11 things everyone who grew up in WV will remember fondly

Growing up in the Mountain State forged lifelong characteristics within me. Independence, a sense of adventure and wonderment, and a healthy dose of whimsy are just a few.

Our hometown WV communities play an integral part in our childhood memories. From unique restaurants that have stood the test of time to weekend diversions that are local mainstays, here are 11 places that will have you waxing nostalgic for West Virginia:


WV Flavors

1. Austin’s Ice Cream, Ceredo

This popular ice cream shop opened in 1947 and was purchased in 1983 by Joyce Snyder. Open from April to October, Austin’s serves up made-from-scratch ice cream using all-natural flavorings and Snyder’s own recipes. You can choose from about 50 unique flavors like grape pineapple and pumpkin pie.

2. Muriale’s Italian Restaurant and Catering, Fairmont

For more than 40 years, Muriale’s has been the go-to restaurant for locals craving authentic Italian fare. Here, you’ll savor manicotti and pastas dressed with homemade meat sauce, varied fresh salads and rich desserts. The amiable staff makes you feel like you’re eating with family– the side you actually like.

They also provide catering for weddings, receptions and cocktail parties, as well as picnic boxes and takeout options.

3. Coleman’s Fish Market, Wheeling

Family run since 1914, this local fish market is located in Centre Market Place. While famous for their no-frills but insanely delicious fish sandwich, they also serve specialty seafood dishes, soups and other sandwiches. Expect a line. You won’t regret the wait, though.

4. Stewart’s Hotdogs, Huntington

This iconic orange drive-in arrived on the scene in 1932. Husband and wife John Louis and Gertrude Mandt opened Stewart’s with a 2-item menu: Stewart’s Root Beer and popcorn. Hoping to generate more revenue, they added hotdogs slathered in Gertrude’s secret recipe chili sauce. Smart move.

Business continues to thrive today with an expanded menu that includes corn dogs, burgers, and BBQ sandwiches. If you’ve moved away and often pine for those dogs and Snyder’s potato chips, fear not: they ship anywhere. And, believe me, the cost of shipping is so worth it.

5. Tudor’s Biscuit World, multiple locations

Since moving out of state, I’ve introduced a lot of friends traveling north to Tudor’s. I’m a bit of a biscuit bully– hounding them with road trip texts and calling them out on social media until they Instagram a pic of their Tootie.

Big, fluffy scratch-made biscuits filled with your choice of bacon, hash browns, eggs, chicken, and other goodies sate you for the whole day. Or at least until you hit Stewart’s for dinner.

You can pair your biscuit with a steaming cup of coffee in your very own Tudor’s-inspired mug from Kin Ship Goods in Charleston.

6. North End Tavern and Brewery, Parkersburg

As the oldest restaurant and brewery in WV, North End Tavern and Brewery is on many Parkersburg locals’ “best of” lists. The tavern opened in 1899 and the brewery came along in 1997.

They offer a nice variety of appetizers, sandwiches and salads. They even provide vegetarian and vegan options. People rave about their craft Roedy’s Red amber ale, which should be paired with their equally popular NET Burger.

There’s a healthy selection of beers here, too— whether you’re a saison fan or IPA lover. Craft brews on-hand include Berry Wheat, WV Wheat and the 5-Way IPA.


Small-town diversions

7. Apollo Theatre, Martinsburg

Built in 1913 by H.P. Thorn, the Apollo was the social and cultural hub of Martinsburg for many years. It was designed by architect Reginald Geare, who was responsible for Washington DC’s famous Knickerbocker Theatre.

This Classical Revival-style building has showcased numerous movies, plays, vaudeville shows, musicians and comics throughout the years. Today, it’s a popular venue for community events like weddings, dances and local community theater.

8. Mr. Cartoon

This show was the hallmark of every Saturday morning for more than 30 years. With his trademark colorful suit and hat and his faithful sidekick, Beeper, Mr. Cartoon (Jules Huffman) made Saturday morning an event. Local children joined in the studio audience, and they played games while the cartoons and commercials aired.

9. Marble King, Paden City

Aptly named, Marble King is the leading manufacturer of marbles in the world. Founded in 1949 by Berry Pink and Sellers Peltier, it was originally in St. Marys, WV. However, after a fire destroyed the factory in 1958, it was moved to its present Paden City location.

Local children often scoured the grounds around the factory and along the railroad tracks to find discarded marbles.

10. Mound climbing, Moundsville

If you’re a Moundsville native, you’ll likely recall many treks up the mound. Once reaching the top, the search was on to find your house somewhere below. It’s a more personalized version of “Where’s Waldo?”.

It’s the largest of the Adena Burial mounds, and the onsite Delf Norona Museum houses extensive archaeological exhibits about the prehistoric cultures of the area.

11. Sunset Drive-in, Shinnston

Generations of families have shared laughs together in their cars at the Sunset Drive-In, and you can pass on that simple joy today. The theater has been around since 1947 (way back when TV was still a novelty), and it’s still screening the newest summer hits. The films and equipment have been updated, but it’s still the same classic family night out that it has been for decades— including the old-fashioned concessions and affordable price tag.

And if you’re a WV native, surely you can score well on this quiz:

How many of these uniquely WV experiences have you had?

This post was last updated on July 23, 2020