How much of your state have you really explored? WV checklist
How well do you know West Virginia? Here’s your ultimate checklist!
2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with hand-crafted truffles from DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates in Martinsburg. The family-owned small business uses traditional candy making techniques to churn out truffles, sea salt caramels and fresh nut clusters.
4. Take a step back in time with a show at the Elk Theatre, a historic 1-screen theater in Sutton that dates back to the 1930s.
5.Want one of the best views of the stars this side of the East Coast? Check out Calhoun County Park in Grantsville. It’s one of the darkest skies on the East Coast, which makes it perfect for stargazers and astronomers
6. Get a taste of the culinary offerings of the Ohio Valley by grabbing a piece of pizza at DiCarlo’s. The pizza has gained cult-like status for its baked crust topped with cold cheese. Try a slice— or 3!
7. Ritter Park, a beautiful park in the heart of Huntington, is a must-see for its walking trail, rose garden, playground, dog park and tennis courts. Spend an afternoon taking in the sights and activities.
8. Celebrate the heritage of WV’s state fruit, the Golden Delicious Apple— discovered in Clay County— at the annual Clay County Golden Delicious Festival.
9. Hidden up on Maxwell Ridge in West Union is Gatrell Cave & Rocks, which is said to have been used by the Underground Railroad in the years leading up to the Civil War.
10. The New River Gorge Bridge is a steel-arch bridge that is more than 3,000 feet long and crosses over the New River Gorge near Fayetteville. It is the longest steel-arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
11. Head to the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville on the 3rd Thursday of June to celebrate Appalachian traditions, including “belles” in pioneer costumes, music, crafts, food and fun.
12. Go spelunking at Smoke Hole Caverns in Cabins to see West Virginia from a new angle. Local legend says moonshiners used the cave during Prohibition, but now you can walk through and gaze at the stalagmites and stalactites.
13. The Greenbrier luxury resort in White Sulphur Springs is home to an underground bunker that was meant to be an emergency shelter for the United States Congress during the Cold War. Now, you can take tours of the declassified facilities.
14. Hampshire County is home to one of the oldest towns in the state: Romney. It is contested only by Shepherdstown, but they were both chartered in 1762. Stop by the town to learn more about its rich history.
15. Discover the World’s Largest Teapot in Chester! It’s 14 feet wide by 14 feet tall. It was originally constructed to represent the largest pottery industry in the world at that time. Homer Laughlin China Company and its popular Fiestaware line continue to craft their iconic dinnerware lines in nearby Newell.
17. Clarksburg celebrates its cultural heritage with its Annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival. Stop by for wine, pepperoni rolls and some fresh fritti.
18. Ripley is the home of America’s Largest Small-Town Independence Day Celebration. The downtown is filled with street vendors and musical entertainment before the giant fireworks are let off for the entire city to see. Can’t miss it!
19. Harpers Ferry is known for John Brown’s raid on the armory in 1859, and its lead up to the American Civil War. Visit the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park to explore several museums and other notable pieces of history.
20. The West Virginia State Capitol sits in Charleston at a height of 292 feet. The golden dome is gilded in 23 ½ karat gold leaf, and shines brightly throughout the day and night. Stop by for a tour.
21. If you’re fearless, make a trip to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston for a tour. The former psychiatric hospital was closed in 1994, but they still have tours, haunted hayrides and more.
22. Make a stop in Hamlin, the hometown of Chuck Yeager, who was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. Snag a photo with the statue of Yeager in the schoolyard of Hamlin PK-8, which was the previous location of the high school he graduated from.
23. We all know the history of the famous Hatfield-McCoy feud. A life-sized statue of the infamous patriarch Devil Anse Hatfield, made of Italian marble, marks his grave. Find the Hatfield Family Cemetery along West Virginia Route 44 in southern Logan County.
26. Snap a selfie beside the statue of the Mothman, West Virginia’s most notorious legend, in Point Pleasant. Sightings of the Mothman were reported in 1966. Locals say the monster sparked supernatural events in the area and warned the town about the collapse of the Silver Bridge.
27. If you’re an ATV rider or off-roader, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails have something for you. Hundreds of miles of trails cross through southern West Virginia. Start at the Ashland Trailhead to the Indian Ridge Trail system, right in McDowell County.
28. While in Mineral County, stop at the Waffle Rock, a mysterious rock with a waffle pattern. Some credit aliens. Others say it was forces of nature. Either way, check it out at Jennings Randolph Lake.
29. Rich coal heritage, which brought wealth and prosperity to the region, made the tiny town of Bramwell rich. At one time, it had more millionaires per capita than anywhere in America. Stop by to see the mansions that line the brick streets and even get a peek inside during the Spring and Christmas historic home tours.
30. Marvel at the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Coal House in Williamson, made from 65 tons of bituminous coal. The structure houses a gift shop and tourist information.
32. The famous Appalachian Trail makes an appearance in 2 areas of West Virginia: Harpers Ferry and Monroe County. Access Monroe’s remote, rugged section by hiking up the Groundhog Trail from the Sugar Camp Farm.
34. Wild leeks, or “ramps,” are king in Richwood, which dubs itself the “Ramp Capital of the World.” Each April, the community fries up a meal and has a large festival to honor the wild food. Check it out to get a taste!
35. The Winter Festival of Lights in Wheeling is one of the best Christmas light displays in the country. The annual light show covers more than 300 acres in a 6-mile drive. Grab a cup of cocoa and turn up the music.
36. Hike (or drive) to the highest point in the state at Spruce Knob. At 4,863 feet, it is the summit of Spruce Mountain, which is the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains.
37. Like many small towns in the state, St. Marys has a train in town— but here, it runs right through the center. The train carries coal and chemicals, and runs right through the city’s main street— Second Street— 3 times a day. Check it out— just look both ways!
38. The Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank operates the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope. It can capture the faintest radio waves in the universe. Be sure to bring a disposable camera to capture an image, because electronics aren’t allowed nearby.
39. Check out Coopers Rock State Forest in the fall to see every color imaginable at the overlook. Whether it’s hiking, camping or biking, Coopers Rock has it all.
40. Everyone loves a good pumpkin patch, and to find one of the best in the state, hit up Gritt’s Farm in Buffalo. If you’re there in the off-season, no worries, because they also offer up flowers, vegetables and entertainment for all ages.
41. If you want to get a real feel for what it’s like to work in a coal mine, check out the Exhibition Coal Mine in Beckley. You’ll get the chance to go on an underground tour of a vintage coal mine and learn a little history along the way.
42. Stop by the small Swiss village of Helvetia just before Lent to experience Fasnacht, a traditional festival to celebrate the end of winter. Folks dress up in masks, feast and dance the night away.
43. Spencer is home to the West Virginia Black Walnut Festival, which celebrates the town’s heritage in October. Check out the craft show, the incredible food or the carnival.
44. If there’s one thing that West Virginians love, it’s a classic West Virginia hot dog complete with chili, slaw, mustard and onions. And, of all places, the Hinton Dairy Queen has some of the tastiest, and is also known for its beautiful view of the New River. Grab 2 and enjoy the beauty in Summers County.
46. Berdine’s Five and Dime is a hidden gem in Harrisville. The more-than-100-year-old store sells novelty items like tin toys, handmade glass Christmas ornaments, gag gifts and other fun trinkets and items.
47. 46. One of the most picturesque areas of the state is Blackwater Falls. Make your way to the Lindy Point overlook to see 45 acres of pristine mountain views into the Blackwater Canyon.
48. The Sistersville Ferry has been in operation since 1817 and connects Sistersville to Fly, Ohio. Drive your car up to the landing for a unique ride.
49. The state’s only amusement park, Camden Park, is home to more than 24 attractions. Try out the Big Dipper to get the full experience!
50. Try out West Virginia’s favorite ice cream and hot dog shop, The Custard Stand. Webster Springs serves up the original tasty hot dog chili— as seen on Shark Tank— that West Virginians have come to love.
51. The West Virginia Strawberry Festival
in Upshur County is one of the oldest festivals in the state, dating back to 1936. Check it out for some fresh strawberry pastries, desserts and candies, all while paying homage to area growers.
53. Take a break at Stone Road Vineyard in Elizabeth. This winery has a dozen wines with car-themed names, like “Flashing Yellow,” “Headlight White” and “Road Flare Red.” Schedule a tasting to check it out.
54. Blennerhassett Island in Parkersburg is named after Harman Blennerhassett, who was involved in the Aaron Burr treason conspiracy. He lived there with his wife, and it’s supposedly where the treason plot meetings took place. The area has been designated as the Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, and the island is named in his honor. Take a sternwheeler to the island to learn its history.
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This post was last updated on October 4, 2018