West Virginia Department of Commerce Small Town Gems

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Small Town Gems

Escape to WV

There are literally dozens of wonderful little towns in West Virginia.

Privately owned shops, unique attractions and small-town warmth permeate the state. Visitors can take a quick weekend jaunt away from the big city and feel truly refreshed by the clean air, warm greetings and slower pace offered by these “gems.” In fact, many visitors turn into residents when they find out how close some of these towns are to major cities. Shepherdstown is only about eighty miles from both Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Historic Rail TownIf you’re looking for something even smaller, check out Hinton, Summersville or Charles Town.

Hinton, the quintessential historic rail town, is nestled between the New, Greenbrier and Bluestone Rivers. This quaint little town has examples of Victorian, American Gothic and Greek Revival architecture and with three rivers at its doorsteps, the fishing, kayaking and rafting around Hinton is legendary.

On the shores of West Virginia’s largest lake, Summersville is filled with activities for water-lovers including scuba diving, water skiing, swimming, boating and fishing. Nearby Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park marks the spot of the Civil War battle that saved the salt mines of the Kanawha Valley from the Confederates and made it safe for western Virginia to take steps towards statehood. During the fall, the water released from the Summersville Dam makes the world-class rapids on the Gauley River possible. 

In the Eastern Panhandle, Charles Town has numerous African-American heritage sites including a historic church and school.  For a night of fun and excitement, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races offers live thoroughbred horse racing as well as thousands of slot machines waiting to be played. 

Summersville LakeDon’t mistake small towns to mean boring towns; there’s always skiing, whitewater rafting, spelunking, world class dining, gaming and unique shopping right at your fingertips.

Main Street Brochure
Main Street Brochure

Visit the charming neighborhoods, historic attractions and distinctive architecture that give each Main Street community its own unique personality.
Unique Places to Dine
Unique Places to Dine

West Virginia is full of mouth-watering aromas and scrumptious flavors. Whatever your taste or dining style, discovering and sampling the Mountain State’s rich food heritage will without a doubt satisfy your cravings.