West Virginia Travel Guide
West Virginia Travel: General Information
Bounded by the Appalachian Mountain range, West Virginia is a world apart – a true ‘natural paradise’ far away from the maddening crowd, glitz and glamour of the much hyped progressive states. You may not find the pleasures of cosmopolitan life in West Virginia, but the green cover of its valleys and national forests fed by the its meandering rivers make for a rejuvenating, refreshing escape. If you are not content just enjoying the scenic vistas, West Virginia brings to you the scope of engaging in a range of outdoor activities – fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, skiing or white-water rafting. Look past the rugged terrains and West Virginia’s serene towns like Harpers Ferry give you deep insights into the state’s history and culture. To connect with modern lifestyle, visit an industrial center like Charleston. Cultural events and festivals are top attractions of West Virginia travel.
West Virginia Travel: Key Facts
Capital City: Charleston
Area: 62,755 sq km
Monetary Unit: USD
Official Language: English
International Dialing Code: 001
West Virginia Travel: Popular Tourist Destinations
Charleston: Charleston, the capital city of West Virginia, is a highly industrialized city but its many parks and river-front areas like the Kanawha State Forest and Daniel Boone Park help preserve its natural beauty side-by-side making it an outdoor recreational heaven. The city of Charleston is full of old, historic buildings (many of them finding a place in the National Register of Historic Places) and museums like West Virginia State Museum, South Charleston Museum, Kanawha County Courthouse, Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, etc. Charleston city also acts as a venue of many regional festivals and fairs.
Wheeling: Wheeling city, which includes the Wheeling Island apart from the mainland area, enamors one with its scenic setting. The city’s stints as the state-capital has bestowed it with historic importance and Wheeling is full of old structures like West Virginia Independence Hall that are famed as much for their varied architectural styles as for the events they have been part of. The other attractions of Wheeling include the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Wheeling Market Place, its parks, golf-courses and skateboard-park.
Huntington: Huntington, the second largest city of West Virginia, is famous for its innumerable festivals and fairs (mostly cultural events) held at different times of the year like Jazz-MU-Tazz, Huntington Dogwood Arts and Crafts Festival, St. George Greek Festival, X-Fest, etc. While events like West Virginia Day Celebration have historical significance, food festivals like Chilifest and West Virginia Hot Dog Festival lure foodies and cooks/connoisseur alike. Among the other Huntington attractions we number its historic structures, museums, parks and gardens.
These are but to name only three of West Virginia’s destinations, but almost every city and town of West Virginia is a tourist hot-spot. Although the natural beauty of the destinations is the prime attraction, other factors also count. Thus, while places like Falling Waters, Harpers Ferry and Parkersburg draw people with their historic significance, places like Berkeley Springs (famous for its mineral baths), Bluefield (famous for its coal-mines) and Fayetteville (famous for its New River Gorge Bridge) are hugely popular.
West Virginia Travel: Economy and Infrastructure
West Virginia’s economy is based on its rich mineral resources, chiefly coal; in fact, the state is one of USA’s leading producers of bituminous coal (electricity generation in West Virginia is fully depended on coal-fired power plants). Agriculture or farming is also practiced in West Virginia (of course, not on a large-scale) and its chief products include fruits like apple and peaches, cereals like corn and tobacco, etc. West Virginia has some significant industries limited within specific zones or pockets like the urban centers of Charleston, Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling.
West Virginia has an extensive network of highways that give access to different parts of the state. Railroads, rivers as well as the air-route is also used both for trading and tourism purposes.
West Virginia Travel: Culture
The Appalachian state of West Virginia has a distinct culture characterized by its unique arts and crafts, music, events and festivals. West Virginia is famous for its traditional handicrafts like glass-blowing, pottery, quilting and wood-works, etc. Coming to the field of music, the West Virginians are known to pursue other traditional musical genres side-by-side Appalachian folk. West Virginia’s operas and theaters, museums and galleries that display the talent of the state are the other facets of West Virginia’s culture as are its different fairs and festivals.
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