue in Huntington. With an incredible selection of 33 beers on tap and a diverse menu, there’s something for everyone. And don’t miss the exquisite homemade cream puffs, available in daily-changing flavors.

No visit to Bahnhof is complete without trying the Barley-Malt Pretzel served with Bavarian mustard, raspberry-wildflower honey butter, and tasty Bacon Deviled Eggs. Come hungry!


17. Visit West Virginia’s Beautiful State Capitol

West Virginia boasts the most stunning state capital, characterized by its intricate architecture and overshadowed by the 293 ft. gold dome. The state capitol building, adorned with imported marble of 9 different kinds, offers free guided tours daily. It stands as the tallest building in the state.

The West Virginia State Capitol Complex grounds lie adjacent to the picturesque Kanawha River, with the Governor’s Mansion situated nearby.


18. Tour the Blenko Glass Company

Blenko, a renowned brand of hand-blown glass, has been crafting exquisite pieces in West Virginia since 1893. With a global presence, they offer exceptional factory tours for individuals aged 14 and above, priced at $20 per person. Hour-long tours are available at 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM, and 1:00 PM. Please consult the online calendar for operational dates. Closed-toed shoes are mandatory for entry.

During the tour, experience the mesmerizing craftsmanship of live artisans and explore an array of breathtaking glassware. Additionally, the second floor houses a museum showcasing Blenko’s rich history.


19. Go on a Zipline Adventure

Experience the thrill of navigating the hemlock forest in the New River Gorge with ACE Adventure Resort’s exclusive gorge-side zipline tour. Enjoy unparalleled views as you harness up, clip in, and soar through the breathtaking landscape. Night tours offer yet another type of adventure. However, the beginner zipline tour is the most popular for ages eight and up, lasting three to four hours.

Additionally, ACE offers rock climbing, mountain biking, paintball, and hiking trails for those seeking more outdoor activities. Discover the New River Gorge Zipline Tours, perfect for seasoned zipliners and beginners.

20. Attend a Mountain Stage Concert

Join award-winning country music star host Kathy Mattea at the WV Cultural Center for an exceptional concert recording. “Mountain Stage,” West Virginia Public Radio’s acclaimed nationally syndicated show, has thrived in the Kanawha Valley for over 40 years.

The intimate venue showcases four to six artists across alternative, world music, country, indie rock, blues, and folk genres. This highly anticipated live show attracts both locals and visitors alike. Upcoming artists include Joan Osborne, Judy Collins, James McMurtry, and many more.


21. Taste the Brews and Breakfast at Stone Tower Brews

Enjoy a delicious all-day breakfast bowl, such as the DIY Scrambled Egg Bowl with eggs, cheese, turkey sausage, potatoes, and avocado) from Stone Tower Brews in Buchannon. Their offerings include coffee, tea, pastries (from Dough Re Mi), and even craft beer. Do yourself a favor and try the pure perfection Orange creamsicle matcha.

Lunch and dinner are also on the menu. There are two other Stone Tower Brews around the state, in Bridgeport and Morgantown.


22. Spend the Weekend at Stonewall Resort

Located in the rolling hills of West Virginia, the Stonewall Resort is a scenic destination offering a wealth of outdoor activities. With an Arnold Palmer Golf course, patios, lush greens, a fire pit, and stunning scenery, this “Adirondack-style” resort provides a delightful atmosphere complemented by exceptional service. 

Guests can take advantage of the stellar kids program, three on-site restaurants offering chef-inspired dishes, swimming facilities, and a spa. Additionally, the resort’s marina allows renting a boat for added enjoyment.


23. Shop the Bridge Road Shops

You’ll find the upscale Bridge Road Shops, formerly the South Hills shops in my former neighborhood. Don’t miss Yarid’s fabulous shoes, Sarah’s Bakery for delectable sweets, Geranium’s for women’s clothing and accessories, and Bridge Road Bistro or 1010 Bridge for exceptional dining. 

These locally owned shops enjoy strong community support.


24. Picnic and Play at Kanawha State Forest

Kanawha State Forest, a mere seven miles from Charleston, presents an idyllic setting suitable for family picnics, gatherings, and celebrations. Spanning a vast 9300-acre area, it offers playgrounds, hiking trails, mountain biking opportunities, birding, and covered shelters for picnics and parties.

Additionally, KSF’s Spotted Salamander Trail features a pioneering wheelchair-accessible playground and trail, complete with interpretive nature signs and guide ropes. Pets are also welcome to enjoy this exceptional natural haven in West Virginia.


25. Take the Kids to a Top-Notch Children’s Museum

Parkersburg’s newest mind-blowing offering, Discovery World on Market, is an aesthetically pleasing attraction with interactive displays and captivating exhibits covering history, science, and adventure. It aims to be the leading regional STEAM destination in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

With a ball factory, design studio, and impressive interactive local animal habitat transitioning seamlessly from morning to night, this museum truly leaves an unforgettable impression.


26. See the Mothman Statue

Mothman, the creature with the glowing red eyes, singlehandedly terrorized the town of Point Pleasant, plus a movie (The Mothman Prophecies) was made about it. You can explore the Mothman Museum and photograph the legendary cryptid sculpture minutes off the highway. 


27. Explore the Rich and the Famous at Blennerhassett

Embark on a picturesque voyage aboard the Island Belle Sternwheeler to the historic Blennerhassett Island State Park in Parkersburg. Once steeped in opulence, this site drew visits from renowned figures like Henry Clay, Walt Whitman, Aaron Burr, and Daniel Boone. 

Explore the grand mansion, traverse the property on foot, or opt for a guided tour via horse-drawn wagons or your own bicycle. Adult wagon rides are priced at $9, while mansion tours cost $5, with bundle options available for savings. Kindly note that tickets are purchasable at 137 Juliana Street.


28. Take a Train Ride in a Parlor Car

Experience the vintage diesel-powered Tygart Flyer of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad in Elkins. Embark on a four-hour adventure to the stunning High Falls of Cheat River. Indulge in a parlor car for impeccable service, beverages, souvenirs, and a delightful lunch.

The scenic train journey offers breathtaking mountain vistas, captivating “S” curves, and enjoyable moments for the entire family. I recommend making reservations; tickets range from $75 to $92 per adult.


29. Dine Al Freso in White Sulphur Springs

Indulge in a delightful experience dining al fresco at 50 East Restaurant and Tavern in White Sulphur Springs. The streetscape view is fantastic and the perfect spot to bring your dog. 

I savored a delicious garlic linguine with grilled shrimp, while my husband opted for the pecan-crusted chicken. Both dishes were delicious, and we were provided excellent service. The salad, with shaved carrots and homemade dressings, was also noteworthy. Kudos to the 50 East Restaurant for their attention to detail and culinary excellence.


30. Check Out Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo

When you visit Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo in Preston County, prepare for an extraordinary experience. With 30 years of operation, from April to October, the admission fee of $12.99 per adult and $10.99 for children is unmatched compared to other zoos I have visited.

Hovatter’s well-marked and manicured grounds showcase a diverse range of animals, including leopards, baboons, buffalos, camels, ring-tailed lemurs, monkeys, giraffes, grizzly bears, lions, and more.

Pro Tip: Get animal feed bags from the gift shop and adhere to the signs at each animal enclosure indicating permissible food options. Feed the animals only what is recommended.


31. Bike the Greenbrier River Trail

This reclaimed railroad track turned bike trail starts at White Sulfur Springs and ends 80 miles later at Cass Scenic Railroad. The Greenbrier River Bike Trail is perfect for walking, riding bikes or horses, and enjoying nature. It also offers designated spots to stop, rest, or jump in the river for a quick cool down.

Photo by IG@gbrvalleywv

32. Visit the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace

Visit the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace Museum in Hillsboro, a historic home turned museum. Buck, a distinguished author born in 1892, holds the honor of being the first American woman to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, this charming location offers a blend of country charm and stunning mountain views. The museum is part of the Quilt Trail of Pocahontas County. It is open for visits every Friday and Saturday from Mother’s Day through the end of October.


33. Hear Music and Drink Beer at Purple Fiddle

Located in Thomas, WV, The Purple Fiddle is one of West Virginia’s top live music venues. This smoke-free facility has gained popularity since its opening in 2002, contributing to the increased interest in the small coal town. 

Indulge in the impressive craft beer selection and savor the Wild Turkey Wrap or Avocado Toast. Please note that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.


34. Attend a Free Riverfront Concert in Charleston

Enjoy live outdoor concerts at Live on the Levee in Charleston every Friday evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Set against the serene Kanawha River at Haddad Riverfront Park, this family-friendly event offers free entertainment. Indulge in street food and beverage options, or arrive by boat for a more exclusive experience.

Proceeds from the event benefit Manna Meal, YWCA, Covenant House, and other charities.


35. Go Caving and Gemstone Mining

Explore the 4.5 million-year-old Seneca Caverns, 165 feet deep, to witness remarkable geological formations such as stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone. Tours are available on weekends, from 10 AM to 5 PM, at this captivating attraction established in 1928. Tickets are priced at $15 for ages 13 and above and $10 for ages 5 to 12.

West Virginia’s most famous caving system also provides gemstone mining.

Photo by Seneca Caverns.

36. Walk a Famous Civil War Battlefield

Explore the historic Droop Mountain Battlefield, the last major American Civil War conflict site. Located in Pocahontas County at an elevation of 3104 feet, this atmospheric destination offers unique roads and awe-inspiring scenery. 

Droop Mountain Battlefield hosts reenactments in October. It provides amenities such as hiking trails, picnic shelters, and play areas year-round and is part of The Civil War Discovery Trail.

Fun Fact: Droop Mountain was West Virginia’s first state park.


37. Enjoy An Old-School Italian Meal at Chirico’s

Experience exquisite Italian cuisine at Chirico’s Ristorante in Logan, WV. A cherished family-owned establishment since the 1980s, this renowned restaurant offers authentic, generously portioned, and flawlessly prepared Italian dishes.

Indulge in delectable chicken parm, lasagna, pizza baked spaghetti, and chicken broccoli Alfredo, but leave space for their heavenly signature dessert, the Original Brickle.


38. Check Out Cool Murals

Downtown Charleston boasts captivating murals, including the white elk in the newer Elk City on Charleston’s West side. Other notable artworks include the West Side Wonder, Greetings from Charleston community postcard, San Francisco mural, and the many pillars under the I-64 underpass.


39. Drive Through Festival of “Christmas” Lights

One of America’s top-rated Christmas light displays is Oglebay Park’s Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling. The popular event has been going strong since 1985. This six-mile drive, featuring 300 acres of lights and displays, was voted one of the ten best Christmas light displays in the US by AOL Travel.

40. Take the Iconic Drive to Hawks Nest State Park

Hawks Nest State Park offers captivating views, wildlife, an aerial tram, hiking, and a jet boat adventure. Affordable rooms are available, along with a commendable restaurant. Enjoy the Midland Trail Route I-60 journey from Charleston, where you’ll encounter breathtaking views, waterfalls, and iconic attractions. 

Be ready to capture the essence of this extraordinary road trip adventure.


41. Explore Historic Harpers Ferry

John Brown’s Fort, located at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, served as a stronghold during the notorious raid that ignited the American Civil War. The stunning vistas captivate nearly one million annual visitors.

Plan an entire day to immerse in the experience. Opt for parking at the Visitor Center and utilize the shuttle service to avoid parking hassles. Ghost tours are also offered.


42. Drive Across a World-Famous Bridge

Once the world’s longest single-span arch bridge, it is now the third, but still a beauty to behold. The New River Gorge Bridge is part of the National Parks Services (a second one in West Virginia), so be sure to get your passport stamped. 

If you are keying in an address, enter the Canyon Rim Visitor’s Center, or you could end up somewhere else in the 72K acres.


43. Play at a Retro Amusement Park

Camden Park, the sign of the happy clown, is a cheesy but enjoyable small amusement park established in 1902. Crowd favorite rides include the Big Dipper, Paratrooper, and Rattler. Long-time visitors will remember pronto pups (which you can still buy today) and the roller rink.

Photo from Camden Park.

44. Stroll Through A World-Class Arts Center

Tamarack is a huge artisan center full of quality West Virginia handicrafts and artwork in Beckley, conveniently located off the WV Turnpike. You’ll find locally-made gourmet foods, toys, craft beer, and much more in the impressive selection, as well as thousands of upscale arts and crafts.


The onsite cafeteria offering delicious food and drinks. Try the fried green tomatoes or signature peach bread pudding.


45. Eat a Life-Changing Biscuit From Tudor’s

Tudor’s is practically a state institution, with a tasty breakfast menu and down-home lunch and dinner favorites. My picks are the Ron on toast (egg, cheese, sausage) and Peppy (pepperoni and melted cheese), but the new breakfast burritos and long-time favorite pancakes should not be ignored. 

FYI: The real name is Biscuit World, but the locals only know it as Tudor’s. 


46. Indulge in a Healing Spa

Berkeley Springs offers private walk-in tubs with 102° mineral waters, renowned as one of the nation’s oldest healing spas, frequented by George Washington himself. I indulged in the rejuvenating Old Roman baths, meticulously updated while preserving centuries-old traditions.

A worthwhile investment in self-care, this experience epitomizes luxury and relaxation.


47. Tour the JQ Dickinson Salt Works

JQ Dickinson is a highly sought-after salt brand produced by a seven-generation family of salt-makers. Harvested from the ancient Iapetus Ocean beneath the Appalachian Mountains, this rare small-batch finishing salt is renowned for its unique mineral composition. Available in upscale stores nationwide, the 200-year-old business has successfully revived itself with this exquisite product.

For an immersive experience, visitors can tour the facility located in Malden, West Virginia, and indulge in their decadent caramel sauce and salts.


48. See a Concert at Clay Center

The Clay Center, Charleston’s premier performance hall, hosts diverse big-name entertainment, concerts, Broadway shows, and comedy acts. The calendar features an array of events that cater to all tastes. Notable performances have included Jason Mraz, Blondie, and Peter Frampton, with upcoming shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Whose Live Anyway, Ashley McBryde, and the West Virginia Symphony.

Furthermore, the Clay Center accommodates a children’s museum, art gallery, and planetarium and serves as a music venue.


49. Tour Historic Homes of Bramwell

Once the wealthiest neighborhood in West Virginia, Bramwell is a delight to explore. About ten historical homes open their doors to the public once a year in spring for this popular event in the super cute and friendly town.

Be sure to see the Millionaire Row on Main Street.


50. Take a Tour of the Palace of Gold

Experience the grandeur of Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold, adorned with shimmering 24-carat gold temples crafted by the Hare Krishna community—the opulent interior features over 50 types of marble and onyx, stained glass windows and mirrored ceilings. The surrounding grounds exude the charm of an Indian Kingdom, boasting lush gardens and picturesque waterfalls. 

Don’t miss the captivating lotus pond!

The Palace of Gold is open from March to December, offering daily tours every 30 minutes from the main Palace lobby entrance. Please note that photography is not permitted during the tour. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $7 for children aged 6 to 12.

prabhupadas -palace-of-gold

51. Eat the WV State Food

Pepperoni rolls are tasty hand-held treats invented in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the 1940s by a man from Italy who came to work in the coal mines. The pepperoni is wrapped in billowy bread and is the official state food of West Virginia. 

Once you try one, you’re hooked.


52. Feast on a West Virginia Hot Dog

Indulge in a traditional West Virginia hot dog at Dave’s Famous T&L Hot Dogs, with seven locations across the state. Experience a nostalgic ambiance while savoring delectable hot dogs, hand-cut fries, homemade slaw, hand-scooped ice cream, and thick shakes. T&L offers affordability, and the food is quite magnificent.


53. Tour a Famed Mental Hospital

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a historic stone psychiatric hospital, operated for 130 years and surpassed all others in lobotomies conducted. Now designated as a National Historic Landmark, it offers intriguing tours renowned for its haunted reputation.

Popular TV shows like “Ghost Adventures” on the Travel Channel and “Ghost Hunters” on Syfy have tried, but failed, to explain the multitude of witnessed hauntings. Tours, including night-time sessions and Civil War-themed explorations, are available. Choose from multiple types of heritage, history, or ghost tours from April 4th to November 12th.


54. Try West Virginia Chocolates

You will thoroughly enjoy visiting the renowned Holl’s Swiss Chocolates in Vienna or the Capitol Market in Charleston, WV. These exquisite hand-crafted Swiss chocolates are perfect for any occasion and come in various gift boxes. 

Among my favorites are the Mountaineer Maple Truffle and the passion fruit. They offer a delightful melt-in-your-mouth experience! Holl’s also offers premium coffee, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and a selection of wines to complement your chocolate preferences. Additionally, there are sugar-free options available.


55. Ride Through an Exhibition Coal Mine

West Virginia thrived on coal for many years. At this attraction, guests ride through a vintage mine in an actual coal car. Although the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine ceased operation in 1953, tours commenced nine years later. The site now features a museum and historic coal camp buildings, including a church, school, superintendent house, and company house. 

It is common for folks my age to have visited the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine on school field trips. Great memories. 


56. Check Out the Quilt Trail

Visit Monroe County and drive the Quilt Trail to see iconic quilt patterns on the sides of barns. A few of the examples of the designs are a wedding, log cabin, shoo-fly, and Dresden plate. There are more than 60 along the drive.

57. Spend a Day at a Water Park

Water Ways is an 88-mile water park in Boone County and a major tourist attraction. Bring the whole family for plenty of fun with water slides, a lazy river, an Olympic-sized pool, miniature golf, and picnic facilities. Coolers are even allowed.

Photo from Water Ways.

58. Feast at The Oak at Pipestem

The Oak, a beautiful restaurant in Pipestem, WV, provides stunning lake and farm views. Every detail at The Oak exudes sophistication, from the elegant tableware to the homemade dinner rolls and culinary specials. The owners cherish the venue, as it holds sentimental value – it’s where they exchanged vows nearly 30 years ago under a majestic oak tree.

Meal suggestions include the baked Brie with a medley of berries, and the Pork Medallions served with apple slaw and the daily vegetable. The Surf & Turf looked excellent, too, and is a popular choice. Save room for the signature peppermint ice cream.

the oak lobster and steak

59. Honor John Henry’s Legend

John Henry, an American folk hero and African-American freedman, is renowned as a “steel-driving man” who hammered steel drills into rock for railroad tunnel construction. His legendary duel against a drilling machine inspired a classic blues folk song. This iconic tale has been immortalized in various versions and in stories, plays, books, and novels.

Explore the park dedicated to this WV hero in Talcott and discover the spirit of John Henry.


60. Eat the Tallest Ice Cream Ever

Enjoy delectable ice cream treats at Dairy Creme Corner in Fairmont. This popular establishment offers an extensive menu featuring a variety of dessert and ice cream combinations. They even have the nostalgic crunch coat from the 70s, which is as delightful as ever.

With the most enormous cones in town, their creations are yummy and impressive in size. Eat with caution; they melt quickly.


61. Climb the State’s Most Famous Rocks

Situated in Grant County, Seneca Rocks boasts imposing rock “fins” that soar over 300 feet from a hillside, making it a haven for accomplished climbers. Additionally, the climbing school, which has been operating for four decades, further solidifies Seneca Rocks’ status as a destination for serious climbers.


62. Eat Great Pizza at Pies and Pints

Pies and Pints is my preferred pizza joint due to its delectable offerings and unique ability to split a large pizza into two combinations, perfect for sharing. Moreover, Pies & Pints boasts an excellent happy hour (M- F, 3-6 PM) and an extensive selection of draft beers. Don’t miss their impressive appetizers, such as the Pork & Pepper Nachos.

Looking for pizza recommendations? You can’t go wrong with the Steak and Mushroom or the heavenly Grape and Gorgonzola options. Visit the original Pies and Pints in Fayetteville or explore one of their many franchised locations nationwide.


63. Tour the State Pen

The West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, known for its 100-year run as one of the nation’s most dangerous facilities, is a place visitors love exploring. As I toured the premises, I couldn’t help but feel heartbroken witnessing the living conditions and hearing about the madness within those walls. 

However, it wasn’t just the inmates who suffered; the underpaid employees also faced immense challenges and often had to take matters into their own hands. The facility’s haunting history, with 998 inmates losing their lives to violence, abuse, or suicide, further added to the sense of unease. It’s no wonder that this site has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows.

For those who dare, spending a night in complete darkness with the guidance of two tour guides nearby offers a unique and chilling experience.


64. Step Back into Frontier Life at Twin Falls State Park

Twin Falls Resort State Park, located in Wyoming County’s rugged mountains, is a hidden gem amongst state parks. Explore the stunning natural beauty or indulge in a stay at the property. Take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Pioneer Farm House for an authentic glimpse into frontier life, complete with livestock and a bountiful vegetable garden. 

The park boasts 25 miles of scenic trails, an 18-hole golf course, and an exceptional restaurant.


65. Browse a Great Art Museum

The Huntington Museum of Art offers a diverse collection showcasing various art forms. From monumental Dale Chihuly glass sculptures to renowned paintings by Picasso, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg, the gallery presents a captivating array of artistic expressions.

Additionally, the museum boasts the remarkable Herman P. Dean Firearms Collection and a splendid Botanical Garden featuring a global assortment of plants. Prepare to be enthralled by the museum’s rich and exquisite offerings.


66. Do Some Rural Farmhouse Shopping

While driving through the countryside, one may unexpectedly stumble upon a charming farmhouse amidst green fields, cattle, and endless blue skies. A glance at the professionally crafted signs, patriotic embellishments, and welcoming porch instantly hints at the delightful experience that awaits.

Inside Farmhouse Studio lies an exquisitely curated collection. It stands as a premier shopping destination, housing an abundant selection of gourmet foods, diverse t-shirts, fine jewelry, captivating books, exquisite wines, tasteful home decor, and much more.

Visit their website for in-person events, such as wine tastings and book signings. It is also worth mentioning that the sweet owner will undoubtedly win your heart.


67. Eat All the Pastries

Nu-Era Bakery is a formidable presence in downtown Logan. With 83 years of establishment, it offers an array of delectable pastries, cookies, pies, muffins, doughnuts, and pepperoni rolls. The freshly baked cakes, selling out daily, are kept in a separate cooler.

Drawing from my own nostalgic experience of indulging in these homemade delights, I highly recommend making a detour right to their front door.


68. Visit the WV State Museum

On the WV Capitol Complex Grounds is the WV State Museum (or Culture Center if you are a local), a treasure trove of exciting exhibits about the history of the Mountain State, famous industries, people, art, customs, cultures, and glassware. It is a really well-done museum with lots of information; it is perfect for the whole family. And it’s free! 


69. Stroll Historic Downtown Lewisburg

Lewisburg, nestled in Greenbrier County, embodies the spirit of a quaint countryside town, distinguishing itself with a unique hipster charm. Its main street showcases award-winning galleries, upscale shops, boutiques, and delectable dining establishments. Here, you can explore a variety of offerings, such as gourmet foods, women’s apparel, outdoor gear, books, wine, antiques, and more.

Noteworthy features include a pristine park, Carnegie Hall, a historic Civil War cemetery, and beautifully adorned flower arrangements.

If you visit in April, don’t miss the Annual Chocolate Festival.


70. Go To WV’s Highest Point: Spruce Knob

Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia, reaching 4863 feet. The panoramic views are exceptional, particularly if the fog is absent. The drive to the site is awe-inspiring, yet not recommended for the faint-hearted. For an even more remarkable experience, venture to the Observation Tower to witness breathtaking 360-degree views.


71. Browse a Local Bookstore

Bibliophiles gather at Cicada Books, an intriguing and vibrant bookstore in Huntington’s Central City Antiques District. This charming shop showcases thousands of handpicked new and many secondhand books, accompanied by a delightful coffee and sweet shop.

Additionally, Cicada Books hosts various community events, including board game nights, film screenings, and book signings. Note: Cicada Books is closed on Mondays.


72. Shop the Capitol Market

Charleston’s premier fresh-food destination, located in a turn-of-the-century train station, captivates visitors with its exposed brick and trendy decor. The main attractions at Capitol Market are the outdoor vendor stalls (weather permitting), onsite restaurants, coffee shop, and local merchants. Additionally, seasonal items, like Christmas trees and pumpkins, are available.


The WV Marketplace offers an array of local items, while the Wine & Cheese Shop provides the best party necessities. The Purple Onion offers gourmet foods and grab-and-go options, while Soho’s Italian Restaurant offers a delicious lunch or dinner. For a perfect coffee experience, visit Mea Cuppa and try their Velvet Elvis.

Capitol Market hosts a variety of events, including mixers, fairs, cooking demonstrations, cook-offs, and holiday celebrations.


73. See Living History

Huntington’s Heritage Farm Museum & Village showcases Appalachian life, culture, and the contributions of West Virginia’s industries. The property features authentic period structures, including a log church, blacksmith shop, Maker Space, plus the Discovery Zone Playground for kids.

Recently recognized as West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Affiliate Institution, the property includes museums on progress, transportation, education, heritage, and Bowes doll and carriage. Regular operating hours are May-October: Thursdays-Saturdays, with a Christmas Village on the first two weekends of December.

Admission is $17 for adults and $10-$12 for children over 4.


74. Shop for Discounted Fiestaware

The Flatwoods outlet mall houses a Homer Laughlin China Co. Fiestaware shop offering substantial discounts on this renowned West Virginia pottery. Discover a vast selection of Fiestware dishes, including retired pieces and new additions.

Keep an eye out for the popular tent sale that attracts visitors and U-Hauls from around the nation. Were you aware of West Virginia’s role in producing these cherished dishes?


75. Drool Over Dessert 

Morgantown’s Terra Cafe features drool-worthy, Instagram-worthy, and get-in-my-belly pastries of all types: cupcakes, cookies, pies, cake, and more. Then, they also have excellent coffee, tea, and espresso to pair them with. You’ll love the spacious dining area connected to their main eatery with an outdoor patio. 


76. Escape to the Mountains for the Weekend

The Morning Glory Inn, located near Snowshoe Mountain, Green Bank Observatory, and the Greenbrier River Trail, offers a charming mountain retreat with excellent amenities. Enjoy a serene getaway in the Appalachian mountains at this remarkable property.

Amenities include weekend breakfast service, snacks, Wi-Fi, coffee, streaming services, a biker-friendly wash station, secure storage, and pet-friendly facilities. The 13-acre property is nestled in the tranquil Appalachian mountains.


77. Explore Cranberry Glades

Cranberry Glades, a geologic and botanic anomaly, houses plants typically found hundreds of miles north. A boardwalk provides a stroll through the glades, where wild cranberries, pitcher plants, and orchids captivate visitors.

Don’t miss the interesting and well-appointed Cranberry Mountain Nature Center nearby.


78. See Madonna on the Trail

Familiar with Madonna on the Trail monuments? These sculptures by August Leimbach form a 12-monument series from Maryland to California, honoring the spirit of U.S. pioneer women. The West Virginia monument is a National Historic Landmark commissioned by the NSDAR. It can be found on the National Road in Wheeling.


79. Dive Into a Magnificent Dinner at 1010 Bridge

Charleston’s hotspot, 1010 Bridge Restaurant, offers farm-to-table local cuisine and chef-inspired creations. Begin with the creamy White Pimento Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Wrapped Dates. No matter which entrée you choose, it will be sensational, but save room for the palate-pleasing desserts. 

Reservations are recommended.

Fun Fact: Chef Paul Smith was a 2023 James Beard Award finalist.


80. Indulge in a Luxury Stay

The beautiful and historic (circa 1925) Hotel Morgan in Morgantown, WV, is a memorable experience. With its elegant lobby and stunning chandeliers, you’ll be captivated when you step inside. The sophisticated rooms offer style and functionality, providing an exceptional user experience. 

Anvil + Ax is the onsite coffee and cocktail bar.


81. Pay Homage to the Iconic Big Boy

Charleston’s West Side features a tribute to the iconic Big Boy of Shoney’s restaurant fame. In 1947, on this very spot, the Parkette Drive-In and Bowling Alley was established by Alex and Betty Schoenbaum, notable philanthropists of the state.

Soon after, they acquired the Southeastern U.S. franchise rights for the Big Boy hamburger chain, which marked the beginning of their remarkable run in the restaurant business. At its peak, Shoney’s boasted 1,300 locations across 34 states.


82. See the Historic Grist Mill

Babcock State Park, one of West Virginia’s premier destinations, encompasses over 4000 acres of picturesque beauty. The park is home to the iconic Glade Creek Grist Mill, a favorite among photographers. With abundant opportunities for fishing and hiking, it offers an excellent escape into nature.

Additionally, Babcock State Park features 28 vacation rental cabins.


83. See an Outdoor Drama

Experience a live show at Theatre West Virginia, located in the serene outdoor setting of Grandview. Enjoy the captivating performance of “Honey in the Rock,” a long-running production that showcases the rich history of West Virginia since 1955. Don’t miss upcoming shows like Hatfields and McCoys and Rocket Boys: The Musical, as well as summer concerts.

With a picturesque view of the New River Gorge and a meticulously crafted amphitheater, thousands have been enchanted by these thrilling outdoor dramas.

Photo from Theatre West Virginia.

84. Get a Taste of Hinton

Located in downtown Hinton, WV, Lucky Rivers Cafe offers a unique dining experience. This vegan and vegetarian-friendly eatery features locally sourced, conscious cuisine with Appalachian influence. The Bohemian-style atmosphere exudes an eclectic charm.

Lucky Rivers Cafe’s menu reflects its commitment to providing health-conscious options while embracing new flavors and cultures. A popular choice is the Buddha Belly Bowl, but the Sunshine Salad, with goat cheese, roasted sweet potatoes, and candied pecans, is also highly recommended.


85. Tour a Famous Mansion

The Oglebay Mansion, located within the Oglebay Resort property, welcomes visitors for a nominal fee of $10 or $15, including the Glass Museum. Explore 13-period rooms tracing Wheeling’s history from its early settlement to the opulent Edwardian era. Additionally, encounter the Wymer General Store and Sinclair Pharmacy collections, alongside displays of American furniture, china, silver, glass, and toys. 

Oglebay Mansion Museum holds the distinction of being WV’s first accredited museum by the American Association of Museums. It once served as the elegant estate of Earl W. Oglebay, an industrialist from Cleveland.


86. Get Out on the Water With Inflatables

West Virginia State Park’s newest trend is the addition of entertaining inflatables, enhancing the excitement of their lake settings. Pipestem Resort State Park, the premier destination in Pipestem, WV, appeals to both those seeking serenity and, now more so, families looking for a fun getaway.

For a reasonable price, visitors can enjoy the Adventure Lake and Splash Park all-day pass, priced at $19 per person from mid-May through early September. This pass provides access to a range of activities, including climbing giant inflatable mountains, slides, trampolines, and a jumping pillow in the lake. 

Paddleboat rentals and beach areas are also available. Adults are welcome to join the fun.


87. Shop at a Five and Dime

Step back in time and experience the nostalgia of Berdine’s Five and Dime in Cairo, WV. This classic five-and-dime store will wow you with a vast assortment of toys, gifts, souvenirs, books, and penny candy. I can guarantee you will fall into this treasure trove’s rabbit hole. 


88. Stay in a Retro Roadside Motel

The Koolwink Motel in Romney, WV, is a charming, retro roadside attraction. The authentic furnishings provide a trendy and cool atmosphere. The spacious rooms are affordable, and the hospitality is fast and friendly. The inside features shag carpet, clown wall hangings, vintage coffee tables, and other antiques, while the outdoor chairs complement the natural setting, ideal for outdoor picnics. 

Since 1936, the Koolwink has been a family-owned establishment. It’s simply adorable!


89. Learn about WV’s Amazing Glass Industry

West Virginia’s captivating glass heritage is showcased at the Museum of American Glass in Weston. This free museum offers an enjoyable opportunity to explore various local, national, and international glasswares. Visitors can easily navigate the countless exhibits with its well-organized displays and labels.


90. Dine in a Historic Bank Building

The Vault on Main has transformed the downtown Summersville streets, blending culinary excellence with architectural beauty. Chef Libby Nolle’s tantalizing menu showcases the high-end farm-to-table concept, while live music and a hidden speakeasy downstairs create an unforgettable dining experience.


90. Find This Hidden Gem

Chestnut Ridge Artist Colony, nestled on pristine land in Spencer, WV, boasts the renowned Chestnut Ridge Winery. A haven for wine enthusiasts, this exquisite locale offers tastings, live music, and meet-ups with friends. The area houses world-renowned artists, while a nondescript sculpture park along the scenic route adds to its unique charm.

The mountain’s elevated vantage point showcases breathtaking city views, with numerous remarkable metal artworks for visitors to appreciate – all free.


92. Stroll Around Downtown Shepherdstown

Explore Shepherdstown’s German Street for locally-owned boutiques, independent restaurants, and unique entertainment. Chain stores are absent in this historic area, creating an opportunity to discover charming spots like Four Seasons Books, Rock Hill Creamery, Lost Dog Coffee, Creative Procrastinations, Mountaineer Popcorn, and the Press Room. You can spend hours delving into this colorful area.


93. Splash Around in Raleigh County

Lake Stephens in Raleigh County offers tons of fun, weather permitting. The 272-acre pristine mountain lake provides a swimming area. At the same time, the bold and colorful children’s Sprinkler Splash Pad adds excitement to this popular property. 

Enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and boating, with amenities such as a marina, concession stand, beach, and Aqua Water Park. RV spaces, tent camping, and cabin rentals are available.


94. Attend America’s Favorite Pastime

Join a Charleston Dirty Birds game at the stunning GoMart Ballpark in downtown Charleston. With a seating capacity of 4,500, this state-of-the-art facility was built at a cost of $25 million. 

Enjoy interactive activities, entertainment, and the Power Fun Zone during the games. Please be aware that this is a cashless venue. GoMart Ballpark also offers exciting promotions, such as sunrise and after-game yoga, furry friend Fridays, and fireworks after every Saturday game.


95. Hit the Country’s Best ATV Trails

The Hatfield-McCoy Trails system in West Virginia is renowned as one of the finest in the nation. People come from far and wide (literally all over the country and world) to visit rural WV to experience these exceptional outdoor adventures. 

With 11 already established trails in the historically coal-producing areas of the state, there is no shortage of thrilling rides. The trails are meticulously maintained, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. Exciting plans are underway to expand the trail system further due to high demand.

I’ve been on the Bearwallow (Logan) and Indian Ridge (Ashland) Trails and can attest to how incredible they are. I even saw a bear!


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I only listed 95 reasons but I can give you Why you should visit… – West Virginia

Sunday 10th of December 2017

[…] I only listed 95 reasons but I can give you more…. Why you should visit West Virginia, the Mountain State. Click here for original. […]

brett Mattson

Monday 10th of October 2016

My family and I are looking at transferring from Florida to West Virginia. After reading this article, I can say it definitely helps me make my decision to move to WV. Now to find a good city to live in that is centrally located so I can enjoy all of these things. Sounds Awesome.


Friday 14th of October 2016

Awesome! It was definitely a great place to live and bring our daughters up. There is so much beauty and outdoor adventures to see and do. Good luck! I hope it all works out for you.


Saturday 24th of September 2016

Don't forget about the hatfield mccoy trails and Chief Logan state park along with Cabwaylingo state park.


Monday 26th of September 2016

Yes, great suggestions. ;)

Jamie Italiane

Tuesday 14th of June 2016

Who knew? I love caves, so I must now add this state to places that I want to visit!


Tuesday 14th of June 2016

So many great things to see and do! I hope you make it!

Renne Simpson

Friday 11th of March 2016

The caves and the state park would probably be my faves...oh and all the food places you mentioned, yum!


Saturday 12th of March 2016

Thanks! Lots of fun things to see and do. ;)

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