A Travel Guide to West Virginia
West Virginia is in the south east of the United States, it lies above Virginia to its southeast and Kentucky to the southwest. It lies below the three states of Ohio to its northwest, Pennsylvania in the north, and Maryland to the northeast. Its capital and largest city is Charleston.
Charleston has three Interstates that pass through it. It is from the Interstate that you will get your first overwhelming sense of the rich culture of West Virginia when the blue and gold plated Capitol Dome comes into view. This is part of the West Virginia State Capitol Complex which is housed in distinctive landscaped grounds. The West Virginia Cultural Centre and State Museum offers significant history such as the Civil War and also showcases many exhibitions and not so far away the burial site of the Native American Criel Mound. There is also the Governor’s Mansion and the shops and eateries on the historical scenic walkway of Capitol Street. There are also other museums, theatre and stage performances and at the end of a busy day a light rendition of some classical compositions can be heard at the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra.
Further south of Charleston we have the innovative city of Beckley which has the inspired Tamarack – a wonderfully designed building that houses many shops that sell beautifully handcrafted products made out of diligently turned wood, glass, pottery and other materials. The finely made finished products make window shopping divine, and the purchase of which make great centrepieces for home or distinctive souvenirs that will be cherished. Relish some of the crafting demonstrations and finish off with a live performance in its 200 seat theatre. Nearby you can also dig back into the past of the coalmining heritage in an exhibition mine where you will have the opportunity to travel in a car through the mine with a guide who explains the methods of extraction for the fuel that once fed the steam trains and heated our homes. The New River Gorge is near here too with its bridge that spans this spectacular natural wonder.
East of Charleston past Webster Springs and deep in the heart of national and state forests is Snowshoe Mountain which has its own purpose-built resort and offers lake-bound activities and trails for hiking, horse riding and mountain biking during the warmer seasons and when the green and gold turns to brilliant white in winter with skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. The very northeast of West Virginia also lies Harper’s Ferry – a significant stop on the Civil War Discovery Trail.
There are also many rivers such as the Cranberry and Williams River for trout, and the Greenbrier, New and South Branch for bass. Fishing is also very popular at the Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park in Roanoke in the Wildlife Management Area of the same name that lies north of Webster Springs.
There is a wide variety of self catering vacation rentals in West Virginia ranging from log cabins with panoramic views in the forested, lake and riverside areas to well-equipped townhouses and apartments in the cities.