A Vacationer Guideline to West Virginia


West Virginia, endlessly lined with forests and recognized as the “Mountain State,” provides breathtaking surroundings, natural useful resource-relevant sights, and year-round, out of doors activities.

Once abundant in coal and timber, it was shaped by the mines and logging railroads which extracted them, but when decades of elimination commenced to deplete these commodities, their rolling, green-carpeted mountains yielded secondary byproducts-specifically, hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, climbing, and searching to visitors and sporting activities enthusiasts alike. Its New River Gorge, which delivers many comparable things to do, is equally beautiful with its rugged financial institutions and azure surfaces, though the theory city of Charleston, revitalized all through the seventies and nineteen eighties, now options museums, art, browsing malls, places to eat, and world-class performance venues.


Found on the Kanawha River, and sporting an effortlessly negotiable avenue grid procedure, it is subdivided into the Capitol Intricate and the downtown area with the East End Historic District linking the two.

From the former, which is the coronary heart of condition authorities, juts the ubiquitously seen, gold-domed Capitol Setting up itself. Manufactured of buff Indiana limestone and 4,640 tons of steel, which them selves expected the short term laying of a spur rail line to transportation them, the making experienced been laid in a few levels in the course of an 8-calendar year time period: 1924 to 1925 for the west wing, 1926 to 1927 for the east wing, and 1930 to 1932 for the connecting rotunda. It was officially focused by Governor William G. Conley on June 20, 1932, on the celebration of West Virginia’s 69th birthday as a condition.

Its gold dome, which extends 5 ft bigger than that of the Capitol in Washington, is gilded in 23 ½-karat gold leaf, applied concerning 1988 and 1991 as little squares to go over the or else copper and direct surface area.

Two-thirds of its interior, which encompasses 535,000 square feet subdivided into 333 rooms, is comprised of Italian travertine, imperial derby, and Tennessee marble, and the chandelier in the rotunda, its heart piece, is produced of 10,a hundred and eighty items of Czechoslovakian crystal illuminated by 96 mild bulbs. Weighing four,000 pounds, it hangs from a fifty four-foot brass and bronze chain.
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Throughout from the Condition Capitol, but nevertheless within just the intricate, is the West Virginia Cultural Middle. Opened in 1976 and operated by the West Virginia Division of Lifestyle and Record, it was established to showcase the state’s artistic, cultural, and historic heritage, and properties the West Virginia Point out Museum, the archives and record library, a gift shop, and a venue for cultural situations, performances, and connected plans.

The former, a assortment of things which signifies the state’s land, people, and lifestyle, is subdivided into 24 considerable scenes covering 5 intervals: Prehistory (three million yrs BC to 1650 Ad), Frontier (1754-1860), the Civil War and the thirty fifth Point out (1861 to 1899), Industrialization (1900 to 1945), and Transform and Tradition (1954 to the 21st century). The 24 representations them selves trace the state’s evolution and incorporate these types of intervals as “Coal Forest,” “River Plains,” “Wilderness,” “The Fort,” “Harper’s Ferry,” “Building the Rails,” “Coal Mine,” “Key Avenue, West Virginia,” and “New River Gorge.”

13 monuments, memorials, and statues honoring West Virginians for their contributions to the state and the country grace the Capitol Complex’s landscaped grounds.

Culture can also be expert at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, a modern day, 240,000-square-foot, a few-degree sophisticated which opened on July 12, 2003 and signifies 1 of the most bold economic, cultural, and instructional initiatives in West Virginia’s background. Giving sciences, visible arts, and undertaking arts less than a single roof, the center homes the twin-stage Avampato Discovery Museum, an interactive, youth-oriented working experience with sections this kind of as Well being Royale, KidSpace, Earth City, and Gizmo Manufacturing unit. A nine,000-sq.-foot Art Gallery, situated on the next floor, attributes both of those short term and everlasting reveals, the latter emphasizing nineteenth and twentieth century artwork by names these as Andy Warhol, Stuart Davis, Alexander Calder, Frank Stella, Vida Frey, and Albert Paley. The ElectricSky Theater, a sixty one-foot domed planetarium, offers each day astronomy displays and broad display presentations. Live performances are staged in two locations: the 1,883-seat Maier Basis General performance Hall, which is dwelling to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, but usually delivers a wide variety of performance styles, from comedy to well known singers, bands, repertory, and Broadway plays, and the two hundred-seat Walker Theater, which options plays and dances with cabaret-fashion seating for the Woody Hawley singer-songwriter plan. The Douglas V. Reynolds Intermezzo Café and three lecture rooms are found on the reduce amount.

Browsing can be performed at two big venues. The Charleston Town Center Shopping mall, situated adjacent to the City Middle Marriott and Embassy Suites Lodge, and close to the Civic Heart, is a a person million sq. foot, tri-amount advanced with extra than one hundred thirty merchants, three anchor office merchants, 6 complete-provider dining places, and a meals court with ten further quick foodstuff venues, and is accessed through 3 hassle-free parking garages. Sporting a a few-story atrium and fountain, the upscale, Kanawha Valley advanced was the premier urban procuring centre east of the Mississippi River when it opened in 1983.

The Capitol Industry, positioned on Capitol and Sixth Streets in the restored and transformed, 1800s Kanawha and Michigan Railroad depot, is subdivided into both of those in- and outside markets, the latter of which can only be utilized by bona fide farmers and receives every day, clean, seasonal deliveries, ordinarily consisting of bouquets, shrubs, and trees in the spring fruits and veggies in the summer pumpkins, gourds, and cornstalks in the tumble and Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands in the winter season. The indoor sector sells seafood, cheeses, and wines, and features numerous tiny foods stands and a full-services Italian restaurant.

An night can be expended at the TriState Racetrack and Gaming Heart. Situated a 15-minute push from Charleston in Cross Lanes, the location delivers 90,000 sq. feet of gaming leisure, inclusive of more than 1,300 slot devices, reside racing, a poker home, blackjack, roulette, and craps, and 4 dining establishments: the French Quarter Restaurant and Bar, the First Switch Restaurant, the Café Orleans, and Crescent Metropolis.


The Potomac Highlands, found in the japanese portion of the condition on the Allegheny Plateau, is a tapestry of varied geographic regions and handles eight counties. Alternatively designated “Mountain Highlands,” it had been formed some 250 million several years in the past when the North American and African continental collision had manufactured a single, uplifted mass. Subjected to millennia of wind- and h2o-induced erosion, it resulted in successive valleys and parallel ridges, and these days the space encompasses two countrywide forests: Canaan Valley, the highest east of the Mississippi River, and Spruce Knob, at 4,861 toes, West Virginia’s optimum issue. Its environmentally friendly-covered mountains yielded plentiful timber, the logging railroads important to harness it, two leading ski resorts, and a myriad of outdoor sports and pursuits.

The Potomac Highlands can be subdivided into the Tygart Valley, Seneca Rocks, Canaan Valley, and Big Mountain Nation.

A. Tygart Valley

The city of Elkins, situated in the Tygart Valley, is the transportation, shopping, and social center of the east central Appalachian Mountains and serves as a foundation for Potomac Highland excursions.

Proven in 1890 by Senators Henry Gassaway Davis and Stephen. B. Elkins, his son-in-regulation and small business associate, it originated as a shipping and delivery hub for their coal, timber, and railroad empire, the latter the outcome of their self-financed design of the West Virginia Central Railroad, whose monitor stretched in between Cumberland, Maryland, and Elkins, and served as the threshold to some of the world’s richest timber and mineral means.

The city, serving the requires of the coal miners, loggers, and railroad personnel, sprouted central routine maintenance stores and steadily expanded, peaking in 1920, just before commencing a useful resource depletion-caused decline, until eventually the last coach, carrying coal and timber items to the relaxation of the region, departed the depot in 1959.

The tracks lay barren and unused for nearly 50 % a century right until 2007, when the recently-founded Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad once again resurrected them-and the city-transporting the to start with travellers for scenic-experience uses and resparking a gradual progress cycle with a subsequently crafted cafe and live theater in its historic Elkins Railyard and added motels nearby. Continually ranked as 1 of the country’s very best little artwork towns, it is at the time yet again the service hub of the Mountain Highlands, reverting to its initial goal of offering lodge, cafe, shop, and entertainment solutions, but now to a new group-visitors.

The railroad remains its concentration. The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad offers a few departures from the Elkins depot. The initially of these, the “New Tygart Flyer,” is a four-hour, forty six-mile spherical-trip run which plunges by means of the Cheat Mountain Tunnel, passes the towns of Bowdon and Bemis, parallels the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River, and stops at the horseshoe-formed Substantial Falls of Cheat, all through which time it serves an en route, buffet luncheon. Upgraded desk services is accessible in 1922-ear deluxe Pullman Palace vehicles for a somewhat better rate.

The “Cheat Mountain Salamander” is a 9-hour, 128-mile spherical-excursion to Spruce, and involves a buffet lunch and evening meal, although the “Mountain Specific Evening meal Coach” mimics the New Tygart Flyer’s route, but options a 4-study course food in a formally set eating car.

The Railyard Restaurant, sandwiched concerning the Elkins depot and the American Mountain Theater, offers all on board meals. Emulating the depot by itself with its exterior brick construction, the $two.5 million, 220-seat cafe, leased to the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad, serves loved ones-design delicacies on its main level and upscale dinners in its 2nd-floor Vista Dome Eating Space, its menus encouraged by railroad car fare from the nineteen twenties to the forties. It toted the opening slogan of, “Take the track to the position with excellent style.”