MoundsvilleMoundsville, located in the Northern Panhandle, offers a slice of southern hospitality mixed with fascinating historical attractions. Visit an old state penitentiary – if you’re brave enough you can spend the night. Or check out a place dubbed America’s Taj Mahal. Homemade baked goods along with tasty made-from-scratch dishes can be found on the menus of many favorite local eateries.
Bob’s Lunch serves comfort food at its finest and most unpretentious. Try basic but satisfying dishes like hot turkey sandwiches with mashed potatoes or club sandwiches with sizzling fries. Remember how towns used to have corner bakeries? Well, you can taste that made-from-scratch difference at Quality Bake Shoppe. Shiny glass cases reveal nostalgic favorites like apple dumplings, cherry-filled donuts, pies and cookies. Need a recommendation? Locals swear by the “Mad Dog” donut, an elongated indulgence stuffed with vanilla, chocolate or peanut-butter cream.
No visit to Moundsville is complete without a trip to the prison, and the West Virginia State Penitentiary is a real stunner. Erected in 1876, this grim fortress has all the characteristics of a Gothic-style cathedral. You’ll feel dominated by its pointed arches, turrets and soaring walls. Until its closure in 1995, criminals lived — and died — within its claustrophobic cells. Now it’s your turn to pay a visit. Choose from a variety of tours: daily, 3-hour investigations, sleep overs and twilight visits. Take a trip to “America’s Taj Mahal.” Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold is an ornate attraction is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Tour marble halls with mirrored ceilings and crystal chandeliers. Outside, walk through lush gardens populated with swans and peacocks.
Are you into shabby chic decor? Moundsville is your place! Stop by Country Lane Crafts & Antiques for primitives, cheerful country goods and keepsakes. They also sell retro candy bars and sweets. Chey Nan’s Western Tack & More isn’t just for the horse fanatic. Step in for cute country decor, charming lanterns and lights, whimsical signs and West Virginia-themed shirts. Just don’t be surprised by all the halters, saddles and pony supplies.
Grand Vue Park is like an enormous playground. You can take a three-hour canopy tour, which boasts eight dual zip lines and multiple suspension bridges. Or, keep things short and sweet with a half-hour aerial experience instead. Grand Vue also has a giant swing, 12 miles of trails, geocaches and much more. Since it’s located right alongside the Ohio River, Moundsville has plenty of spots for kayaking and canoeing, too.
One of Moundsville’s most noteworthy attractions dates to prehistoric times with the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex. At 62 feet high, this National Historic Landmark is one of America’s largest conical burial grounds. Walk its enormous circumference and admire what the Adena people accomplished so long ago. Then, visit the nearby Delf Norona Museum for in-depth information about early West Virginia life. Browse exhibits and artifacts and learn how the mound was made. Before you leave, visit the Anna B. Smith House — headquarters of the Fostoria Glass Museum. Its exquisite collection of delicate stemware bids homage to Fostoria Glass, a company that lasted from 1887-1986.
Grand Vue Park offers traditional and deluxe cabins as well as treetop villas. They’re the perfect getaway for you and your family. Sleep among the treetops and watch the sun set on the Ohio River valley. The nearby Bonnie Dwaine Bed and Breakfast can be your home away from home, too. This quaint bed and breakfast features Victorian-era furniture, a foot powered organ and an elegant gazebo next to an herb garden.
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