West Virginia is a quiet state where you will discover a lot of hidden gems while traveling. West Virginia attractions range from incredible natural scenery, historical sites, and fun activities when traveling with the entire family. You won't want to miss out on the many things to do in West Virginia.
West Virginia has many exciting places to explore across the entire state. It's not a large state, so you'll be able to fit in many destinations during your visit. There's plenty to include in your itinerary, from the major cities like Charleston to experiencing the scenic outdoors.
Are you planning a trip to West Virginia? It’s a fun destination for all types of travelers – adventure-seekers, nature-lovers, solo trips, and family vacations. West Virginia is a place that has something for everyone.
Many people just drive through the state while admiring the picturesque scenery, but after learning about all there is to do, you'll be glad you made the stop. It's an ideal place to travel in any season. There isn't' a wrong time to visit the colorful fall foliage to the outdoor recreation in the summertime to skiing destinations in the winter.
If you’re ready to immerse into the ‘Mountain State,’ let’s explore why West Virginia is a must-visit destination in the US.
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When you visit the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, you can look forward to taking a step back in time as you explore the rich history. This is a diverse attraction with something for everyone from fascinating museums and exhibitions through to hiking areas and battlefields.
You can enjoy strolling around the historic town, which is located within the national park as well as taking in the stunning surrounding beauty, which makes it ideal for nature lovers as well as those interested in the historical side of the attraction.
With close to half a million visitors annually, this is a very popular place to visit in West Virginia and provides you with an enlightening and educational day out.
Address: 171 Shoreline Dr, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
West Virginia is a popular wintertime destination for winter sports lovers. Many people have plans set to visit Snowshoe Mountain, the most popular ski resort in WV. It features 60 slopes, some of which developed by an Olympic skier for a world-class skiing experience.
Unlike many other ski resorts, Snowshoe mountain is established on the top of the mountain. While Snowshoe Mountain is the resort name, it’s located within the Allegheny Mountains, which gets plenty of snowfall, so it’s perfect. During the winter, visitors can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports. It has routes for all skiing levels and also provides lessons for beginners.
It’s also a summer destination popular for mountain biking, golfing, ATVs, and other activities.
While taking a break from the slopes, the resort is a massive complex to explore. It’s a part of the Village at Snowshoe, where you’ll have additional perks, such as dining, a spa, shopping, and more.
Snowshoe Mountain is a destination for the entire family and one of the best places to visit in West Virginia.
Address: 10 Snowshoe Dr, Snowshoe, WV 26209
Also Read: Top 10 Ski Resorts in the USA
A visit to this Gothic style former prison is well worth adding to your itinerary when you are visiting West Virginia. The prison was opened in the late 1870s and continues operating until the mid-1990s. It has a rich and often dark history sometimes involving breakouts and riots.
You will be fascinated when you take a tour of the prison as you can enjoy the thrill of mystery along with the chance to explore the history of the penitentiary.
There are also special events held here such as Zombie Walks, Kids’ nights and even mock prison riots. This is an attraction that is certain to leave a lasting impression on visitors, so it is definitely one you shouldn’t miss.
Address: 818 Jefferson Ave, Moundsville, WV 26041
Once used for Seneca Indian ceremonies, the Seneca Caverns in West Virginia provide a fascinating insight into the past. You will find touring these cavers to be an exciting and unique experience, as you can delve into their long history as well as take in the fascinating surroundings.
There are a number of tour options available for visitors to the caverns and there are plenty of great facilities that you can benefit from such as the restaurant, a gift shop and even picnic areas.
Visitors are thrilled to see the breathtaking rock formations that can be found here and you can even try some gemstone mining and take home unique memories of your visit.
Address: 3328 Germany Valley Rd, Riverton, WV 26814
There’s no denying the magnitude of the New River Gorge Bridge. It was seen as a huge architectural feat when it was completed in 1977. In total, the bridge cost nearly 37 million dollars and used 22,000 tons of structural steel in its construction.
Today, it stands as one of the highest bridges in the United States. The 876-foot steel arch bridge exudes picturesque views of the surrounding Appalachian Mountains and is one of the most photographed places in West Virginia.
Visitors are securely fastened to a safety cable making it a safe and enjoyable two to three hour Bridge Walk tour.
Address: 130 Laurel Creek Rd, Fayetteville, WV 25840
The government seat for this state, the West Virginia State Capitol is part of an historic complex and is home to the office of the Governor of West Virginia as well as the West Virginia Legislature. It can be found in the Charleston area and the whole district has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This is a striking building with fascinating architecture including a breathtaking 293 foot gold dome. It also boasts a grand and decadent interior, much of which is marble while the outside is constructed from steel and limestone. You can also enjoy exploring the rest of this historical complex during your visit.
Address: 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25305
Summersville Lake is one of the best places to visit in West Virginia for the holidays or a weekend getaway during the summer. It’s West Virginia’s largest lake with a shoreline extending more than 60 miles.
Summersville Lake is a reservoir created by the Summersville Dam completed in 1966. It was built for flood control but became a popular recreation area. It’s a destination to enjoy the outdoors for all ages.
Some of the favorite activities to do at the lake include kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, and fishing. There are many places around the lake for jumping off the rocks into the water. Diving and snorkeling are also common. Divers can explore depths up to 327-ft and even catch a glimpse of a sunken boat.
The water levels of Summersville Lake change by the season. In the low water levels, many people choose to hike one of the many trails surrounding it. Trails provide scenic views of the lake from all angles. You can even reach the Summersville Lake Lighthouse overlooking the lake.
Address: 278 Summersville Lake Road, Mount Nebo, WV 26679
One of the most famous and historical mental hospitals in America is located in West Virginia. The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum is a popular tourist destination, many of which have heard about the strange paranormal activity happening within the walls. It offers lots of tours and experiences for brave tourists.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum features admirable architecture in a Gothic Revival style from the 19th Century. It was used as a psychiatric hospital until 1994 and is now recognized as a US National Historic Landmark. Its tours have become well-known thanks to multiple features in pop culture media.
Visitors can experience various tours around the property. One of the main tours is a general guided tour to see multiple hospital rooms, apartments for the nurses, and other facilities. The first floor features a museum exhibiting artworks by the patients created during art therapy.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum specializes in ghost and paranormal tours. You’ll get to experience the dark side of the mental hospital and even stay overnight to see if you can survive until the morning.
Address: 71 Asylum Dr, Weston, WV 26452
For more luxurious accommodations than camping in Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park, the Stonewall Jackson Lake Resort is the perfect option. The resort is your gateway to having the best experience in the state park for a destination that combines comfort with outdoor fun.
Stonewall Jackson Lake Resort is a family-friendly resort that delivers luxury lodge accommodations for guests. The lodge has upgraded facilities and modern rooms that make you feel at home in the natural setting. You’ll find resort features such as a swimming pool, spa, an onsite restaurant, and golf course, but perhaps the most fun is within the park.
Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park is established around the Stonewall Jackson Lake, a large lark with more than 82 miles of shoreline. It’s considered one of the most beautiful scenic West Virginia attractions thanks to the preserved environment.
You can find lots of things to do at the lake, including boating, fishing, and hiking. There is a marina to rent kayaks and canoes.
Address: 940 Resort Drive, Roanoke, WV 26447
The most famous park in West Virginia is the Blackwater Falls State Park, known for the Blackwater Falls. The park is a favorite destination for locals and tourists – you’ll find everyone from young kids to elders enjoying the park thanks to its accessibility. Walk the nature trails to the top sights and enjoy the incredible scenery.
Blackwater Falls is a 62-ft tall cascade waterfall flowing from the Blackwater River into the Blackwater Canyon. The name derives from the naturally dark waters, and the unique style of the falls makes it the most photographed waterfall in West Virginia. The best time to see the falls is from spring to fall (it’s frozen during the winter).
Visitors can explore multiple hiking trails leading to the Blackwater Falls to see it from different perspectives. Other points of interest include Lindy Point Overlook, Elakala Falls, and a nature center with information about the park’s natural history. Other common activities include mountain biking and skiing in the winter. Campgrounds are also available.
Address: 1584 Blackwater Lodge Rd, Davis, WV 26260
Also Read: 10 Best State Parks in the United States