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Welcome to West Virginia

Nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia is known for the endless beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Aside from creating a dramatic landscape, these mountains have also shaped the rich local culture. Serving up a sweet Southern charm all its own, West Virginia tells tales that seem as old as the mountains.

Large pink flower close up

State Flower: Rhododendron. Getty Images

A Capital City & Civil War History

A great starting point is the capital and largest city, Charleston. The past comes alive at the State Capitol building and the State Museum, and the nearby Clay Center hosts regular musical and theatrical performances that celebrate the state’s identity. More episodes of the past can be experienced in the small town of Harpers Ferry, located at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers. A wealth of buildings from the 1800s still stand, and the Civil War Museum shares the tale of John Brown’s raid, which escalated tensions in the years leading up to the War between the States.

A bugler signals fellow troops in Harpers Ferry.


Almost Heaven on Water

A frolic on one of West Virginia’s tumultuous waterways is an exhilarating way to experience the Mountain State. The New River and the Gauley River are legendary for their beauty and their rapids. Anglers will also find “almost heaven” in West Virginia, thanks to the number of creeks flowing from the mountains and through the valleys. The Elk River and the Cranberry River attract anglers from across the nation with their plump trout and limitless views.

Dramatic Highlands & Waterfalls

Introduce yourself to the majesty of West Virginia’s mountains with a scenic drive. The Highland Scenic Highway runs 43 miles through the Monongahela National Forest, dishing out views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. This dramatic landscape can best be experienced at Blackwater Falls State Park near Davis. Named for the amber-colored waters stained by the tannic acid of the fallen hemlock and red spruce needles, Blackwater Falls is a stunning sight, as the waters roar over a five-story drop and then rollick through a deep gorge.