27 Things to do in West Virginia | A Local’s Guide

Welcome to an exploration of the unforgettable charms of West Virginia, a state that embraces both natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.

In this guide, we invite you to embark on a journey that will take you through 27 remarkable experiences, unveiling the hidden gems that make West Virginia truly exceptional.

So, pack your sense of adventure, and let’s delve into the wonders that await you in the Mountain State.

1. Hike the Majestic Appalachian Trail

Embark on a soul-stirring hike along a section of the world-renowned Appalachian Trail.

Traverse rugged terrain, breathe in fresh mountain air, and witness panoramic vistas that will leave you in awe.

Traveler’s Tip: Carry plenty of water and snacks, wear sturdy footwear, and embrace the beauty of the trail at your own pace.

2. Raft the Thrilling Gauley River

Challenge yourself with a thrilling whitewater rafting adventure on the Gauley River.

Conquer roaring rapids as you navigate through the stunning wilderness of West Virginia.

Traveler’s Tip: Book your rafting trip in advance, and be prepared for an adrenaline-pumping experience that will make lasting memories.

3. Visit the Timeless Harpers Ferry

Step back in time as you explore the historic town of Harpers Ferry.

Wander through the quaint streets, visit the museums, and learn about its pivotal role in American history.

Traveler’s Tip: Wear comfortable shoes for walking, and take your time to absorb the rich historical significance of this remarkable place.

4. Marvel at the Breathtaking New River Gorge

Stand in awe at the rim of the magnificent New River Gorge.

Gaze at the sweeping vistas, hike scenic trails, and witness the awe-inspiring New River Bridge.

Traveler’s Tip: Capture the stunning sunset views from the overlooks, and consider visiting during Bridge Day to witness daring base jumpers leaping from the bridge.

5. Explore the Enchanting Seneca Rocks

Embark on an adventure to Seneca Rocks, a captivating natural formation beloved by climbers and hikers alike.

Take in the awe-inspiring views from the observation deck or challenge yourself to scale the rocks.

Traveler’s Tip: If you’re not an experienced climber, opt for one of the scenic hiking trails that offer equally breathtaking vistas.

6. Experience Tranquility at Blackwater Falls

Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Blackwater Falls State Park.

Admire the captivating Blackwater Falls and explore the park’s tranquil trails, allowing the sounds of nature to rejuvenate your soul.

Traveler’s Tip: Pack a picnic and savor a meal surrounded by nature’s splendor near the falls.

7. Discover the Rich History of the Greenbrier Resort

Step into the lavish world of the historic Greenbrier Resort.

Take a guided tour, marvel at the opulent architecture, and indulge in luxury amenities, including a world-class spa and championship golf courses.

Traveler’s Tip: Plan your visit during the spring or winter seasons to witness the resort’s dazzling floral displays or enjoy the magical holiday decorations.

8. Visit the Fascinating West Virginia State Museum

Immerse yourself in West Virginia’s captivating history at the State Museum in Charleston.

Explore interactive exhibits, learn about the state’s diverse culture, and gain insights into its storied past.

Traveler’s Tip: Check the museum’s website for special events and exhibitions that offer unique insights into West Virginia’s heritage.

9. Embark on a Scenic Drive along Route 219

Take a leisurely drive along Route 219, a picturesque highway that winds through the beautiful countryside.

Enjoy the changing landscapes, charming small towns, and the warm hospitality of West Virginia.

Traveler’s Tip: Stop at local diners and roadside attractions along the way to savor authentic West Virginia cuisine and experience the local culture.

10.Immerse Yourself in Music at the Appalachian String Band Festival

Join the celebration of Appalachian music and traditions at the Appalachian String Band Festival, also known as “Clifftop.”

Enjoy live performances, jam sessions, and immerse yourself in the vibrant music scene.

Traveler’s Tip: Bring your instrument and join in the jam sessions, where musicians from all walks of life come together to create beautiful music.

11. Indulge in Outdoor Adventures at Snowshoe Mountain

Experience the thrill of outdoor activities at Snowshoe Mountain Resort.

Ski down the slopes in winter, mountain bike along scenic trails in summer, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Traveler’s Tip: Take advantage of the resort’s amenities, including cozy lodges, delicious dining options, and rejuvenating spa treatments.

12. Explore the Tranquil Beauty of Canaan Valley

Discover the serenity of Canaan Valley, a peaceful oasis nestled in the Allegheny Mountains.

Engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, or simply revel in the beauty of the valley’s unspoiled landscapes.

Traveler’s Tip: Pack your camera to capture the stunning vistas and keep an eye out for wildlife sightings.

13. Savor Authentic Appalachian Cuisine

Delight your taste buds with the unique flavors of Appalachian cuisine.

Indulge in mouthwatering dishes like ramps, pepperoni rolls, and hearty stews that reflect the region’s rich culinary heritage.

Traveler’s Tip: Seek out local restaurants and farm-to-table establishments to experience the authentic flavors of West Virginia’s culinary traditions.

14. Attend the Vandalia Gathering

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts and culture scene at the annual Vandalia Gathering in Charleston.

Enjoy live music performances, traditional dances, and witness local artisans showcasing their crafts.

Traveler’s Tip: Engage with the artisans, learn about their techniques, and bring home a unique piece of West Virginia craftsmanship.

15. Discover Ancient Petroglyphs at Grave Creek Mound

Uncover the mysteries of the past at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex.

Explore the museum’s exhibits and witness ancient petroglyphs that offer a glimpse into the lives of Native American civilizations.

Traveler’s Tip: Take a guided tour to gain deeper insights into the significance of the petroglyphs and the history of the area.

16. Embark on a Railroading Adventure at Cass Scenic Railroad

Step aboard a vintage steam locomotive at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Journey through scenic landscapes, learn about the state’s railroad history, and soak in the nostalgia of a bygone era.

Traveler’s Tip: Opt for the Durbin Rocket excursion for a unique experience, combining a scenic train ride with a leisurely float along the Greenbrier River.

17. Witness the Magic of the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting

Quench your thirst for unique experiences at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting.

Sample a variety of mineral waters from around the world and witness the art of water tasting.

Traveler’s Tip: Don’t forget to try the famous local spring water known for its supposed healing properties.

18. Explore the Mystery of the Lost World Caverns

Descend into the depths of Lost World Caverns and uncover the wonders of an underground realm.

Marvel at intricate rock formations, underground waterfalls, and learn about the cave’s fascinating geological history.

Traveler’s Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket, as the temperature inside the cave remains cool throughout the year.

19. Attend the West Virginia State Fair

Experience the excitement of the West Virginia State Fair in Lewisburg.

Enjoy thrilling rides, indulge in delicious fair food, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of this annual summer event.

Traveler’s Tip: Check the fair’s schedule for live entertainment, agricultural exhibits, and other special events that showcase the state’s vibrant culture.

20. Ski the Slopes of Snowshoe Mountain

Embrace the winter wonderland at Snowshoe Mountain and hit the slopes for exhilarating ski and snowboarding adventures.

Enjoy the pristine trails, breathtaking views, and après-ski activities.

Traveler’s Tip: Take advantage of ski and snowboard lessons for all skill levels, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience on the slopes.

21. Stroll through the Pristine Cranberry Glades

Discover the unique ecosystem of the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, a protected wilderness featuring bogs, wetlands, and rare plant species.

Take a leisurely walk along the boardwalks and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this natural marvel.

Traveler’s Tip: Bring binoculars to observe the diverse bird species that call this area home, and wear sturdy footwear suitable for wet terrain.

22. Discover Artistic Inspiration at the Tamarack

Immerse yourself in West Virginia’s vibrant arts scene at the Tamarack in Beckley.

Explore the art galleries, shop for handmade crafts, and savor delectable local cuisine at the renowned food court.

Traveler’s Tip: Engage with local artists and craftsmen, and learn about the stories and techniques behind their creations.

23.Unwind in the Serenity of the Greenbrier River Trail

Escape the hustle and bustle on the Greenbrier River Trail, a 78-mile-long trail that winds along the scenic Greenbrier River.

Walk or bike amidst picturesque landscapes and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this pristine natural setting.

Traveler’s Tip: Pack a picnic and take breaks at scenic spots along the trail to fully appreciate the beauty of the river and its surroundings.

24. Explore the Mysterious Lost World of Organ Cave

Venture into the depths of Organ Cave, one of the most extensive caves in the eastern United States.

Join a guided tour, marvel at magnificent formations, and learn about the cave’s intriguing history.

Traveler’s Tip: Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes suitable for walking on uneven surfaces in the cave.

25. Experience the Beauty of Dolly Sods Wilderness

Immerse yourself in the wild beauty of Dolly Sods Wilderness, a unique landscape resembling a high-altitude plateau.

Hike through stunning meadows, enjoy sweeping vistas, and witness the rugged beauty of West Virginia’s wilderness.

Traveler’s Tip: Pack essential hiking gear, including a map, compass, and appropriate clothing, as weather conditions can change rapidly in the wilderness.

26. Attend the Augusta Heritage Festival

Immerse yourself in the rich Appalachian heritage at the Augusta Heritage Festival in Elkins.

Participate in workshops, learn traditional crafts, and enjoy live music and dancing that celebrate the region’s cultural roots.

Traveler’s Tip: Engage with local artisans and musicians, and join in the festivities to experience the lively spirit of Appalachian culture.

27. Marvel at the Breathtaking Views from Spruce Knob

Reach the pinnacle of West Virginia at Spruce Knob, the state’s highest peak.

Hike to the observation tower, soak in the panoramic views, and witness the beauty of West Virginia’s expansive wilderness.

Traveler’s Tip: Visit during clear nights to witness a mesmerizing display of stars, as Spruce Knob is renowned for its dark skies.

West Virginia beckons with its natural wonders, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Embrace the spirit of adventure and immerse yourself in the remarkable experiences that await you in the Mountain State.

Discover the hidden gems, create cherished memories, and let West Virginia’s charm leave an indelible mark on your soul.

David Kingston

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