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Your "Only" in West Virginia Bucket List

West Virginia Travel Journal

West Virginia is fast approaching its 150th birthday on June 20.  And we think our Mountain State looks great!  Because you only turn 150 once, we want to offer you just as many ways to see West Virginia in all her unique and beautiful glory! Join in the sesquicentennial spirit and celebrate with a countdown of 150 quintessential West Virginia experiences.

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Within the distinctive borders of the Mountain State, you will find a rich and diverse array of things to do: places you must see, music you must hear, foods you must taste and thrills you must feel.

This 150th anniversary-themed “bucket list” not only captures the biggest and best attractions in West Virginia, but also includes those off-the-beaten-path spots that offer visitors a glimpse into the very heart of West Virginia and the soul of its people.

So grab your list, get packing and bring your spirit of adventure. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover!

Fourteen Must-See Attractions

  • Trace West Virginia’s history at the State Museum and tour the gold-domed State Capitol, Charleston
  • Soak up the view from 4,848 feet atop Snowshoe Mountain
  • Relax at Oglebay Resort, Wheeling
  • Take in a game at Appalachian Power Park, Charleston  
  • Explore history at West Virginia Independence Hall, Wheeling
  • Pick a winning pony at Hollywood Casino, Charles Town
  • Appreciate art and nature at the Huntington Museum of Art
  • Walk through living history in Harpers Ferry
  • Sip a mint julep or take tea at The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs
  • Brave the catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville
  • Pamper yourself at scenic Stonewall Resort, Roanoke
  • Learn more about a fascinating family feud in the Hatfield-McCoy Mountains
  • Relax in luxury at The Blennerhassett Hotel, Parkersburg
  • Experience Southern hospitality at cozy B&Bs statewide

Eighteen Sparkling Hidden Gems

  • Take a “spirited” Harpers Ferry ghost tour
  • Explore The Greenbrier’s secret bunker
  • Scuba dive Summersville Lake
  • Rock out at Morgantown’s Rocktop Bar & Grille
  • See artisans in action at Blenko Glass, Milton
  • Hop into a horse-drawn carriage at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Parkersburg
  • Be a kid again at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, Wheeling
  • Bask in the architectural glory of “Millionaire’s Row,” Bramwell
  • Imagine the thunder of cannons at the Rich Mountain Battlefield, Beverly
  • Tour the Coal Heritage Museum, Madison
  • Meet native critters at West Virginia State Wildlife Center, French Creek
  • Tour the Belle Boyd House, home of the notorious Confederate spy, Martinsburg
  • Glimpse 19th-century elegance at Henderson Hall Plantation near Parkersburg
  • Play a round at several pro-designed golf courses
  • “Rough it” in a luxurious log cabin at Harman’s North Fork Cottages, Cabins
  • Take an overnight horseback ride at Diamond Stables, Mount Lookout
  • Pick a pumpkin at Ridgefield Farm & Orchard, Harpers Ferry
  • Stock up on Appalachian goods at Long Mountain General Store, Franklin

Seventeen Top Photo Ops and Scenic Drives

  • Drive up  Spruce Knob, the state’s highest point
  • Snap a shot of Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park
  • See hawks at Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory, Monroe County
  • Spot bald eagles on the Potomac Eagle Train, Romney
  • Take in the overlook at Hawk’s Nest State Park, Ansted
  • Leaf peep along the Midland Trail National Scenic Byway
  • Find beauty in the cascading waters of Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis
  • Marvel at towering hemlocks at Cathedral State Park, Aurora
  • Amble across covered bridges over country streams
  • Toast marshmallows over a campfire at Tygart Lake State Park, Grafton
  • Take a houseboat out on Sutton Lake
  • Stop and smell the roses at Huntington’s Ritter Park
  • Hike the iconic Appalachian Trail
  • Find a spectacular view from Jefferson Rock, Harpers Ferry
  • Explore the idyllic Route 39 Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway in south-eastern West Virginia 
  • Spy native fauna at McDonough Wildlife Refuge, Vienna
  • Pack a picnic at Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park, Summersville

Nineteen Terrific Towns

  • Stroll picturesque streets in Shepherdstown
  • Find nostalgic wooden toys at Tamarack, Beckley
  • Catch a flick at Spencer’s Robey Theatre, America’s oldest open movie house
  • Relax in a rocking chair at the historic General Lewis Inn, Lewisburg
  • Wander the corn maze at Cooper Family Farms, Milton
  • Buy a turquoise Fiesta pitcher at Homer Laughlin China, Newell
  • Hunt for treasures at antique malls in Buckhannon or Spencer
  • Sleep in a coal baron’s mansion at Pam’s B&B, Bramwell
  • Treat yourself to a spa in Berkeley Springs
  • Take in a concert at Lewisburg’s replica Carnegie Hall
  • Buy a handcrafted dulcimer at Mountain Made, Thomas
  • Take a quilting class at WV Quilt, Barboursville
  • Get reacquainted with “small-town America” in historic Hinton
  • Catch a great acoustic show at the Purple Fiddle Café, Thomas
  • See the restored C&O Train Depot, St. Albans
  • Hop aboard the New Tygart Flyer, Elkins
  • Peruse exquisite handmade textiles at Goff House, Beverly
  • Shop for retro treasures at Berdine’s Five & Dime – America’s oldest – in Harrisville
  • Have a grand getaway at elegant Graceland Inn, Elkins

Twenty Sure-Fire Adrenaline Boosters

  • Brag about Class V rafting on the Gauley River
  • Airboard the slopes at Canaan Valley Resort State Park, Davis
  • Fly down a mile-long gravity zip, New River Gorge
  • Tear up the dirt on a Hatfield-McCoy ATV trail
  • Scale sheer Seneca Rocks
  • Take an epic mountain bike ride in the Monongahela National Forest
  • Ski, snowshoe and snowmobile at Snowshoe Mountain
  • Kayak swirling waters on the Cheat River
  • Get splattered playing paintball at an adventure outfitter, Fayetteville
  • Hook a golden trout in the abundant waters of Grant County
  • Pedal through nine tunnels on the North Bend Rail-Trail
  • Enter an amateur auto race at Summit Point Motorsports Park
  • Bag a whitetail buck during hunting season
  • Learn to rappel at Hard Rock Climbing Services, Fayetteville
  • Splash through milder rapids on the Potomac River, Harpers Ferry
  • Dare to try a dual-racing zip line, Southern West Virginia
  • Test your aerial agility at a tree-top adventure park, Lansing
  • Shush the slopes after dark at Winterplace Ski Resort, Ghent
  • Snowboard the 300-foot half-pipe at Snowshoe’s Mountaineer Terrain Park
  • Take a high-flying Wild Blue Adventure Company tour in an open-cockpit biplane

Thirteen Delightful Cultural Charms

  • Join a Civil War re-enactment, Lewisburg
  • Peruse Gary Bowling’s House of Art, Bluefield
  • Take in a show at Wheeling’s historic Capitol Theatre
  • Sign up for a blacksmithing workshop at Augusta Heritage Arts Center, Elkins
  • Trace history on the African-American Heritage Trail
  • Step into yesterday at Heritage Farm Museum & Village, Huntington
  • Satisfy crafty cravings at Ripley’s Mountain State Art & Craft Fair
  • Roar into Morgantown for the Wild & Wonderful MountainFest Motorcycle Rally
  • Descend 1,500 feet underground at Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine
  • Join an open jam at American Heritage Music Hall, Ronceverte
  • Treat your kids to hands-on fun at the Clay Center, Charleston
  • Delve into history at the World War II Museum, Rowlesburg
  • Put your hands together at the American Mountain Theater’s Branson-style variety show, Elkins

Eighteen Fantastic Food Finds

  • Eat a stack of buckwheat pancakes at Company’s Coming, Fellowsville
  • Bite into a Colasessano’s pepperoni roll, Fairmont
  • Catch a Coleman’s fish sandwich, Wheeling
  • Pick wild berries at Dolly Sods
  • Grab a bottle of moonshine at Isaiah Morgan Distillery, Summersville
  • Go to the dark side with Holl’s Swiss Chocolatier, Vienna, or DeFluri’s Fine Chocolates, Martinsburg
  • Bring home the bacon from Charleston’s Capitol Market
  • Gobble a saucy hot dog at the original Custard Stand, Webster Springs
  • Sip a handcrafted beer from Bridge Brew Works, Fayetteville
  • Take on the Big Bad Bubba Burger at Hillbilly Hot Dogs, Lesage
  • Savor New Appalachian Cuisine at Stonewall Resort, Roanoke
  • Stock up on jams and honey at Orr’s Farm Market, Martinsburg
  • Order a classic root beer float at Bramwell’s vintage Corner Shop
  • Brunch in elegance at Stella’s Tea House, Lewisburg
  • Head for the tasting room at Forks of Cheat Winery, Morgantown
  • Start the day with a piled-high biscuit at any Tudor’s Biscuit World
  • Indulge in a double dip at Ellen’s Homemade Ice Cream, Charleston
  • Dine on the scenic Mountain Explorer Dinner Train, Elkins

Nineteen Opportunities To Go Off the Beaten Path

  • Marvel at the Philippi Covered Bridge
  • Visit the National Marble Museum, Weston
  • Sit in George Washington’s bathtub, Berkeley Springs
  • Touch the cool walls of the Coal House, Williamson
  • Learn about the infamous Battle of Blair Mountain, Logan County
  • Take an expedition of Organ Cave, Ronceverte
  • Learn pioneer skills at Prickett’s Fort State Park, Fairmont
  • Defy gravity at the Mystery Hole, Ansted
  • Explore all things Mothman, Point Pleasant
  • Sleep in a Durbin & Greenbrier caboose at the end of the line, Elkins
  • Brave an overnight ghost-hunter tour at the old WV Penitentiary, Moundsville
  • Get spooked at the Trans-Allegheny Asylum, Weston
  • Look for black bears at Beartown State Park, Hillsboro
  • Join a star party at the Green Bank Science Center
  • Examine the strangely patterned “waffle rock” at Jennings Randolph Lake, Mineral County
  • Observe ice pockets and boreal plants at Ice Mountain, North River Mills
  • See 1,000-year-old Adena Burial Mounds, Moundsville
  • Take a backstage tour at the Cliffside Amphitheatre, Beckley
  • Feel like you can touch the stars at dark-sky sites in Grantsville and Circleville

Twelve Signature Events

  • Tap your toes to Appalachian tunes at the Vandalia Gathering, Charleston
  • BASE jump on Bridge Day, Fayetteville
  • Ride the ferris wheel at the State Fair of West Virginia, Fairlea
  • Cheer the Mountaineers at a WVU football game, Morgantown, and root for the Marshall Thundering Herd, Huntington
  • Glow in the holiday spirit at the Festival of Lights, Wheeling
  • Dance in the streets at Charleston’s FestivALL
  • Try your hand at Irish road bowling in Ireland
  • Enjoy a taping of WV Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage”
  • Get a bluegrass fix with a side of ribs at Pickin’ in the Panhandle, Hedgesville
  • Party like it’s 1939 at the New Deal Festival, Arthurdale
  • Sample Swiss specialties at the Fasnacht festival, Helvetia
  • Eat, drink, eat and play bocce at the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, Clarksburg

For more information visit wvtourism.com or call 1-800-CALL WVA (1-800-225-5982)