7 things you didn’t know you could do in WV
You already know that West Virginia is your destination for whitewater, mountain biking, and rock climbing. But we’ve got so much more!
Here are a few of the other things you may not have known about:
1. Explore a Secret Bunker
Built during the Eisenhower era, the 112,544-square-foot decommissioned bunker is 720 feet under the hillside in The Greenbrier resort’s west wing. Active for more than 30 years, the bunker was secretly kept as a Cold War emergency shelter for Congress, maintained in a constant state of readiness by a group of undercover government employees. Today, people can tour the bunker, which was designed to accommodate 1,100 people.
West Virginia is full of unique galleries and boutiques offering everything from antiques, art, original photographs, handmade crafts, craft spirits, beer, wine and much more. A few great spots to uncover artisan works and unique gifts:
- Fenton Glass in Williamstown for hand-blown glassworks.
- Artists in Action in Elkins to browse a variety of local crafters’ works.
- Linn Pottery Studio and Gallery in Wheeling for ceramics.
- East End Bazaar in Charleston to browse rotating artisan booths in the open-air market.
- Smoke Camp Crafts in Weston for herbs, jams, butters and other foods.
- German Street Coffee & Candlery for gourmet, gardening and bath goods.
- Bottle and Wedge in Huntington for craft beer, gourmet cheese and hot sauce.
- Deep River Creative in Ronceverte for art, photography, woodwork and gifts.
3. Tour a ‘Haunted’ Asylum
If you like your tours haunted, you can try the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Thousands lived and died within the walls of this asylum, and unexplainable voices and sounds have been heard and reported for years. You can take tours during daylight hours, or a self-guided tour after dark. Take a flashlight! For the very brave, you can even stay the night.
4. Go underground in a coal mine
Explore the history and heritage of coal in West Virginia. Just like miners of the past and present, you’ll don a mining helmet and ride a minecart into an underground coal mine to explore dark passages. There is a mine in Beckley, where kids can enjoy more hands-on history in the Youth Mining Museum, and another in Coalwood, which is one of the largest in the world.
5. Natural Spas & Baths
All across our beautiful Mountain State there are naturally occurring mineral springs that people have been soaking in for hundreds of years. You can enjoy them, too. Our natural spas and springs let you relax and recharge with the amazing powers of natural waters and minerals.
- Berkeley Springs– These Roman-style baths have been popular since the birth of our nation, and were once visited by George Washington.
- Salt Cave & Spa in Greenbrier County– The salt cave is a unique underground cave that offers salt therapy, salt cave yoga and other services in their beautiful natural spa.
- Greenbrier Spa– Since 1778, people have enjoyed the amazing spa and natural sulphur water bath and treatments at the world-renowned Greenbrier Resort. Spa offerings include med-spa treatments, massage, yoga and meditation.
- Sleepy Creek Spa at the Woods– Located in Martinsburg at the pristine The Woods Resort, this spa offers a variety of treatments including essential oil massage, hot stone therapy, heat wraps and whirlpool soaks.
6. Trek the Skies
Some of the best views in the Mountain State come from the sky, if you aren’t too afraid to look down! Bring your sense of adventure and your camera to capture the amazing views:./?utm_source=Tourism&utm_medium=Link&utm_campaign=Tourism
- Nelson Rocks Via Ferrata – You’ll be more than 200 feet off the ground, scaling sheer cliffs, climbing ladders and navigating the swinging bridge. Stop, breathe and enjoy the view.
- Harpers Ferry Aerial Obstacle Course – This adventure park challenge takes you from treetop to treetop as you trek skybridge puzzles, crawl through suspended tunnels, scramble up rope nets and more.
- New River Gorge Bridge Walk – More than 800 feet above the New River, you can tiptoe on the catwalk under the bridge. You’ll get unbelievable views of the bridge and the gaping gorge below.
- Wild Blue Adventure Bi-Plane – Offering acrobatic or steady flying tours out of their base in Fayetteville, Wild Blue’s World War 2 Stearman Bi-plane or 1941 Piper Cub will give you a thrill you’ll never forget!
- Scenic Aerial Tours – If you’re looking for a calmer plane ride you can enjoy with a friend or two, try the scenic plane and helicopter tours from the Upshur County Airport.
- Snowshoe Lifts – When the snow melts, you can still enjoy the lifts on Snowshoe Mountain for a scenic view, and it will drop you off right by the lake’s beach for a day of relaxation.
7. Climb to the top of a Lighthouse
You probably never expected to climb a lighthouse in a landlocked state, but yes, you can climb and tour a lighthouse in West Virginia. You’ll be amazed at the views of the Summersville Lake and the surrounding cliffs and mountains.
Surprised? Which of these shocked you so much you need to see it for yourself?
This post was last updated on July 17, 2020