Travel Guide to West Virginia – Top 5 Places to Visit

West Virginia, or “The Mountain State”, definitely has more to offer than meets the eye. From small towns with great spirit, hidden gems of nature, and amazing outdoor adventures, West Virginia is a state with a wide variety of attractions and places to visit. This means that anyone can find something to look forward to. So if you want to get the best out of your visit, check out the following travel guide to West Virginia. To make it easier for you to find something that will suit your wanderlust, these top five places to visit are split into three categories:

  • The history buffs’ travel guide to West Virginia, 
  • The nature lovers travel guide to West Virginia. 
  • One that is perfect for both nature and history lovers.

West Virginia is also a popular family vacation destination. However, if this is your visit’s goal, please make sure you prepare properly. That way, you can avoid common family vacation mistakes and keep the memory of this beautiful state a good one.

Why is West Virginia worth the visit?

Aside from all the things to see in West Virginia, there are also many things to do here. The most common and most popular activities are:

  • Aerial excursions
  • Biking
  • Camping
  • Visiting caverns
  • Fishing
  • Hiking (of course)
  • Horseback Riding
  • Visiting natural springs
  • Hunting 
  • Motorsports
  • Rock climbing
  • Scenic trains
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Winter sports
  • Historical tours
West Virginia is beautiful to look at, even in the simple streets of historic downtown areas.

As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities that West Virginia can offer you. This can mainly be attributed to The Mountain State’s beautiful nature and historical sights. Of course, if you become another one of the many people who fall in love with this dualistic state, you can always decide to stay. Many choose to do so, thanks to the recently booming economy and openings in the job market. Regarding the move itself, as long as you hire skilled people to help you out, you can move here with no stress.

The history buff’s travel guide to West Virginia

We’ll start with the historical side of West Virginia. There are two historical sites we strongly recommend you visit if you plan to travel to the Mountain State. 

There is, of course, much more history than just what is in this travel guide to West Virginia.

We’ll start with the historical side of West Virginia. There are two historical sites we strongly recommend you visit if you plan to travel to the Mountain State. 

Cass Scenic Railroad 

The first place to visit on this travel guide to West Virginia is the Cass Scenic Railroad. The Cass Scenic Railroad takes you on a journey through the lovely countryside and the past. Here you will ride in a gorgeous old-fashioned carriage, which is, of course, pulled by a steam-driven locomotive. First, you will hear the whistle blow. Then you will see steam flying out above the train. You will smell the refreshing air of nature that surrounds you. Finally, you will taste the coffee being served on the train. 

It truly is a magical experience for all senses. And any train enthusiast will love taking a ride on the heritage railroad. What surrounds the tracks is a state park that carries the same name.

One of the best moments of the ride is approaching the summit of Bald Knob. It is the third-highest peak in the state. There you will be able to see the nature that stretches away towards the horizon.

Charles Town

When picking a town to visit in West Virginia, your mind will immediately go to the state capital of Charleston. However, in this travel guide to West Virginia, we recommend the similar-sounding and historic Charles Town. This is a very popular place to visit for anyone who is not as interested in the nature that West Virginia has to offer. It was named after George Washington’s youngest brother and was founded in 1787. You can still see many of the family’s old homes and farms in this town. 

If you are wondering how staying here will feel, you should know that Charles Town gives off a quaint, small-town feel.

If you want to learn a bit more about the region’s rich history, the Jefferson County Museum is the best place to go. It houses many interesting artifacts and photographs.

It is a very safe place, perfect for a family road trip destination. In case the kids need some exciting fun, a water park is nearby.

The nature lover’s travel guide to West Virginia

Now we can move on to the beautiful nature that West Virginia has to offer and the fun activities that go with it. As with the historical travel guide to West Virginia, here are the two best places to enjoy nature in this state.

One of the best parts of nature when you travel to West Virginia is all the outdoor activities.

The New River Gorge National Park

The New River Gorge National Park& Preserve is America’s 63rd national park, featuring over seventy thousand acres of public land. It is also the youngest national park in the US. The park itself is easily accessible by Route 19 and I-64.

The first reason this place is in this travel guide to West Virginia is that it is the perfect place for taking pictures. In fact, it is one of the state’s most photographed areas.

The iconic steel arch bridge is also found here. It was once the longest bridge in the world and has since welcomed travelers to this region. It is popularly known as the second oldest river in the world. Since the river itself cuts through diverse geological formations, it makes way for a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Here you will find hiking trails that will take you to spectacular overlooks and through the remains of old coal-mining towns. There are many reasons to travel with your dog, and since most US National Parks allow pets, you can take your furry friend on these hikes with you.

Blackwater Falls State Park

Blackwater Falls State Park is also one of the most photogenic places in the whole of West Virginia. The main attraction is the beautiful waterfall that lies at its heart. There are also lots of calming forests and woodlands all around.

Exploring the paths and trails through the stunning scenery is a wonderful experience. You will pass gorgeous viewpoints and sparkling waterfalls.

Harpers Ferry – something for everyone

The most popular tourist attraction we will be talking about in this travel guide to West Virginia is Harpers Ferry. It is a town with rich history surrounded by forest-coated mountains.

Because of the location’s advantages, the town was among the most sought after during the Civil War. Because of that, there are many historical sights to see, with plenty of important landmarks all around the town.

While many visitors come to learn about the history of the town, just as many visit for the massive wilderness in the area and what it has to offer. Here, there are loads of fun activities you can try out. You can go ziplining, whitewater rafting, or inner tubing.

Final thoughts

All in all, this travel guide to West Virginia is meant to be a starting point for you. This state has so much to offer; it is up to you to make your journey through its wonders. Remember, this is your trip, so make sure it brings you joy wherever you decide to go. Enjoy your vacation and have fun!

Author Bio: Henry Smith enjoys discovering new nature and historical wonders and loves writing about them. He’s been to West Virginia a couple of times and is mesmerized by its beauty and various activities it has to offer. 

Henry Smith

Henry Smith