Yeah, yeah, I hear you groaning already. What could West Virginia possibly have to offer? Come to find out a lot. I spend quite a bit of time in the central area of the state so I’ve gotten to know some of the hidden gems of the state.
West Virginia is an outdoorsman’s (or woman’s) dream! White water rafting, climbing, fishing, and mountain biking are all found throughout the state.
- Whitewater rafting is probably the most famous activity in the area. Throughout the state, you can find rapids ranging from Class I to Class V (Class V being the best for the most adventurous and
experienced rafters). There are several resorts and rafting companies are easily found along the rivers. Another way to find rapids is through the American Whitewater site.
- West Virginia is known as the Mountain State. Know what that means? Lots of rocks to climb! If you are a beginner there are plenty of outfitters who will give you the equipment and lessons. For those of you who are experienced and ready for a challenge, several of the National Parks have areas that are prime for a climb! If you are looking for where to start, try the West Virginia Department of Commerce Website.
- Being less than adventurous myself, I prefer a slower pace so the West Virginia’s fishing opportunities are more my speed. With plenty of lakes and rivers, you can always find the perfect fishing hole. West Virginia is known for the trout – rainbow, brown, brook and West Virginia golden rainbow trout. For those that like fly-fishing there are catch-and-release areas. For more information about the status of river and lake stock and locations, you can go to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources’ website.
One of my favorite places is Adventurers on the Gorge. They offer housing, family getaways, adventure activities, and more. Their property is absolutely beautiful and has amazing views of the New River.
So you are set if you are into the outdoors, but if you prefer things a little less outdoorsy, there are plentiful opportunities for shopping and historical visits. My favorite place so far for shopping is the Tamarack. Artisans from all over West Virginia sell their wares in this unique store. The Greenbrier Resort is the facility’s food provider so it’s a great place to stop in for lunch. Woodworking, glass blowing, pottery, jewelry and of course food items like jellies, jams, honey, and candies are all available for purchase. You can easily spend a couple hours sifting through West Virginians’ artwork, deciding which scents of artisanal soaps and lotions you prefer and then picking our your new cutting board made from West Virginia wood.
For the history buff, you probably already know that West Virginia was born because of the Civil War. West Virginia split apart from the state of Virginia and joined the Union and fought to free slaves. The WV Department of Tourism was awesome enough to put together a great website that tells this story and gives information on the battles that were fought on West Virginia soil.
I barely scratched the surface, so yeah, there is something for everyone in West Virginia. It’s not just a fly-over state but is a legitimate destination all on its own.