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Although not the most popular travel destination in the United States, West Virginia should be ranked near the top. Boasting gorgeous green mountains, white-water rivers and fabulous ski resorts, anyone who considers themselves a lover of the outdoors is going to love this state. Also great about this state is its appreciation for the arts, offering up a different experience for travelers maybe less inclined to the outdoors, or who also appreciate arts and culture.

1. Charleston

Starting point • History, Outdoor Recreation, Culture, Food

As the capital city of West Virginia, Charleston sits at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers. Both fabulous places to paddle, the rivers are a major focus here. Once you’re done playing in the water, head to one of the city’s delicious diners, where you can indulge in a down-home meal. Then, adventure to the West Virginia State Museum to learn some history about this area, whose beginnings date back to 1788. Today, Charleston is home to festivals of many kinds; it’s a town that loves celebrating arts and culture.

2. Fayetteville

Drive 51.3 miles, 1 hour, 12 minutes • History, Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife

Dubbed one of the “Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Travel Magazine, as well as the “Best River Town 2013” by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, Fayetteville, though small, is mighty. With a population of less than 3,000, be ready to be surprised at the life this town offers. Bluegrass music and whitewater rafting make this town a feast for the senses. Plan for a day of rafting, followed by a relaxing stroll through the town and some tasty, refreshing beer.

3. Lewisburg

Drive 53.7 miles, 1 hour, 17 minutes • Arts, Culture, Museums, History

Not as focused on the outdoors as much of the rest of West Virginia, Lewisburg’s specialty is the arts. Theater, music and museums are at home here. The Greenbrier Valley Theatre offers shows year-round – performances of the theatrical, musical, literary and poetic varieties. Lewisburg not only values the arts, but also its history. So be sure to spend a bit of time at the Greenbrier Historical Society and North House Museum, where you’ll see the incredibly preserved and honored history of this fine town.