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West Virginia

West Virginia is beautiful and full of rolling hills and sunshine.

5 Must-See Travel Destinations in West Virginia

By Bus Travel, West Virginia

With a history older than the country itself and a lush, rich Appalachian landscape, what’s not to love about West Virginia? While it’s often overlooked for its neighbors, like Kentucky and Maryland, the state offers a plethora of opportunities for fun and adventure. Follow this West Virginia travel guide to get the most out of your next Appalachia bus trip.

1. Charleston

Founded back in 1788, Charleston, WV, isn’t your typical state capital. Only home to around 50,000 residents, the community offers the ideal blend of big city convenience and small-town charm. From live music to historic landmarks, it’s the perfect spot for a West Virginia introduction.

An excellent place to start your exploration is the West Virginia State Capitol Complex on the Kanawha River. The site is home to some of the most famous and historic buildings in the area. Take in the marble columns at the Capitol Gold Dome, get a look behind the scenes at the Governor’s Mansion, and dive into the history of it all at the West Virginia State Museum. Guided tours are available for the legislative buildings year-round with self-guided exploration encouraged at the museum.

Once you’re caught up on the past, live in the present by getting to know the locals. The Capitol Market is an excellent spot to mingle, offering indoor and outdoor vendors with fresh produce, handmade crafts, and specialty items. For food and retail therapy, hit the historic downtown district. If you’re exploring the area on a weekend, stop by Haddad Riverfront Park for Lie on the Levee. The family-friendly concert series is free and occurs every Friday night during summer.

2. Harpers Ferry

Located at the intersection of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Harpers Ferry is a small town in West Virginia. With less than 300 residents, it’s easy to overlook, but the area offers a rich history with plenty of outdoor recreation. The community is even part of multiple protected parks and reserve areas.

Grab a spot at The Town’s Inn or the Stonehouse Bed and Breakfast before chasing adventure in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. There are ranger-guided tours available daily, but you can also take on the 20 miles of trails for yourself. If you’re in the mood for a challenge, hit the Maryland Heights Trail. While the trek is steep, it’s worth it for the awe-inspiring views at the top.

Back in town, re-energize at The Anvil Restaurant with seafood and drinks before heading out to the John Brown Wax Museum. The site offers wax-figure reenactments of the John Brown raid in 1859, but you might want to leave the kiddos at home — the show gets pretty graphic. Afterward, delve deeper into the past with a guided tour from the Harpers Ferry Park Association. Or, enjoy a spooky finish with a haunted tour from the Historic Harpers Ferry Foundation.

3. Bluefield

Bluefield, WV, is a quintessential small Americana town with endearing shops, welcoming locals, and a slow pace of life. Get a glimpse into what makes the city so special by strolling through the historic downtown area. Stop by Bluefield Yarn Company, grab a selfie at the Verdin Street Clock, and catch a show at the Summit Theater.

When you’re ready for some fresh West Virginia air, hit the trails at Pinnacle Rock State Park. The Pinnacle Rock overlook is a top draw of the park, but there are multiple trails on-site for hiking, along with horseback riding and fishing. The East River Mountain Overlook is another must-see outdoor spot, especially for breathtaking views.

4. New River Gorge National Park

The geographic beauty of New River Gorge National Park makes it a staple destination on West Virginia travel guides. Located near New Haven, the park offers over 70,000 acres of fun and adventure. Hiking is one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the mesmerizing landscape, and there are hundreds of trails to choose from. Visitors can also opt for ranger-guided activities as well as go whitewater rafting. Whatever activity you choose to complete, just be sure you get a chance to see the New River Gorge Bridge.

Find the Most Budget-Friendly Rates on West Virginia Travel

Grab your West Virginia travel guide and hit the road with BusTickets.com. Our user-friendly service makes modern travel both convenient and affordable. In fact, you can compare ticket prices in real time to find the most affordable rate and book them instantly. Want to make it a group trip? We offer charter bus quotes, too. Don’t miss out on an unforgettable getaway — book your bus tickets from BusTickets.com today!

References:

wvtourism.com/company/state-capitol-complex/

www.wvlegislature.gov/Educational/citizens/guide.cfm

www.wvculture.org/museum/index-museumhome.aspx

capitolmarket.net/

liveontheleveecharleston.com/

www.thetownsinn.com/

hfstonehouse.com/

www.nps.gov/hafe/index.htm

www.nps.gov/hafe/planyourvisit/guidedtours.htm

www.anvilrestaurant.com/

www.johnbrownwaxmuseum.com/

www.harpersferryhistory.org/tour-rates

www.historicharpersferry.com/index_eecms.php/contact

www.bluefieldyarncompany.com/

www.bluefieldartscenter.com/summit-theater

wvstateparks.com/park/pinnacle-rock-state-park/

visitmercercounty.com/company/east-river-mountain-overlook/

visitmercercounty.com/company/east-river-mountain-overlook/

Whitewater rafting is thrilling but make sure you pick the right river for your skill level!

The Best Places to Go Whitewater Rafting in America

By Bus Travel, California, Idaho, Jackson, Oregon, West Virginia, Wyoming

Whether you’re a born thrill-seeker or take a decidedly less adventurous approach to life, you can find joy and excitement while whitewater rafting. There are hundreds of beautiful locations to consider, but some of the best places to go whitewater rafting are situated throughout the United States. If you’re thinking about booking a bus getaway to navigate the water and take in the stunning scenery, here are five of the most enticing destinations out there.

1. Jackson Hole, WY

Spending a warm day whitewater rafting in Jackson Hole is something of a tradition for many people. It’s a family-friendly location where you can easily immerse yourself in the trappings of the area’s countless waterways. There are a number of tours that you can join through a variety of local rafting companies. You can select from a relaxed, placid, and scenic float along the Snake River, or a more energetic whitewater trip that is sure to bring a rush of adrenaline as you negotiate the furious rapids with your raft mates. Pay special attention to the area that runs through Grand Teton National Park into Jackson Hole — you’re surrounded at every turn by brilliant scenery.

2. Tuolumne River, CA

You could easily spend a few days enjoying the incredible scenery as you enjoy a trip along the Tuolumne River, located a couple of hours from Sacramento and just 40 minutes from Yosemite. There’s something for any water sports enthusiast here, although many parts of the Tuolumne are quite steep and challenging. You’ll encounter serious drops and large boulders before you approach a more mellow, scenic area that soothes your nerves. In this area, you can take a few calming breaths and enjoy the crisp, fresh air, the clear streams around you, and the waterfalls in the midst of the Sierra foothills. Then it’s back to the more challenging, intense waters. Feel free to book a single 18-mile trip over the course of a few days if you prefer a more relaxed whitewater rafting pace.

3. Deschutes River, OR

People of all ages will enjoy a raucous trip along the Deschutes River. Everyone can enjoy the simplicity of splashing around in a few class I rapids before attempting more challenging waters. Some of the best action happens on the lower Deschutes River, where the class III Boxcar Rapids and class IV Oak Springs Rapids are. You’ll meet thick slashes of water as you navigate these portions — especially in Oak Springs, where the waters are consistent and often turbulent. There are sharp stones situated throughout, so it’s best to go straight through without stopping for a swim! Keep your eyes wide open throughout the journey — you may spot ospreys or bighorn sheep along the way.

4. Salmon River, ID

The Salmon River provides about 425 miles of beauty that you can truly only find in Idaho. The appeal here is in its versatility — you can confidently bring the whole family along to partake in a variety of different challenges. There are rich, aggressive rapids from time to time mingling with serene floats. Of course, you’re welcome to swim if you want to feel a rush of cool water on your skin. It’s worth a trek to the Middle Fork Salmon River, which is home to more than 100 different whitewater rapids, plus waterfalls and hot springs. Or take the family to the Lower Salmon and enjoy some quality time camping on the beach and splashing in the water. For a more nature-driven experience, make your way to the Main Salmon, where whitewater excursions are a little more ambitious — but the payoff comes in the form of dramatic wilderness and astounding scenery that’s impossible to resist.

5. Gauley River, WV

If you’re more of a competitive rafter in search of the best places to whitewater raft in the country, look no further than the Gauley River. There’s nothing here for the timid — in fact, this dramatic waterway is known as one of the world’s finest and most challenging. The rapids require skill to manage, but the scenery is nothing short of dramatic. It’s a delight for anyone with at least intermediary experience rafting, but the advanced set will appreciate the rugged experience of more challenging class V+ waters. If you do wish to take on a more aggressive rafting trip, you’ll need to have prior experience and a proven ability to handle tricky waters with ease.

Book Your Whitewater Rafting Adventure Today

You don’t need to look far to book the adventure of your dreams. Now that you have an idea of some of the best places to whitewater raft in America, it’s time