What to do in West Virginia? 26 Amazing Places to Explore

What to do in West Virginia- Rafting at River George

It cannot be easy to choose a travel schedule with so many excellent things that answer what to do in West Virginia. There are no wrong decisions, regardless of which of the sights listed here you decide to visit. To start, West Virginia is full of history, culture, and recreational opportunities.

Everyone can find something to do, whether they want a family camping vacation or a girls’ or boys’ weekend with their pals. West Virginia offers a wide variety of tourist attractions, from breathtaking caverns to picturesque hiking routes, art museums to dinner theatres. It is a national historical park.

You’ve come to the perfect place if you find yourself wondering what to do in West Virginia. West Virginia is the home of the mountaineers and is situated on the eastern coast of the United States.

What to do in West Virginia

West Virginia, which is appropriately known as the Mountain State because it is situated on the Appalachian Mountains, is rich with stunning outdoor locations and cultural landmarks that are tucked away in the forest.

Here, where the state motto reads “mountaineers are always free,” you can go on long multi-day walks, scale summits, and occasionally sip on glass from all fruit cordial or artisan beer.

Although West Virginia is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, there is also a tonne of other things to do. Here are the top things to do in West Virginia, USA, ranging from competitions on adventure courses to glass-blowing exhibitions.

1. New River Gorge Bridge at National Park

New River Gorge National Park is a fantastic alternative with lots of outdoor possibilities if you need help figuring out what to do in West Virginia. Seasonal pleasure abounds along the rugged, whitewater river that winds through canyons with deep pits.

The park itself offers countless options for picturesque adventures, just like New River. Consider going camping, taking a scenic drive, going fishing, or going biking if you want a more relaxed experience.

Visitors are encouraged to climb, trek, hunt, & even whitewater raft if they want more intense adventure.

New River Gorge
Image from New River Gorge

The New River Gorge Bridge, the structural wonder and the most photographed location in all of West Virginia is the focus of attention for all tourists regardless of how they choose to spend their time here.

2. Appalachian Glass

Appalachian Glass is a fascinating location to visit in West Virginia and is home to three generations of excellent glassmakers. The stunning glass objects you see here were created by Matt, Chip, & Todd Turner.

With years of total industry experience, this family of glass bongs has worked together, frequently learning from one another, to create both beautiful & functional glass.

These men were fortunate to establish their vocation in West Virginia, which is abundant in the natural resources needed to produce glass. It’s important to mention that Appalachian Glass offers daily glass-blowing demos. If you’ve never witnessed this in person, it’s very amazing!

A glob of molten glass is rolled into the desired shape while being blown air into; this process is continued until the desired result is obtained; the final object is then set in a kiln.

The procedure calls for a level of finesse that can only be attained through years of practice because it is intricate and delicate.

3. Beckley Coal Mine & Youth Museum

The Beckley Coal Mine & Youth Museum is one of the many distinctive things to do in West Virginia.

You will see a historic coal camp and the underground mine as part of your coal mine trip. You can experience what it was like to be a coal miner thanks to this educational and engaging tour.

Experiences like riding through the old coal mine’s gloomy tunnels are once in a lifetime. The fact that experienced coal miners who provide first-hand accounts of their experiences & duties as miners lead the tours is noteworthy.

You’ll appreciate going to the Youth Museum, which has kid-friendly interactive displays, after your mine tour. Your child will enjoy learning about West Virginia history due to exhibits just on the solar system, the Appalachian border, and restored historical structures.

The significance of each building is enthusiastically explained by knowledgeable tour guides in an entertaining and educational manner.

As you visit the property, lush lawns, vibrant flowers, and picnic spaces form the property’s scenery, which has been beautifully maintained.

In addition, there is a beautiful gift shop on the property that offers homemade fudge, West Virginia novelty items, and souvenirs.

4. Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall, in which the arts come to life, is one of the coolest spots to visit in West Virginia. On its main stage, this prestigious theatre showcases theatrical, musical, & dance performances. You can count on Carnegie Hall to host a tremendously engaging live performance at any time of year.

Carnegie Hall hosts exhibitions of art and history in addition to performances in the theatre arts. Local artists’ works are featured in three galleries on a rotating basis. Even the boardroom in one of the exhibition spaces frequently hosts educational events.

You may enroll in an art class while you’re here. In addition, Carnegie Hall has a dance & performance studio where both kids and adults can enroll in educational sessions.

Carnegie Hall
Image from Carnegie Hall

The lawn area where the venue holds free concerts & other live acts is called the Ivy Terrace.

Simply put, Carnegie Hall is the one-stop shop for all things artistic. If you go to Carnegie Hall tonight or this weekend, you will be satisfied!

5. Snowshoe Mountain

Be certain to visit Snowshoe Mountain whether you’re searching for places to go in West Virginia during the winter or the summer.

This alpine resort combines opulent comfort and elegance with exhilarating snow experiences. Visitors can learn to ski, snowboard, snowmobile, & more at Snowshoe Mountain.

When it becomes warmer outside, Snowshoe shifts to all-terrain mountain excursions. In addition to golfing, mountain biking, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking on the lake are all available to visitors.

Fortunately, Snowshoe Mountain is ready to provide intense thrills at any time of year. Additionally, the resort is prepared for you when you’re ready to unwind for the day or night.

You’ll feel fulfilled after every meal thanks to first-rate dining alternatives like a mountaintop restaurant and a snack bar by a lake. In addition, the hamlet next to Snowshoe is home to many of the best eateries and shops.

6. Cranberry Mountain Nature Center

One of the finest vacation locations in West Virginia is located here, which is a part of the National Forest. There is an exhibit hall at the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center with many interactive displays.

The displays are enjoyable, amusing, and, most importantly, instructive, and they appeal to both kids and adults. Films on interesting subjects, such as bears, wildflowers, & others, are shown in the center’s theatre.

The center also conducts a variety of activities all year long, including kids’ nights, live snake displays, wildlife exhibits, and more. Additionally, the Cranberry Mountain Nature Center offers tours of the Cranberry Glades and lectures on subjects relevant to the state, such as the distinctions between poisonous & nonpoisonous snakes.

The nature store, where visitors may buy nature guides, cookbooks, apparel, postcards, and more, is another of the center’s most popular attractions. This important nature center is located in West Virginia, a state that has plenty of attractions.

7. Governor’s Mansion

If you are worried about what to do in West Virginia, then this place is for you. The West Virginia Governor’s Mansion is one of the most stunning locations in the United States and a fantastic sightseeing location.

The state’s capital is home to this landmark, which has housed West Virginia governors. In addition to housing the state’s highest-ranking official, the palace has hosted both domestic and foreign guests.

The mansion’s architecture, furnishings, and surroundings, rather than its famous residents and visitors, are what interest most tourists. A marble checkerboard entrance floor, drawing room walls painted in an eye-catching optical illusion, and stunning landscaping is a few outstanding design elements.

The West Virginia Governor’s Mansion is a fantastic destination for people who love architecture and history.

The home is one of the coolest spots to visit in the state due to its well-maintained property and historically significant architectural elements.

Despite being free, tours do need to be scheduled because they are only offered on Thursdays & Fridays.

8. West Virginia Mine Wars Museum

The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum, which houses a disturbing piece of American history, has preserved relics related to the Mine Wars, one of the biggest uprisings in American history since the Civil War.

The Mine Wars were territorial conflicts between unionized miners & coal mines. The museum’s goal is to support the voices of those who participated, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, & the victorious.

The museum houses the greatest collection of Mine Wars relics in the nation. Visitors can take guided tours that cover topics including mining camps life, local coal strikes, & the equipment and way of life of coal miners.

Mine War Museum
Image from Mine War Museum

Notably, the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum commemorates a terrifying yet glorious period in American history with these artifacts.

After finishing this informative tour, remember to browse the museum’s gift store, which offers clothing and cool trinkets. Last but not least, history buffs will undoubtedly enjoy this fascinating West Virginia site if you’re going with them.

9. The Mothman Museum

The Mothman Museum pays homage to a string of bizarre occurrences that plagued the little community of Point Pleasant and is one of the spookiest things to do in West Virginia.

Residents of the small village were confused as weird occurrences, including unsettling lights in the sky, mysterious “guys in black,” and a red-eyed living form now called a Mothman started to occur.

The museum honors these unusual occurrences. Notably, the museum presents cases of news stories, photos, recordings, and other materials related to the incidents in a professional manner.

You’re guaranteed to enjoy your visit to the Mothman Museum whether you’re familiar with the bizarre Mothman tale or you’re just fascinated by peculiarities.

The best part is that the museum’s gift store boasts the biggest and most varied selection of Mothman artifacts and trinkets in the entire world.

And finally, even though there are still many unanswered mysteries about who or what Mothman is or was, there’s no denying that you’ll enjoy visiting this peculiar West Virginia attraction.

10. Charleston Capitol Market

Originally a small farmer’s market, the market is now a social and shopping destination with both indoor and outdoor areas.

Charleston Capitol Market is home to indoor retailers with specialties in things like cheese/wine and gourmet chocolates. It is now one of several top tourist destinations.

In the outdoor market, you can discover vendors selling a wide variety of vegetables, botanicals, landscaping, and farm products.

The market regularly holds special events like Markets Mixers, cook-offs, and more, in addition to the wonderful delicious vendors and things you’ll come across.

The best part is that the market sells seasonal goods to both residents and tourists throughout the entire year. Last but not least, additional delightful market attractions include seasonal activities like Christmas tree & pumpkin picking, & picnic purchasing.

Charleston Capitol Market is a must-visit if you’re looking for entertaining things to do in West Virginia.

11. Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Image by Auk Ari from Pixabay

This excellent attraction is for you if you want to experience the best of picturesque West Virginia, plus the lore and allure of vintage trains.

The Cass Scenic Railroad offers rides on vintage steam engines to passengers. The Shay Locomotive’s passengers enjoy watching the engines accelerate as they travel through gorgeous and isolated areas of West Virginia near Monongahela national forest.

Notably, customers can pick between two fantastic rail experiences. Visitors can enjoy the 4-hour ride up Bald Knob, West Virginia’s second-highest mountain, as part of the Bald Knob tour.

Even though it takes only two hours, the Whittaker Station excursion is just as spectacular as the other. Whichever tour you choose, it will be exciting and memorable.

A ride on Mountain Rail Adventures is one of the best West Virginia attractions and an experience you will remember.

12. West Virginia State Museum

The West Virginia State Museum, which is a part of the West Virginia Cultural Center, recounts and shares the remarkable history of the entire state.

One of the best locations to see in West Virginia is the unique look at the 35th state, which houses items like vintage hats and a telescope that an American president. Notably, the exhibits’ historical arrangement enables visitors to visualize the state’s development.

In essence, the special displays use narration, sounds, images, descriptions, and—most importantly—important artifacts to reconstruct the history of the state. Visitors will also gain a greater grasp of the cultural, industrial, and environmental histories of West Virginia due to the provocative exhibitions.

The West Virginia State Museum offers a distinctive perspective on the region. Best of all, tours are one of many interesting destinations to visit with friends & family and are free to the general public.

13. Grandview State Park

Grandview State Park is a must-visit if you need help determining where else to go in West Virginia. The park, one of the most lovely places to visit in the state, provides the ideal atmosphere for leisurely outdoor activities, sightseeing, and recreation.

Don’t you need to worry about what to do in West Virginia; this place is for you. A picturesque overlook with sweeping views of the New River, a working railroad, and the park’s lush surroundings is one of the most visited attractions in the area.

Hikers must pass through stunning rhododendrons and other vibrant plant life in order to reach the overlook. At Grandview State Park, there are lots of alternatives for outdoor entertainment in addition to the stunning vistas.

Grandview State Park
Image from Grandview State Park

For instance, the area has five hiking paths that can be taken either on your own or with a guide guided by a ranger. The park holds outdoor theatrical acts in the summer.

And last, picnics and trips to the park’s playgrounds are enjoyable at any time of year.

14. Green Bank Observatory

The Green Bank Observatory, which is situated in a quiet national zone, gives the astronomical community access to state-of-the-art telescopes and facilities.

Notably, the observatory is a leader in research and instruction on a global scale. At Green Bank Observatory, astronomers may hear the “distant murmurs of the universe.”

They can successfully achieve this because of Green Bank Observatory’s infrastructure and technological capabilities. Although bookings and screenings are necessary, the observatory is available to the general public for exclusive private tours.

You will get the once-in-a-lifetime chance to tour the facility’s exclusive laboratories, view the most cutting-edge telescopes, and take a look at the fabrication rooms if you pass the site’s screening procedure.

Additionally, the observatory welcomes visitors on guided tours of the building, during which you may see the well-known Catching the Wave Exhibit Hall or see a documentary in the theatre.

Spend some time in the gift shop and have a snack at the Starlight Cafe to cap off your day. A unique West Virginia family activity, this must-do experience is a must.

15. Lost World Caverns

The caves are home to incredible rock formations, making them one of West Virginia’s most enchanted tourist destinations. Self-guided excursions that take visitors around a half-mile circuit are available for them to investigate the formations.

During the tour, you’ll see some of the biggest and most beautiful stalactites & other crystal formations in the entire globe.

Because there are so many incredible photo opportunities, it’s a good thing that taking photos is allowed in the caverns. The tour lasts just 45 minutes in total, but the experiences are ones that will last a lifetime.

You can explore the property’s natural history museum in addition to taking the cavern tour to discover more about fascinating prehistoric cave dwellers.

Additionally, Lost World Caverns offers gem-mining excursions where visitors can discover and retain unusual treasures like arrowheads, prehistoric fossils, and semi-precious gemstones. You must visit this West Virginia site while on your journey because of its sights.

16. West Virginia Botanic Garden

Image by Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

This garden is a breathtaking site to behold and one of the numerous gorgeous activities to do in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Botanic Garden, located on the gorgeous Tibbs Run Preserve, is a mile-long haven for lush and vibrant plants.

The property’s sparkling pond, which is surrounded by lush vegetation and reflects it on its surface, is surrounded by trails that wind through floral meadows.

Visitors enjoy strolling, observing, and reflecting as they weave in & out of the woodland as well as around waterways. The West Virginia Botanic Garden’s current stunning scenery will only get better over time.

Individual tours of the grounds are welcome. However, group tours can be arranged upon request. The garden has a fairy garden, a rock protrusion, and a dam, in addition to the botanicals you’ll encounter when taking a tour of it.

Finally, tourists to West Virginia should take advantage of sites like this one. There are plenty of excellent vacation options in West Virginia, so look no further.

17. The Greenbrier

One of West Virginia’s most picturesque places to visit is this gorgeous resort. The Greenbrier is a magnificent resort with cottages and historic suites that is located on a green and exquisitely designed expanse of land with enough activities & luxury for days.

World-class facilities like stuffed welcome baskets, hors d’oeuvres in your room, beverages, and more are all included in your stay.

In essence, as a resort guest, you are treated like royalty. The resort offers not only opulent lodging but also a tonne of entertaining activities.

A fantastic spa, a variety of eating options, bowling, an indoor pool, an escape room, and much more are all located inside the hotel. The Greenbriar is one of the many beautiful places to visit in West Virginia and is certainly a religious experience.

18. Heritage Farm Museum & Village

The Heritage Farm Museum & Village in West Virginia offers a variety of entertaining activities for visitors. There are also log cabin inns, seven excellent museums, an artisan center, and other attractions, one of which is a venue for events.

Although accommodations are typical of early Appalachian pioneer life, they are fully furnished. Visitors have a wide range of alternatives for things to see and do, whether or not they want to stay on the property.

Visits to unusual locations like a maker space, a blacksmith shop, a log chapel, interactive wildlife habitats, a nature center, several adventure activities, and more are some of the property’s most popular attractions.

Additionally, the seven museums use intriguingly themed exhibits to narrate the history of Appalachia.

19. Harpers Ferry

Image by DanaTentis from Pixabay

Within the same-named national park sits the picturesque town of Harpers Ferry. It’s like traveling back in time to this ancient West Virginian town. The village’s scenic alleys offer views of Maryland & Virginia as they wind along a body of water in which the Shenandoah & Potomac Rivers converge.

Everyone can find something to do in Harpers Ferry, which is home to a plethora of tourist attractions, whether they come this weekend or today. The hamlet, for instance, is home to fascinating displays, museums, ancient battlegrounds, and more.

There are also lots of kid-friendly activities, hiking paths (which range in difficulty), camping grounds, rock climbing locations, and other exciting outdoor activities with so many amazing tourist attractions and stunning natural landscapes all in one location.

20. Blackwater Falls State Park

There are many beautiful natural sites in West Virginia. It is an enjoyable site to view.

The 57-foot cascade of breathtaking amber waters that makes up the falls is what gives them their name. The falls, along with several other amazing vistas in the park, are among the most popular tourist destinations in West Virginia.

Hiking to picturesque overlooks or viewing platforms dispersed around the park allows visitors to the falls at any time of the year. The park also offers numerous other enjoyable outdoor excursions, as well as camping places with log cabins.

Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia is a must-see among the state’s outdoor attractions.

21. The West Virginia State Penitentiary

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The West Virginia Penitentiary is an ornate gothic stone structure with battlements and towers.

The general public can take themed excursions all year round. Visitors have the option of taking the 90-minute historical day tour, which provides information about the history, folklore, art, and criminal justice system of the penitentiary.

In addition, the Mystery Monday trips have a few more climbing and exploring aspects. In addition, the site offers ghost hunts, eerie night tours, & an escape from prison tour that is similar to an escape room but in a larger size.

22. Greenbrier State Forest

The forest allows for plenty of different leisure activities like fishing & swimming. It has miles upon miles of quiet natural beauty connected with hiking routes, bicycle trails, and more.

The campgrounds located within the forest are the best option for a short stay or multiple days.

The hiking routes in this woodland system are its main draw. The trails are most notable for their more than five-mile route between Lewisburg & White Sulphur Springs.

Along with covering a considerable distance, the trails will take you through some of West Virginia’s most breathtaking scenery.

23. Seneca Rocks

One of West Virginia’s most well-known natural landmarks is Seneca Rocks, one of the state’s many awesome attractions. Notably, the rocks are a beautiful location that is well-liked by both locals and tourists.

In addition to providing a stunning background for photos, the rocks also provide a stimulating environment. Numerous rock climbers visit Seneca Rocks every year to try their fortunes at this unusual and difficult rock structure.

Surprisingly, the rocks rise 900 feet above the lovely North Fork River, which is another lovely site to witness. Seneca Rocks is a place with a lot of excellent activities outside of rock climbing.

Fishing in rivers and streams, hiking, wildlife observation, and discovery center education are all available to visitors.

24. Seneca Caverns

Look no further if you’re looking for unique activities in West Virginia. Seneca Caverns offers a distinctive, interactive underground experience. Amazingly, this cavern’s 450 million-year age is evident in its abundance of incredible structures, including stalagmites, stalactites, flowstone, lakes made of rimstone, and more.

A tour of the cavern will show you sights that are unlike anything you’ve ever seen on Earth. Guided tours of beautiful caves offer fantastic photo possibilities. In addition to simply exploring the cave, tourists can go gemstone mining.

Sifting through mud, dirt, & sand in search of interesting minerals and jewels will be so much fun. Plus, you get to keep whatever you uncover. This is a fantastic exercise for both adults and kids.

25. Lake Shawnee Amusement Park

Lake Shawnee Amusement Park if you’re looking for something off the main path. This abandoned attraction is eerie and scary, yet it’s also a fascinating sight. Despite local lore suggesting that the park was haunted by supernatural entities, people travel from near & far to visit.

The notion that it’s haunted may have some merit given that it’s located on a Native American burial place and has been the scene of far too many violent deaths. Despite being abandoned, tourists can schedule private tours with ghost investigators to make their own judgments.

Lake Shawnee
Image from Lake Shawnee

You’ll enjoy this attraction if you like the strange, unexplainable, and utterly unsettling. The park not only allows visitors to wander the grounds but also provides entertaining seasonal activities.

26. Dolly Sods Wilderness

The Dolly Sods Wilderness is an enormous natural preserve that encompasses more than 17,000 acres of forested land and attracts tourists from all over the world.

It is spread across two counties in West Virginia, has a mixed ecotype, elevations of almost 5,000 feet, and, most of all, a wealth of spectacular natural features that provide a backdrop for tonnes of enjoyable activities.

Notably, Dolly Sods has close to 50 hiking paths for hikers of various skill levels. Some of the paths are located next to former logging and railroad routes, making for even more picturesque hikes.

The Dolly Sods Wilderness Area offers many hiking paths in addition to opportunities for horseback riding, swimming, fishing, and hunting.

Final Note

Now you don’t need to worry about what to do in West Virginia. There are many activities to do in West Virginia, so if you’re considering visiting Mountain State, then you can relax. The nature enthusiasts in your group will appreciate this vacation because it is filled with an exceptional amount of gorgeous outdoor attractions, including hiking trails, rock climbing, and more.

However, there are numerous resorts, theatres, museums, and other attractions that will satisfy your needs if you prefer a more laid-back getaway. Basically, West Virginia has you covered regardless of your travel pace.

You can be sure that your trip will be one of the most memorable ever due to the abundance of things to do in one of the most stunning & beautiful states in the nation.



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