Town guide: Morgantown
Whether you bleed gold and blue, love munchin’ on some local eats or are looking for a place to spend some time outdoors, take the country roads to Morgantown! It has something everyone will enjoy. Young and old alike flock there for its vibrant culture and nightlife — enhanced by the bright and creative minds who call it home.
Enjoy the wild, wonderful outdoors by hiking one of several trails at local favorite Coopers Rock State Forest, or check out the panoramic views at Dorsey’s Knob, one of the highest points in Monongalia County!
Hop on your bike and take a jaunt along the Mon River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trails— a 48-mile network of trails that converge in Morgantown and stretch from Cheat Lake in the north to Prickett’s Fort State Park and the New Deal community of Arthurdale in the south. The handicap-accessible paved and compacted limestone trails also accommodate pedestrians, in-line skaters and cross-country skiers through urban and scenic areas.
Morgantown is home to the Mountain State’s flagship university, West Virginia University. Owned by WVU, Core Arboretum is home to hundreds of WV native trees and plants. Head out on the 3.5 miles of walking trails and enjoy its 91 acres! Or, fly through the trees with the greatest of ease on a zipline canopy tour at WVU’s Outdoor Education Center. The Adventure WV Canopy Tour in WVU’s Research Forest includes an aerial bridge, an aerial ladder, a 45-foot rappel, and 4 ziplines.
If you’re into sports, or just looking for something fun to do, head up the hill to the newly built Monongalia County Ballpark and catch a West Virginia Black Bears game (along with breathtaking views of Morgantown just from the parking lot)! The Black Bears are in affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and play from June-September.
Satisfy your appetite for visual and performing arts at the Monongalia Arts Center, which houses 2 art galleries and a community theater. Or catch a live performance or film at the historic Metropolitan Theatre. For some great original live music, follow the WVU students to 123 Pleasant St. Morgantown’s premier rock venue hosts a diverse selection of bands, from local to national acts.
Perks of a town with a large university are the cheap and unique experiences that come with it. Take for example, WVU’s Personal Rapid Transit system (PRT). Hop aboard at one of the 5 stations for just 50 cents (free for WVU students and staff) and, the PRT will take you from downtown to Evansdale, allowing you to view Morgantown in all its glory along the way. The cars are powered by electric motors, making it an environmentally friendly way to travel! It takes just over 11 minutes to travel the entire length of the tracks, with sights such as the Monongahela River, Coliseum, and Milan Puskar Stadium.
After a fun-filled day of adventures, your stomach is sure to be rumblin’. Lucky for you, Morgantown is home to more than a few delectable local eateries! Students, locals, and tourists alike flock to one of 2 Black Bear Burritos locations to chow down on tacos, quesadillas, sandwiches, and more.
Craft beer enthusiasts will already be familiar with Mountain State Brewing Co. and their variety of home-brewed beers. The Morgantown location serves beer, along with delicious flatbreads and sandwiches in a rustic and homey setting, perfect for an evening wind down.
For over 50 years, Mario’s Fishbowl has been a Morgantown staple for wings, beer, and good times. Beer is served in a large, goblet-style cup (“fishbowl”) and wings come with an assortment of tasty sauces to thrill even the most seasoned wing lover (try the cowboy ranch).
If you’re looking for something ethnic, Morgantown’s got you covered there as well! Chaang Thai, located right downtown on High Street, serves up fresh, individually prepared Thai dishes! Can’t handle the heat? No problem! You can ask for your food to be prepared mild, medium, or hot.
For over 40 years, Oliverio’s Ristorante has been preparing savory Italian foods. Its prime location in Morgantown’s Wharf District (right on the banks of the Monongahela River) provides the perfect warm atmosphere for a relaxed family meal, or romantic date night.
Shop for goods made by West Virginia artists and artisans at Appalachian Gallery.
The gallery in the historic Sandcastle building features 2 stories of hand-blown glass, pottery, jewelry, woodwork, art prints, and other unique items that might tickle your fancy.
Head to Morgantown Farmers Market, where more than 40 vendors sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range eggs and meat, honey, bedding plants, and more.
For your everyday needs, Morgantown Mall and Suncrest Towne Center house a variety of chain retail stores and restaurants.
Where to stay
In the Wharf District, Waterfront Place Hotel features 205 guest rooms and suites— some with scenic views of the Monongahela River— and 50,00 square feet of meeting space. Guests can dine at the hotel’s Regatta Bar & Grille or spend some down time at the indoor pool and fitness center.
Lakeview Golf Resort & Spa is set on 500 acres on Cheat Lake just a few miles from WVU. Amenities include 2 championship golf courses, a full-service restaurant, and the elegant Spa Roma.
This post was last updated on July 29, 2020