palace of gold West Virginia

95 Things to See and Do to Visit West Virginia

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The Mountain State is calling! Here are 95 reasons to visit Wild, Wonderful West Virginia and what to do while you are there.

“Almost Heaven, West Virginia” is my home state. Having lived there for 44 years, I feel that I am an expert on The Mountain State. Though West Virginia catches a bad rap when it comes to lists and people poking fun at us, we take it in stride because we know better. West Virginia was a fantastic place to raise my family, a place where we felt safe and that offered us the opportunity to make a good living, have a beautiful home, and immerse ourselves the state’s culture.

West Virginia is home to astronauts, movie stars, Olympic medalists, inventors, musicians, authors, and Pulitzer Prize winners, to name a few. Here are 95 things to see and do in West Virginia that will clue you in on why people love visiting. 

West Virginia welcome sign

#1 Explore the Mystery Hole

The Mystery Hole, in Ansted, is a place where the Earth’s gravity is all out of whack. Water evens runs uphill in this odd attraction. The tour is fun and quirky, plus the drive getting there is beautiful. You’ll take heaps of pictures!

Touring the weird Mystery Hole is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#2 Visit the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Greenbank’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory has the world’s largest astronomical telescope. This one of a kind scientific wonder offers too many things to list; you have to see it to believe it! Wireless devices are banned here.

#3 Tune in to Steve Bishop on V100 FM Radio

Tune your FM radio to 99.9 to hear Steve Bishop (and partner Jenny) for the Steve and Jenny in the Morning radio show. Steve is Charleston’s favorite DJ and makes you feel like part of the station’s extended family. 

Here are 95 things to see and do when you visit West Virginia.

#4 Visit West Virginia for the Whitewater Rafting

Paddlers rank West Virginia as one of the top river destinations in the world for both technicality and scenery (think towering cliffs). Maybe that is why thousands of tourists flock here to brave the class 5 and 6 rapids. Newer paddlers will love the Lower Gauley River portion, and daredevils will welcome the Upper Gauley’s challenges. These combined rivers drop 650 feet in 24 short miles. Hang on!

Going whitewater rafting down the Gauley River is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#5 See the Famous Hatfields Gravesite

The Hatfields, of the Hatfields and McCoys feud fame, are buried in West Virginia. Visit the family cemetery where the site of “Devil Anse” remains. This feud is a local favorite, while Kevin Costner made the historical drama into a TV event that drew in millions of viewers.

hatfield-mccoy-cemetary
Photos by Jerome Wall.

#6 Take a Ghost Tour

I first learned about this fun ghost tour through Southern Living Magazine about 15 years ago. In Parkersburg, presences are felt from Civil War days, haunted hotels exist, railroad ghosts thrill ghost hunters, and an alien spaceship touched down here, from the “Mothman Prophecies.” It is no wonder that this is a spiritual world favorite, and the tour is a way to get your feet wet. If you are fearless, spend the night at the Blennerhassett Hotel.

#7 Eat at WV’s Best Restaurant

My favorite restaurant in the state of West Virginia is Cafe Cimino, in Sutton, about an hour from Charleston. The owners, Melody and her husband Chef Tim, prepare and serve top-quality organic and local (when possible) food and wine in a cozy inn setting. My go-to meal is the House Roasted Red Pepper appetizer, Filet Mignon Gorgonzola, and for dessert, the Zabaglione. Enjoy a glass of wine and nibble on tapas in the artsy little riverside bar on the back of the property.

dessert cafe cimino wv

#8 Play Bingo

N-35. I-26. B-5. BINGO! The stakes are high at the Dunbar Bingo establishment that also sells tips (I’m a junkie for these instant prize winners) and delicious homemade food. This is a fun evening’s entertainment for less than $30. Maybe you will win one of the big $500 or $1K jackpots, or other big prize money. Profits benefit local school groups.

Playing bingo at the Dunbar Athletic Boosters is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#9 Shop the Greenbrier’s Holiday Store

The fancy Christmas Shop at the Depot, outside of the train station at the Greenbrier Resort, is open year-round and has the most fabulous decorations I have ever seen! Who doesn’t love a good Christmas store? Even the smells are spot on. Many US Presidents and the elite have visited West Virginia for the Greenbrier Resort experience. 

#10 Have A Fabulous Photo Taken

Kanawha Falls is a vast and impressive waterfall across the Kanawha River in Glen Farris. I never drive by without stopping to capture a photograph of its beauty. The contrast of the falls shimmering behind a rusted old power plant is impressive.

Photographing Kanawha Falls is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.


#11 Eat at a Nostalgic Place

Located on I-60 in Smithers, Burger Carte is a nostalgic and unique eatery. It is THE place to go when you are jonesing for a serious burger, fries, and milkshake. Burger Carte’s fish sandwiches are pretty tasty, too.

#12 Go Tubing or Kayak Down the Greenbrier River

Spend a relaxing day on the Greenbrier River in a recreational activity that anyone can do: floating in an intertube. Canoeing and kayaking are also fun choices. Tie your beer cooler on for an even more enjoyable time. 

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95 things west virginia

#13 Attend the WV Wine and All That Jazz Festival at UC

The University of Charleston is the perfect setting along the Kanawha River to host the lively WV Wine and All That Jazz Festival. Hundreds of boaters anchor around the school to hear the music while thousands of guests sample wine and bring their blankets and lawn chairs for this fun social event. The daylong festivities benefit the Funds for the Arts program.

university of charleston wv

#14 Play the Slots or Table Games at Mardi Gras Casino

West Virginia’s premier gambling facility houses greyhound dog racing, slots, and table games, as well as a couple of restaurants and a 150-room attached hotel. The casino is 60,000 square feet and has over 1,000 slot machines that use the TITO (ticket in, ticket out) method. In case you had not guessed, the theme is Mardi Gras.

Gambling at the Mardi Gras Casino Resort is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
(source)

#15 Watch a Thundering Herd Football Game

Marshall University’s football team is the big draw in Huntington when the Joan C. Edwards Stadium fills 40,000 people to cheer on the Thundering Herd. Marshall has produced some excellent football players, including Randy Moss and Chad Pennington. Marshall currently has eight alumni playing in the NFL.

marshall-university-football
Photo by Hope Johnson.

#16 See the Beauty of the Monongahela National Forest

There is beautiful natural scenery in the Allegheny Mountains, a real working forest. Well over one million tourists will visit the forest for its wildlife, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and other recreational activities.


#17 Visit West Virginia’s Beautiful State Capitol

West Virginia is home to the most beautiful state capital of them all. The intricate architecture is overshadowed by its 293 ft gold dome. The inside of the capitol complex is made mostly of imported marble. Its grounds lie across the street from the beautiful setting of the Kanawha River.

west-virginia-state-capitol-dome

#18 Tour the Blenko Glass Company

Blenko is a brand of hand-blown glass that has been produced in West Virginia since 1893 and is seen and sold around the world. They offer free tours and have an observation area for watching the glassmaking.

blenko-glassware-west-virginia

#19 Take in a Mountain Stage Concert

Join host Larry Groce nearly every Sunday evening at the WV Cultural Center for a concert recording, unlike any you have ever attended. West Virginia Public Radio’s nationally syndicated show, “Mountain Stage“, has been going strong in the Kanawha Valley for over 30 years. Shows typically feature four to six artists, and the venue is incredibly intimate. I have seen many fantastic artists here through the years, with my favorites being Natalie Merchant, Jonatha Brooke, and Zap Mama. Music genres include alternative, world music, country, indie rock, blues, and folk. This live show is a reason that people visit West Virginia. 

Jason mraz at clay center wv

#20 Soar in a Treetops Canopy Tour

Zipline your way through the hemlock forest of the New River Gorge in a Treetops canopy tour. Activities also include hiking, rappelling, and sky bridges. Whether you’ve zipped a million times or once, Treetops Canopy Tour is a great adventure.

#21 Listen to Bluegrass Music

The location for authentic bluegrass does not get better than right here in the center of Appalachia. Children learn to play at an early age and have impromptu jam sessions.

#22 Shop the Bridge Road Shops

Located in my old “neck of the woods” are the upscale South Hills shops, now referred to as the Bridge Road Shops. Whether just browsing or doing some serious shopping, be sure to check out Yarid’s for the fantastic shoe selection, Sarah’s Bakery for the best sweets in Charleston, Geranium’s for ladies’ clothing and accessories, and Bridge Road Bistro for one of the best meals around. All shops are locally owned, and community-supported.

eggplant at Bridge road shoppes

#23 Spend the Weekend at Stonewall Resort

The Stonewall Resort is in West Virginia’s rolling hills and is full of outdoor fun. The grounds feature an Arnold Palmer Golf course (one of the finest in the state), patios, lush greens, a fire pit, and gorgeous scenery. The “Adirondack-style” resort is lovely and provides excellent service as well as a stellar kids program, three onsite restaurants (I am a fan of Stillwater), swimming facilities, and a spa. You can even rent a boat from their marina!

#24 Plan a Picnic at Kanawha State Forest

Kanawha State Forest is only seven miles outside of Charleston and is the perfect spot for a family picnic, gathering, or celebration. There are playgrounds, hiking trails, mountain biking opportunities, and covered shelters for picnics and parties. Pets are welcome, too.

#25 Shop at the Crowder Auction QVC Showcase

This fast-paced auction house is home to QVC merchandise and tons of it. Whether it is clothing, electronics, housewares, tools, jewelry, purses, appliances, or dishes you are looking for, the Crowder Auction has you covered. Sign up for a number upon arrival and let the fun begin. You will score big time at this fun and entertaining live auction run by auctioneer Carl Crowder.

crowder auction wv

#26 Tour the WV State Wildlife Center

Located in French Creek, the West Virginia State Wildlife Center is home to owls, raccoons, bison, river otters, and bears plus many other local animals. How did I live in WV for 44 years and never make it to this place?

#27 See the Mothman Statue

Mothman, the creature with the glowing red eyes, singlehandedly terrorized the town of Point Pleasant, plus a movie was made about it.

mothman-statue-west-virginia
Photo by Linda Adams.

#28 Ride Through a Coal Mine

West Virginia made its living through coal for many years and at this attraction, guests ride through the vintage mine in an actual coal car. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine ceased in 1953, but tours began nine years later. Everyone my age has been on at least one school field trip to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.

#29 Watch a Baseball Game 

Come out and enjoy America’s favorite pastime at Appalachian Power Park with the West Virginia Power. The Power is West Virginia’s minor league baseball team and is the class-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The park itself is remarkable and hosts many fun and charity events.

#30 See the World’s Largest Teapot

Located in Chester, this stop promotes the teapot industry, and the building even looks like one.

#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 the perfect place to walk, ride bikes or horses, and enjoy nature. It also offers designated spots to stop and rest or jump in the river for a quick cool down.

#32 Visit the Pearl S. Buck Birthplace

See the historic home, now converted museum of Pearl S. Buck in Hillsboro. Buck was the first American woman to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. The home is in one of my favorite parts of West Virginia; you will get a good dose of country charm and majestic mountains.

Touring the Pearl Buck birthplace is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Jo Williams.

#33 RelaxYou’ve Reached Domestic

“Relax, you’ve reached Domestic” is the tagline for this popular Shepherdstown eatery. The college town restaurant is a foodie’s delight and a real hit with the hipster crowd. I will take the Mushroom Napoleon and the Brown Butter Cajun Catfish, please. Do not miss the craft beer, wine, and cocktail selections.

#34 See a Live Concert

Attend one of the Live on the Levee outdoor concerts in Charleston for a night of free entertainment in a family-friendly atmosphere. The tranquil river setting is the perfect backdrop. Street vendors are available for food and drinks. Better yet, pull up along the river in your boat and beat the crowds.

Seeing a Live at the Levee concert is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#35 Go Caving

My favorite caves in West Virginia also offer gemstone mining and unique souvenirs. Take the 165 feet deep path into the 4.5 million-year-old cave to see the unique geological formations of Seneca Caverns. The most recognizable are stalagmites, stalactites, and flowstone.

Exploring Seneca Caverns is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Seneca Caverns.

#36 See a Famous Battlefield

Visit the site of the last major American Civil War conflict at Droop Mountain Battlefield at this 3104 feet elevation in Pocahontas County. Chances are, you haven’t driven roads like this in your life as the ones getting to it. 

#37 Attend a Funeral Parade

Dress in your Mardi Gras inspire costume, and do not forget your best umbrella for Charleston’s annual Funeral Parade. This New Orleans style parade dances down Capitol Street to the sounds of the River Rat Band the Saturday before Labor Day (for 30 years now!)

#38 Dine in a Former Church

Locals love this 100+-year-old stone church, now a restaurant. Cathedral Cafe offers tasty sandwiches, soups, and drinks in downtown Fayetteville.

Eating at the Cathedral Cafe is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
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#39 Take a Drive to Hawk’s Nest State Park

Hawk’s Nest State Park is bursting with beauty and fun in the form of stunning panoramic views, wildlife, an aerial tram to the river, hiking, and a jet boat adventure ride. The rooms are cheap if you wish to stay and the restaurant is not bad either.

Visiting Hawk's Nest State Park is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#40 Drive Through Christmas Lights

One of the top-rated Christmas light displays in America 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 10 best Christmas light displays in the US by AOL Travel.

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#41 Tour Historic Harper’s Ferry

John Brown’s Fort, found at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, is where John Brown and his followers barricaded themselves during the infamous raid that sparked the American Civil War. The views are spectacular and draw around one million visitors per year. Ghost tours are available, too.

#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, so be sure to get your passport stamped. 

new-river-gorge-bridge

#43 Visit 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.

#44 Stroll Through Tamarack

Tamarack is a huge artisan center full of quality West Virginia handicrafts and artwork in Beckley, conveniently located off of the WV Turnpike. These are not typical tourist trinkets on display, but an impressive selection of upscale arts and crafts. The Greenbrier Resort manages an onsite cafeteria offering delicious food and drinks. Try the fried green tomatoes!

#45 Eat a Biscuit Sandwich 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). FYI: The real name is Biscuit World, but the locals only know it as Tudor’s. 

tudors biscuit world

#46 Indulge in a Healing Spa

Berkeley Springs has 102° mineral waters to enjoy in private walk-in tubs. This is one of the nation’s oldest health “healing spas”, most notably used by George Washington for  years.

#47 Tour the Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charles Town

The Bloomery Plantation Distillery grows their lemons and makes limoncello to rival their Italian counterparts. This is a fun and funky spot where you can enjoy a delicious tasting. It has been featured on Food Network.

#48 Attend a Performance at Clay Center

Charleston’s premier performance hall, the Clay Center, is home to big-name entertainment, concerts, Broadway shows, and comedy acts. The calendar of events has something for everyone. My favorite performances were Jason Mraz and Peter Frampton.

Seeing a concert or Broadway Show at The Clay Center is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#49 Tour Historic Homes of Bramwell

Once the wealthiest neighborhood in West Virginia, the town of Bramwell is a delight to explore. About ten historical homes open their doors to the public once a year 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

Walkthrough the Prabhupada’s glimmer temples created by the Hare Krishna community. The palace’s interior is that of opulence with over 50 varieties of marble and onyx, stained glass windows, and mirrored ceilings. The grounds mostly resemble the Indian Kingdom full of lush gardens and lovely waterfalls. Do not miss the lotus pond! 

palace of gold West Virginia

#51 Eat a Pepperoni Roll

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 are the official state food of West Virginia. Once you try one, you’re hooked.

#52 See a Covered Bridge

Locust Creek Bridge is a beautiful covered bridge in Hillsboro that is well worth the drive.

covered bridge West Virginia

#53 Tour a Famed Mental Hospital

This stone psychiatric hospital was operational for 130 years, performing more lobotomies than anywhere else in the nation. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is open for tours and has a reputation for being haunted. TV’s “Ghost Adventures” (Travel Channel) and “Ghost Hunters” (Syfy) have visited the site and cannot explain all of the hauntings that they witnessed.

Taking a haunted tour of Trans-Allegheny Asylum is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Brianna Mullins.

#54 Ride the Cass Scenic Railroad Train

Springtime is the perfect time to plan your trip on the Cass Scenic Railroad Train because the meadow on top of the mountain is abloom with wildflowers. The setting looks like something out of “Sound of Music”!

#55 Catch the Blue and Gold 

Make a trip to Morgantown to see the Mountaineer basketball team play, coached by the legendary Bob Huggins, “Huggy Bear.” The Coliseum setup will have you wrapped up in all of the action and cheering along with the student section in no time.

Attending a WVU basketball game is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Carl Jenkins.

#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 is Boone County and a major tourist attraction. Bring the whole family for plenty of fun with water slides, a lazy river, Olympic size pool, miniature golf, and picnic facilities. Coolers are even allowed.

#58 Attend the Annual WV State Fair

Outstanding eats, entertainment, a variety of competitions, carnival-style rides, and games are what you will find at this incredible 10-day event in Lewisburg. I love the livestock competition and all of the fun amusement style rides. Go for the eats, if nothing more. 

Going to the state fair is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Quilt exhibit at the WV State Fair. Photo by Jo Williams.

#59 Sip Some Wine 

Friendly staff and tasty local wines make a visit to Forks of Cheat Winery worth the visit. Besides wine, this biggest wine producer in West Virginia also offer delicious rums. Cheat Winery is a lesser-known gem nestled in the Appalachian Mountains in Morgantown.

#60 Discover Lost World Caverns

Lost World Caverns is a self-guided cave in Lewisburg where you can spend as much time as you wish to explore the rocks and crevices throughout the 120 feet deep cave. The cave remains at 52º year-round and contains gorgeous formations. The Snowy Chandelier is quite impressive.

#61 Climb the State’s Most Famous Rocks

Located in Grant County, Seneca Rocks has rock “fins” rising over 300 feet out of a hillside. There is also a climbing school that has been in business for 40 years. Seneca Rocks are for serious climbers!

Climbing Seneca Rocks is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Angie Richards.

#62 Eat Pizza and Beer from Pies & Pints

My favorite pizza ever! Pies & Pints lets you order one pie and choose two different combinations. The restaurant offers a decent happy hour and has many beers on tap to choose from. PBR for $1, sign me up!

Enjoying a pizza and craft beer from Pies & Pints is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#63 Go Birding

Parkersburg is home to more than 250 species of birds, including red-breasted mergansers,  ruddy duck, common loon, and horned grebe. Grab your binoculars and start the hunt.

#64 Eat a West Virginia Dog

This restaurant in Huntington has been featured on Food Network shows in the past and offers dozens of different hot dog combinations. Hillbilly Hot Dog’s decor is tacky and packed with dozens of dusty trinkets, but people love it! There is certainly a lot to look at.

hillbilly hotdogs Huntington
Photo by Anita Lucy Spradling.

#65 Browse an Art Museum

The Huntington Museum of Art is a wonderful way to explore art in various forms. From a huge Dale Chihuly glass piece to paintings by Picasso, Lichtenstein, and Rauschenberg, you’ll find a little of everything in this impressive gallery. 

huntington museum of art

#66 Camp at Summersville Lake

One of my favorite seasonal activities in West Virginia was taking our boat to Summersville Lake and camping nearby. This man-made freshwater lake is formed by a rockfill dam and can be up to 327 feet deep in some parts. The incredible rock cliffs line the lake make for excellent bass, catfish, and walleye fishing. Summersville Lake has plenty of camping sites, boats, and cabins available to rent.

Hanging out on Summersville Lake is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Cassidy Stanley.

#67 Tour the West Virginia State Penitentiary

Located in Moundsville, this 1876 gothic tourist favorite has a creepy history with riots, fires, and over 100 executions. Ask about the Greenbrier Ghost on your visit to the WV State Penitentiary.

Moundsville penitentiary
The haunted Moundsville Prison tour. Check out the orbs! Photo by Jo Williams.

#68 Check Off Fish Hatchery from Your Bucket List

(That was a joke) The WV Department of Natural Resources operates a few of them. The Golden Rainbow Trout was first bred in West Virginia!

#69 Stroll the Downtown Shops and Restaurants

Lewisburg is located in the heart of Greenbrier County and has the charms of a small country town with the hipster attitude that sets it apart from anywhere else in the state. Award-winning galleries and upscale shops line the main drag as well as tasty restaurants. My choices for eats are Food & Friends and Stardust Cafe. If you visit in April, don’t miss the Annual Chocolate Festival.

Visiting the charming town of Lewisburg is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.

#70 Have a Resort Adventure

Enjoy Stonewall Jackson Resort by kayak or boat ride. Other fun activities include taking a bike ride and spotting wildlife along the way, swimming in the indoor/outdoor pool, or soaking in the outdoor hot tub. At night, sit by the campfire with an adult beverage or roast marshmallows.

kayaking-west-virginia-river

#71 Take Time to Play

There is something for everyone at Ace Adventure. The lake has giant inflatables to climb and jump from, such as large icebergs and slides. A huge “Blob” that looks like a big pillow can catapult a person at least 20 feet in the air with one jumper following another. Ace Adventure also has a zip line across the lake that is quite popular and offers mountaintop zip lining and white water rafting just a short bus ride from the lake. You can also stay in one of their cabins.

ace adventure zip lining wv

#72 Shop the Capitol Market

Charleston’s premier fresh-food destination is that of a former rail yard. Exposed brick and trendy decor make Capitol Market visually appealing. Still, the biggest draw is the fresh vendor stalls outside (weather permitting) and the onsite restaurants, coffee shop, and local merchants. Buy all of your seasonal items here, too, such as Christmas trees and pumpkins.

capitol market in charleston wv

#73 See Living History

Huntington’s Heritage Farm Museum & Village offers an open-air look at Appalachian life and culture and what amazing West Virginia industries have provided through the years. Many authentic period structures are located on the property. It was also recently named West Virginia’s first Smithsonian Affiliate Institution.

Huntington's heritage farm museum

#74 Shop for Discounted Fiestaware

The outlet mall at Flatwoods has a Homer Laughlin China Co. Fiestaware shop that features deep discounts on this famous West Virginia made pottery. Did you know West Virginia produced these beloved dishes?


#75 Go Snow Tubing 

Winterplace Ski Resort is home to epic snow tubing, the largest in the state! Winterplace features two super tubing carpet lifts and 20 lanes of sliding fun. No gear? No problem. Rent everything you need on the premises.

Skiing or tubing at Winterplace Ski Resort is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Keith Allen.

#76 Spend the Weekend at a Historic Inn

The Glen Ferris Inn has a gorgeous landscape and epic views of Kanawha Falls that crosses the entire river. I like to treat myself to the “penthouse” and keep an eye out for the themed dinners. German is the Inn’s specialty, and it is worth the drive.

#77 Explore Cranberry Glades

This peat bog is a geologic and botanic anomaly; the plants that grow here are hundreds of miles north. A boardwalk allows for strolling through the glades and seeing the cranberries grow wild. Do not miss the pitcher plants and orchids.

Exploring beautiful Cranberry Glades is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Jo Williams.

#78 Eat Local

This top-rated bistro is a delight for the palate. Thyme Bistro, a sustainable restaurant in Weston, is friendly and nicely decorated; one would never expect to find such upscale eats in this quaint, country town. Venture out and try exotic dishes such as rabbit noodle soup, beef Bourguignon, and cottage pie.

#79 Go Molly Moocher Hunting

Better known as morel mushrooms, they can be found and picked from March to early May in the damp woods. These mushrooms are delicious!

#80 Enjoy a Touch of European Elegance

Visit the Bavarian Inn in Shepherdstown, overlooking the Potomac River, in one of the cutest, small towns in West Virginia. Stroll around Shepherdstown to shop in unique stores and dine at locally-owned restaurants.

#81 Maneuver Through a Corn Maze

A seasonal activity in Milton that attracts huge crowds and is fun for the entire family is the impressive Corn Maze. You can eat some tasty treats while you are there, too. 

#82 Hike Dolly Sods

Sitting at the top of Dolly Sods, a mountain ridge near Canaan Valley is like entering another world. You can drive to the top of the mountain and then walk along the rock formations to enjoy the views. Most of the trees only have limbs on one side due to the almost constant winds. 

Seeing the one-sided trees at Dolly Sods is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Painting of the one-sided trees at Dolly Sods by Dave Richards.

#83 See an Outdoor Drama

Watch a live show in a relaxed outdoor setting at Grandview Theatere, a cliffside amphitheater. “Honey in the Rock” is a WV based show that has been playing for dozens of years, preserving West Virginia’s history since 1955 (although I prefer to see the touring productions).

#84 Treat Yourself  to Mexican Food Perfection

Cozumel at Ashton Place is “the” place for delicious fajitas, finger-licking good chips and cheese dip, and spicy salsa on the Corridor G, right outside of Charleston. Cozumel Mexican Restaurant is a neighborhood favorite and referred to as “Cozy” by the locals.

Cozumel fajitas charleston wv

#85 Visit Cacapon State Park

Take a trail ride and stop by the equestrian center. The rolling hills in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle are great for exploring.

#86 Dine at a Charleston Favorite: Bluegrass Kitchen

The Steele’s know how to please Charlestonians and tourists alike with their farm-to-table comfort food choices, including vegan and vegetarian options, prepared with a modern twist. Occasional live music and local artists’ work pop from the walls in this brunch, lunch, and “supper” eatery sure to satisfy your hunger and thirst.

Dining at Bluegrass Kitchen is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Hope Johnson.

#87 Enjoy Swiss Dining 

The Helvetia “HOO-tay” is a hidden jewel on a curvy mountain road near Buchannon. Stop when you reach the Swiss-style buildings because you are in for an authentic treat, a Swiss one. Helvetia Hutte has a charming, homey setting that feels like “home.” Sign me up for the Sunday buffet!

#88 Have an Excellent Pastry

Oh my, the day Sarah’s Bakery opened up, my pants immediately started fitting tighter. Master baker Sarah Plumley could compete with any bakery, anywhere, and come out a champion. For sweets, I prefer the whoopie pies, scones, and strawberry danish, but my heart was stolen by the quiche the first time I tried it.

#89 Ski the Slopes

Snowshoe is a resort for all seasons. The winter months are famous for skiing, snowmobiling, and snow tubing at the most popular ski resort in West Virginia. Summer months are perfect for mountain biking, 4×4 tours along the mountain trails. Several weekend festivals bring visitors from all over the country year-round. 

#90 Sing “Country Roads” at the Milan Puskar Stadium

Although the entire WVU football game experience at Milan Puskar Stadium is something that you will be sure to remember, nothing compares to singing “Country Roads” with every other fan in the stadium (especially after a win). It is electric!

west-virginia-university-stadium

#91 Sleep in a Tower

You’ll be afforded incredible views of Pocahontas County (my favorite!) and the Greenbrier River Valley when you sleep in Thorny Mountain Fire Tower. At a height of 53 feet tall, the birds-eye view and unique setting is worth your while.

#92 Attend Bridge Day

See the BASE jumpers leap more than 800 feet off of the New River Gorge Bridge into the river below as the crowds cheer them on during the annual Bridge Day each October.

#93 Go Hike

Hop on the Appalachian Trail to explore West Virginia’s beautiful contribution to the world’s longest hiking-only trail. This 28-mile portion in West Virginia passes through historic Harper’s Ferry, the site of John Brown’s Raid in the Civil War. Two million people hike the trail throughout the country each year.

#94 Take Fido to the Dog Park

Let your dogs play off of their leash at the Ruth Rafferty Peyton dog park in Charleston’s East End. Relax on a bench while your dogs run and play.

Taking your pet to the East End Pet Park is a fun thing to do when you go to West Virginia.
Photo by Jerome Wall.

#95 Stroll Down Capitol Street

Capitol Street is arguably the most popular street in Charleston and where all of the memories of days gone by took place. Gone are the huge department and chain stores, but in their place, locally owned restaurants and shops that are fun to browse and explore. 

capitol-street-west-virginia

Surely this is enough reasons for you to want to visit Almost Heaven, West Virginia. Need more? Message me and I’m happy to provide additional suggestions. 

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95 things to see in West Virginia pin
Here are 95 things to see and do when you visit West Virginia.

Check out some of our other West Virginia posts:

Weekend Itinerary for Charleston 

4 Day Trips in WV

 
*** A special thank you to Angie Richards and Pama Rutledge for their contributions to this post.

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