Wild and Wonderful
Beautiful mountains, forest, cave systems
Outdoor adventures, Appalachian culture, American history
Get To Know West Virginia
Escape from the dreary routine of life and head toward the rugged Appalachian landscapes of West Virginia. Beautiful mountains, forests, and cave systems decorate the state, providing no shortage of outdoor adventures in which to participate. Learn more about West Virginia and why you should make it your next bus adventure.
A Brief History of West Virginia
Once the mountainous western region of Virginia, the state now known as West Virginia succeeded from its eastern half during the Civil War, joining the Union in 1863. For centuries after its formation as an independent state, West Virginia has been a major coal producer, supplying 15 percent of the country’s coal. At the dawn of World War II, the massive Greenbrier Resort in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia used to house diplomats from Germany, Italy, and Japan until American diplomats overseas would be released and returned home safely.
There's no shortage of things to do in West Virginia.
A Look at Culture in West Virginia
West Virginia is home to the distinctive Appalachian culture which was born during the era of the Civil War. Contributing to the culture of the Appalachian people was the heavy influx of Irish and Scottish immigrants who settled there in the 18th century. It was the influence of these Celtic settlers that gave way to West Virginia’s notable folk and bluegrass music, which almost always includes instruments like the fiddle and banjo. Another strong facet of West Virginia’s culture is a strong pride in coal mining, which has served as the state’s largest industry for many years.
Must See List
- ACE Adventure Resort
- Adventures on the Gorge
- River Expeditions
- River Riders Family Adventure Resort
- Secret Sandwich Society
- Pies and Pints
- Big Timber Brewing
- El Gran Sabor
- White Horse Tavern
- Babcock State Park
- Hawks Nest State Park
- Audra State Park
- Canaan Valley
- Snowshoe Mountain
- Timberline Resort
- Winterplace Ski Resort
- Heritage Farm Museum and Village
- Museum of Radio & Technology
- West Virginia State Museum
- Chief Logan State Park
- Princeton Railroad Museum
- Mercer County War Museum
Top Cities To Visit in West Virginia
The Appalachian Mountains can be found dramatically sweeping just east of the quaint West Virginian city known as Beckley. Harboring a friendly small-town atmosphere, no one will argue that Beckley is a bustling metropolis with attractions galore — but that’s exactly why many curious travelers fall in love with this charming southern city.
The slow-paced and laid back vibe in Beckley is delightfully infectious, coming in the form of friendly locals, soulful southern eateries and an attractive historical aesthetic that fittingly paints the town. Visitors here may find themselves exploring the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine — a hauntingly beautiful preservation of an 18th-century coal mine that serves as an appropriate ode to Beckley’s industrial history and old-world charm.
Located at the confluence of the Kanawha and Elk rivers, the city of Charleston is a great place to visit when on your bus trip to West Virginia. Not only is Charleston the capital of the state, but it is also home to an up-and-coming art scene with a vibrant atmosphere. Head to the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences to catch a show at the concert hall or have a space-age experience in the planetarium. For a bite of some trendy cuisine, stop by downtown Charleston’s Capitol Market, a food hall with vendors and eateries artistically placed in a retired freight station.
A mix of outdoor recreation and a quaint small-town vibe makes the town of Harpers Ferry the perfect place for a romantic getaway or an action-packed family vacation. Offering proximity to the Appalachian Trail, Jefferson Rock, and Maryland Heights, Harpers Ferry is a wonderful place for those seeking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors — you won’t be disappointed. If you’re looking for more thrilling outdoor adventures, visit the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, offering white water rafting, ziplining, rock climbing, and camping sites.
The lively college city of Morgantown is home to West Virginia University and the Milan Puskar Stadium, where WVU’s team frequently plays. Attend a football game at Mountaineer Field or head to the Art Museum of West Virginia University where elaborate works of modern and traditional art are on display. Hiking and mountain biking are popular activities at White Park or Deckers Creek if you’re interested in a little fun amongst the beautiful landscape.
If you’re traveling to West Virginia during the winter months and hope to hit the slopes, head to Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort in the Allegheny Mountains — a group of mountains in the Appalachian Mountain Range. At the summit of the mountain is the Village at Snowshoe, a quaint little place where you can kick off your boots after a long day of skiing and enjoy a hot cup of cocoa while taking in views of the snow-capped mountains.
Like an image on a West Virginia postcard, the city of Wheeling is situated on the banks of the Ohio river and nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains — creating a striking backdrop to behold for visitors of Wheeling.
Outdoor adventurers and laid-back vacationers will find plenty of engaging things to do while in the humble city of Wheeling. Whether a rugged hike through Wheeling’s regional patch of mountain landscape or an exciting day at the Wheeling Island Hotel Casino & Racetrack — the options for relaxation, fun, and adventure aren’t in short supply in the southern paradise known as Wheeling, West Virginia.
Live Luxuriously at The Greenbrier
Located in the Allegheny Mountains is The Greenbrier, a breathtaking resort with luxurious and cozy cottages, upscale restaurants, and unbelievable mountain views. Spend your days dining like an aristocrat, sipping on cocktails, and trying your luck at the on-site casino.
Attend the Roadkill Cook-Off
Contrast your high-society experience at the Greenbrier by attending the annual Roadkill Cook-off. Don’t worry though, you won’t be eating raccoons sourced from the side of the highway. This unfortunately-named event comes around every September when chefs serve delicious dishes made from animals that one might imagine when thinking of roadkill — like snapping turtle stew, squirrel gravy on biscuits, or fried venison wontons.
Go Chasing Waterfalls at Blackwater Falls State Park
Like many other attractions, Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. Red Spruce Needles and Hemlock consistently fall into the water, dying it a gorgeous amber color and giving it the name Blackwater Falls. Enjoy the sight of waterfall dramatically cascading 57 feet into the gorge below or hike through mountain trails. If you wish to spend more time in the park, cabins and campgrounds are offered as well.
Best Time to Visit
West Virginia is a great year-round vacation destination, with perfect weather for outdoor enjoyment and recreation during all four seasons. Summertime brings in larger crowds when school lets out, but the weather is tremendous for hiking, swimming, and waterfall spotting. Spring and fall usher in the most envious of weather, but cabin prices tend to be higher during these seasons, so be sure to book your mountain lodging well in advance. The winter season in West Virginia can get very cold, but it’s a popular time for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts to enjoy the many mountain ski resorts throughout the state.