Charleston

West Virginia’s capital city is perfectly positioned at the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers. It’s also where three major interstates converge, making it a highly accessible destination for visitors looking for an affordable getaway. Charleston boasts the history you’d expect of a capital city, but a growing arts scene and its riverside position makes it a hub for recreation and culture, too.

Dining

The city’s Capitol Street is loaded with one-of-a-kind restaurants. Visit Adelphia’s Sports Bar for authentic Greek cuisine or check out Pies and Pints next door for delicious pizzas. Ellen’s Ice Cream, across the street, serves up tasty ice cream flavors. Nearby Black Sheep Burritos and Brews offers traditional burritos and quesadillas, along with a selection of craft beer. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that you won’t go hungry in the capitol city! At J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works, a 7th-generation salt-making family harvests all-natural salt from an ancient ocean below the Appalachian Mountains of the Kanawha Valley. Their salt is the perfect addition to any home-cooked meal. 

Entertainment

Charleston’s “Mountain Stage” with Larry Groce has hosted live performances of all styles for more than 30 years, and each week the show is heard on more than 200 NPR Stations. The Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences is one of only a few in the country that houses the sciences, visual arts, and performing arts all in a single museum. The Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center has a storied past and promising future. This venue, formerly known as the Charleston Civic Center, has hosted presidential visits, NBA games and countless musical performances. Today, you can expect music concerts, high school/collegiate/professional sporting events and various conventions and meetings.

Shopping

The Capitol Market is a perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping. Along with fresh produce you can find unique West Virginia gifts and goodies. Step outside and find an array of bright and cheery flowers from greenhouses around the state. You’ll also find eclectic shops and storefronts scattered through the town. Buck and Bette carries fancy and staple goods for Appalachian life. Base Camp Printing Company produces one-of-a-kind prints using an old-time printing press. Next store, Kin Ship Goods is a quality of life brand dedicated to bringing comfort to all creatures in the form of West Virginia themed apparel and keepsakes. 

Recreation

Stay close to town by visiting Kanawha State Forest, a short 7-mile drive, for hiking, mountain biking or fishing. Choose any one of the 14 hiking trails or 9 mountain biking trails winding through the 9,300-acre forest. Charleston is also just an hour’s drive from the New River Gorge, where you’ll find some of the best outdoor recreation West Virginia has to offer.

History

The magnificent 293-foot gold dome of the State Capitol is five feet higher than the dome of the U.S. Capitol. The entire dome is gilded in 23 ½ karat gold leaf. While you’re on the Capitol Campus, visit the West Virginia State Museum, celebrating West Virginia’s history and culture. Walk through the state’s history with a “show path” that takes you from the prehistoric age to present day. 

Stay

Charleston has your choice of national chains like Courtyard by Marriott, Embassy Suites, Four Points by Sheraton, Hampton Inn and more. But if you’re looking for a unique stay, try a night at the Brass Pineapple Bed and Breakfast. The cozy inn offers guest rooms with private bathrooms and are furnished with pristine Victorian antiques, comfortable mattresses, terry robes, free high-speed wireless internet and a TV. With a hearty breakfast and afternoon tea, you’ll feel right at home in the heart of Charleston.

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