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Stories from real WV folks
May 22, 2017

Town guide: Beckley

Handblown glass "kisses" at Tamarack art center, WV

Beckley is southern West Virginia’s largest population center, and a major shopping and entertainment center for thousands of the Mountain State’s rural residents. If you’re a tourist taking in the natural beauty of this region, you’ll be missing out if you don’t check out these  attractions in this cool little city — or is... Read More

May 19, 2017

Explore this turn-of-the-century town of millionaires

A Victorian coal baron house in Bramwell, WV

Tucked into the mountains in a bend of the Bluestone River, the tiny Mercer County town of Bramwell has a claim to fame that might surprise you: This turn-of-the-20th-century coal mining town once was home to more millionaires per capita than anywhere else in the United States. Today you can walk Bramwell’s streets and... Read More

May 17, 2017

Fresh? How ‘bout straight from the vine! 6 you-pick farms

Blueberries at Orr's Farm Market, WV

Whether you like your berries in pie, cobbler, or just straight out of the bucket – West Virginia is the place to be to explore the variety of u-pick farms across the state. Don’t forget to give your produce a good wash before you enjoy the fruits of your labor! 1. Herot Hall Farms Kenna... Read More

May 15, 2017

Bow down to these giant biscuits with a fanatical WV fandom

A biscuit sandwich from Tudor's Biscuit World, WV

With its warm, from-scratch specialties and Mountain State roots, Tudor’s Biscuit World is a sentimental West Virginian favorite. A winning recipe They aren’t fussy or complicated. Like their southern origin, biscuits make a little go a long way. In fact, you could say these heart-warming treats belong to Appalachia. Just take a peek at... Read More

May 12, 2017

Town guide: Ripley

The Cedar Lakes covered bridge, Ripley, WV

Visit this eastern city for soul-satisfying cuisine, countless Fourth of July fireworks and genuine Appalachian moonshine. Dining The Downtowner is locally famous for comfort food, specials (like Baked Steak Day) and attentive, friendly employees. It’s family owned and every meal has that homemade touch. Typical dishes include meatloaf, cheesy potato soup and — a... Read More

May 10, 2017

Gal getaways: glamping

Three Rivers Eco Retreat, WV

Want the fun camping with the gals, but the comfort of something a little more upscale? Try mountain “glamping.” From luxurious tents to treehouses, there’s a glampsite in West Virginia for your girls’ getaway: 1. Unique options in Great Cacapon Three Otters Eco Retreat in Great Cacapon has a luxury yurt right on the Potomac... Read More

May 9, 2017

Mountain murals: 5 stops for a DIY public art tour

A mural with rainbow-colored monsters in Charleston, WV

The Mountain State is full of funky art galleries and sophisticated art museums. But during the warmer months, get your sunshine AND art fix at one of the many outdoor public murals around the state. Be sure to bring your camera and snap some memories! Start your artcrawl with: Mercer County This bucolic region... Read More

May 8, 2017

7 WV authors you should be reading

Berkeley Springs Books, WV

The Mountain State has produced hundreds of talented writers, including the Nobel Prize-winning Pearl Buck, whose childhood home in Hillsboro has been converted into a museum. Here are a just a few of the many West Virginia authors to check out: 1. If you like memoirs, read HOMER HICKAM Homer Hickam first shot to... Read More

May 5, 2017

Seasonal sips

Craft brews and cocktails from West Virginia

Absence makes limited-availability flavor even better! Nature isn’t the only thing that’s seasonal. Visit West Virginia’s distilleries, wineries, and meaderies for drinks that rotate throughout the year. Exotics Life’s too short for same old, same old. Sometimes, you want something unexpected! Here’s where you can buy or make spirited concoctions that will blow your... Read More

May 3, 2017

5 things your out-of-state spouse ought to know about your WV roots

Fresh West Virginia biscuits

West Virginia is an anomaly. We do things differently around here, so you may find it hard to describe your home to out-of-staters. Some things may come as a shock as you begin to explain what we’re all about: We’re small-towners. Our population hovers around 1.85 million people. That’s right, our entire state’s population... Read More

May 2, 2017

Town guide: Bluefield

A classic car at TheRailYard, Bluefield, WV

Head south for savory cuisine, carefree entertainment, and intriguing history in “Nature’s Air-Conditioned City.” Dining Big Whiskey’s BBQ Company smokes pork, chicken, and ribs to southern perfection. Locals love the tender meat, which appears in specialty sandwiches, wraps and steak burgers. Plus, you get tangy sauces on the side. There’s also The RailYard, a... Read More

May 1, 2017

Spruce Knob – Mountain Biking

Spruce Knob, WV

Located in the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks Recreation Area at 4,863 feet, Spruce Knob is the highest point in West Virginia. The area has more than 70 miles of trails for mountain bikers to explore. Tips Difficulty: 3 Trails range from beginner to expert and cover a variety of terrain, from steep peaks to grassy... Read More

April 28, 2017

Town guide: Buckhannon

A Governor's Inn, Buckhannon, WV

Fresh meals, outdoor attractions, and lively festivals define this Upshur County city. Dining At C.J. Maggie’s, indulgence is the main ingredient. This cozy family restaurant will spoil you with homemade sausage and meatballs, wood-fired pizza and savory chicken-and-biscuits. They also have loads of pasta recipes. Just make room for Cake-in-a-Jar— luscious desserts you can... Read More

April 27, 2017

Roll on up: ATV-friendly businesses in Hatfield-McCoy Country

An ATV restaurant in Hatfield-McCoy country, WV

Traveler Tip: The towns of Gilbert, Man, Matewan, Delbarton, and Williamson are all “ATV- Friendly Communities,” where locals and guests can ride ATVs, dirt bikes, & UTVs from daylight to dark (11 p.m. in Gilbert) within city limits. Lodging Cabins and Lodges In Bramwell, the Pocahontas ATV Resort offers a variety of cabin options... Read More

April 26, 2017

Learn to: rock climb

Young woman climbing sandstone cliffs in New River Gorge, WV

World-class peaks and cliffs are just a lesson away. Start on the best, with the best, and learning something new is so much easier. Imagine what heights you’ll reach in the Mountain State! Here’s where you can become a rock star: NROCKS Outdoor Adventures | Circleville At this unique mountainside, getting started is a... Read More

April 24, 2017

Go ahead, mix business and play with blissful mountain ‘bleisure’ travel

Swanky bar at Stonewall Resort, WV

Welcome to wild, wonderful Wi-Fi. Restore your spirit and keep tabs on the office while you travel. It’s possible to have both in West Virginia! Luxury hotels Sometimes, the most relaxing vacations are the ones that don’t involve much activity. Lounge around with a smooth cappuccino, spread out on a plush oversized bed and... Read More

April 21, 2017

Town guide: Morgantown

Two students riding the PRT in Morgantown, WV

Whether you bleed gold and blue, love munchin’ on some local eats or are looking for a place to spend some time outdoors, take the country roads to Morgantown! It has something everyone will enjoy. Young and old alike flock there for its vibrant culture and nightlife — enhanced by the bright and creative... Read More

April 19, 2017

You, too, can soak in George Washington’s old tub!

George Washington's bath tub, WV

George Washington was a regular visitor to Berkeley Springs from the age of 16, where he first visited as a land surveyor, and returned many times after that with his family. He even bought property there. Today, you can sit in the first president’s recreated tub in Berkeley Springs State Park or simply take... Read More

April 17, 2017

These jewelers are crafting unique designs from nature

Pretty Pickle flower necklaces, WV

Wear a piece of West Virginia! The wild Mountain State abounds with natural riches: regal cliffs, deep hardwood forests, and hushed meadows. It’s so inspiring, artists turn to the wilderness for their necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Take a look at these studios: Wildscape Jewelry Though it seems unlikely, caddisfly cases make remarkable jewelry. As... Read More

April 14, 2017

The 1 “must try” at 7 mountain resorts

Swimmer on top of inflatable tower at Wonderland Water Park, WV

There’s a ton of fun to be had at West Virginia resorts. So much, in fact, that you might wonder where to start. Check out these “must-try” activities: 1. Freshwater swimming For hundreds of years, travelers have been drawn to the warm spring waters of Capon Springs, where Capon Springs and Farms resort is... Read More

April 12, 2017

Could you solve the challenges to escape these 6 puzzle rooms?

Three teenage girls at Xscape Room, WV

Immerse yourself in a live-action mystery! West Virginia’s intense “escape rooms” test your ability to solve puzzles under pressure. Beat the clock as you solve spy stories, adventure dramas and creepy tales. Learning the craft Escape rooms are simple in concept, even if solving one isn’t. Interactive games have stories that vary from company... Read More

April 10, 2017

4 places you don’t have to be a high roller to play big

A young couple throwing dice at Hollwood Casino, WV

Play big without going broke in West Virginia. Here’s where to get the high-roller experience without having to break out the high-rolling bucks (unless you want to!) 1. Mountaineer Casino Offering so much more than just a casino, Mountaineer is an experience. There are many different ways to win, including promotions like slot multipliers,... Read More

April 6, 2017

Twin Falls Resort State Park – Hiking

A couple with a dog hiking through woods at Twin Falls State Park, WV

Twin Falls Resort State Park has almost 28 miles of rugged, scenic trails for hikers of all levels. Tips Difficulty: 3 Most of the trails are tricky and technical—very rocky and full of roots, oftentimes with long, steady ascents, or steep, quick descents. Time to Complete: 1 Hour Trails range from .25 mile to... Read More

April 3, 2017

7 wildly quirky finds for urban explorers

Couple walking through nighttime street in Charleston, WV

Sometimes, surprises hide in plain sight. It’s always fun to turn a corner and discover an intriguing passageway or artwork. Fortunately, West Virginia abounds with hide-and-seek delights — you just have to keep your eyes peeled. Here are a few tips to get you started: 1. Hidden steps of Harpers Ferry This picturesque riverside... Read More

March 31, 2017

Make every moment count on these 48-hour family escapes

Mother, son, and daughter sitting on mountaintop in West Virginia

Wild, enchanting backcountry is yours for the weekend. West Virginia’s immersive adventure packages get everybody back to nature. Get ready to swap your smartphone for ropes, saddles, and paddles! Get climbing Spend the weekend on Seneca Rocks, West Virginia’s distinctive landmark and “true peak.” From a distance, the jagged quartzite ridge resembles a dragon’s... Read More

March 29, 2017

A golden-era getaway

The Durbin Rocket locomotive, Elkins, WV

Want to step back in time to a golden age of steam-driven trains, Victorian inns, variety shows and Appalachian string music? Elkins is just the place for all that and more. West Virginia has no shortage of unique towns tucked away in the mountains, with trails, rivers, great restaurants, and many other fun things... Read More

March 27, 2017

This will definitely convince you to take a family spring break in the mountains

Young girl eats a cupcake with white frosting, WV

Are you taking the family on a spring break trip this year? Why not explore the best of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia in 2017? Lots of families get away for a long weekend (or more) in the spring, especially for holidays like Easter or during kids’ breaks from school. If you’re looking to get... Read More

March 25, 2017

Town Guide: Point Pleasant

Mothman Statue, Point Pleasant, West Virginia

Situated at the confluence of the Kanawha and Ohio rivers, Point Pleasant has long been an important transportation hub, dating back to colonial times. Many of us know of Point Pleasant as the home of the Mothman — an eerie mythical monster, but there’s much more to this city than just spooky urban legends.... Read More

March 24, 2017

Take a driving tour of this fierce, famous family feud

Hatfield Cemetery, WV

A stolen pig. Ill-fated lovers. Fights and killings. It’s the stuff of legend, but it’s all true. Hop on an ATV and relive the famous Hatfields and McCoys feud as you explore the world’s longest off-road trail network. You’ll drive exactly where the 2 families battled it out across the Kentucky-West Virginia border! Hatfield and... Read More

March 20, 2017

4 WV podcasters you should be listening to

Guest speaker at a "Why Listen" event by Mountain Stage, WV

Here are some stellar podcasts you might be surprised are either produced in West Virginia or by West Virginia natives: 1. Inside Appalachia Stories hidden between the mountains and rivers of West Virginia and beyond are unearthed in this sometimes quirky series, hosted by West Virginia native Jessica Lilly. Inside Appalachia covers topics from... Read More

March 17, 2017

It’s the best time of year to visit “USA’s Ireland”

Irish road bowling in Ireland, WV

This charming little community in the heart of West Virginia pays tribute to its Emerald Isle namesake every spring. But Ireland’s roots run deeper than just the Irish Spring Festival. Ireland residents Denton and Sandy King gave a presentation about their home turf at the Celtic Calling festival in Charleston recently. “Ireland was named... Read More

March 15, 2017

West Virginia’s greatest sports legends

Legendary basketball player Jerry West posing in front of his statue in Charleston, WV

When it comes to sports, the Mountain State leads the pack. Take a look: our athletes and coaches are some of the most recognized basketball and football figures in America! See if you recognize these sports heroes: Jerry West | Basketball As a child, this Cheylan native didn’t have much; his father worked in... Read More

March 15, 2017

Profile: SustainU

Young men and women wearing blue, white, and red shirts by SustainU, WV

Sustainability, West Virginia style SustainU is blazing an exciting new direction for the West Virginia economy, taking our centuries of pride to new, exciting 21st century directions. The small Morgantown company is doing its part to be a diverse and sustainable company right here in the Mountain State— all with T-shirts. But it wasn’t an... Read More

March 13, 2017

9 stunning photos that capture winter in West Virginia

Snowy field and stream in Canaan Valley, WV

The Mountain State in winter is a sight to behold. Every contour and fold stands in sharp relief, revealing details our eyes take for granted. Take a second look and enjoy: 1. A golden pathway at Blackwater Falls 2. Tubing at Winterplace 3. A Harpers Ferry winter ... Read More

March 11, 2017

6 unique historic districts in West Virginia

Civil War soldiers in Harpers Ferry, WV

The story of West Virginia’s very birth is one for the (history) books! But since our inception in 1863, we’ve built a bunch more stories worth telling. From booming railroad towns to “Eleanor’s Little Village,” our tiny mountain oases are brimming with history. 1. Stroll into a much swankier past The storybook town of... Read More

March 10, 2017

The best view of this iconic bridge is 800ft+ up on the catwalk

Looking down into the New River Gorge on a Bridge Walk, WV

What is more breathtaking than the New River Gorge? Well, walking across it, of course! In 2009, Bridge Walk was created from a collaboration with the National Park Service, West Virginia Division of Highways, and the partners that make up Bridge Walk, LLC. Using the existing catwalk underneath the New River Gorge Bridge, the... Read More

March 9, 2017

Relics and inspirations from WV’s richest industry

Miner statues at Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, WV

Since Victorian times, coal has made history in West Virginia. That legacy continues today with subterranean tours, eccentric buildings, and unique pizzas. Who knew this glittery black rock was so talented? Hands-on history These aren’t your normal tours. Your introduction starts with the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine. Until 1953, this was an active site.... Read More

March 9, 2017

Spring break deal roundup

Couple walking down colonial street in Harpers Ferry, WV

Whether you’re a college student, a teacher, or a family with young kids, you’re going to want to take advantage of spring break or a long weekend to rest up and have some fun. These Wild, Wonderful West Virginia resorts are offering some great deals and lodging packages this spring. Plan an adventure …... Read More

March 8, 2017

7 Wild, Wonderful West Virginia Women

Mary Lou Retton

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s take a look at some Wild, Wonderful West Virginia women who helped shape the history and personality of the Mountain State. 1. Mary Lou Retton 16-year-old gymnast Mary Lou Retton became “America’s Sweetheart” at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, nabbing 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze medals... Read More

March 6, 2017

Laugh, cry, and be awed at these 5 WV film festivals

Movie theater seats

If you think film festivals are just for watching stuffy foreign art pieces in far-off places like Cannes or Sundance, think again. Our own Mountain State has a huge variety of festivals ranging from rural to urban, casual to formal, and small to big, all over the state. Whatever your taste in films and... Read More

March 4, 2017

Win a Petsie plushie of your pet!

Young woman getting licked in face by white dog with blue eyes, West Virginia

Share your Fido photos to win a custom plushie of your pet! If you and your furry friend are Mountain State fans, share the love. Enter those snapshots of Rover’s West Virginia escapades into the weekly #WestFURginia photo contest. Petsie prizes If you win the weekly contest, a team of artists will take your photo... Read More

March 2, 2017

Spring Break on a ramen noodle budget

baked beans, burgers, and fried green tomatoes at Atomic Grill

We know how it is– you’re a student on a budget and you’ve already spent way too much money on books, tuition and food. But wait– spring break is coming up? You’ve got to get away to somewhere cool! The Mountain State has plenty of coolness to offer for students on a budget. West... Read More

February 27, 2017

5 really (really) unconventional WV activities

Kneeling statues wrapped in gold cloth at Palace of Gold, WV

So you think you’ve tried everything the Mountain State has to offer? Check out these unconventional activities that are uniquely West Virginian. Fly (upside down!) over the New River Gorge Feeling brave? Take a stunt flight in an authentic WWII Stearman biplane! Wild Blue Adventure Company pilot Christian Kappler guides passengers through barrel rolls... Read More

February 25, 2017

Do you have what it takes to be a Spartan?

Spartan Race comes to West Virginia on August 26-27, 2017 at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve. The obstacle race attracts athletes of all ages and abilities who share a common passion: love of a challenge. So you’ve signed up for your first Spartan – or you’re contemplating signing up. What should you expect?... Read More

February 24, 2017

Take the little ones by the hand at these 6 ice skating rinks

Little girl and boy skating outdoors at Canaan Resort State Park, WV

Spin and glide in the Mountain State! There’s something about an open rink that frees your soul. Skate indoors or outside, all year or just during winter — and give your kids a gold-medal moment. Here’s where you and your family can play: 1. Morgantown Ice Arena At 185 feet by 85 feet, this... Read More

February 23, 2017

7 adventures the grandkids will never forget

Little girl brushes a stuffed cat at the Our Town vet center, Clay Center, WV

What better way to spend time with the grandkids than to relive fond memories from your own childhood? These fun activities will entertain all ages. 1. Take a scenic train ride In the early 20th century, the mighty steam locomotives of Cass Scenic Railroad were used to haul lumber down to the mill in Cass.... Read More

February 22, 2017

These 21 no-hassle vacation ideas are a travel game-changer

Lady receiving a neck massage at Oglebay Resort, WV

Vacation shouldn’t be work, right? That’s our Mountain State mantra. West Virginia is real easygoing, so we bring everything together into one handy bundle. Check out some of our best trips all packaged up, so there’s no planning needed and no hassle. History 1. “The Voyage Package” | North Bend State Park May-Oct Romance…... Read More

February 20, 2017

The sweetest day in the mountains— No, it’s not Valentine’s Day

Jugs of Pure West Virginia maple syrup

Hint: every pancake should have this topping! Mountain State Maple Day showcases the sweetest industry in West Virginia: maple syrup! Get ready for flapjacks, delicious samples, and demonstrations! Mountains of maples If you’re like most people, you probably associate syrup with Vermont. But did you know that more untapped maple trees grow in West... Read More

February 17, 2017

Best winter weekends

A snowboarder plays with a dog at Timberline, WV

Rain or shine, hot or cold, there’s always something exciting to do in the Mountain State. Discover real West Virginia and sneak away for a winter weekend of R&R! Snowy fun on the slopes For a weekend of thrills and chills, look no further than WV’s ski resorts. Hit the slopes or take a... Read More

February 15, 2017

5 one-day adventures in WV

Surging rapids at Gauley River, WV

Almost everyone I talk to about Project: Time Off and why they are not using all their well-deserved vacation days typically has the same answer: “I just can’t take that much time off.” What if we told you it only takes the better part of a day to conquer some of Wild, Wonderful West... Read More

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