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Stories from real WV folks
January 17, 2017

5 most epic Mountain State ski escapes

  It’s no surprise that West Virginia has the best skiing in the region– after all, we are the Mountain State. Ski, snowboard, cross country, tubing, night skiing, beginner to expert— no matter what you’re looking for in a ski resort, West Virginia’s got it. Here are some of the best skiing spots that the… Read More

January 15, 2017

Spoons and other weird Appalachian instruments (and where to hear them)

Old-time and makeshift mountain instruments made from cartons and boxes.

  That weird sound you hear in your favorite Appalachian tune? It’s probably weirder than you think! Appalachian music— which includes bluegrass, old-time, folk and more— is one of West Virginia’s most unique features. Its roots go back to early backcountry settlers who brought their passed-down tunes from Ireland, Scotland and England here to the… Read More

January 14, 2017

Do you know the whole story behind WV’s state food?

A sliced pepperoni roll with cheddar

  West Virginia’s state food may be simple, but its story sure isn’t. Pepperoni rolls are elegantly simple, but uniquely West Virginian: country roll dough filled with sticks or slices of pepperoni. The treat has deep roots in the coal industry (much like our state itself.) You can trace it back to North-Central West Virginia,… Read More

January 13, 2017

December Insta-greats

Frozen Blackwater Falls, West Virginia

  December in the Mountain State was a wild ride, and nothing short of wonderful! You’ve managed to capture and share all kinds of moments, from exhilarating biking trails to quiet reflections at local coffee shops. Christmas at the Capitol Christmas at the Capitol 2016. #cwv #christmas #gotowv #wv A photo posted by danthorn_ (@danthorn_)… Read More

January 12, 2017

Best ski deals in the East!

A family of skiers at Snowshoe going down steep hill with alpine forest in background, West Virginia

  Need another reason to hit up  WV’s ski resorts? How about some steep savings for the 2016-2017 season! West Virginia is already affordable compared to other ski destinations, but if you shop smart, you can really get a wild deal! The resorts also offer regular discounts to members of the military and college students, plus a… Read More

January 11, 2017

Stop buying your kids new ski gear every year. There’s a better way.

Ski gear trade-in program for growing kids!

  Finally! One of the East Coast’s best ski destinations created a genius program to help you bring your family back to the snow, year after year— affordably! Cross-country skiing is one of the best ways to start the kiddos out on the snow, and a great family activity: solitude, more terrain to explore and… Read More

January 10, 2017

2017’s new top dog: the unassuming adventure destination that won “Best of the Blue Ridge”

A snowboarder and skier at Snowshoe Mountain, WV

  Our beloved Mountain State earned top honors! The most prestigious prize in “The Best of the Blue Ridge” awards for 2017— Best State for Outdoor Adventure— went to our own Wild, Wonderful West Virginia! We’ve always been the hidden gem of the East. We’ve got world-class whitewater, rock climbing, biking, skiing and more, all… Read More

January 9, 2017

6 best simple ways to spend a snow day

Snowboarding in West Virginia

  The Mountain State has the best snow days. We get a few real humdingers of snow spells every winter. And even if you’re not getting snow where you are, you can always escape to our mountain winter wonderland. (The ski resorts have snow cover pretty much all season, since they make their own!) Here… Read More

January 8, 2017

Meet every wanderluster’s globe-trotting hero, the Roaming Gnome, right here in WV!

The Gnome visits the white Palladian mansion at Blennerhassett Island, West Virginia

  Travelocity’s famous Roaming Gnome is heading across West Virginia! The Roaming Gnome had so much fun eating and drinking his way through West Virginia in 2016, he’s coming back for more. Join him this month as he tours cultural landmarks, resorts and restaurants! We got the inside scoop on his schedule— but remember, he’s… Read More

January 7, 2017

Score huge winter discounts on these cozy mountain cabins

Parents with two kids next to fireplace in cabin, West Virginia

  Most folks rent mountain cabins in the summer— peak season for barbecues, rafting, hiking and warm-weather fun. But the best cabin season is in the winter. Not only is that when you’ll most appreciate the hot tub and roaring fireplace, it’s also when you can score wildly steep discounts. (Yes, that’s right. Even for… Read More

January 6, 2017

You think you know pizza? Not till you try this weird (but delicious) twist

Pizza in WV

  Imagine this: A crisp square of pizza comes out of the oven, baked piping hot with a slightly sweet and rich tomato sauce. Then, freshly grated cold provolone cheese is sprinkled on top so that it delicately melts over that oven-baked sauce and crust. That is DiCarlo’s Pizza. The Northern Panhandle specialty has gained… Read More

January 5, 2017

Thrills and chills: 4 unexpected snow-season adventures

unexpected winter adventures in WV

  West Virginia’s got mountains, snow, and all that regular winter stuff— but that’s not nearly all. Here are some snowy season adventures we bet you didn’t think about: 1. Rock climbing You might think winter climbing involves all that cold ice and snow like on Mt. Everest, right? Well, not necessarily. Summersville Lake is… Read More

January 4, 2017

How much of your state have you really explored? WV checklist

  How well do you know West Virginia? Here’s your ultimate checklist! 1. Head to Philippi to see the state’s oldest and longest covered bridge. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. 2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with hand-crafted truffles from DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates in Martinsburg. The family-owned small business… Read More

January 3, 2017

Adventurous eaters: head around the world in 80 dishes

Fresh crab cakes, exotic sauces , and French fries at Tari's Cafe, West Virginia

  West Virginia is a culinary melting pot of international dishes from around the world. Get a taste of several different countries right in the Mountain State: Habanero Mexican Grill This Martinsburg restaurant makes all its items fresh, from scratch every day. Try their soft tacos, which come with chicken, beef, chorizo, tofu, beans or vegetables. The nachos, which… Read More

January 2, 2017

You’ll never want to leave this mountaintop village

Snowshoe Mountain Village

  Snowshoe Mountain has some of the best skiing in the entire mid-Atlantic region— but there is way more to do than just ski or snowboard. From kids’ activities to spa relaxation to après-ski revelry, Snowshoe has it all. You could tuck away in this little town for the whole season. Here are a few… Read More

December 30, 2016

Take your sweet tooth WAY back in time at this historic candy shop

  This Harpers Ferry candy shop is a museum— with edible exhibits! At True Treats Historic Candy, guilty pleasures are tasty heirlooms. It’s the only sweet shop of its kind in the nation, with historic research to recreate accurate vintage candies from every era. “Just about everybody is surprised when they visit for the first… Read More

December 29, 2016

Art deco entertaining: Add color and charm to your table with this classic-modern trend

  One of America’s most iconic and collectible brands of dinnerware comes out of a small town in West Virginia. Even if you don’t know the name “Fiestaware,” you probably recognize the style of these classic plates, mugs and bowls, and you’ve almost certainly eaten off of some in the past. Bold solid colors, concentric… Read More

December 27, 2016

Heating it up on the ice: 7 reasons to catch this hockey team in the rink

WV ice rink

  West Virginia’s signature hockey team heats up the ice every season— and you’ll want to catch these goal-blazers on the ice! The Wheeling Nailers ice hockey team is based in Wheeling, and scores of families attend each game to join in the fun and cheer on players to victory! Check out these reasons to… Read More

December 23, 2016

No one knows how this town’s 90-year-old tradition started. But it’s a New Year staple.

Oyster stew in Lenox, West Virginia

  The tiny town of Lenox is about 400 miles from the ocean, but somehow, their New Year’s tradition revolves around a seaside staple. For nearly 100 years, this community has been eating oysters together every Jan. 1. Why? Well, no one really knows. We do know this curious feast dates back to 1924, when… Read More

December 22, 2016

5 100% timeless gifts for your fashionable friends

Clothing on racks with fake deer trophies at Wolf Creek Gallery, West Virginia

  Still stuck on what to get your most fashion-forward friend? Hit up a local boutique for unique and timeless gifts they could sport in just about any setting. Here’re a few boutiques to find the perfect piece: 1. Harpers Ferry – The Vintage Lady Here, you’ll not only find your favorite West Virginia goods—… Read More

December 20, 2016

Winter warmers: WV’s top drinks for chilly days

Appalachian cider from Hawk Knob Cider and Mead, West Virginia

  Seasonal beer, cocktails, wines, spirits & all! Warm up your wild, wonderful winter with some West Virginia wine, spirits and brews! As the snowflakes start to fall, there is nothing better than cozying up with a nice warm drink. Check out these local beverages to warm up with on those chilly days. 1. SweetShine… Read More

December 18, 2016

This has got to be the quirkiest parade in the country

Wooden marching statues in Lewisburg shop, West Virginia

  The distance from Lewisburg to Shanghai, China, is about 7,450 miles. No one really knows how, when or why a small town in West Virginia started the annual New Year’s Day Shanghai Parade— but that’s the magic of it. Well, part of the magic, anyway. There are theories. Like, maybe a group of immigrants… Read More

December 16, 2016

This NYE, how about a little something different for your list?

Truly unique things to try in WV

  You only live once, so why not make this year your most fulfilling, adventurous ever? Use that resolution list to be footloose and fancy free in Wild,Wonderful West Virginia! From award-winning restaurants to colorful towns to crazy adventures, there’s something fascinating around every corner. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:  … Read More

December 15, 2016

6 eco-friendly gifts your friends will definitely keep

Antique toys and mason jars in West Virginia

  Looking for eco-friendly gifts this holiday season? Local West Virginia artisans, farmers, and merchants create locally made, recycled and sustainable gifts that are great for the environment AND unique enough to be treasured for years to come. Here are some great ideas from the Mountain State: 1. Honey Every pantry needs a little honey,… Read More

December 13, 2016

Nowhere goes more over-the-top for Christmas than this mountain retreat

Christmas outdoor lights at The Greenbrier resort, West Virginia

  “America’s Resort” takes holidays to the next level with 60 Spectacular Days of Holiday Cheer. Live the holiday high life. The sprawling, elegant grounds of the historically upscale The Greenbrier are covered with lights and merriment, so hop aboard the unique Jeep-drawn trolley or a horse-drawn sleigh for a magical winter ride, past the… Read More

December 12, 2016

5 ways to explore WV’s winter backcountry

Red barn and snowy backcountry in West Virginia

  Of course the Mountain State is the place to be for winter slopes— but you can trek those wild winter valleys, too! Vast landscapes, rolling hillsides, dense forests— explore the wildest side of Wild, Wonderful West Virginia winter:   #1 Cross-Country Skiing Strap on some cross-country skis and glide through the glades, no ski… Read More

December 11, 2016

You need these unique WV holiday ornaments for your tree

WV-made holiday ornaments

  No tree is complete without some West Virginia flair. Wrap that blue garland, top it with a gold star and check out these Mountain State-themed ornaments to complete the look: Custom “Almost Heaven” bulb Morgantown-based company Home Brewed + Co. crafts custom white porcelain ornaments with lettering of your choice. A common pick? The… Read More

December 9, 2016

3 holiday road trips to make gift shopping exciting

  Mine the mountains for handcrafted gifts! Only Santa could fly through all of West Virginia, but these road trips hit some of the best stops. Follow along— we’ll show you where to find edible, drinkable and memorable gifts! 1. Potomac Highlands Lost River Trading Post Lost River Trading Post has an eye for all… Read More

December 7, 2016

Getaway gifts (that won’t break the bank)

Exterior of Salt Cave and Spa, West Virginia

  Give the gift of a mountain escape. Treat someone special in your life to a Mountain State retreat, full of snow sports, spa treatments, gourmet cuisine and more. Whether you share a trip to make lasting memories together, or gift a solo journey for someone on your list who needs a good vacation, here… Read More

December 5, 2016

Gifts that show off WV pride

WV pride gifts

  If you’re shopping for someone who holds West Virginia near and dear to their heart, look no further. From Appalachian artists to products that represent the Mountain State, here’s your ultimate holiday shopping list: 1. Kin Ship Goods Sweatshirts Take Kin Ship Goods’ message to heart and “stay cozy” this winter in one of… Read More

December 4, 2016

The unbelievable perks of spending your holiday at the casino

  Score the year’s best and biggest casino prizes and giveaways, just in time for the holidays. Extra rewards, special entertainment and drawings— WHOA-worthy wins all December long at West Virginia’s top casinos. The entertainment and fun goes beyond the games, so you can indulge in a lavish holiday without high-rolling. Get away for a… Read More

December 2, 2016

Winter train rides

  Ride a vintage locomotive for the year’s most magical Christmas tradition! Starting in late November, the romantic age of steam travel whisks you to enchanted destinations around the state. Meet Santa, sip hot chocolate and experience the thrill of a Polar Express— for real. 1. The Elf Limited Jinx the elf is trying to… Read More

December 2, 2016

A storybook holiday escape in the mountains

  Thousands upon thousands of tiny glistening lights unite in one of America’s largest light displays: the Winter Festival of Lights at Oglebay Resort. On any given night mid-November through December, 300 acres of rolling hills shimmer alive with jovial activity— an ethereal white swan reflects off of Schenk Lake, a volcano erupts among a… Read More

December 1, 2016

These unique historic homes only open for the holidays

Victorian photo and antiques on desk at Henderson Hall Plantation, West Virginia

  West Virginia’s most historic homes are open for tours during the holidays— and for some of these vintage gems, it’s the only time you can get a peek inside! The Mountain State’s historic sites mark several important eras in US history, from pre-Revolutionary War to the coal mining boom at the turn of the… Read More

December 1, 2016

November Insta-greats

Single-lane road going through autumn woods, West Virginia

As the holiday season gets into full swing, it’s nice to see what traditions folks come together for around the Mountain State. Old-time Christmas celebrations, decorations and light displays begin popping up, as well as chilly winter landscapes with snow-capped mountains. Here are some of our favorite snapshots you shared from this November: 1. Mountain… Read More

November 30, 2016

9 unexpected discoveries from “The Best of West Virginia”

Tamarack

  Some of the Mountain State’s best artisan works, unique flavors and traditional sounds can all be found under 1 peaked, red roof. Tamarack in Beckley is the one-stop center for West Virginia’s top handcrafted work, including a theater, fine arts gallery and live artist demonstrations. You can even try our traditional fare, like West… Read More

November 28, 2016

5 bucket-list mountain escapes to take solo

5 must-go solo journeys in the mountains

  Want to just escape and unwind by yourself? West Virginia has loads of activities for solo travelers to tackle! Here are 5 that fit the bill:   1. Learn to cook like a 5-star chef The Greenbrier is an amazing place to take a solo-getaway already, but why not spice it up a bit… Read More

November 23, 2016

Amazing travel deals – Cyber Monday & Small Business Saturday

Score these amazing travel deals on Cyber Monday & Small Business Saturday

Score the best deals in West Virginia this Thanksgiving shopping weekend! Supporting local shops feels amazing, but it’s not all about the warm and fuzzies! Here’s where to find some of the best shopping and adventure discounts in 2016.   Jump to deals in: New River Gorge region – Williamson – Charleston – Parkersburg –… Read More

November 22, 2016

13 country cooking hacks for your holiday feast

3 chefs in the Mountain State are dishing out their holiday secrets, drawing from Appalachian innovation and culinary uniqueness. Check out these West Virginia chefs’ tips and tricks to have the best Thanksgiving dinner yet: 1. Prep everything possible “Dice onions, string beans, etc., a day or 2 before,” said Chef Marion Ohlinger of Hill… Read More

November 21, 2016

11 top Mountain State traditions to start this holiday

  Start new traditions in the Mountain State this holiday season. ShareMountain State memories with folks you love most— decorating together, sitting side-by-side at the town Christmas parade (with hot cocoa of course!), heading to local shops to pick out the perfect gifts. Try a new tradition you’ll treasure for years to come. Here are some… Read More

November 20, 2016

Here’s where to find full-on Southern hospitality & charm— on a hostel budget

Exterior of the Purple Fiddle's hostel, Thomas, West Virginia

  In West Virginia, you can get pretty darn cozy on a light budget. The state already has a lower cost of living— and therefore lower cost of travel— but the hostels take value to a whole ‘nother level. You really can’t find a place in West Virginia that doesn’t have all the country charm… Read More

November 19, 2016

Brew town, USA— this craft beer central is somewhere you might not expect!

  If you like your suds close to nature, West Virginia is where it’s at. The craft beer scene in Thomas and Davis is a hidden gem in the brewing world. Whether you’ve spent a full day outdoors and are looking to kick back and relax, or you’re on a beer tour of the U.S.,… Read More

November 18, 2016

5 mountain adventure inns

Garden view of the Bavarian Inn, West Virginia

  If you like a little (or a lot of) adventure with your quaint B&B retreat, these inns have an extra adrenaline rush to make things more exciting.   And don’t worry— you get those drinks, lazy days and stunning views, too. Here are 5 top-notch adventure inns in the Mountain State: 1. The James… Read More

November 18, 2016

The most romantic and upscale retreat you’ve never heard of

Blennerhassett Island mansion, West Virginia

  If you’re looking for a less clichéd and more off-the-beaten-path romantic vacation, Parkersburg, West Virginia is your sweet escape. A tiny hidden island full of nature and history, West Virginia’s wine country, a golden palace brimming with ornate gardens— love birds will swoon. And, it’s all affordable! Here are some highlights for you sweethearts… Read More

November 17, 2016

The perfect ski-it-all escape

If you find yourself dreaming of winter wonderland getaways filled with skiing and snowboarding, the Mountain State in the winter is the place for you. The southeast part of West Virginia is peppered with ski resorts, none of which are more than 2.5 hours away from each other, which makes it completely possible to hit… Read More

November 17, 2016

Gramma and Ginga’s “Hell no!” should be your “Hell yes!”

  You may have heard of Gramma and Ginga– sisters from Clarksburg, ages 102 and 97– whose side-splitting bickering won them a national audience on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” (You can also find them on YouTube and Facebook.) The GoToWV team recently sat down with Gramma and Ginga to talk with them about fun things to… Read More

November 16, 2016

Stop me before I volunteer again: the story of Gene and Maura Kistler

Cliffs at Summersville Lake, West Virginia

  Maura and Gene Kistler and Kenny Parker spent a day on a pontoon boat on West Virginia’s Summersville Lake last August, but the day was not for relaxing. Their boat was one of 13 lashed together in a barge, piled high with rock climbers for a deep-water solo climbing competition that Parker and the… Read More

November 16, 2016

4 adventures in & right around Morgantown

adventures in & around Morgantown

  Morgantown is the perfect base camp for adventure: a lively small-city scene, and a gateway to outdoor exploration. Go exploring, and still make it back in time for dinner at a local restaurant and to hit the town’s vibrant nightlife! Adventure awaits within the city limits and just beyond, and with plenty of transportation… Read More

November 15, 2016

Morgantown, underground: 5 best undiscovered spots in WV’s most vibrant nightlife scene

A couple enjoying craft beer in West Virginia

  Morgantown is a college town known for its vibrant nightlife, but sometimes the best finds are off the beaten path. If you’ve hit up all the iconic bars and venues around town, or just want a little more of a local experience, dig a little deeper and explore Morgantown’s under-the-radar scene. Here are 5… Read More

November 15, 2016

In fall, this family orchard becomes a bird hunting haven

Shenandoah Valley and mountains in West Virginia

  Twin Ridge Upland Bird Farm’s small game preserve keeps hunting tradition thriving in West Virginia. “We’ve always hunted, of course,” said Mark Minnick, one of the brothers who owns the farm. “Growing up here, my father and uncles have always small game hunted. It started out as a passion project that has turned into… Read More

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