Some think of it as the land of hillbillies.
Some may know it as a post-nuclear apocalypse from Fallout 76.
But, some of us know it as home.
If you've always been curious about why people love the Mountain State, why don't you give it a visit in 2019? There are plenty of things to do from the outdoors, to historical sites, to museums. West Virginia has something for everybody, and I think it's time it gets the credit it deserves! Here are 8 places you have to visit in West Virginia.
1. Blackwater Falls
No, the water isn't necessarily black. It's amber waves of water gets its name from tannic acid from the fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. It's a beautiful sight no matter the time of year. The gorge itself is eight miles long. The area is known for its hiking, camping, and fishing. Come in the fall and see the beauty of West Virginia as the leaves change. In the winter, sled and ski on the freshly fallen snow. In the spring and summer, enjoy the wildlife as you explore everything Blackwater Falls has to offer.
2. Seneca Rocks
Not far from Blackwater Falls is Seneca Rocks. Rock climbing, fishing, and hiking await you around this rocky area. The view from the top is beautiful and I highly recommend it. There are also caverns nearby for those who prefer to take a trek underground instead of high above. Bring lots of water, watch out for wildlife, and enjoy your time there.
3. Snowshoe Mountain
Moving on down, you'll find Snowshoe. There is something to do here whether there is snow on the ground or not! ATVs, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and so much more. Even for the indoor crowd, there's a spa, yoga, a comedy club--something for everyone! Not to mention shopping and food! Winter sports may be what West Virginia is best known for, so this one won't come as much of a surprise!
4. Forest Festival
Still in the eastern mountainous part of WV, we have Elkins. And in this small town, there is a huge festival known as Forest Festival. There's also a train station where you can travel around West Virginia (this is very popular in the fall because of the leaves). In the beginning of October, the town transforms and welcomes visitors from all over for Forest Festival. Vendors, artists, musicians, and food fill the streets, as well as the college, and is a site to see. There are princesses and a queen, who gets crowned every year and resides over the festival. It's an amazing opportunity for crafters, foodies, and to buy homemade goodies. Don't forget the parades and carnival! But, you better plan ahead. Parking and hotels go fast!
5. Cass Scenic Railroad
If you love history, you'll love taking a ride on Cass Scenic Railroad. Located in Cass, WV, the railroad is a must see--er, ride. Travel back in time and find yourself in an old lumber town, where steam engined locomotives were a large part of every day life. The railroad is 11 miles long and has an authentic company town! Eat at the restaurant, shop at the gift shop, and visit the museum.
6. Harpers Ferry
Another one for the history lovers. This beautiful little town in the eastern panhandle has a lot going on. Situated where the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers meet, visitors can over look the rivers and into Maryland and Virginia. History buffs will love the 19th century buildings, John Brown's Fort, and Civil War Museum. Take a hike or a bike ride, go white water rafting, or get spooky on a haunted ghost tour! Be sure to visit St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church with it's beautiful architecture. The options are endless.
7. Moundsville Penitentiary
If you're one for spooky, take a trip to Moundsville Penitentiary. A prison that operated from 1876 to 1995, it now plays hosts to tours and a very scary haunted house during the Halloween season. It was home to 85 hangings and its fair share of electrocutions after the state assumed responsibility for capital punishment. Visitors can now even try to "Escape the Pen" with the buildings own Escape Room. With its castle-like architecture and creepy past, history lovers and those seeking the thrill of being scared will find this the perfect adventure.
8. Blennerhassett Island
In the western part of WV, on a small island on the Ohio River, is a mansion. Accessed by sternwheeler riverboat, this now-museum is a must see. In 1798, Harman Blennerhassett and his wife Margaret Agnew purchased the end of the island and made it their home. Harman was part of the Burr Conspiracy and it is alleged that Burr and Blennerhassett plotted treason in the Blennerhassett mansion. Awesome history, beautiful house. The original burned to the ground in 1811 and was rebuilt in the 1980s.
If you made travel more a New Years resolution, why not give West Virginia a try? Stop by Hillbilly Hot Dogs in Lesage, WV. Watch a Mountaineer game in Morgantown. Go white water rafting or ziplining at the New River. West Virginia is Wild and Wonderful and more than ready for your visit.
P.S. Eat at Tudors Biscuit World. It will be the best decision you make.