West Virginia, also known as the Mountain State, is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and charming small towns, there are plenty of places to explore and things to do in this scenic state.
From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences, West Virginia offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in hiking through the Appalachian Mountains, exploring historic sites, or simply enjoying the peaceful beauty of nature, there are countless hidden gems to discover in West Virginia.
In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at 18 of the best places to visit in West Virginia, so grab your hiking boots and get ready to explore this beautiful state.
1. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park: Cass
Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park boasts a historic steam-driven locomotive that offers a picturesque mountain journey. The park features hiking trails and a museum for exploration, attracting outdoor enthusiasts with camping, fishing, and hunting opportunities. The charming town of Cass provides insight into West Virginia’s rich culture, adding to the allure of this hidden gem in West Virginia.
2. Twin Falls Resort State Park: Mullens
Nestled in Mullens, West Virginia, Twin Falls Resort State Park offers a serene natural escape. With hiking trails, fishing, and a refreshing lake for swimming, visitors can immerse themselves in outdoor adventures.
The park provides options for camping and cabin rentals, allowing guests to extend their stay. Twin Falls Resort State Park is an ideal retreat to unwind amidst nature’s beauty. Be sure to take in the breathtaking Twin Falls Waterfall for a truly memorable experience.
3. Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine: Beckley
Explore the intriguing Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, where visitors are taken underground to witness the coal miners’ way of life. Enjoy a guided tour including a thrilling ride on a mine train and visit the museum showcasing the history of coal mining in West Virginia.
Remember to check the seasonal operating schedule before planning your visit. While there, take advantage of the nearby hiking trails and the Tamarack Arts and Crafts Center for a well-rounded experience.
4. West Virginia State Museum: Charleston
Explore the diverse heritage and history of West Virginia at the renowned State Museum in Charleston. From ancient fossils to Native American artifacts and Civil War memorabilia, the museum’s exhibits offer a comprehensive journey through the state’s past and present.
Engage in guided tours, interactive workshops, and hands-on activities for an immersive learning experience. Conveniently located in the state capital, the museum welcomes visitors from all across West Virginia, making it easily accessible to all.
Fayetteville, a small town, offers outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and rafting. Its historic district is home to antique shops, art galleries, and cafes. The annual Bridge Day festival attracts adventure seekers for base jumping off the New River Gorge Bridge. The nearby New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is popular for hiking, fishing, and camping, making Fayetteville an ideal getaway for outdoor enthusiasts in West Virginia.
6. Snowshoe Mountain Resort
Nestled in Pocahontas County, Snowshoe Mountain Resort stands out as a premier winter destination in West Virginia. Whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing, the resort offers a range of winter activities. Visitors can opt for ski-in/ski-out accommodations and enjoy hiking, biking, and golfing during the summer.
The village at Snowshoe boasts restaurants, shops, and other essential amenities, making it a perfect getaway. Moreover, the resort’s location allows easy access to additional attractions like Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and the Green Bank Observatory.
Charleston, the capital city of West Virginia, oozes history and charm. The State Capitol building with its stunning golden dome is open for captivating tours. At the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, you’ll find a planetarium, art museum, and interactive science exhibits.
A stroll along the Kanawha River and a visit to Haddad Riverfront Park for a picnic or live music are delightful ways to spend time. Charleston’s vibrant food and craft beer scene offers plenty of local delights. Don’t forget to mark your calendar for the annual FestivALL festival, a 10-day celebration of the arts.
Nestled in the heart of West Virginia, Ripley exudes small-town charm and boasts the renowned Jackson County Fair, drawing visitors statewide. Its historic Main Street is lined with shops, restaurants, and an impressive courthouse.
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Cedar Lakes Park for hiking, fishing, and camping. Located a short drive from Charleston, the state capital, Ripley offers easy access to popular destinations like New River Gorge National Park and Harpers Ferry, making it a prime location for exploration and adventure.
9. Point Pleasant
Point Pleasant, situated on the Ohio River, boasts a rich history intertwined with the famous Mothman legend. Visitors can delve into alleged sightings at the Mothman Museum. Outdoor enthusiasts can relish hiking, fishing, and annual events like the Mothman Festival. Local cuisines at Fat Patty’s and Corner Cafe await food lovers. With its intriguing history and activities, Point Pleasant is a must-visit gem in West Virginia’s diverse landscape.
Nestled in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, Shepherdstown exudes a delightful small-town charm. Its cultural scene revolves around Shepherd University, hosting diverse year-round events.
History buffs can explore landmarks like the Pack Horse Ford Bridge and the Rumsey Monument. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to nearby parks and hiking trails, while the main street offers an array of unique shops, restaurants, and art galleries, perfect for leisurely shopping and dining experiences.
Nestled in scenic landscapes, Kingwood exudes charming small-town vibes, offering a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Visitors can immerse themselves in the historic downtown area, embracing local art, culture, and the town’s rich history.
Surrounded by natural beauty, including rivers and parks, it’s the perfect destination for outdoor activities. Kingwood’s warm community and rich history make it an inviting place to explore, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Elkins, nestled in West Virginia, offers a delightful fusion of outdoor escapades, cultural immersions, and historical landmarks. Visitors can engage in the Appalachian legacy, and relish live musical renditions, and theatrical exhibitions.
The town serves as a portal to outdoor pursuits such as hiking, cycling, and angling amidst the Monongahela National Forest. Elkins presents a captivating amalgamation of provincial allure and a thriving arts and entertainment milieu. Notably, embarking on the scenic train voyage through the mountains from Elkins is an unmissable endeavor.
Buckhannon boasts a historic downtown with captivating shops and charming eateries, perfect for a stroll. Explore the town’s heritage at the renowned West Virginia State Museum and immerse yourself in local history. From vibrant events and festivals to the tranquil beauty of its surroundings, Buckhannon offers a perfect blend of culture and nature. Visitors are welcomed by the warm hospitality of the community, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing getaway.
14. Staying at Stonewall Resort
Nestled in natural beauty, Stonewall Resort offers a serene retreat perfect for relaxation and outdoor activities. Guests can indulge in luxury accommodations, spa treatments, and picturesque lake views.
The resort provides a range of recreational activities, including golfing, boating, and hiking. Savor delectable cuisine and enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding landscape. Staying at Stonewall Resort offers a perfect blend of comfort, recreation, and natural charm.
15. Clay Shooting
Amidst the picturesque West Virginia landscapes, clay shooting enthusiasts can experience the thrill of the sport in a safe and controlled environment. Professional instruction and equipment are provided at clay shooting facilities for participants of all skill levels.
This exhilarating activity offers a unique and challenging outdoor experience, combining precision, focus, and enjoyment for individuals and groups. Whether an amateur or a seasoned shooter, clay shooting in West Virginia promises an unforgettable experience amidst stunning natural surroundings.
16. Go skiing on 60 slopes
Skiing enthusiasts will find West Virginia’s ski resorts a haven with diverse slopes and trails for both beginners and experienced individuals. The 60 slopes offer a thrilling winter sports experience, complemented by top-notch facilities.
Visitors can revel in breathtaking mountain views while skiing, a perfect marriage of outdoor adventure and natural beauty. The state’s ski resorts guarantee an unforgettable experience, making them a must-visit for anyone seeking the best of winter fun.
17. The Greenbrier
Best Places in West Virginia, Nestled in the heart of West Virginia, The Greenbrier stands as a historic testament to luxury and sophistication. Boasting unparalleled elegance and hospitality, this iconic resort offers world-class amenities including exquisite dining, upscale accommodations, and rejuvenating spa treatments.
Visitors can immerse themselves in a wide array of recreational activities such as golf, horseback riding, and off-road adventures, creating an unforgettable experience. Whether basking in its rich history, indulging in lavish surroundings, or embracing southern charm, The Greenbrier promises a stay that seamlessly blends opulence, relaxation, and refined indulgence.
18. Ski & Play at Snowshoe
Best Places in West Virginia, Snowshoe Mountain Resort presents an unparalleled winter playground, offering skiing, snowboarding, and diverse winter activities. Guests can relish the thrill of descending well-groomed slopes and exciting terrain parks.
The resort provides a variety of lodging options, dining choices, and après-ski entertainment. With scenic mountain vistas, snowy landscapes, and outdoor adventures, Snowshoe ensures unforgettable experiences. Skiing and playing at Snowshoe combine winter recreation, relaxation, and warm mountain hospitality, making it an ideal destination for winter enthusiasts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some of the most popular tourist attractions in West Virginia?
-Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
-New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
-Blackwater Falls State Park
-West Virginia Penitentiary
Are there any lesser-known places to visit in West Virginia that are worth exploring?
-Berkeley Springs State Park
-Hawks Nest State Park
What are some outdoor activities to enjoy while visiting West Virginia?
-Rock climbing at Seneca Rocks
-Whitewater rafting on the New River or Gauley River
-Horseback riding in state parks and national forests
-Hiking in the Appalachian Mountains or at state parks
-Mountain biking on scenic trails
Where can I find the best food and drink in West Virginia?
Best Places in West Virginia, West Virginia is known for its rich culinary tradition and regional specialties. When it comes to food and drink, some popular destinations include the Greenbrier Resort, Hillbilly Hot Dogs, and Mountain State Brewing Co. Don’t miss out on trying local favorites like pepperoni rolls, ramps, and biscuits and gravy, as well as the state’s award-winning craft beer and wine.
Best Places in West Virginia, West Virginia is a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be explored. From the scenic beauty of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and Twin Falls Resort State Park to the rich history of Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and West Virginia State Museum, there is something for everyone in this beautiful state.
Don’t miss the charming town of Fayetteville or the thrilling slopes of Snowshoe Mountain Resort. And if you’re a foodie, make sure to try the delicious local cuisine in Charleston, Ripley, Point Pleasant, and Shepherdstown. With so much to see and do, West Virginia promises an unforgettable adventure. Have you visited any of these places? Comment below and let us know about your experience!
Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.