Nearly heaven, West Virginia. That is how John Denver referred to the state in his American traditional “Take Me Residence, Nation Roads,” certainly one of West Virginia’s 4 state songs. (In case you are questioning, the opposite three are “The West Virginia Hills,” “This Is My West Virginia” and “West Virginia, My Residence Candy Residence.”)

West Virginia is certainly one of the vital chic states within the U.S. But it is not on the high of many vacationers’ bucket lists (if it even has a spot on these lists in any respect).

It is time to change your thoughts about West Virginia, and should you’ve discovered your self on this web page, chances are high you are prepared for the problem – and a memorable expertise.

Nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia is the one state located solely within the Appalachian Mountain area. As such, it presents a wealth of out of doors actions, together with whitewater rafting, ATV using, zip lining, climbing, mountain climbing, and rappelling at state parks and New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect, the nation’s latest nationwide park.

However that is not all. Guests can cease by The Greenbrier, a luxurious resort whose company have ranged from presidents to injured troopers. Because the second-largest coal-producing U.S. state, West Virginia can also be dwelling to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, the place curious vacationers can trip via the passages of a former coal mine. West Virginia has its share of quirky points of interest as nicely, together with the “World’s Largest Teapot” and the Mothman Museum, which tells the story of the native legend that impressed “The Mothman Prophecies,” each a e book and a movie starring Richard Gere.

From the beautiful to the paranormal, these are the highest issues to do in West Virginia.

New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect: Glen Jean

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If there’s just one place you possibly can go to in West Virginia, let it’s New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect. Born out of a COVID-19 aid invoice, New River Gorge turned the nation’s 63rd nationwide park in December 2020. The realm – which spans greater than 70,000 acres – has lengthy been a playground for outside fanatics. Its 53-mile stretch of the New River (satirically one of many oldest rivers on this planet) is legendary for whitewater rafting, with beginner- and family-friendly tours and rapids as much as Class V, extensively thought-about among the most difficult to navigate. After all, the park additionally presents different methods to absorb its otherworldly panorama – assume scenic driving routes, climbing, biking, climbing, fishing and free, ranger-led actions together with junior ranger packages. Lodging choices contained in the park are restricted to tenting, however there are many resorts and resorts inside a brief drive.

Tackle: 104 Principal St., Glen Jean, WV 25846

Bridge Stroll: Lansing

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No matter you do in New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect, do not miss the one-of-a-kind Bridge Stroll, the place guided excursions are provided on a catwalk beneath the well-known New River Gorge Bridge. The bridge towers 876 toes above the New River, however don’t fret – company are securely fixed to a cable, and excursions transfer at a relaxed tempo so you possibly can really feel snug (and cease for scenic views and photograph ops alongside the best way). Earlier guests say the Bridge Stroll is a should in West Virginia, with some calling it a once-in-a-lifetime expertise. Contributors should be at the very least 8 years previous, and excursions begin at $72. In the event you’re feeling additional courageous after mastering this walkway, you possibly can even come again for Bridge Day, West Virginia’s largest single-day competition, the place 1000’s collect each October to look at daredevils soar off the bridge into the gorge under.

Tackle: 57 County Route 85/9, Lansing, WV 25862

Adventures on the Gorge: Lansing

(Courtesy of Adventures on the Gorge)

The last word expertise in West Virginia, Adventures on the Gorge, is an award-winning journey clothing store and resort on the rim of New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect. The vacation spot resort presents a dizzying array of out of doors actions, the most well-liked of which is whitewater rafting. Vacationers rave in regards to the half- and multi-day excursions for varied ability ranges, noting that the guides are pleasant, useful and all-around nice. Journey seekers can even take pleasure in zip lining and cover excursions (together with a nighttime MoonTrek), rappelling, mountain biking, guided hikes, horseback using, cave excursions, laser tag and paintball. On Summersville Lake (the biggest in West Virginia), there’s kayaking, standup paddle boarding and multi-sport excursions that embody a bit of little bit of all the pieces. After an action-packed day, guests can seize a chunk to eat at any of the three on-site eating places and retreat to their selection of lodging, which embody all the pieces from cozy cabins to glamping tents with views of the New River Gorge Bridge and surrounding forest.

Tackle: 219 County Route 60/5, Lansing, WV 25862

The Greenbrier: White Sulphur Springs

(Courtesy of Greenbrier County CVB)

A Nationwide Historic Landmark, The Greenbrier served as a hospital for wounded troopers throughout the Civil Conflict and World Conflict II. In 1778, it turned “America’s Resort,” first internet hosting rich Southerners, then celebrities, U.S. presidents and even royalty. You do not have to be a visitor of the posh resort (or an A-lister) to get a glimpse of it – guided resort excursions are provided – however in a single day company take pleasure in upscale lodging starting from signature visitor rooms to property properties, a roster of actions for all ages, golf, a spa, eating places, a on line casino, retail outlets, seasonal occasions and extra. Whether or not you splurge for an in a single day keep or not, do not miss the Bunker Tour, the place you may uncover a former emergency fallout shelter and top-secret authorities relocation facility for Congress from the Chilly Conflict interval. The tour, accessible for guests aged 10 and older, begins at $40 for adults and $20 for ages 10 to 18.

Tackle: 101 W. Principal St., White Sulphur Springs, WV 24986

Misplaced World Caverns: Lewisburg

(Courtesy of Greenbrier County CVB)

Go 120 toes underground to discover stalagmites (a few of which measure as much as 80 toes tall) and stalactites at Misplaced World Caverns, one of many high issues to do in West Virginia. Self-guided excursions usually take about 45 minutes and are applicable for all ages, whereas the Wild Cave Tour for ages 10 and up takes guests to undeveloped components of the caverns over the course of a number of hours. This attraction, which was first found in 1942, additionally features a museum and reward store. Earlier guests extremely advocate Misplaced World Caverns, cautioning that the caves may be slippery and troublesome to traverse in some areas, so make sure to put on sturdy sneakers and a lightweight jacket. Excursions begin at $12 for adults and $6 for kids.

Tackle: 907 Misplaced World Street, Lewisburg, WV 24901

Harpers Ferry

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Maybe essentially the most well-known vacation spot in West Virginia, Harpers Ferry is greater than a quaint Nineteenth-century city. It is a Nationwide Historic Park with Civil Conflict websites together with battlefields, remnants of campsites and, most notably, John Brown’s Fort and the John Brown Museum. In the event you do not bear in mind this one from historical past class, John Brown is the abolitionist credited with main what’s now often called the Harpers Ferry Raid, during which he tried to start out an armed revolt of enslaved individuals in 1859.

Harpers Ferry is also called the psychological midpoint of the two,178-mile Appalachian Nationwide Scenic Path and, as such, attracts thru-hikers to the historic Decrease City’s eating places and close by trip leases. Different highlights in Harper’s Ferry embody The Level, the place you possibly can see the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers; crossing the Potomac on a pedestrian bridge to entry the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Nationwide Historic Park towpath; and, higher nonetheless, getting out on the waters in a river tube, chilly drink in hand.

Berkeley Springs State Park: Berkeley Springs

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Soak within the soothing springs of this state park, identified for its heat waters, which keep a snug temperature of 74.3 levels Fahrenheit, and its bathhouses, the place accessible spa providers embody massages and mineral baths. The springs date again centuries, first flourishing as a well being mecca for Native People, then drawing European settlers starting in 1730. A number of years later, George Washington found the therapeutic powers of the springs and started visiting them commonly. It’s largely due to him that the place now often called Berkeley Springs State Park stays the favored wellness destination it’s right now. Guests reward the park and surrounding city, noting that you would be able to see the historic Berkeley Springs Fortress (reserved for personal occasions solely) from right here.

Tackle: 2 S. Washington St., Berkeley Springs, WV 25411

Mothman Museum: Level Nice

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

In 1966, two grave diggers in Clendenin, West Virginia, reported the sighting of a wierd winged determine with purple eyes. Shortly after the incident, native residents started to make related claims, with many blaming the huge creature, nicknamed the Mothman, for the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse and subsequent demise of 46 individuals. The story was so weird it captured the eye of Hollywood (leading to “The Mothman Prophecies” film, based mostly on a e book of the identical title) and impressed the Mothman Museum within the city of Level Nice, the place the Mothman is alleged to reside. The museum options unique newspaper clippings, handwritten police stories, props used within the 2002 movie and extra. The Mothman Statue stands 12 toes tall outdoors of the museum, and the Mothman Competition is hosted each September. Earlier patrons of the museum say it is enjoyable and fascinating, and that admission – lower than $5 for adults – is reasonable. After you discover this eerie museum, spend a while in Level Nice, an attraction in itself with nice eating places, procuring, seasonal occasions and the historic (and supposedly haunted) Lowe Lodge.

Tackle: 400 Principal St., Level Nice, WV 25550

World’s Largest Teapot: Chester

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

In the event you’re road-tripping via West Virginia, take into account making a cease at this quirky attraction, which measures 12 toes excessive and 44 toes vast. Earlier than attaining fame, the “World’s Largest Teapot” was created as a large keg for Hires Root Beer after which put in as a snack stand at a mini-golf course in Pennsylvania. In 1938, a person named William “Babe” Devon introduced it to Chester, West Virginia. He added a spout, lid and deal with so he might use the newly revamped construction to advertise the area’s then-booming pottery business, promoting teapots and different souvenirs from its window. The teapot went out of enterprise round 1980, was restored by the Chester Metropolis Council in 1990, and has sat the junction of U.S. Route 30 and State Route 2 ever since.

West Virginia Penitentiary: Moundsville

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

Throughout its 100-plus years in operation, the West Virginia Penitentiary noticed riots, homicides and executions together with public hangings. So it is no shock that when the storied jail decommissioned in 1995, former jail guards started providing excursions to the general public. Present tour choices embody a Public Ghost Hunt and Non-public Paranormal Investigations, because the jail is alleged to be haunted by former inmates. You possibly can even attempt your hand at an escape room recreation. Earlier guests verify the jail excursions, which begin at $14 per grownup and $8 per little one aged 6 to 16, are creepy, informative and pleasing. The West Virginia Penitentiary is so spooky that it has been featured in Netflix’s “Mindhunter” (together with the city of Moundsville) and Hulu’s “Fortress Rock,” amongst different TV exhibits and films.

Tackle: 818 Jefferson Ave., Moundsville, WV 26041

West Virginia State Museum: Charleston

Situated within the charming state capital of Charleston, the West Virginia State Museum options informative and interactive reveals that pay homage to the tradition and historical past of the Mountain State. Notable artifacts on show embody a pair of Billy the Child’s leather-based chaps and the telescope George Washington used to survey the state’s lands. Earlier guests say this Charleston museum is really spectacular, with some advising you may want a number of hours to see all the pieces it has to supply. Bonus: As a state-operated attraction, the museum is free to enter. The West Virginia State Museum additionally manages a number of historic websites all through the state together with West Virginia Independence Corridor and Camp Washington-Carver.

Tackle: 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E #435, Charleston, WV 25305

Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine: Beckley

(Courtesy of Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine)

A small, family-operated coal mine and camp from roughly 1890 to 1910 that later turned a business endeavor till it closed in 1953, the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is now a extremely rated attraction in West Virginia. Earlier guests say each youngsters and adults take pleasure in exploring the previous coal mines with veteran miners, who lead guided excursions in genuine “man journeys,” the vehicles utilized in mining operations. Whenever you emerge from the tunnels, discover the Coal Camp, with restored unique buildings together with the Pemberton Coal Camp Church and the Helen Coal Camp College, then cease by the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia, which incorporates a planetarium and a recreated homestead from the late Nineteenth century. Admission – $22 for adults and $12.50 for these youthful than 18 – contains the tour and entry to the camp and museum. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine is open from April to November, however convey a lightweight jacket regardless of while you go to because the mines can get chilly.

Tackle: 513 Ewart Ave., Beckley, WV 25801

Twin Falls Resort State Park: Mullens

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

Escape to Twin Falls Resort State Park, a vacation spot resort with greater than 25 miles of climbing and biking trails (the place you possibly can see the park’s namesake waterfalls), an indoor swimming pool, an 18-hole golf course, a restaurant, and in a single day lodging choices that embody tenting (tents or RVs), cabins and resort rooms. The park additionally incorporates a reconstructed pioneer homestead, the place company can find out about frontier life on the attraction’s working farm and gardens. Latest company have left optimistic opinions of the resort, commenting that it is each lovely and clear.

Monongahela Nationwide Forest

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

One other nationally protected area in West Virginia, the Monongahela Nationwide Forest spans greater than 919,000 acres in 10 counties over elevations that vary from 1,000 to almost 5,000 toes above sea stage. Areas of curiosity embody Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks Nationwide Recreation Space, which options the best peak in West Virginia, and the Dolly Sods Wilderness, notably the Bear Rocks path. Each areas provide among the finest views within the state based on native Reddit customers. All through the huge nationwide forest there are ample climbing and biking trails, scenic driving routes and locations to cease for a picnic lunch. You too can go swimming, boating, fishing, horseback using and, if you would like to remain a number of days, tenting in tents, RVs or on-site cabins. A go to within the winter affords alternatives for snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country snowboarding.

Blackwater Falls State Park: Davis

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

The tannic acid of fallen hemlock and purple spruce needles tints the water of Blackwater Falls, therefore the title of this 57-foot cascade and state park in Tucker County. Reachable by way of hike, Blackwater Falls is certainly one of West Virginia’s most photographed locations, as are different park highlights together with Elakala Falls, Lindy Level and Pendleton Level Overlook. At Blackwater Falls State Park, you may as well take pleasure in biking, fishing and geocaching in heat climate and, within the winter, slide down the longest sledding magic carpet on the East Coast. There’s a lot to do this the park presents quite a lot of in a single day lodging, from tent tenting to lodge visitor rooms. Parkgoers say the four-season vacation spot is each fairly and pleasing regardless of while you go to.

Tackle: 1584 Blackwater Lodge Street, Davis, WV 26260

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park: Cass

(Courtesy of West Virginia Division of Tourism)

A distant vacation spot in Pocahontas County, Cass was as soon as an organization city for loggers, who transported lumber by way of what’s now often called the Cass Scenic Railroad. Climb aboard a historic steam-driven locomotive (operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad) for a scenic trip to Bald Knob, the third-highest level in West Virginia. The trip, which affords panoramic views of the Appalachians, lasts about 4.5 hours spherical journey and contains lunch. For these visiting Cass Scenic Railroad State Park with youngsters, earlier guests advocate the two-hour spherical journey to Whittaker Station, a former logging camp. Some vacationers additionally counsel a go to within the fall to benefit from the colourful foliage. Inside Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, guests can discover the previous lumbering city in addition to a present store, restaurant, museum and theater. In a single day cabin lodging are additionally accessible.

Tackle: 12363 Cass Street, Cass, WV 24927

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