These fun and easy day-trips prove you’re never far from Almost Heaven fun
West Virginia is conveniently located within a few hours of many of our country’s major cities. Richmond, Virginia; Lexington, Kentucky; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland; and Columbus, Ohio, are all located within a few hours of adventure and excitement in the Mountain State. Residents of our neighboring states may be surprised to learn how easy, convenient, and fun a day-trip to Almost Heaven can be.
If you’re …
Visiting from Virginia
Begin your day at Seneca Rocks – one of West Virginia’s most iconic landmarks. Enjoy the views from the Welcome Center at the base of the rocks or make the 3.2 mile roundtrip trek to its peak for breathtaking views of the valley. When you’re finished, be sure to stop by Harper’s Old Country Store or visit Macksville Mart to pick up a jar of their delicious apple butter. Both locations are within a few minutes of the rocks. From Seneca Rocks, take a short drive to Rt. 32 (otherwise known as the “Appalachian Highway”), which will lead you through Canaan Valley to the towns of Davis and Thomas. Here you will find another staple of West Virginia – Blackwater Falls State Park. The park offers visitors numerous trails to explore as well as the 62-foot tall waterfall that the park is named after. After you’re finished exploring, make your way to the Purple Fiddle for dinner and live music or head to Hellbender Burritos for craft beer and unique burritos and tacos.
Visiting from Kentucky
Begin your day in the historic city of Huntington. Grab a bite to eat at Peace, Love and Little Donuts and check out Marshall University: the subject of the 2006 movie “We Are Marshall.” Make your way east down Interstate 64 to the state capital, Charleston. Explore the historic State Capitol Grounds and be sure to discover the shops on beautiful Capitol Street. From Charleston, drive south to Fayetteville where you will find endless excitement and adventure. Visit the New River Gorge Bridge – arguably the most iconic landmark in West Virginia. The bridge arches 876 feet above the New River, which offers some of the finest whitewater rafting in the world if you’re seeking an adrenaline rush. Nearby you’ll find Babcock State Park and Hawks Nest State Park – both offering hiking trails and incredible scenic views. End your day in Fayetteville at a local favorite like Secret Sandwich Society or Pies and Pints.
Visiting from Maryland
Start your day in the historic town of Harpers Ferry. Located just an hour outside of Washington D.C. at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry is rich in history and heritage. Visit the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and then make your way to the John Brown Fort to see the site of John Brown’s Raid – viewed by some to be a crucial tipping point in starting the Civil War. Grab a bite to eat at Country Café or Potomac Grille, and if you’re feeling lucky, make your way to Charles Town to visit Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races. End your day with some dinner at Alfredo’s Mediterranean Grille & Steakhouse or Mountain View Diner.
Visiting from Ohio
Kick off your day in the Northern Panhandle in the city of Wheeling. Grab a craft beer at Wheeling Brewing Company or Brew Keepers, and then make sure you have some fun at Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack. If you’re bringing the kids with you, head down to the Good Zoo at Oglebay or take a walk through Wheeling Park. Make your way just 20 minutes south to Moundsville and take a step back in time at the West Virginia State Penitentiary. Believed to be one of the most haunted places in the entire state, the West Virginia State Penitentiary was in operation from 1876 to 1995 and offers visitors tours yearround. Many paranormal groups and enthusiasts believe the penitentiary to be one of the most haunted in the entire country. Make your way to Parkersburg to visit Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park. The island is accessible by a sternwheeler riverboat from Point Park on 2nd Street in Parkersburg. Tours are offered from May through the last weekend of October. Enjoy dinner at Cham’s and then pick up some sweets at JR’s Donut Castle before heading home.
Visiting from Pennsylvania
Begin your day in the heart of Mountaineer Country in Morgantown. Grab some coffee at The Grind WV and make your way over to Coopers Rock State Forest for some of the best scenic views in the state. Venture down Interstate 79 to Fairmont – the birthplace of the pepperoni roll. Pick up a fresh-baked pepperoni roll at Country Club Bakery where they originated, and then make your way to neighboring Valley Falls State Park for some fishing and hiking. If you’re a fan of the paranormal and supernatural, make your way south to Weston – just a short drive down Interstate 79. It is here that you will find the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum (formerly known as the Weston State Hospital) was a psychiatric hospital that was in operation from 1864-1994. The asylum has been featured on paranormal television shows like Syfy’s Ghost Hunters and Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures. Tours are given throughout much of the year, but in October the asylum offers “ghost hunts” to test your paranormal investigation skills. On your drive back north, stop by Morgantown Brewing Company for dinner and a local brew and catch a show at the Metropolitan Theatre.
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This post was last updated on August 3, 2020