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14 Best Things to Do in West Virginia




West Virginia is known as one of the most scenic states in the nation. There are beautiful sights everywhere sure to envelop every visitor with mystery, wonder, and surprise. Pack your bags and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime.

Check out the 14 best things to do in West Virginia:

1. Visit The Greenbrier Bunker

The Greenbrier is a beautiful luxury resort located in the Allegheny Mountains in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, and a destination many families consider when they want to relax and unwind. But did you know it is also home to a top-secret U.S. government relocation facility for its Congress?

The Bunker was constructed in 1958 and built 270 feet into the hillside under the resort’s West Virginia wing. A small group of government employees worked undercover as Forsythe Associates (company for audio/visual support services) and kept the Bunker at a full-operation status. This Bunker remained a secret for more than three decades and was only revealed in 1992.

Today, The Greenbrier visitors can visit this emergency Cold War fallout shelter and learn about the fascinating period in the resort’s history.

Fee:  $39 for adults and $20 for youth (10-18 years old)

2. Hike in the Beautiful Dolly Sods Wilderness

The Dolly Sods Wildnerness is a hiking destination frequented by adventurers who aim to get the phenomenal views of West Virginia’s natural landscape. You’ll see eye-stretching meadows, cascading streams, and the yellow birch and hemlock trees, among many beautiful natural sights.

Here are some of the easy to intermediate Dolly Sods hiking trails you can enjoy:

  • Breathed Mountain – 2.5 miles
    Views: Several creeks and rivers
  • Harman Trail – 1.4 miles
    Views: Wildflowers, rivers, and creeks
  • Rocky Ridge Trail – 3 miles
    Views: Dolly Sods wilderness
  • Upper Red Creek Trail – 1.3 miles
    Views: Valleys, hills, and lush forest

Sooner or later, you’d want to try hiking in the Dolly Sods Wilderness.

3. Learn About the Proud History of Appalachian Heritage at Heritage Farm Museum and Village

Heritage Farm Museum and Village
Source: Heritage Farm Museum and Village | West Virginia Tourism

The Heritage Farm Museum and Village is a living history museum located in Huntington. It walks you through the historical journey of Appalachian history and culture. The place also has fun and interesting activities for children. There’s even a building dedicated to arts and crafts and museums.

The Heritage Farm Museum and Village are open from Mon-Sat, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm.

4. Shop and Eat at the Capitol Market

Capitol Market
Source: Capitol Market

There’s no denying that this place is a vibrant part of West Virginia. Why? Well, it is home to a beautiful mix of specialty shops, groceries, and eateries all visitors will surely take delight in!

Famous Indoor Merchants:

  • The Wine & Cheese Shop
  • WV Marketplace
  • Soho’s Italian Restaurant
  • Johnnie’s Fresh Meat Market

Famous Outdoor Merchants:

  • Evan’s Greenhouse
  • Debbie’s Corner
  • Marvin Edwards
  • Parson’s Produce

5. Stay for Halloween to See Kenova’s Pumpkin House

Kenova's Pumpkin House
Source: Kenova’s Pumpkin House | Steven Wayne Rotsch

Ask the kids and they’ll say this, “Seeing thousands of jack o’ lanterns light up is part of my best things to do in West Virginia list.”

Visit Kenova’s Pumpkin House and be transported to a place dedicated to Halloween extravagance. Each year, Ceredo and Kenova welcome more than 30,000 visitors to the Pumpkin House.

As a matter of fact, spending Halloween in Kenova’s Pumpkin House is now promoted as a family event. You can also expect old-fashioned bakeoff for the best bakers in the area. Last but not the least, there are food vendors available so you can just select and eat to your heart’s delight.

6. Check out Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold

Prabhupada's Palace of Gold
Source: Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold

The Palace of Gold is considered the jewel of New Vrindaban. It was constructed as a simple residence for Hare Krishna’s spiritual leader, Srila Prabhupada. As time passed by, the humble house soon grew into a beautiful palace that was adorned with marble floors, crystal chandeliers, mirrored ceilings, and gold architectural flourishes.

Address: McCreary’s Ridge Rd, New Vrindaban

Note: You can also give your donations to help with the Palace upkeep.

7. See the Timeless New River Gorge Bridge

New River Gorge Bridge
Source: New River Gorge Bridge | Gary Hartley

The New River Gorge Bridge, the highest and longest arch bridge in the world, is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia. No wonder this monumental structure was chosen to represent the state on the commemorative quarter released by the U.S. Mint in 2006. It has a height of 267 meters and a main span of 518 meters.

Admire the view and take lots of photos. You won’t see a bridge as majestic as this anywhere else.

8. Admire the Colorful Murals at Charleston’s East End

Murals Charleston's East End
Source: Mural at Charleston’s East End | Flickr/Sarah Cooper

There are times when people travel to relax and unwind. But these days, some travel to check out a beautiful place that would look good on their ‘gram.’ If you are looking for a picture-perfect spot, visit Charleston’s East End and strike a pose in front of the colorful murals.

Don’t you just think the murals bring beautiful energy to the place?

9. Plan a Trip to Winterplace Ski Resort

Winterplace Ski Resort
Source: Winterplace Ski Resort

The Winterplace Ski Resort is a perfect place for both beginner and advanced skiers to have fun with the family with friends. It is just 5 minutes away from I-72, Exit 28.

Mountain Facts:
Vertical Drop: 603 feet
Skiable Area: 90+ Acres
Snowmaking: 100% based on weather
Number of Trails: 27 Slopes & 1 Terrain Park
Lifts: 10 (2 Doubles, 2 Quads, 3 Triples & 3 Super Carpet Lifts)

Furthermore, non-skiers can also enjoy snow tubing with no equipment needed!

10. Discover the Lasting Haunting Impression of Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Source: Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum | Frank Polievka

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a psychiatric hospital in Weston, West Virginia which operated from 1864 until 1994. It was a sanctuary for the mentally ill then. Today, it holds the stories of Civil War raids, a gold robbery, and the efforts of all those who helped better the lives of the mentally ill.

Do you want to know the truth within these walls? Join a historic or paranormal tour today.

11. Rent a Houseboat and Pontoon Boat at Sutton Lake Marina

If you’re going on a family getaway and think the best way to do it is by boat, you should consider heading to West Virginia’s premier houseboat rental headquarters! Sutton Lake Marina offers boat, water toy, and slip rentals. They also have a Ship’s Store and Fall Foliage Lake Tours for the best experience.

Don’t just expect great boats. Expect great service.

Address: Exit 67 off I-79 Bee Run Recreation Area, 1734 Bee Run Rd, Sutton

12. Explore the Archive of the Afterlife

The Archive of the Afterlife used to be the Third Street School and Sanford School, but now, it’s known as the Archive of the Afterlife or the “National Museum of the Paranormal.”

If you don’t mind getting spooked out, you should add this to your itinerary. The place features a collection of both historical and paranormal materials and artifacts the guests may study. The general admission is $5 per person or soul.

13. Embark on a 14-State Hiking Challenge From Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Source: Appalachian Trail Conservancy | ABD Direct

Indeed, there’s no better way to enjoy nature than conquering the 14-State Challenge from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. There are about 2 million to 3 million people who hike the trail each year, all wanting to enjoy beautiful views and a great challenge.

The 14 states you’ll be traversing are Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

14. Embrace the Music Community at Purple Fiddle

Purple Fiddle
Source: Purple Fiddle | Canaan Valley

Visit Purple Fiddle if you’re in it for music, arts, and live entertainment. The good food and fun atmosphere are the main drivers for it being a famous and well-loved hangout spot. Imagine going to this place and kicking back with a good drink after a long, tiring day. It sounds like a good night, doesn’t it?

Are you ready for your West Virginia adventure?

A writer big on nature, travel, and dogs. If you can't find Errot with her furry pal, then she's probably out exploring.

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