Great Things to Do In West Virginia

10331338934_897a8ba9e7_z

Image Credit: Flick’r

Surrounded by several states, West Virginia is located in the Appalachia region of the United States. The state was created by separating itself from Virginia during the Civil War. It’s the only state in U.S. history that was created by breaking off from a Confederate state. In a sense, West Virginia has some interesting historical facts on the way it was formed.

West Virginia is important for its logging, coal mining, labor, political history, rich ecology, and mountain settings. It’s one of the many recommended tourist locations in the country thanks to its lush forest, rugged mountains, scenic landscapes, and outdoor activities.

Art centers, shopping establishments, museums, parks, restaurants, and breathtaking natural beauty have made it one of the known tourist centers in the U.S.

Cultural and Historical Legacy

One primary attraction in West Virginia lies in its ability to show off its cultural and history legacy. Its city, Charleston, is a place where varying art and cultural centers are seen. These establishments play a significant role in showing the best of culture and arts in the state.

The West Virginia Cultural Center is located at the heart of Charleston. It houses the West Virginia State Museum and shows off its history by preserving state archives and a separate library dedicated to the history of West Virginia. It features a gift shop for tourists and caters to arranging performances and events.

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences also has cultural legacy offerings. The three-level complex was made to unite performing arts, sciences, and visual arts in under one roof. Over a dozen statues, memorials, and monuments within the grounds are seen to honor locals who have contributed to the state.

In celebrating the festival, people take part in the state’s Black Walnut Festival. This yearly event appeals to everyone. Canned products, agriculture materials, flowers, and everything else is exhibited. The true nature of West Virginia can be seen through these historical and cultural celebrations.

Majestic Landscapes

The scenic landscape of West Virginia is also perfect for attracting tourists. To make the most of the geographical diversity, tourists can pay the Potomac Highlands a visit. The Tygart Valle provides a scenic ride throughout the area via railroad. A rail yard and historic depot may also gauge the interest of tourists.

The Seneca Rocks is the place to be for campers and outdoor lovers. Several trails are available for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Picnic areas can be seen and wildlife can be seen. The Canaan Valley boasts ski resorts and parks for tourists who want to takes part in natural sports. Big Mountain Country is an interesting site that provides steam-powered trains, astronomy observatories, and outdoor activities.

With so many things to see and do, West Virginia is a gold mine for those want to unearth the treasures it has to offer.

 

Rafting the New & Gauley Rivers: Fun In West Virgina

244750516_4c654313e7_z

Image: Flick’r

Any adventure lover would want a memorable vacation. Anyone who desires an awesome time outdoors will love what the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia has to offer. There are a plethora of outdoor activities that can be done in the area including hiking, camping, rock climbing, and bungee jumping. At present, whitewater rafting is still the most popular.

River Characteristics and Rafting Experience

The New and Gauley Rivers are considered to be some of the biggest and powerful in the country. They have both have advantages and drawbacks for rafters. There are specific times of the year when the rivers are calmer and other instances when rafting can pose great danger. Being knowledgeable when these seasons are and your ability to raft is essential to know when you want to start rafting.

At the same time, rafting experience should also be considered. Rafting experiences can go anywhere from mild and world class to extreme. The minimum mild rafting age is at 6 years; world class rafting is at 16 years; and extreme rafting at 18 years.

Clothing Requirements

Rafting is an all-year round sport in West Virginia. But clothing requirements for rafting will vary depending on weather conditions. For winter, wetsuits are recommended. For summer months, a shirt or bathing suit will do fine. For spring and fall, synthetic fabrics and wool socks are recommended. Avoid wearing cotton fabrics during the cold weather. Regardless if it’s sunny or raining, people will still raft.. Never take any materials that can’t handle the water.

Raft Pricing

Rafting prices for the New and Gauley Rivers will depend on the time you’ll be rafting. Weekday prices tend to be cheaper than those on weekends. Specific rafting sessions may be costly than others. So it’s basically up to you to decide which ones fit your time and budget.

Rafting at the New and Gauley Rivers all come with the required gear but you’ll need to bring your own clothing and footwear. Rafting package trips typically include a cabin stay, showers, camping, and complimentary breakfast

An ideal time to go if you intend to avoid the cold is during the summer. If you want to challenge yourself then you might opt for the spring or fall when rapids tend to be larger and faster. It’s up for you to decide. If there’s one thing worth noting, it’s that rafting at the New and Gauley Rivers will be a memorable experience.

Things to Do in Morgantown, WV

Morgantown is a city situated within Monongalia Country, West Virginia. Located along the Monongahela River banks, it’s the biggest city in north-central West Virginia. It also happens to be the base of the West Virginia’s Metropolitan Statistical Area.

At present, it has a resident population of over 30,000, including a few thousand more for individuals working and/or studying in West Virginia University. These seasonal residents tend to occupy the city and its surrounding areas starting from September through May. Morgantown is widely known for its modern Personal Rapid Transit System and prestigious West Virginia University.

Morgantown is located near the north-central aspect of the state and near the border of Pennsylvania. It offers numerous sporting events and activities all throughout the area. Crisp trails are available during the fall or swimming and rafting in the summer. Basically, there’s no shortage for fun things to do in Morgantown.

Here are some standout activities/events/places you can spot in Morgantown, West Virginia:

Balloon Festival

The Mountaineer Balloon Festival is a yearly event in October. This three-day affair happens in Mylan Park. Its activities include live stage performances, carnival rides, arts and crafts, food, and the popular balloon races.

Forks of Cheat Winery

This family-owned and operated winery boasts over 16 acres of grape plantation. Their grapes range from French hybrids to American variations. The Forks of Cheat Winery provides wine tours and tastings, gift baskets, and huge wine discount offerings. A pavilion to hold a private party is available for rent. An indoor area with a 100-seating capacity is also available for any event.

Public Theatre

The West Virginia Public Theatre began as a tent theater over 20 years ago. Since then, it evolved as one of the country’s known musical theaters. Operational during the summer, this theater provides a number of Broadway performances. It offers unique evening and overnight packages for locals and tourists. The theater is also known for sponsoring a program that teaches youngsters the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use.

Botanic Garden

The landscaped botanical garden is open to the public all year around. It features numerous trails situated within the 82-acre property. The garden boasts natural ponds and beautiful flowering meadows.

Considered to be one of the strongest small metro areas in the country, Morgantown has a lot to offer. From outdoor events to modern art/research institution to its historical influence, Morgantown seems to have it all. Resting comfortably on the hills of West Virginia, the city isn’t too far away from the Washington, D.C. metro. But it’s far enough to give you a calm and scenic experience.

Great Places to Camp in WV

13838404928vh5j

It’s a perfect time for camping and if there’s ever a place to go to then it’s in West Virginia. West Virginia has some of the best areas for camping. Regardless if you’re into hiking, biking, water sports, or fishing, this location has a place to suit your outdoor pleasures. It won’t matter if you happen to be a regular tent camper or if you’re pushing a big RV since West Virginia has different areas for you to set up camp.

Here are some of the best camp sites seen in West Virginia today:

Big Bend

This campground is one of the many found in the Monogahela National Rainforest. It’s considered to be one of the most favored camp sites within the park, due to its location. The Big Bend rests on a peninsula, surrounded by the South Branch Potomac River. The water present makes it an ideal place to fishing with trails nearby. The area is also labelled as the “Smoke Hole Canyon” since the mist coming out from the gorge appears like a smoke. It’s a beautiful sight and one big reason why this site is an ideal camping destination.

Seneca Shadows

If you desire a beautiful view, then go for the Seneca Shadows. As one of the newest campgrounds in West Virginia, it sits on a hill with a view of the Seneca Rocks. Its nearest hill edge is exclusively reserved for walk-in campers, so you may need to sacrifice a little bit for a beautiful view. There are RV areas available with electricity hook-ups. The site has water nearby for fishing, and places to hike and climb to get you busy.

Sleepy Creek

You’ll need to be a devoted camper to appreciate this site. It’s basically off the grid: no electricity and no water are available. The roads are typically rocky and steep, so bringing an RV is a no-no. But the view from the site is incredible. The campground rests on a narrow valley, at the end of Sleep Creek Lake. This site is favorable for fishing and endless trails for hiking.

Bulltown

This is an ideal camp site for those aren’t fully ready to take on Mother Nature. While the campground does provide scenic views of the mountains, the site is out in the open and on cleared lots, with electric hookups. It sits right beside a Civil War battleground. This site has a plethora of tourist activities to get you busy.

Watoga State Park

This is the finest it can every get when it boils down to camping. Watoga State Park provides areas for RVs and tents, with electrical power available in some grounds. Campers have access to a bath house, dishwashing and laundry facilities, and a swimming pool. You’ll observe a number of activities available. If you desire for something really fun, rent a row boat or paddle for the day.

Blackwater Falls State Park

This campground is named after its waterfalls, which has a black appearance. The black color seen on the water is a result of fallen pine needles. It has areas that offer electricity and others that don’t. Bath houses are available on-site. Children will favor this campground due its spacious playground area.