Why You Will Love Exploring West Virginia

West VirginiaWest Virginia is a tiny state nestled almost entirely in the enchanting Appalachian Mountains. The state’s little cities are located in scenically pleasant river valleys and on rolling wooded hills. West Virginia is a good destination for outdoors lovers, with plenty of good camping grounds and hiking spots.

Charleston is the capital of West Virginia and boasts of a magnificent riverfront area, good restaurants and shopping opportunities. The main attraction here is the State Capitol building, which has a dome higher than that of the US Capitol; tours are available. The lovely Sunrise Cultural Center is another sight, housing an art gallery, museum of local history, planetarium and has some pleasant gardens outside.

Prior to the American Civil War, West Virginia was actually a part of the southern state of Virginia, but during the war it rebelled against Richmond and joined the North. Wheeling, a small and historic city, was West Virginia’s first capital. There are a few interesting historical sites in the city, including Fort Henry, a stronghold during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, and St Joseph’s Cathedral. Oglebay Park has museums of local history and culture, a nature center and an outdoor theater.

Huntington is West Virginia’s second largest city; while Parkersburg is located on the Ohio River and is near the historic Blennerhasset Island. Also of note, West Virginia is home to one of America’s premier hiking trail – the Appalachian Trail, offering scenic views of river valleys and some incredible waterfalls.

Charleston Yeager Airport is served by some national and regional carriers; however, international travelers will most likely arrive via Washington, DC, Baltimore or Richmond. Wheeling, Huntington and Parkersburg all have regional airports. Amtrak stops in Charleston on its way north through Ohio to Chicago from Washington, DC. Greyhound Lines bus service is another option, although uncomfortable and not recommended.