The Perfect One Week West Virginia Road Trip Itinerary for the Outdoors Lover

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One of the things I love most about traveling is the ability to learn things on every trip – and sometimes the biggest thing I learn is how many underrated places there are out there.

When it comes to underrated places in the United States, I think the state of West Virginia definitely fits the bill.

This little state covers less than 25,000 square miles and has a population just over 1.7 million. It doesn't really have a major airport, and is often a pass-through state for people traveling from north to south.

(Fun fact: West Virginia was formed as a state during the Civil War, when it seceded from Virginia and became a literal border state between the Union and the Confederacy.)

But West Virginia deserves to be more than just a pass-through state!

Seneca Rocks
Seneca Rocks
Hiking at New River Gorge
New River Gorge National Park

With lots of open space and history and outdoor activities to enjoy, West Virginia is a great destination on its own, as my husband Elliot and I recently discovered on a West Virginia road trip.

The best time of year for a West Virginia road trip

The great thing about planning a West Virginia road trip is that you don't need a ton of time to really get a feel for the state since it's relatively small (10th smallest in the country, in fact).

Unlike some other states where seven days might only allow you to scratch the surface, you really can see a good deal of West Virginia in just a week.

Since this itinerary focuses heavily on outdoor activities, I think the best time of year to visit is between May and October.

Wild rhododendrons in West Virginia
In May, the wild rhododendrons were all in bloom!

July and August are usually the busiest months for travel anywhere within the US since kids are off school for the summer, and it's the same in West Virginia.

If you want to avoid the worst of the crowds (and the humidity; West Virginia gets very muggy in the summer), I'd recommend visiting in late spring (mid-May through the first part of June) or early fall (mid-September through mid-October).

Amanda on the Beauty Mountain Trail
It's not uncommon to find trails to yourself if you visit in the shoulder season.

Any earlier or later in the year, and you'll find that many of the seasonal activities, restaurants, and shops won't be open. (Elliot and I visited in the first half of May, and things were just starting to open up for the season.)

How to get to West Virginia

West Virginia is a land-locked state sandwiched between Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. It's a mountainous state, being mostly covered by the Appalachian Mountains and the forests these ancient mountains are associated with.

West Virginia does not have any large airports itself, but its major cities are driving distance from hubs like Pittsburgh, PA; Charlotte, NC; and Washington, DC. Elliot and I drove from where we live just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, in about 4 hours.

Driving is definitely how I would recommend getting to and around West Virginia. Like most places in the US, it's best explored via road trip.

You can search for rental cars here if you need one.

West Virginia road
Let's hit the road!

7-day West Virginia road trip itinerary

This one-week West Virginia road trip itinerary has you starting out in the capital city of Charleston and ending in Morgantown, but you could easily reverse this itinerary or end back where you began since driving distances aren't too far here.

I should also note that, while this itinerary is based on a trip my husband and I planned and took ourselves, it certainly doesn't cover everything there is to see and do in the state!

Total driving distance: This trip is roughly 520 miles, if you start in Charleston and end in Morgantown.

West Virginia mountains

Day 1: Charleston

Start your West Virginia adventure in the capital city of Charleston, located at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers in the western part of the state. While Charleston is the largest city in West Virginia, it feels more like a small town – and it is, really, with a population of just over 45,000 people.

Elliot and I drove from our home near Cleveland, Ohio, on Day 1 of our road trip, arriving in Charleston in the late afternoon. This still left us some time to head into the city center for a bit of exploring, which is what I recommend doing today.

We started our exploring in Charleston at the West Virginia State Capitol, which is a beautiful gold-domed building on the Kanawha River that dates back to 1924. Guided tours of the capitol are offered most days of the week (reservations required), but even if you aren't going on a tour you can appreciate the architecture and beautiful capitol campus.

West Virginia State Capitol building
The gold-domed Capitol building

If you arrive in Charleston earlier in the day, you might want to visit a local museum like the West Virginia State Museum (open Tuesday-Saturday, and admission is free!), or the Clay Center, which is home to the Juliet Art Museum, Avampato Discovery Museum, and Caperton Planetarium and Theater.

Be sure to pop into the Capitol Market, too, which is an indoor-outdoor market located inside an old train station. You can shop for everything from plants and fresh produce to wine and West Virginia-made gifts here.

Capitol Market in Charleston
Inside Capitol Market

Next, head into the downtown historic district for a walk along tree-lined Capitol Street, where you can stop into local shops like Taylor Books, and grab dinner at a spot like The Block or Black Sheep.

Elliot and I didn't really know what to expect from Charleston, and were really charmed by the historic downtown area.

Charleston historic district
Taylor Books in Charleston
Be prepared to spend a lot of time in Taylor Books!

Total drive time: Our drive time from Cleveland was about 4.5 hours, but once you arrive in Charleston you can explore a lot of it on foot.

Where to stay in Charleston: There are a wide selection of chain hotels in and around Charleston. For a hotel right downtown, consider the Courtyard Charleston Downtown/Civic Center. If you don't mind staying a little ways out of town, the Hampton Inn Charleston – Southridge is the top-rated hotel in the city (this is where Elliot and I stayed).

Day 2: To New River Gorge

Grab some coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Starlings Coffee & Provisions, and get ready to hit the road today! It's time to head south to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, the newest national park in the United States.

The drive is a short one (just a little over an hour), so there's no need to rush. Definitely make a stop at Cathedral Falls, a roadside waterfall just past Gauley Bridge.

Cathedral Falls in West Virginia
The surprisingly impressive Cathedral Falls.

You could also make a detour to Hawk's Nest State Park, where the Hawk's Nest Overlook offers up some stunning views of the New River.

Your eventual destination is the town of Fayetteville, which bills itself as the “Coolest Small Town.” It is indeed very cool, with lots of small local shops and restaurants to enjoy.

Grab lunch at the Cathedral Cafe (which, yes, is a cafe located inside an old church) before heading just a couple miles down the road into New River Gorge National Park.

Cathedral Cafe in Fayetteville
Cathedral Cafe

To get to the Canyon Rim Visitor Center (one of three visitor centers in this 53-mile-long park), you'll have to drive over the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, which is the longest single-arch bridge in the western hemisphere.

At the visitor center, you can learn a bit about the history of the area and visit a couple overlooks with excellent views of the bridge. (Note that one of the overlooks does require climbing a bunch of stairs.)

New River Gorge Bridge
The New River Gorge Bridge

After this, you have a couple different options of things to do depending on your interests and how much you want to squeeze into the rest of your afternoon.

I would recommend a short hike and a drive to round out your first day in the New River Gorge.

The drive is the Fayette Station Road, which is a mostly one-way road with lots of hairpin turns that takes you down into the gorge, across the New River on a small railroad bridge, and back up out of the gorge on the other side. This used to be the only way to cross the New River before the New River Gorge Bridge was built in the 1970s, and now makes for a fascinating driving tour.

The Fayette Station Road begins near the Canyon Rim Visitor Center, and takes about an hour to drive without any stops.

If you want to hike before doing this drive, then I'd recommend the Endless Wall Trail, which is one of the most popular hikes in the park. The trail traverses first through a hemlock forest, and eventually takes you out to a lookout above the “Endless Wall,” which is a long cliff face popular with rock climbers.

Amanda at Diamond Point Overlook
Me at Diamond Point on the Endless Wall Trail

This moderate trail can be hiked as a 2-mile out-and-back from the Fern Creek parking area to Diamond Point (which is what Elliot and I did), or you can do it in a 2.7-mile loop – but if you do the whole loop, note that you'll have to walk a half-mile back to your car along a road.

If you want to drive the Fayette Station Road first and hike after, then I recommend heading for the Long Point Trail instead, which is the other most-popular hike in the park. This 3.2-mile hike leads out to a rocky outcrop that offers up incredible views of the New River Gorge Bridge.

Amanda at Long Point
Me at the overlook on the Long Point Trail

Afterwards, head back into Fayetteville for dinner. I recommend either Pies & Pints (for pizza and beer) or The Pink Pig (for barbecue).

Total drive time: 2.5-ish hours

Sample costs for today: None! New River Gorge National Park and West Virginia state parks are FREE to visit!

Where to stay in Fayetteville: We stayed in a beautiful, art-filled apartment at the Lafayette Flats, located in a historic building in Fayetteville. There are four apartments here to choose from: the Nuttall apartment (the one we stayed in), as well as the Quinnimont, the Corten, and the Eddy flats. For more New River Gorge accommodation suggestions, read this post.

Lafayette Flats Nuttall apartment
The Nuttall flat where we stayed

Day 3: Adventure in the Gorge

Chances are if you've come to the New River Gorge, it's because you've heard all about the fantastic adventure sports here. By far the most popular adventure to have in the Gorge is to go whitewater rafting.

There are a couple different rafting options to choose from, with the most popular being a full-day rafting trip down the Lower New River. This trip starts out with a fairly relaxing float (perfect for enjoying the scenery along one of the oldest rivers in the world!), but eventually puts you over Class IV and V rapids as you approach the New River Gorge Bridge.

This is the trip Elliot and I did, and we would both definitely recommend it as a must-do.

White water rafting the New River
Rafting the Lower New

We rafted with ACE Adventure Resort, but there are several local outfitters who offer this same trip. (You can book a similar trip here, or directly with any of the local companies like ACE, Adventures on the Gorge, West Virginia Adventures, or River Expeditions.)

Check out this video I made from our rafting trip:

If you're traveling with kids or anyone who is unsure about rafting, you can also float down the calmer Upper New (minimum age for this section is 5-6). Meanwhile, for the true daredevils, look into rafting on the nearby Gauley River in the fall, which is more intense and marked as being only for experienced rafters.

In the summer, there's a half-day version of many of these rafting tours, but I really recommend going for the full day trip. Lunch and all your gear is included, and it's an adventure you won't soon forget.

Book a Lower New River rafting trip here.

Once you return from the river, you'll probably want to head back to your accommodation for a proper shower (though there are shower facilities at most of the rafting outfitters), and then I recommend just relaxing for the rest of the evening.

Maybe take a stroll through Fayetteville, grab dinner, and enjoy an ice cream from The Stache.

Shop in Fayetteville, West Virginia
Fayetteville really is the cutest

Total drive time: Less than an hour

Sample costs for today: Whitewater rafting can range anywhere from $100-$150 per person

Where to stay in Fayetteville: Again, I highly recommend one of the apartments at Lafayette Flats. We stayed in the Nuttall apartment and loved it (the soaking tub was especially welcomed this day after rafting).

Day 4: More New River Gorge

Believe it or not, there's still lots more to do in the New River Gorge!

This morning, you might want to try out some mountain biking on some of the single-track trails in and around the park. You can rent a Trek mountain bike from Arrowhead Bike Farm, and head directly out on their miles of trails.

Elliot mountain biking
Elliot mountain biking

Or, if you're like Elliot and I, one of you can go mountain biking, and the other can do another hike. (Elliot is really into cycling and mountain biking, while I decidedly am not! So while he hit the trails for a couple hours, I went and did another hike.)

The Long Point Trail is just around the corner from Arrowhead Bike Farm, so if you didn't do that hike on Day 2 of you trip, that could be an option for you this morning.

New River Gorge Bridge from the Long Point Trail
Long Point Trail views

If you DID already hike this trail, there are plenty of other options nearby, too, including visiting the “ghost town” of Thurmond at the bottom of the gorge.

After your morning of outdoor adventuring, return to Arrowhead for lunch at the Handle Bar + Kitchen, which is a laid-back restaurant and beer garden. Sip local craft beers and refuel at a picnic table outdoors (their brats and tacos are all good!).

Arrowhead Bike Farm
Arrowhead Bike Farm

This afternoon, head out on the official Scenic Drive that loops around the park. You can stop at Grandview for some excellent gorge views (and there are some hiking trails there, too), and at the Sandstone Visitor Center to learn about the area's Indigenous history. Sandstone Falls is also nearby if you have enough time.

Grandview overlook
The view at Grandview
New River Gorge National Park

On your way back to Fayetteville, you might also want to stop briefly at Babcock State Park to see the famous Glade Creek Grist Mill, which you've likely seen before in promotional materials about West Virginia.

Amanda at Glade Creek Grist Mill
Glade Creek Grist Mill

This has the potential to be a very long day depending on how much you want to see/do, but it will help you hit up the last of the highlights of New River Gorge National Park.

Total drive time: 2-3 hours depending on which stops you make

Sample costs for today: Mountain bike rental $35-$75

Where to stay in Fayetteville: We loved our stay in the Nuttall apartment at Lafayette Flats in Fayetteville. If these apartments are booked, there are hotels in Beckley including a Hampton Inn (the top-rated hotel there), a Courtyard by Marriott, and a Country Inn & Suites

Day 5: To Canaan Valley

Fuel up this morning in Fayetteville with breakfast at Wood Iron Eatery before bidding farewell to the New River Gorge and this part of the state.

Wood Iron Eatery in Fayetteville
Wood Iron Eatery is a great spot for breakfast and coffee

You'll be heading east today, to an area known as Canaan Valley. But the drive is short (only about 3 hours if you go straight there), so you may as well make a few stops along the way.

The first stop I'd recommend is to see Summersville Lake, which is just up US-19 from Fayetteville. This beautiful lake is a popular summer resort spot, and there's a nice viewpoint you can stop at if you plug “Long Point Overlook” into your Google Maps (just make sure it's the one on the lake, though!).

Summersville Lake via drone
Flying our drone over Summersville Lake

Next, leave the main highway and head into the mountains so you can visit the Falls of Hills Creek and Cranberry Glades Botanical Area, both off of WV-39.

Cranberry Glades is super interesting because it's an area within the Monongahela National Forest protecting the largest area of bogs in West Virginia. There's a short half-mile boardwalk here through the bogs (you'll reach the parking lot for it before you get to the Nature Center), and it's a nice place to stop and stretch your legs.

Cranberry Glades bog boardwalk
The boardwalk at Cranberry Glades
Pitcher plants at Cranberry Glades
Carnivorous pitcher plants!

You could stop in at Snowshoe Mountain Resort for lunch next, or just continue on to Canaan Valley.

If you have time this afternoon/evening, the Canaan Valley Resort has a scenic chairlift ride that offers up some stunning views of this beautiful area. The chairlift ride is long (it can take about 20 minutes each way!), and definitely worth the ticket price if the weather is good.

Tonight, depending on where you decide to stay, you can grab dinner at the Canaan Valley Resort, or head into the towns of Davis or Thomas where there are lots of local restaurants to choose from.

Total drive time: 4 hours

Sample costs for today: Scenic chairlift ride: $8 per adult

Where to stay in Canaan Valley: There are lots of options to choose from! You could stay at the family-friendly Canaan Valley Resort, book a room at the hip Billy Motel in Davis (it personally gives me Schitt's Creek vibes – in a good way!), or book one of the Golden Anchor Cabins in Dryfork if you're after something more romantic.

We actually spent 2 nights in a cabin, and 1 night at the Billy Motel.

Golden Anchor Cabins
Our cabin at Golden Anchor Cabins
The Billy Motel
The Billy Motel

Day 6: Waterfalls, wilderness, and small WV towns

Today will be sort of a grab-bag of things you can do around the towns of Davis and Thomas. These towns – each with a population of less than 1000 people – are cute, artsy towns with an interesting history.

The Davis brothers (one of whom was named Thomas Davis) opened a coal mine and then a railroad near the town of Thomas in the 1880s. The Davis Coal and Coke company brought jobs and prosperity to Thomas, which lasted through the 1920s.

Start your morning with breakfast at Milo's Cafe in Davis, which is located inside the Bright Morning Inn. The breakfasts are large, filling, and delicious.

Then spend some time exploring Thomas, which has lots of beautiful old brick buildings that now house cool shops and galleries. The Thomas Commercial Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is worth exploring for an hour or so.

Thomas, West Virginia
Thomas Commercial Historic District

Next, make the short drive to Blackwater Falls State Park. This park is named for the 57-foot falls that cascade down the Blackwater River. You can visit the falls and its viewpoints (which do involve a couple hundred steps, FYI), taking some time to admire the tannin-tinted waterfall.

Blackwater Falls State Park
Stairs down to Blackwater Falls (there are more than these)
Blackwater Falls State Park
The falls from another viewpoint

Also in this park, you might want to visit Elakala Falls, Lindy Point, and the Pendleton Point Overlook, all of which involve short hikes to reach.

After exploring the park a bit, head back into Thomas for lunch. The most famous place to eat here is the Purple Fiddle, which is a restaurant and live music venue. Acts large and small have performed at the Purple Fiddle, and they have live music almost every day of the week. There are often free concerts around lunchtime, so definitely check their schedule to see what's on.

The Purple Fiddle
Outside the Purple Fiddle

Other good lunch spots include Picnic in Thomas and Big Belly Deli in Davis.

This afternoon, head to Dolly Sods Wilderness, a unique spot within the Monongahela National Forest that is popular with hikers. Dolly Sods sits atop a large plateau, and is known for its trails featuring large boulders and incredible views.

There are lots of trails here under 5 miles in length, with the most popular being the Bear Rocks Trail.

This evening, head back towards the Davis/Thomas area for dinner. If you didn't go to the Purple Fiddle for lunch, consider going for dinner. Or, Farm Up Table is also a good option in Thomas.

Total drive time: 2 hours

Sample costs for today: $10-$20 for music at the Purple Fiddle (though some concerts are free)

Where to stay in Canaan Valley: Again, there are lots of options to choose from! You could stay at the family-friendly Canaan Valley Resort, book a room at the hip Billy Motel in Davis (it personally gives me Schitt's Creek vibes – in a good way!), or book one of the Golden Anchor Cabins in Dryfork if you're after something more romantic.

Day 7: Seneca Rocks choose your own adventure

Today is going to be full of adventure, so I hope you're ready!

We're going to head to the area around Seneca Rocks, where towering fins of Tuscarora quartzite rise out of the landscape like the craggy backs of dinosaurs. These interesting rock formations were formed by rock being folded more than 250 million years ago as the Appalachian Mountains were just settling into being.

Seneca Rocks from the air
Seneca Rocks

And in one particular spot, you can climb these jagged fins of rock on a via ferrata!

“Via ferrata” is an Italian phrase that translates to “iron road” or “the iron way,” and describes a climbing route in the mountains that melds hiking with rock climbing.

The via ferrata you can do here is a privately-owned course run by a company called NROCKS. The course has you climbing on two of those incredible “fins” of rock, and crossing an epic suspension bridge between them.

Nrocks via ferrata from the air
These were the fins we climbed – can you spot the ant-like people, or the suspension bridge?
Amanda and Elliot on the Nrocks via ferrata
Elliot and I on the course

You get a climbing harness and helmet, and learn how to use the system of steel cables and rungs affixed into the rocks in order to stay safe as you channel your inner mountain goat. Groups are small (ours consisted of 6 climbers and one guide), and the experience takes on average 3-5 hours (it took our group 4).

This is a pretty challenging activity, but I think it's one of the most unique things I've done while traveling in the US! (Read all about our tour here!)

Amanda on the Nrocks via ferrata
Me tackling an exposed section of the course
Nrocks via ferrata suspension bridge
The suspension bridge – I'm the little blue dot!

RELATED: Climbing a Via Ferrata in West Virginia: Crazy Fun or Just Plain Crazy?

However, I'm fully aware that even the most outdoorsy of people might take one look at this and say “no thanks.” This is NOT an activity for anyone who is really petrified of heights, and I wouldn't expect everyone to want to do it!

If you fall into this latter camp, you can still spend your morning getting an up-close look at some of these rock fins at the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center. Here, there's one large and impressive rock fin, with a challenging hiking trail that takes you close to the top.

Amanda at Seneca Rocks
You can hike partway up this fin on a more traditional trail.

Seneca Caverns are also nearby, where you can go on an underground cave tour suitable for the whole family.

After your morning via ferrata adventure or hike, make the drive to the top of Spruce Knob next, which is the highest point in West Virginia at 4,863 feet. There's a short trail here that takes you around the peak to various viewpoints.

Views from Spruce Knob
Views from Spruce Knob

This would be a nice place to have a picnic lunch (which I recommend bringing with you for this day!).

Amanda at Spruce Knob
Bring a jacket – it can get chilly up here!

On your drive back to the Thomas/Davis area, you might also want to stop in to a local West Virginia distillery. My pick is Still Hollow Spirits, which is a small farm-to-bottle distillery in a beautiful valley in the mountains.

If you want a truly stunning drive to get here, make sure your Google Maps takes you via Whites Run Road. This is a mostly unpaved route (so be careful if it's wet), but seriously so, so beautiful.

Once at Still Hollow, tastings inside their distillery barn are free. They run an impressively local and sustainable distilling operation, and produce several different types of small-batch whiskies. Elliot came home with a couple bottles!

Still Hollow Spirits distillery
Still Hollow Spirits (I love their branding!) with the solar-powered distillery/tasting barn in the background.

After this, you've earned a well-deserved rest this evening after a jam-packed weeklong road trip in West Virginia.

Even if you're not staying there, the Billy Motel is a great place to stop for a cocktail and dinner (dinner currently served Wednesday-Saturday) tonight.

The Billy Motel lounge
The retro lounge at The Billy Motel
Billy Motel food
Dinner at The Billy Motel

Total drive time: 2.5-3 hours depending on where you're staying

Sample costs for today: The via ferrata costs $125 per person.

Where to stay: You could stay at the family-friendly Canaan Valley Resort, book a room at the hip Billy Motel in Davis (it personally gives me Schitt's Creek vibes – in a good way!), or book one of the Golden Anchor Cabins in Dryfork if you're after something more romantic.

If you have more time…

Even though West Virginia isn't exactly the largest state, it was impossible to cover every single corner of it in this itinerary. We focused on outdoor activities on our trip, but there are several places already on our “next time” list.

If you have more time to spend in West Virginia, here are some additional places you might want to visit/things you might want to do:

Other WV towns to visit:

  • Harper's Ferry – This was the top place everyone said we should visit in West Virginia, but sadly we didn't have time. Harper's Ferry is in the far eastern corner of the state, where West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia meet (very convenient to Washington, DC). The town is full of history (it's home to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, a Civil War Museum, and John Brown’s Fort) and sits at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
  • Morgantown – This hip college town is home to West Virginia University, and sits near the Pennsylvania border. There are good museums and parks to visit here, and it's also close to more good whitewater rafting on the Cheat River.
  • Matewan – If you're interested in the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feuds, you need to head to the southwestern part of West Virginia. The town of Matewan in Mingo County would make a good stop, where you can visit the Matewan Depot Welcome Center & Museum to learn about the feuds, as well as the Matewan Massacre in 1920.
Parsons, West Virginia
Driving through the town of Parsons

Other WV experiences to have:

  • Cass Scenic Railroad – We didn't make it to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, and I'm sad about it! Here you can ride the Cass Scenic Railroad, an 11-mile long heritage railway where tours happen on a train pulled by a steam locomotive. You need to dedicate half a day to this experience if you want to do the full trip.
  • West Virginia Penitentiary or Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum If hunting for ghosts sounds like fun, you might want to make time to tour either the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville or Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston. The West Virginia Penitentiary is a gothic-style prison that operated from 1876-1995, while the asylum operated from 1864-1994 and is now a National Historic Landmark. They both offer historical tours, as well as paranormal-focused ones.
  • Stay at The Greenbrier – Lastly, if it's history and luxury you're after, you may want to add staying at The Greenbrier to your West Virginia bucket list. This iconic mountain resort is a National Historic Landmark, and offers everything from golfing to spa services. You can even tour a Cold War-era bunker built to hold all of Congress.

READ NEXT: 10 Awesome Things to Do in New River Gorge National Park


There you have it! A great 7-day West Virginia road trip itinerary that you can feel free to steal. This state is seriously perfect for any outdoors-lover, and I hope this itinerary has convinced you that West Virginia should be more than just a pass-through state.

Who's ready to plan a West Virginia road trip now?

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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31 Comments on “The Perfect One Week West Virginia Road Trip Itinerary for the Outdoors Lover

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  1. Thank you, I’m from WVa and didn’t know most of these sites. I loved it.

      That’s awesome! I love introducing locals to places even they don’t know about!

    Wonderful itinerary! Born in Richwood, WV a town you probably passed through on your way to the Glades. It was a prosperous town at one time and the residents are working hard to make it so again. Lots of really good little restaurants and several B&Bs there. If anyone is interested in a really great ramp feed you can’t beat their Feast of the Ransom, they have been holding it for more than 80 years.
    Your itinerary covered several of my favorite places, lots of good fishing and kayaking in the areas you passed through.
    Thanks for showing part of what makes a West Virginian always, always a West Virginian no matter where.they live or how long they have been away.

      I was born and raised in Richwood Wv but my family and I live in Ohio now. We love showing off Wv too our friends. They are always amazed with the beauty of Wv.

    West Virginia has so many Wild & Wonderful places to explore.

    No matter what direction you go in, there will be alot of scenic views along the way ♡

    Hi Amanda !
    I stumbled onto this I loved your WV trip very informative with great Beautiful pictures loveove your style , So glad I stumbled
    Sincerely Your new
    WV friend
    KellyK♡
    PS.. If you ever come to Morgantown check us out on
    Hipcamp.com
    Youll find places in WV and threw out US for half the price look for us ROCKST☆R CAMP . SAFE TRAVELS were ever you may go .♡

    Such a great compilation of West Virginia sights to see. I would also add a 4 tp 6 hour hour spin through Huntington. Only an hour west of Charleston using I 64 west, Huntington was named after Collis P. Huntington, the railroad magnet. Situated on the banks of the Ohio River at the border of Ohio and Kentucky, this river city once rivaled Charleston both in population and commerce. It is home to Marshall University with it’s beautiful, historic campus. Named after John Marshall of the Supreme Court, this University is one of the best small town universities east of the Mississippi. Complete with a medical school and other fine programs, current attendees and Alumni both will confirm this to be one of the highlights of their educational journey in a friendly and welcoming town.
    Dob’t miss driving down historic 3rd and 4th avenue as you head west from Marshall. At the intersection of 4th Avenue and 8th Street, hang a left and head South to the Southside residential neighbor. At the corner of 8th Street and 5th Avenue glance right and view Huntington’s historic County Courthouse with it’s beautiful, goldleaf dome and expansive lawn. After that, you can continue South on 8th Street under the railroad Viaduct or turn left at the corner of 5th Avenue and 8th Street. Drive East on 5th Avenue to 12th Street. Along the way view Historic Buildings such as the old Post Office once housed in a fabulous Georgian style government building, see the historic Lubrary built by the Mellon Family ( now housing a private business), stop at Jim’s Spaghetti house for fabulous spaghetti then continue east on 5th Avenue passing historic Churches on “Church Row”.
    Huntibgton is laid out primarily on a grid so navigation is easy. Double back to 8th Street and go under the Viaduct. Thinking your way along that Grid, stay on 8th Street heading South passing Historic Huntington High School , home of the Pony Express at 8th Street between 9th and 10th Avenue. At the corner of 8th Street and 13th Avenue is the beginning of magnificient Ritter Park . Enjoy your walk, jog ,or drive through Ritter park and up through it’s Hills. Continue on up 8th Street Road passing exquisite, historic homes viewed from every angle on this winding road. You will begin to see signs for The Huntington Museum of Art. Google this to get more info as describing it here would take 2 more pages LOL!
    THere is SO MUCH MORE to Huntington, but these are a few of my BEST memories while growing up in Huntington in the 60’s!! I know you will enjoy as well!!
    Happy Trails to you!
    Sherry B
    A Southside girl

      There are so many spots to visit; no way to fit them all into one weeklong trip! But thanks so much for sharing your tips for Huntington!

        I enjoyed reading about your WV visit so much !! You certainly covered a lot of ground! I am heading to Tetons and Yellowstone next May for my first trip West. Do you have any experiences to share from there?
        Happy Trails!
        S

    You are a wonderful asset to our magical state. Thank you! What you missed was the former capitol Wheeling with art and parks and more importantly a migration of young 34 year olds moving back home to buy powerfully important buildings, a famous hotel, The McLure House, the Carmelite Monastery, the historical Scottish Rite 5 story Cathedral, downtown deco 550 space parking garage which will develop to rooftop gardens, and finally a long term joint effort with nationally renowned GrowOhio Valley and Roxby Development as partners developing the Edible Mountain creating an urban park as gorgeous as our jewel Oglebay Park and Resort. Please come see Wheeling WV next time….and we’re just a quick one hour away from Pittsburgh, an outrageous city full of art, sports, history and crazy good restaurants.

      There’s definitely more of West Virginia that I need to explore! We focused mostly on the outdoors on this trip, and still couldn’t fit everything in. All those upcoming developments in Wheeling sound amazing!

    As a WV native,I enjoyed your narrative.While I have visted all of your destinations, I definitely picked up some nice dining tips.
    Thank you for showing how great the state of West Virginia truly is!

    No matter what time of year you visit Almost Heaven WV. You will always find alone time and solitude. Plenty of space to spread out be all alone with nature. And if you do decide to be around people you will find friendly and welcoming company: As the old saying goes “Come on in sit down and stay a spell

    Great Blog. We are thinking of visiting New River Gorge. Although Rafting was not in our plan, but reading your blog and watching your video we would definitely add it to our plan. Can you please let me know which Rafting challenge you opted for? Can you please let me know if it was a Lower New River Full day or Half day trip or you took the dare devil most challenging trip 🙂

      We did the full-day Lower New River trip, and it was great! Definitely would recommend it. It starts of fairly relaxing, and then gets more exciting the further down the river you go.

        We have a full day trip on the lower New River booked with Cantrell Ultimate Rafting. I noticed that you didn’t mention them. The reviews for them are great so I am hoping we have a great time. I am going to be using some of your trip suggestions. Thanks!

          I hadn’t heard of that company, but they sound great! All the companies doing rafting trips on the New River right now are fairly similar, so I’m sure you’ll have an excellent trip!

        Thank you Amanda for recommending this adventure. We had lots of fun. Your travel itinerary guide helped me plan this trip in no time.

    Thank you for the treat West Virginia Itinerary. Having moved to Harrisburg, PA recently we can travel to Harpers Ferry in less than 2 hours, making it an excellent day trip. Great for hiking, biking and kayaking. Did you know Spruce Knob is the best dark site east of the Mississippi ? Great for anyone astronomer or not. Also Green Bank is the site of the worlds largest steerable radio telescope. They have a very good museum at the visitor center. Definitely a great place for science nerds.

    Sounds like a great trip! Do you have a print option without pictures for your itinerary? Would love to print and highlight!!
    Thank you, you are amazing!

      I don’t have a printable version of this one yet, but it’s on the to-do list!

    Looks like you had a fantastic road trip! Thanks for sharing. It’s been awhile since I’ve commented here, however, I’ve continued enjoying & reading your blog.

      This was a great trip indeed, and I’m certainly inspired to go and explore more of West Virginia now! Thanks for continuing to read!

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