25 Best Things To Do In West Virginia: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
West Virginia is nestled in the incomparable Appalachian Mountains, and this is where adventure seekers can walk on the wild side along the legendary Appalachian Trail.
Civil War history buffs revel in villages like Harpers Ferry and one of the four Carnegie Halls in the world that draws visitors to Lewisburg’s cultural scene. Here are the best things to do in West Virginia.
1. Heritage Farm Museum and Village
Heritage Farm Museum and Village is located in West Virginia’s Ohio River Valley and is dedicated to allowing visitors to discover the proud history of the Appalachians. The village contains over 15 log buildings, five of which offer unique heritage-inspired tourist accommodations, including a train carriage.
Visitors can explore a smithy, log church, farm site, petting zoo, and children’s machine discovery area. Seven award-winning museums will entertain adults and children alike, from the Country Store Museum to the Bowes Doll and Carriage Museum and the Children’s Activity Museum. There are also hiking trails, guided tours, handicrafts and a gift shop.
Address: 3300 Harvey Road, Huntington, WV
2. Exhibition of the coal mine
The Coal Mine Exposition is a seasonal activity in Beckley, West Virginia, that features an underground mine, coal camp, museum, and gift shop. Thousands of visitors each year head to New River Park for an underground tour of the old coal mine.
Guests will enjoy a guided tour by veteran miners who describe traditional mining responsibilities both past and present. Additionally, visitors can tour the original Coal Camp buildings on the grounds, including the Coal Company House, Pemberton Coal Camp Church, and Helen Coal Camp School.
Address: 513 Ewart Avenue, Beckley, WV
3. The Greenbrier
The Greenbrier, America’s Resort, has just been declassified, so now registered resort guests and the public can tour the once-secret Congressional relocation facility called The Bunker. This Cold War-era emergency hideaway is boring on the mountainside below West Virginia’s Wing of The Greenbrier hotel.
Daily guided tours depart from the Trellis Lobby and last approximately 90 minutes. History buffs will appreciate the $ 5 coupons toward purchasing the book, The History of the Greenbrier, or the DVD, The Greenbrier, America’s Resort, The Brief History, distributed at the end of each tour. Children under ten are not allowed.
Address: 300 W Main Street, White Sulfur Springs, WV
4. West Virginia Botanical Garden
The West Virginia Botanical Garden is a dream come true that began in 2000 on the former 80-acre Tibbs Run Reservoir. These beautiful gardens were created and formed for the enjoyment of their visitors. Guests can enjoy all its excellent glory every day from sunrise to sunset.
There is a wide variety of regional ornamental plants and inspiring landscapes. Guided walks and workshops are offered throughout the year, highlighting the plant life that thrives during each season.
Guests can also take one of nine guided tours, each focusing on a specific garden aspect, from wildflowers to amphibians.
Address: 1061 Tyrone Road, Morgantown, WV
5. Caverns of the lost world
The Caverns of the Lost World are a magical oasis of stalagmites and stalactites 120 feet below the Earth’s surface. Visitors can take self-guided tours using a cave guide sheet to explore the half-mile loop at their own pace.
While exploring, cavers will see several impressive formations, including the Snowy Chandelier, the War Club, and the Bridal Veil, a beautiful column of brilliant white calcite. Visitors can also wander through the dinosaur museum, which features the remains of a prehistoric cave bear.
Thrill-seekers can take the 4-Way Wild Cave Guided Tour, which includes crawling, climbing and getting muddy as they traverse the “darkest and deepest depths of the cave.”
Address: 907 Lost World Road, Lewisburg, WV
6. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Visitors will feel as if they have been transported back in history to an age of steam locomotives when they visit Cass, home of the Cass Railroad State Park. This meticulously preserved mountain village features charming company houses repurposed into tourist accommodation, restored buildings housing the company museum and shop, and the train station.
The 1901 Cass Scenic Railroad was used in the lumber industry during its glory days, transporting logs from Canada to a sawmill in Cass. The same steam-powered Shay trains now carry tourists rather than records from that period. Visitors who jump aboard this excursion will be captivated by the unparalleled views.
Address: 242 Main Street, Cass, WV
7. State Capitol
The State Capitol in Charleston, West Virginia, was designed by the famous architect Cass Gilbert. This impressive national monument features the nation’s tallest state capitol dome, as well as several elegant interior details, such as a large crystal chandelier and marble walls, adding to its majestic appearance.
The Capitol faces the river and has an imposing statue of Abraham Lincoln in one corner of the front lawn. Guests are encouraged to grab a map of the Welcome Center grounds for self-guided tours or sign up for a free hour-long guided tour of the Capitol complex and its immaculately manicured grounds.
Address: 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV
8. Bloomery Plantation Distillery
Inspired by limoncello, Italy’s national drink, Tom Kiefer and Linda Losey founded the Bloomery Plantation Distillery in Charles Town, West Virginia. Guests can visit this farm any time of year for witty cocktails and cordials in a cosy atmosphere with attentive staff.
The artisanal cordials are handcrafted with lemons and raspberries from their on-site farm and served in a renovated 1840 log cabin tasting room.
This one-of-a-kind distillery has earned more than 20 international accolades, including a Good Food Award for entrepreneurs with a social conscience. They have created some of the best “glitters,” with popular flavours like chocolate, peach and raspberry, and lemon.
Address: 16357 Charles Town Road, Charles Town, WV
9. Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters and Visitor Center
The Appalachian Trail Visitor Center at Harpers Ferry is considered the theoretical mid-point of the trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. Each year, more than three million visitors hike the Appalachian Trail, which crosses fourteen states and encompasses more than 2,100 miles of hiking trails.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters is perhaps the most famous landmark on the trail and features a 3-foot 10D map of the East Coast. Visitors will also enjoy browsing through informative exhibits, a collection of more than 25,000 photographs accumulated since 1979, and a famous gift shop.
Address: 799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
10. Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park
The Blennerhassett Island Historical Park is open seasonally and includes a museum, a mansion and an island. Guests should start their journey at the Blennerhassett Museum, where they will get an orientation to all there is to see and do and watch a video explaining the life of the Blennerhassett’s.
After the video, visitors take a free tour of the 3rd floor of some fascinating historical and archaeological exhibits. Then, guests can purchase sternwheeler tickets to Blennerhasset Island, where they can take a time of the Blennerhasset Mansion, ride a horse-drawn carriage, rent bikes, take a nature walk, or enjoy a relaxing picnic.
Address: 137 Juliana Street, Parkersburg, WV
11. National Radio Astronomy Observatory
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) was founded in 1956; they design and operate “the world’s most versatile radio telescopes,” including the world’s largest portable telescope.
Their state-of-the-art telescopes are reserved for working astronomers and qualified scientists, but they also offer tours for the general public and offer formal and informal educational programs.
Guests can tour the 25,000-square-foot facility, including the Catching the Wave exhibit hall, watch videos in the auditorium, dine in the cafeteria, and wander the gift shop.
Visitors can also participate in StarLab Planetarium sessions, take a guided bus tour of the telescopes, and participate in various hands-on activities.
Address: 155 Observatory Road, Green Bank, WV
12. West Virginia Points of Interest: Grand Vue Park
Grand Vue Park is a 650-acre outdoor paradise offering adventurous travellers a menu of outdoor activities. Thrill-seekers will enjoy their Zipline Canopy Tour, which features eight double zip lines and three suspension bridges, as well as a 2,100-foot-above-ground high-flying zip line that lashes through the trees to offer breathtaking views of downtown Moundsville.
The Aerial Adventure Park features a 40-foot rope course with rappelling and freefall drop zones, bungee trampolines, and a 28-foot rock wall.
Guests can also hike or bike 12 miles of nature trails, play disc golf, hang out in the pool and splash, and play paintball, among other activities.
Address: 250 Trail Drive, Moundsville, WV
13. State Museum of West Virginia
The West Virginia State Museum, located in the Cultural Center in downtown Charleston, is free and open to the public. A considerable number of collections have accumulated since 1890 and offers guests an unparalleled immersion in the history, archaeology, palaeontology, culture, art, and geology of West Virginia.
The museum’s rotating exhibits from its permanent collections depict the people, industries, land, and geography of West Virginia and showcase the diverse culture and history of the area.
Juried tours and exhibitions are often available as well. Terms of the museum are self-guided, but a map of the museum is provided. The museum is closed on Sunday and Monday.
Address: 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV
14. Mountain Rail Adventures
Mountain Rail Adventures offers a variety of locomotive adventures that depart from one of three locations: Elkins, Durbin, or Cass, West Virginia, April through December.
Depending on which excursion guests choose, they will board a steam locomotive or vintage diesel-powered passenger train, both of which will travel through some of the most remote mountainous areas in West Virginia.
Guests also have the option of taking overnight excursions, such as the Castaway Caboose. Shorter trips like the Mountain Dinner Dinner Train provide a culinary experience within lush forests that display a kaleidoscope of dazzling colours, as well as sparkling streams, rivers, and waterfalls.
Address: 315 Railroad Avenue, Elkins, WV
15. Charleston Capitol Market
The Charleston Capitol Market was created in 1997 using the architectural bones of the Kanawha Railroad and Michigan Railroad from the 1800s. The former transfer dock now serves as a year-round open-air market. It features a variety of indoor shops with books, wine, fresh fish, products, meat, chocolates, flowers and a cafeteria.
Guests will also find places to dine before, during or after shopping at this famous market, including Soho’s Italian Restaurant and Sushi Garden. There are also various seasonal holiday events throughout the year, including spring garden planning, pumpkin picking, and Christmas tree shopping.
Address: 800 Smith Street, Charleston, WV
16. Mothman Museum
No trip to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, is complete without visiting the Mothman Museum, which is dedicated to preserving the city’s inexplicable Mothman experience. It is the only museum of its kind in the world where visitors can see local evidence of the Mothman’s existence.
At the Mothman Museum, guests have the unique opportunity to carefully investigate and study the facts behind the incidents on November 15, 1966.
Visitors will be able to read rare historical documents, including handwritten police reports, inspect newspaper clippings and photographs of the Silver Bridge disaster, and learn more about the central characters in this strange story.
Address: 400 Main Street, Point Pleasant, WV
17. The Museum of Glass, Wheeling, West Virginia
The Oglebay Institute opened the Museum of Glass, which features more than 3,000 objects made from Wheeling glass from 1829-1939. The museum includes Victorian art glass, pattern and depression glass, cut lead glass, blown glass.
Northwood Mardi Gras Peach and Glass, among many others. As they walk through the exhibit, visitors will find several statement pieces, such as a world-famous Victorian art piece called the Sweeney Punch Bowl, which stands 5 feet tall and weighs a whopping 225 pounds.
In addition, those interested can participate in workshops without an appointment, where they will witness live glasswork and can even participate by making their paperweights.
Address: 1330 Oglebay Dr, Wheeling, WV 26003
18. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a national landmark built in the mid-1800s and considered the world’s second-largest hand-carved stone masonry building.
Originally built as a hospital for the mentally ill, it was equipped to house 250 souls, but in the 1950s, many 2,400 patients were reported to be residing here.
The facility was finally forced to close in 1994 due to deplorable conditions created by overcrowding. Now, visitors are invited to the asylum to take part in a heritage or ghost tour. One will captivate you with rich history and captivating stories, while the other is downright spooky.
Address: 71 Asylum Drive, Weston, WV
19. The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum
The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum is a unique museum in Matewan that preserves the history of the early 20th century West Virginia Mine Wars, which brought together coal miners from across southern West Virginia to fight for workers’ rights between 1900 and 1921.
The seasonal museum, which is open to the public between April and October, displays exhibits and artefacts related to pivotal Mine Wars events, including the Matewan Massacre and the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest insurrection in the United States. States that were not part of the American Civil War.
Historical figures like Mother Jones and Sid Hatfield are looming, with artefacts on display ranging from mining equipment and photographs to oral histories and my maps.
Address: 336 Mate Street, Matewan, WV 25678
20. Governor’s Mansion, Charleston, West Virginia
The West Virginia Governor’s Mansion is a Georgian Renaissance-style home designed by architect Charleston Walter Martens and built-in 1925.
The current governor and the first lady warmly welcome visitors to their homes, touring the same spaces. They have hosted ambassadors, global dignitaries and public officials from both past and present.
Guests can tour several of the historic home’s principal rooms, including the State Dining Room, Family Dining Room, Ballroom, Library, and Parlor, among others. Tour guides offer an in-depth look at the history of the house and an explanation of its essential collections on display.
Address: 1716 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, WV
21. Cranberry Mountain Nature Center
The Cranberry Mountain Nature Center offers a wide variety of outdoor and educational activities that visitors will love. Still, the biggest draw is the live snake show that runs every Sunday.
At other times, guests can see the snakes in exhibits in the nature centre. There are also picturesque wildflower gardens with 16 plants that attract hummingbirds, finches, and other birds.
Guests can hike two separate interpretive trails and three additional nature trails: the Bruffy Reserve Trail, the Pocahontas Trail, and the Cowpasture Trail.
Some mountain biking opportunities, including along the Cowpasture Trail, a 7-mile loop. The centre offers guided outdoor experiences throughout the year. Backpacking is available in the adjacent Cranberry Wilderness area.
Address: Route 150 and Route 39/55 Junction, Hillsboro, WV
22. Snowshoe mountain
Snowshoe Mountain represents the best of the West Virginia winter. They have it all: adventure, relaxation, exquisite gastronomy, accommodation and activities for children and adolescents. Thrill-seekers can sign up for adrenaline-fueled mountain tours on snowmobiles or RZRs, among other high-action moves.
Guests looking to relax can spend a day at the spa experiencing a wide range of treatments, take a relaxing candlelit yoga class, and marvel at views of winter wonderland on a scenic elevator ride.
Activity spots like the Coca Cola Tube Park, bouncy inflatable houses, and indoor heated swimming areas at Split Rock are just a few of the resort’s family-friendly activities.
Address: 10 Snowshoe Drive, Snowshoe, WV
23. Harpers Ferry Ghost Ferries
Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry are provided by “O ‘Be JoyFull” Historical Tours & Entertainment and are based on the 1977 book, A Ghostly Tour of Harpers Ferry.
Guests take a 1.5 to 2-night tour for eight blocks of the Lower Town area of Harpers Ferry, where numerous buildings and sites are said to have a long history of paranormal activity.
Expert guides theatrically narrate the legends and historical events that explain the ghostly and inexplicable phenomena; This includes various stories from the American Civil War and the accompanying deaths that still haunt the city.
Address: 100 Church Street, Harpers Ferry, WV
24. Carnegie Room
Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg, West Virginia, was established in 1983 and is just one of four Carnegie Halls worldwide. Cradled in the Alleghany Mountains, this visual and performing arts centre has been favoured by the presence of many notable artists, including George Winston, the Taj Mahal, and Gillian Welch, to name a few.
Philanthropist Andrew Carnegie built the Georgian Renaissance-style structure in 1902 when it first served as a women’s university before hosting exceptional artists worldwide.
More than 75,000 annual sponsors enjoy performances, award-winning classes, workshops, arts in education programs, fine arts exhibitions, and independent film productions.
Address: 611 Church Street, Lewisburg, WV
25. Appalachian Glass
Appalachian Glass is a family-owned and operated glass blowing studio in Weston, West Virginia, run by three generations of Turner men: Matt, Chip and Todd. Visitors can freely enter and explore the studio that houses more than 100 artisan soda-lime glass products.
Guests can also watch a live glass blowing demonstration hosted by Chip, where they can watch the process from a viewing area as he narrates each step using a microphone inside his helmet.
Depending on the day, visitors can watch him make the popular 6-colour Appalachian glass friendship ball or the regionally recognized witch ball.
Address: 499 US Highway 33 East, Weston, WV
Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things To Do In West Virginia
What is the number 1 attraction in West Virginia?
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
This is one of the diverse West Virginia attractions with something for everyone, from fascinating museums and exhibitions to hiking areas and battlefields.
Is there a beach in West Virginia?
The State of West Virginia is aptly nicknamed “the Mountain State”. There aren’t beaches in West Virginia. Rather, locals and visitors jump into rivers, streams, swimming holes, and lakes. Recreational water activities often involve a hike, or a paddle.
Why West Virginia is the most beautiful state?
West Virginia is one of the most beautiful and underrated regions in the US. The scenery and landscapes here are nothing short of jaw-dropping with sprawling lakes, stunning mountains (West Virginia is often known as the Moutain State), white-water rivers, and gorgeous winter ski resorts.
How pretty is West Virginia?
Tucked away between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Ohio River, West Virginia is an absolutely beautiful part of the States to explore, with a plethora of incredible landscapes on show. Its many mountains, forests, and whitewater rivers lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of fantastic outdoor activities.
Does WV have mountains?
West Virginia lies entirely within the Appalachian Mountains. Though many of its lesser mountains might be termed “hills,” more mountain land exists per square mile in West Virginia than in any other U.S. state.
Why is West Virginia such an odd shape?
Its unusual configuration is the result of the Revolutionary-era claims of Virginia’s former Yohogania County boundary lying along the Ohio River, conflicting with interpretations of the Colony of Pennsylvania’s royal charter.
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