West Virginia Tourism encourages travel in celebration of West Virginia Day

New summer bucket list provides guide for exploration and chance to win a free trip

Charleston, WV –– The West Virginia Department of Tourism is encouraging West Virginians – and all those who love West Virginia – to explore the state in honor of its 161st birthday.  Launched earlier this week by Governor Justice, the official 2024 summer bucket list makes planning a breeze. The list, which includes iconic West Virginia adventures like waterfalls and nature hikes, provides a guide to summer travel in the Mountain State. Those who complete the bucket list and share photos on their social channels will have a chance to win a free four-night fall getaway.

“West Virginia Day is the perfect day to kick off your summer travels in the Mountain State. Like we’ve done year after year, we are asking folks to help us by flooding social media with stunning photos of #AlmostHeaven, West Virginia, ” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “The summer bucket will help you plan your travel and offers an opportunity to win a free autumn getaway. Don’t delay, today is the day to hit those country roads!”

The Official 2024 Summer Bucket List

The list highlights ten bucket-list-worthy activities in West Virginia and is the perfect way to kick off summer. It was carefully curated based on the most popular content on WVtourism.com and includes broad categories that allow travelers to create their own unique road trips across West Virginia. The list includes:

  • Chase waterfalls
  • Take a road trip 
  • Enjoy a natural wonder
  • Dine at a local restaurant
  • Plan an overnight adventure
  • Try a water excursion
  • Visit a park or public land
  • Explore a mountain town
  • Take a picture on an Almost Heaven swing
  • Go for a hike

Travelers can visit WVtourism.com to print out their bucket list and find trip ideas.

The power of social media

For the last six years, the Department of Tourism has invited travelers to share their favorite #AlmostHeaven places and moments on their social channels in honor of the state’s birthday. The results have been incredible. Tens of thousands of posts have been seen tens of millions of times, showcasing every corner of the state. Recent research shows that the number of people planning vacations based on what they see on social media is at an all-time high. 

The West Virginia birthday campaigns have boosted travel in West Virginia and transformed perceptions of the state. Suddenly, the state has become one of the hottest tourism spots in the world, consistently making top-destination lists such as National GeographicOutside Magazine, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler.

“I can’t wait to see my social media flooded with incredible #AlmostHeaven photos on West Virginia Day. It’s an annual tradition I’ve come to love – a day dedicated to sharing the beauty of #AlmostHeaven with the world,” said Ruby.

Entering the sweepstakes is easy

  • Step 1: Plan your adventure – Build your own unique itinerary to ensure you check off all 10 bucket list items on your adventure across West Virginia. 
  • Step 2: Explore & share – Hit those country roads, and be sure to share your updates on your social media channels using #AlmostHeaven.
  • Step 3: Enter to win – Visit WVtourism.com and let us know you’ve completed the bucket list challenge for a chance to win.

Those who complete their summer travels list by August 15, 2024, can verify their participation in the challenge and be entered to win a sweepstakes for a free four-night, five-day ultimate fall vacation. The free trip includes unique autumn experiences in the nation’s third-most forested state, including a walk under the New River Gorge Bridge, an ATV adventure, and dinner at a James Beard award-winning restaurant.  

Photos, courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Tourism, can be accessed here.

For more information about West Virginia and to plan your trip, visit www.WVtourism.com/summer-bucket-list.


About the West Virginia Department of Tourism

The West Virginia Department of Tourism promotes West Virginia as a leading four-season travel destination and top state to live, work and retire. Known as the Mountain State, West Virginia is one of the most scenic states in the United States and home to thousands of acres of parks and public lands, including America’s newest national park and 45 state parks and forests. In addition to its majestic mountains and rolling hills, West Virginia is full of rich historic sites, enchanting art galleries, charming towns and an immense sense of belonging found only in its heaven-like landscapes. In recent years, West Virginia has received accolades from top-tier publications such as National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Frommer’s, Lonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler.

This post was last updated on June 19, 2024