8 towns that will make you want to move to West Virginia

You know you’ve had a great vacation when you start thinking about moving to the place you’ve visited. West Virginia has many towns that will make you want to head to the hills for good.

Small towns offer a different pace, as well as unique opportunities to enrich your life. Our towns feature incredible scenery, world class outdoor adventure, theater, education, art and music. West Virginia towns are tightly-knit communities, steeped in history, culture and heritage.

While the pace is slower than in bustling urban areas, life in a small town is never boring. West Virginia small towns are full of adventure, fantastic food, great entertainment and friendly people. Whether you are ready to retire and golf full time, enjoy outdoor adventure or raise a family, we’ve got a town that you will want to call home.

1. Berkeley Springs

Located in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Berkeley Springs is picturesque, and has a lively downtown. A true Mountain State town, Berkeley Springs offers something different during all 4 seasons.

Famous for its natural mineral springs, people have been bathing in the waters for centuries. As a result you’ll find plenty of historic buildings and architecture. The healing water also provides a great opportunity for homeopathic medicine. Berkeley Springs is home to Homeopathy Works, and you can find their remedies at shops throughout town.

Well-renowned as a home for artists, there are more than 100 art dealers in town, as well as unique shops, galleries and antique malls. Just 10 miles south of town is Cacapon Resort State Park, which features a challenging golf course, miles of trails and a sand swimming beach.

2. Elkins

Elkins is an outdoor enthusiast’s Mountain State town. Located in Randolph County close to 3 major ski resorts and bordering the Monongahela National Forest, you can find world-class hunting, fishing, hiking, birding, whitewater rafting, skiing, biking, spelunking and trail running nearby. Spelunkers can explore the extensive caves underground, while whitewater enthusiasts can float the rapids and waves on the Tygart River. Birders can spot rare migrating and native birds in the hardwood forests surrounding town.

Once the sun goes down, you can have dinner and view live performances and theater at the American Mountain Theater, Boiler House Theatre at Davis and Elkins College or the Old Brick Playhouse downtown.

3. Buckhannon

Located on the banks of the Buckhannon River and home to West Virginia Wesleyan College, Buckhannon has great local restaurants, beautiful architecture and loads of small town charm. With its cute neighborhoods and well-manicured yards, you’ll easily be able to imagine raising a family in this progressive little town.

You’ll find plenty of history and museums to explore, as well as outdoor recreation in the nearby Stonewall Jackson Lake Wildlife Management Area. Buckhannon hosts an annual Strawberry Festival, which brings a carnival atmosphere to Main Street with family friendly fun, arts, crafts and local foods.

4. Ripley

Nestled in between the Ohio River Valley and the Appalachian foothills, Ripley is a vibrant arts town.  It’s also home to the craftsmanship of Vail Furniture, the oldest independent furniture establishment in the United States.

Each year, artists share their work at the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair and at other fairs and celebrations. The biggest party comes every 4th of July when Ripley hosts the largest small-town celebration in the nation. You can also explore city parks in downtown, along with great shopping and local restaurants.

5. Shepherdstown

Less than 80 miles from Baltimore and Washington, DC, Shepherdstown is a historic stop with lots of charm. Situated between the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, it has opportunities for the outdoor enthusiast and the history buff alike. Shepherdstown was the site of many historic Civil War battles, and many of the sites are preserved for re-enactments.

Nightlife in Shepherdstown features award-winning local restaurants, a thriving local music scene and plenty of theatrical performances.

6. White Sulphur Springs

Located in the Greenbrier Valley, White Sulphur Springs is a small town with a rich history. Home to The Greenbrier, one of the country’s most exclusive and luxurious resorts, and the Oakhurst Links, one of the oldest golf clubs in the United States, White Sulphur Springs exudes elegance.

Nature lovers will enjoy the hardwoods of the Monongahela National Forest and hiking and biking the Greenbrier Valley Trail.  Each year, downtown comes alive with fun festivals that celebrate the seasons, including the Dandelion Festival each spring, the re-enactment of the 1862 Battle of Dry Creek every summer, and the Freshwater Folk Festival in the fall.

7. Point Pleasant

Located in west-central West Virginia at the junction of the the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, Point Pleasant has fun recreation and educational activities for the whole family. Kids will enjoy days at the West Virginia State Farm Museum and learning about history at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.

Point Pleasant hosts the Mothman Festival every September, which pays tribute to the legend of the Mothman that has been immortalized in books and movies. The festival brings some quirkiness to this otherwise very normal town.

8. Kingwood

Kingwood is a small town in Preston County, known to have the best buckwheat pancakes in West Virginia. It’s also home to Camp Dawson, the region’s most accessible training center. Downtown features great neighborhood restaurants, unique shopping and festive street fairs.

The homes in the historic district are old Colonial style with neat little gardens. You’ll also see Mae West vintage gas pumps at the 1937-era Esso Gas Station. For outdoor adventure, there’s whitewater rafting on the Cheat River and adventures aplenty in the nearby Monongahela National Forest.

Which small town in West Virginia draws you here to the hills?

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This post was last updated on July 20, 2020