13 places in WV where they still do it the old-fashioned way

Modern life is full of interesting gadgets and easy conveniences, but it hasn’t always been that way.

There are plenty of things about the ‘way we used to do things’ that we can be thankful are gone (i.e.; walking a country mile there and back). But here in West Virginia, there are lots of fun, old-fashioned ways worth keeping around.

Find the best of the olden days still going strong right here in West Virginia:

1. Bramwell Corner Shop and Soda Fountain

The Corner Shop in Bramwell is truly a step back in time. The preserved soda fountain is a delicious old-fashioned treat, and the glass cases display beautiful general-store style gifts. Enjoy some homemade ice cream, great food and candy. The original glass-topped tables, cherry wood cabinets and Tiffany-style stained glass will make you feel as though you’re back in the shop’s heyday.

2. Frostop Drive-Thru

Huntington’s famous carhop drive-up restaurant features frosty mugs of root beer, rootbeer floats, slaw dogs on steamed buns, burgers and more of your favorite drive-thru foods.

Babcock Grist Mill in West Virginia

3. Glade Creek Grist Mill, Babcock State Park

Probably the most photographed grist mill this fully functioning mill is actually reconstructed from 3 grist mills. West Virginia was once home to more than 500 mills, until modern manufacturing techniques meant that millers didn’t have to rely on water levels to grind grains and corn. Visitors to Babcock can buy freshly ground meal depending on stream conditions and availability.

4. Berdine’s Five and Dime (America’s Oldest Five & Dime)

In continuous operation since 1908, Berdine’s in Harrisville is unlike any modern store you’ve ever been to. Shop the way your grandparents shopped, while you catch up with locals. The store is full of interesting gadgets, remedies, books, soap, cleaning supplies, and— everyone’s favorite— a big oak case full of candy. Shopping will never be the same once you’ve visited Berdine’s.

5. Harper’s Olde General Store, Seneca Rocks

In operation since 1902, Harper’s Olde General Store is an antique in and of itself. The store still has the original wood plank flooring and a large, welcoming front porch where you can sit a spell. The store sells all kinds of goods and antiques and features a restaurant with homestyle food.

6. Chimney Corner USA

Tucked back into the forest along the scenic Midland Trail, Chimney Corner USA is a true country store, featuring local arts and crafts. It stocks handmade quilts, jams and jellies, old-time cookware, Appalachian books, music, art and has an old- fashioned candy counter.

Green Bank in West Virginia

7. Green Bank, No Tech Quiet Zone

Even if you think you have the willpower to keep your phone turned off, you won’t have to chance it. When you want to really unplug and get away, it’s time to head to the 13,000-square-mile National Radio Quiet Zone, which covers the eastern half of West Virginia. The Quiet Zone protects the radio telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank.

Write down phone numbers and pack plenty of quarters. Wireless communications like wi-fi and cell phones interfere with how the radio telescope tracks and reads energy waves from space. In most areas of Pocahontas County, you will still see pay phones. Things tend to move a little slower here and folks are more likely to strike up a conversation (since they don’t have cell phones glued to their ears).

8. Cheese n More Store, Gap Mills

Cheeses, meats, spices, candies, dried fruits nuts, sodas and more! Though it’s a bit off the beaten path, the friendly staff will welcome you warmly and feed you a delicious meal made in their ‘from scratch’ kitchen.

9. Long Mountain General Store, Franklin

There’s no mistaking the Long Mountain General Store, with its wide, welcoming porch lined with rocking chairs. You’ll find typical convenience store fare, as well as gifts and collectibles. The store features country and primitive décor, homemade furniture, nature and wildlife prints, and handcrafted West Virginia products like soaps, jellies, and many more.

Heritage Farm, WV

10. Heritage Farm Museum & Village, Huntington

Stay at one of the country inns or the remodeled train caboose to completely immerse yourself in this historic farmstead village. Walk through town to explore the rustic log buildings like the old church and one-room schoolhouse, meeting heritage artisans like blacksmiths, potters, woodworkers and more. Let the kids try their hand at heritage crafts in the activity museum, or romp with the animals at the petting zoo.

11. Koolwink Motel, Romney

Family-owned and operated for 70 years, the Koolwink Motel is a modern motel with a classic 1960s retro character. It’s a unique travel accommodation experience. All rooms feature modern conveniences, surrounded by beautiful West Virginia scenery.

12. Sunset Drive-In Theatre, Shinnston

Grab your friends and blankets! Summer nights are the time to head out to the movie-going experience of bygone years. Warm summer evenings at the drive-thru are just as fun now as they were then.

13. Gandy Dancer Theater

This Branson-Style Dinner Theater offers energetic performances with live musicians. Be happily entertained as you dig into a homestyle meal. Shows are fun for all ages with good-time comedies and impersonations. Be prepared to dance with the lively “Gandy Dancers” and their charming interactive performances.

Where in West Virginia do you head back in time?

Explore more old-fashioned fun >

This post was last updated on March 14, 2022