Squeeze all you can from summer vacay! Weekend escape ideas

When your very own cities are packed with things to do, don’t vacation, STAYCATION! Whether you’re looking for history, an easy day by the pool or an adrenaline-packed adventure, the Mountain State’s got you covered.

Here are 3 great spots for a weekend staycation:

Autumn country road, Tucker County, West Virginia

1. “Get tucker’d out” in Tucker County

There’s no place more tranquil than Canaan’s rolling green valleys. It’s known for it’s fall foliage, but it’s perfect in summer, too! This area is full of family-friendly activities, and unlimited options for recreation.

Book an evening or 2 at Canaan Valley Resort State Park. Enjoy the scenery poolside while the kiddies enjoy the pool slide. If you’re hankering for a spa day, Camp Canaan can take the little ones while you get a hot stone massage.

There’s plenty more to enjoy, including a eurobungy, climbing wall, arcade and the exhilarating Turtle Slide Tube Ride.

While in the area, be sure to check out:

  • Big John’s Family Fixin’s: This local staple features an arcade, a lake full of hungry fish to feed and a whole bunch of yummy grub.
  • Farm Discovery Center at Blackwater Falls State Park: Meet friendly farm animals, see cool farming tools and get your hands dirty while you learn all about agriculture.

Plan around:

  • Wings of Wonder at Blackwater Falls State Park- See owls, hawks and other birds of prey up close and personal. Be sure to walk the short hike to watch the amber-colored Blackwater River plummet 5 stories into the gorge below.

Mother and daughter roasting marshmallow, Fayetteville, West Virginia

2. Adventure in the gorge:

For a little family bonding time, pitch a tent or rent a cabin in Fayetteville. The area’s cozy deluxe cabins are like roughing it, kind of, except you’ll have a comfy bed and electricity. Enjoy some barbecue cooked over the fire ring.

While in Fayetteville, be sure to check out:

  • Wonderland Water Park: Spend a day at this 5-acre lake filled to the brim with inflatables, water slides, zip lines and other water toys.
  • Timbertrek Adventure Park: Climb, tiptoe and hop your way through 4 wooded acres filled with obstacles, bridges and ziplines. The best part? Kids 12 and younger are half-priced every day.
  • The Mystery Hole: Stop into this roadside attraction for a mind-baffling “gravity-defying” experience. Be sure to snap some family photos in front of the giant gorilla on the roof or next to the Volkswagen Beetle sticking out the side of the building!
  • Wild Blue Adventure Co.: Do your kiddies have big dreams of becoming a pilot one day? Then this immaculate hangar is a must-see. Stop by, hang on the fence, and watch the pilot’s bright yellow and blue WWII biplane do flips high in the sky. (You can even take a ride!)

Plan around:

  • Movie Nights: On Saturdays, enjoy a movie under the stars at Lively Amphitheater. A great lineup is scheduled!

Craft beer and a cocktail, Charleston, West Virginia

3. Chill out in the Capital City:

Spend a few nights in the Mountain State’s hip, historic capital city. There are a number of downtown hotels to choose from, or cozy up at the Brass Pineapple Inn, an early 1900s mansion in a quiet historic corner of town.

While in Charleston, be sure to check out:

  • The Clay Center: Stop by the state-of-the-art science and arts museum and play in the Avampato Discovery Museum. Explore 2 floors of hands-on science exhibits, catch a planetarium show or watch an educational film on their giant Digital Dome.
  • Capitol grounds: Take a stroll around the gorgeous building and marvel at its towering dome, which is 293 feet tall and gilded in 23 ½ karat gold leaf. The kids will love the on-site Culture Center museum.
  • Ellen’s Ice Cream: Get a scoop or 2 made by Ellen herself at this hometown staple. Sit inside or out, or take your treat and explore the beautiful and bustling Capitol Street.

Plan around:

  • Power games: Cheer on West Virginia’s minor league baseball team at the Appalachian Power Park. Friday night home games are followed by a magnificent fireworks display and Sundays are “Kid’s Sunday Funday,” where children 12 and younger can play catch in the outfield and run the bases after the game, or even get autographs from their favorite players!
  • FestivALL: There is so much to see and do during FestivALL, a citywide celebration of the arts. There are hundreds of events and performances, so you’re bound to find something you like! You won’t want to miss Dizzy Doc’s balloon sculpture, a giant scene that comes to life every year in the Charleston Town Center’s center court.

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This post was last updated on March 16, 2022