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8 Fun West Virginia Day Trips You Won’t Want to Miss

8 Fun West Virginia Day Trips You Won’t Want to Miss

West Virginia, also known as the Mountain State, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, roadside attractions, history buffs, and foodies. With its natural beauty, interesting attractions, and mouth-watering cuisine, it’s no wonder that West Virginia day trips are a popular itinerary for tourists and locals alike. In this blog post, we’ll share 8 must-visit fun West Virginia day trips you won’t want to miss, including the top attractions and where you will want to grab some grub.

Inflatables at Pipestem State Park.

1. Huntington

Over in the western part of the state, Huntington is home to Marshall University and boasts a lively arts and entertainment scene. For a family-friendly outing, check out the Huntington Museum of Art, which features a collection of American and European art and a gorgeous Chihuly glass sculpture. You have to see the exotic plants in the conservatory to believe they are in Huntington, WV!

Huntington is also home to Heritage Farm Museum, a living history museum that is one of the best around. During the holidays, it becomes an Appalachian Christmas Village the first two weekends in December. Heritage Farm Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate.


Two other great attractions are Camden Park, a 100+ year-old retro amusement park, and the Ritter Park Rose Garden, with over 3,000 roses in bloom during the summer months.

My go-to Huntington eatery is Bahnhof WVrsthaus & Biergarten, where you’ll find tasty German cuisine and honkin’ big cream puffs. Craving classic diner food? Check out Hillbilly Hot Dogs in nearby Lesage, which has appeared on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives.


Tip #1: Huntington is six miles from Ceredo, where you’ll find Kenova’s Pumpkin House (a seasonal attraction), and Rocco’s Ristorante, an awesome Italian eatery.

2. Lewisburg

Lewisburg is a charming mountain town known for its historic downtown district and fine dining and shopping scene. Honestly, it’s fun to just wander the downtown area with no agenda and soak up the sights people-watching. Lewisburg is also home to the famous West Virginia State Fair.


Stop by the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company for a local brew and then take a stroll around the town’s numerous boutiques. If you are a festival fan, visit Lewisburg in April for the Chocolate Festival, August for the Literary Festival, and October for A Taste of Our Town (TOOT).


For a special meal, enjoy Stardust Cafe’s farm-to-table cuisine in a cozy atmosphere or supreme vegetarian tacos at Thunderbird Taco. No matter which restaurant you choose, you truly cannot go wrong with the dining choices in Lewisburg.


To read more about how to spend more time in beautiful and historic Lewisburg, check out this post.

Tip #2: Fifteen minutes away is the iconic Greenbrier Resort, a steeped in history and fame luxury resort decorated by Dorothy Draper, dating to 1778. Here, you’ll find a world-class shopping arcade, gambling, dining, year-round Christmas store, championship golf courses, and 55 other amenities.


3. Fairmont

Fairmont is a friendly city in north-central West Virginia with a rich history. A highlight of my visit to Fairmont was Prickett’s Fort State Park, which offers a glimpse into life on the frontier. Another must-visit is the East Marion Park, which has a splash pad and other activities for kids.

Feast on impeccable Italian food at Muriales Restaurant and Lounge, then grab a memorable dessert creation from Dairy Creme Corner or the Poky Dot. These three establishments alone are worth the trip. For those who remember crunch coat on dipped cones from their youth, Dairy Creme Corner has it.


Tip #3: You have many choices for other areas to add on within 20 miles or so. First, Morgantown, home to West Virginia University, is only 14 miles away. Bridgeport is 15 miles, and Cheat Lake is 20. You’ll find an abundance of breweries in this area, as well as exploring the Core Arboretum and the fun offerings at Morgantown’s Seneca Center.

Grab a coffee and pastry from the delicious Almost Heaven Desserts & Coffee Shop, with locations in Bridgeport and Morgantown.


4. Hinton

Found in the southern part of the state, Hinton, the New River Gateway, is famous for its coal-mining history and world-class fishing. Amtrak runs right through town (there is a depot!), and the downtown district is certainly creating a buzz.

Don’t miss the Hinton Railroad Museum (free admission!), Hinton Veterans Museum, and a fabulous lunch at Lucky Rivers Cafe.


You’ll also be in close proximity to both Pipestem and Bluestone State Parks. Pipestem’s Splash Park and Adventure Lake offers the cool lake inflatables for those who want to get out on the water. Bluestone is excellent for boating, kayaking, and fishing. Also at Pipestem are dozens of amenities and an aerial tram.

In Talcott, less than ten minutes away, you can pay homage to the WV folk legend, John Henry at the John Henry Historical Park.


Tip #4: Twenty minutes away, you can snap your picture in one of the fun Almost Heaven swings at Bluestone Lake, or have a decadent meal in a stunning setting at The Oak in Pipestem.


5. Shepherdstown

Located in the Eastern Panhandle, 90 minutes from Washington, DC, Shepherdstown is a quaint town, again with lots of history and fantastic shopping. The main draw here is the Antietam National Battlefield, (the Bloodiest Day in American History),which is a short drive away in Maryland and is a must-visit for history buffs.

Pencil in a chance to see the James Rumsey (inventor of the steamboat) Monument overlooking the Potomac River.


I go to Shepherdstown for strolling around downtown and shopping in the local boutiques, as well as having a decadent coffee drink from Lost Dog. Don’t miss O’Hurley’s General Store, almost 100 years old and filled with room after room of general store mercantile-style items.


For a taste of the local cuisine, head to the Blue Moon Cafe (a casual eatery) or the Press Room, for a more sophisticated dining experience. Don’t skip the pâté appetizer.


Tip #5: Ten miles away is Charles Town, WV, where you’ll find primo casino action, and also Boonsboro, MD, home to New York Times best-selling author, Nora Roberts, and also Washington Monument State Park, the first monument dedicated to the memory of George Washington.

Be sure to check out Nora’s Turn the Page Bookstore and Inn BoonsBoro, owned by she and her husband. Pick up bagels from Royalicious for the car ride.

6. Weston

This small town in central West Virginia is home to several unique attractions, including the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a former mental hospital that now offers multiple photography, history, and ghost tours. Prepare to be wowed and amazed at this cool offering, which has been featured on numerous TV shows.


Another must-see in Weston is the Museum of American Glass, a free attraction, where you can learn about the history of glassmaking in the tristate region.


For a bite to eat, check out the Thyme Bistro for a farm-to-table dining experience. For a quicker, more casual stop, consider Dave’s Famous T&L Hot Dogs, where you can sink your teeth into the state’s iconic dish.


Tip #6: Need more? The darling town of Buckhannon is 13 miles away. If you go, my suggestions are Audra State Park, matcha from Stone Tower Brews, fried zucchini from C.J. Maggie’s, and a world-class pepperoni roll from The Donut Shop.

7. Wheeling

Wheeling is a city in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle, 45 minutes from Pittsburgh, PA, that is richly steeped in history. The main attraction here is Oglebay Resort, a wealth of offerings, such as the Good Zoo, Glass Museum, Mansion Museum, Bissonette Gardens, Schenk Lake, golf course, and the world-famous Oglebay Festival of Lights at Christmastime.


Be sure to explore downtown Wheeling’s Centre Market, from the 1850s, housing and surrounded by local shops, restaurants, and art installments and galleries. For more shopping around the Mountain State, here are nearly 40 you may want to consider, with Under the Elder Tree Apothecary & Healing Arts being one of them.

You will glimpse the Wheeling Suspension Bridge on your way, spanning the Ohio River. This important and gorgeous Civil War bridge linked the eastern and western sections of the National Road.


For classic pub fare, check out Generations Pub and Restaurant for the burgers, salads, and excellent appetizers. They have indoor and outdoor seating.

Tip #7: Ten miles away is Moundsville, where you’ll find the fascinating Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold Hare Krishna attraction. There are several group tours each day; photos are not allowed inside the palace, but that is only one of the things to see and do at this property.


8. Fayetteville

Located in southern West Virginia, Fayetteville is a small town that boasts big outdoor adventure and part of West Virginia’s only national park. Without a doubt, the main attraction here is the New River Gorge National Park and Bridge, the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere offering spectacular views.


For an adrenaline rush, you can experience the thrill of whitewater rafting on the New River or doing a bridge walk underneath the gorgeous New River Gorge Bridge. And you wouldn’t want to miss shopping in downtown Fayetteville, a treasure trove of shops, plus a darling local performing arts theater and coffee shop.


After a day of adventure, head to Pies and Pints for some of the best pizza and beer in the state.

The Mystery Hole, eight miles away in Ansted, is a quirky West Virginia attraction where the laws of gravity are defied. Water actually runs uphill due to a mysterious gravitational force. Take the tour to be amazed, but if not, at least enjoy the cheesy gift shop and photo-op of the VW stuck in the side of the building.


You can also enjoy Ansted’s cute little downtown area, park, shops, and Gran Robbie’s for great food and coffee.


Tip #8: If you are driving from Charleston, a stop at the retro Burger Carte, a local eatery serving yummy burgers, fries, and milkshakes, is a must. Enjoy your meal outside on one of their picnic tables.

Tip #9: Need more? Beckley is 20 miles away, where you can explore the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and shop Tamarack Marketplace, showcasing the best artisans in the Mountain State.


West Virginia: A Nature Lover’s Playground

West Virginia is a state you will want to visit again and again—especially after discovering the majestic mountains and friendly locals. You will be in awe of the natural beauty of the state and opportunities to be at one with nature. We hope you enjoy taking our “Country Roads” with these eight West Virginia day trips.

Drive safe.

Be sure to tag your Almost Heaven swing photos with #almostheaven.

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Tuesday 29th of October 2019

This is a really neat article, I love how you did a virtual tour and gave the history on the town. I always love learning new things and I certainly learned a lot.

Melody Pittman

Tuesday 12th of November 2019

Thanks for reading!

INSPO: 10 Places in the U.S. Every Writer Should See - Postcard Press

Thursday 25th of October 2018

[…] Social: Lewisburg is a good place to stop, with art galleries, specialty shops, and also great bars and restaurants if you want to amp up your festivities. […]


Monday 13th of July 2015

I just love these old American states! So much history and also amazing wilderness to explore too. The list of places to visit in the US just grows and grows!


Tuesday 14th of July 2015

I hope you make it over here soon! We need to visit Disney!

Anne @ Girl Chasing Sunshine

Monday 13th of July 2015

My heart is thumping and jumping with the thought of seeing the jumpers during Bridge Day! Must be a thrill! :)


Tuesday 14th of July 2015

They just started having to sign a waiver and be scheduled within the past few years. Before that, it was anyone that was brave enough. LOL


Sunday 12th of July 2015

So many nice ideas here! I would love to make it to the Lewisburg Chocolate Festival.. haha, it is so appealing!


Monday 13th of July 2015

I love Lewisburg regardless but stick chocolate in front of something and it takes on a whole new dimension. ;) Thanks for stopping by.

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