Destination Idea: West Virginia

by GO GlobeHopper

From a former top-secret U.S. bunker to the home of John Brown’s famous raid, West Virginia’s history is rich and diverse. West Virginia was the only state to be born out of the Civil War and has since spent its years developing and promoting a culture that is filled with one-of-a-kind historical destinations you have to see to believe.

Monongahela National Forest – Blackwater Falls

As the only state that sits completely within the Appalachian Mountain region, West Virginia is a veritable playground for lovers of the outdoors. It’s home to the Monongahela National Forest, 45 state parks and forests, and six national parks, including New River Gorge National Park and Preserve – one of the oldest rivers on the continent. The Appalachian Mountains have carved a distinct, making this Mountain State one of the country’s premier climbing destinations along the East Coast.  Try your hand at climbing a craggy rock face.

West Virginia is also rich in public waterways. Whether you’re looking to learn a new sport like stand-up paddleboarding or want to take the family on a leisurely boat ride, there’s something for everyone in West Virginia’s waters. Take to the depths and explore hidden caverns or hike to the highest point in the state for otherworldly mountain views. Or kayak along a peaceful lake.

Throughout much of eastern West Virginia, visitors can follow a special trail of unique, historic venues that make up what is known as the Mountain Music Trail. The venues along the trail are a diverse group dedicated to promoting and presenting the traditional music, dance, and folkways of the Allegheny Mountain region. The trail stretches along the Highway 219 corridor in Monroe, Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Randolph and Tucker counties. As you make your way through the scenic New River/Greenbrier Valley and Potomac Highlands, travelers have the opportunity for adventure, exploration, fine dining, and of course, sensational live music.

West Virginia offers Distillery Tours

Rich, indulgent dishes are signatures of West Virginia’s deep mountain flavor. From distilleries to wineries to craft breweries, these businesses happily welcome visitors to get an inside tour and taste of their process. Each stop will have you longing for more sips of Cabernet Sauvignon or a hoppy IPA while sitting and relaxing against the stunning backdrop that is West Virginia.

The Mountain State has the highest percentage of family-owned farms in the nation, meaning farmers’ markets here offer some of the freshest and most varied produce selections anywhere. Small family farms and significant indoor marketplaces make it sustainable to buy local and eat healthy in West Virginia.

Throughout West Virginia’s cities and towns, you’ll find vibrant downtown districts, diverse lodging, and a warm welcome. Indulge in AAA Four Diamond luxury at the European-inspired Bavarian Inn, located in the state’s oldest town (Shepherdstown) and perched on a bluff overlooking the Potomac River.

The Greenbrier at White Sulphur Springs

Nearby, check out iconic historic sites on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail and at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Soak away your stress in a hot mineral spring at Berkeley Springs State Park or The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, which boasts the only Forbes five-star rated mineral spa in the world. Rather swing a golf club than soak in a hot tub? The Mountain State has one of the first golf courses established in the USA (Oakhurst Links at the Greenbrier). Today, there are more than 100 courses to choose from across the state including courses designed by golf legends like Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, Jack Nicklaus, and Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

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Source: Travelweek and Visit the USA

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