Learn About West Virginias Coal Industry
Learn about West Virginias coal industry through a guided tour of Exhibition Coal Mine, one of Beckleys most intriguing tourist attractions. Although the experience is certainly child-friendly, it does highlight the harsh realities of working in the coal mines. The docents and guides are retired miners, so they have an encyclopedic knowledge of the mining industry and what has changed to make it safer and more pleasant.
The mine is only open to the general public between April and November from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can book a private tour for 15 people or more during the winter by calling 256-1747, depending on the weather.
Adults pay $22, seniors pay $16, and children pay $12.50. Plan to spend at least 3 hours at Exhibition Coal Mine. In addition to the mine itself, theres a youth museum and other mining artifacts to explore. The temperature inside the mine is always 58 degrees, even on the hottest summer days, so dress accordingly. Although the refurbished mining cars have padded seats, the journey might be uncomfortable for people with back problems and may not be suitable for the claustrophobic.
Things To Do In West Virginia With Kids
Great for those families and kids who love the great outdoors, West Virginia is a beautiful place for kids to experience! There are amazing kid friendly activities that will really challenge them, form hiking, rock climbing, to biking. Even caving – what amazing adventures! West Virginia has something for everyone, from indoor play, museums, animals attractions, to breathtaking national parks. You will never be short of things to do with kids, or places to visit. A great family day out!
Hike To A Waterfall At Blackwater Falls State Park
In a state known for its mountains and rivers, you might expect to find some awesome waterfalls. West Virginia does not disappoint. One of the most popular West Virginia tourist attractions, and certainly the most photographed waterfall in the state, is found at Blackwater Falls State Park.
The 62-foot-high Blackwater Falls is not particularly large or powerful, but the way that the water cascades over the rocks is quite beautiful. Fortunately for families, the waterfall is easily accessible in any season via wooden boardwalk trail.
The state park also features the Elakala Falls as well as a gorge formed by the Blackwater River. The gorge is quite beautiful in the fall, especially when viewed from Lindy Point.
Blackwater Falls State Park is located in the eastern part of the state making it a reasonable day trip from the Washington DC area. Alternatively, its the perfect overnight getaway if your family chooses to spend the night at the Blackwater Lodge or at the nearby family-friendly Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center.
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Dolly Sods Wilderness Area
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Sprawling across more than 17,000 acres of forestry, the Dolly Sods Wilderness is an epic natural preservation that draws visitors from far and wide.
Located across two West Virginia counties, it has a blended eco-type, elevations of nearly 5,000 feet, and best of all many wonderful natural features that serve as a backdrop of loads of fun recreation.
Notably, Dolly Sods is home to almost 50 hiking trails suitable for all experience levels.
Some of the trails run adjacent to old railroads and logging roads making for an even more scenic hike.
In addition to loads of hiking trails, visitors to Dolly Sods Wilderness Area can also fish, swim, hunt, and horseback ride.
Throughout the year, you can even plan a few days and nights at the available camping grounds.
In the winter months, visitors may also partake in cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing on the many trails.
No matter the time of year, Dolly Sods Wilderness Area is an excellent West Virginia attraction.
Address: WV, United States
Archive Of The Afterlife
This National Museum of the Paranormal is a great spot to check out if youre into frightful and brain-tickling sights.
The Archive of the Afterlife, established in 2011, houses many vexing artifacts.
For instance, during a tour of the museum, youll see such things as haunting photographs, spooky dolls, frightening weapons, and inexplicable objects.
The collection of artifacts has come from all over the world the museum will even take haunted items off your hands if youd like.
Guests of the Archive of the Afterlife may book private tours that allow them sole access to the museum for an entire day, brief public tours, and even bone-chilling ghost hunts.
Remarkably, the museum has been featured on many syndicated television shows.
Finally, the goal of Archive of the Afterlife is to share and research paranormal activity.
This West Virginia attraction is a unique but amusing place to visit during your stay in the state.
Address: 86 Railroad St, Cameron, WV 26033, United States
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Museums And Historical Sites
Theres no shortage of fascinating history in these hills! Many of the West Virginia State Parks were designated state parks because of the history surrounding the area. These historic parks often have an onsite museum with exhibits about local history, mine wars, Appalachian culture, or Civil War artifacts. Learn something new and gain a greater appreciation at sites like Berkeley Springs, Blennerhassett Island, Carnifex Ferry, Cass Scenic Railroad, Cathedral, Droop Mountain Battlefield, and Fairfax Stone State Park.
Outdoor Adventures For The Family
With over 100 animals from around the world, Hovatters Wildlife Zoo is perfect for a wildlife adventure. Your kids will have the opportunity to feed giraffes, goats, and lemurs, ride camels, and even see exotic animals. You could also take the kids to Crimson Shamrock Ranch, a working fiber farm where alpaca and sheep reside about one-hour away from the Zoo!
Bond with the kids by taking a soaring adventure with WVU Zip Canopy Tour and zipline through the trees together. While youre there, try something new by staying in a yurt for the weekend.
Explore the rapids on a water rafting tour with Cheat River Outfitters on the Cheat Narrows. There is also rock climbing, caving, and paintball nearby if you and the kids would rather stay out of the water.
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Get Lost At Cooper Family Farms
When the fall leaves set ablaze, this family farm starts building a maze. Its a true autumn adventure. A quick zipline over the farm can give you a sneak peek at the patterns of the maze. Get lost together in the labyrinth, then reward yourselves for completing the puzzle with a seat by the fire for smores.
Go For A Swim At A State Park Pool
Many state parks and forests have swimming pools where you can quickly cool off after a day of outdoor adventure. They’re also perfect for parties or spending a relaxing day poolside with the family. So, stop on by parks like Bluestone, Berkeley Springs or Canaan for a fun day at the pool.
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Directions To Mountain Quest Inn
TIP: The directions to this BnB can be tricky as it is not exactly located in Marlinton which is where Google will take you. Instead search for Inn At Mountain Quest, West Virginia 92 on google for the correct address. Again, you wont have cellular data while you are out there so definitely get the directions beforehand. We ended up in Marlinton using offline google maps. Luckily there was some cell service in Marlinton so we could reach the property for directions.
This Inn has wi-fi in the common area so we finally had some connectivity with the world.
West Virginia deserves to get its fair share of the limelight in the US tourism. From amazing white water rafting to gorgeous fall colors to skiing in winter, there is always something for everyone to do here.
Hope that with this post we were able to inspire you to visit this a unique destination in the US for your next vacation.
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Cheer For The Home Team At A Minor League Baseball Game In Morgantown
Morgantown is the heart and soul of West Virginia sports. Children from all over the state learn from a young age to cheer on their WVU Mountaineers as they battle other universities in football, basketball, and over a dozen other sports.
In the summer months, the competitive spirit of West Virginia turns to its minor baseball fields. Like the Mountaineers, the West Virginia Black Bears call Morgantown home while the West Virginia Power plays in Charleston.
These minor league games offer plenty of perks for the family, from an opportunity for the kids to run out onto the field with the mascot to the kids areas where children can perfect their pitching and aim. So, dont be afraid to join the hometown community. Grab a pepperoni roll and cheer on the home team!
Driving through West Virginia and looking for places to visit in West Virginia? Heres how to spend a summers day along the Monongahela River in Morgantown, West Virginia.
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West Virginia Attractions: Lost World Caverns
The Lost World Caverns is a magical oasis of stalagmites and stalactites 120 feet below the Earth’s surface. Visitors can take self-guided tours utilizing a cavern guide sheet to explore the half-mile loop at their own pace.
While exploring, spelunkers will see several stunning formations, including the Snowy Chandelier, the War Club, and the Bridal Veil a gorgeous column of shimmering white calcite. Visitors can also meander through the dinosaur museum, which features the remains of a prehistoric cave bear. Thrill-seekers can take the 4-hour guided Wild Cave Tour, which includes crawling, climbing, and getting muddy while traversing the “deepest, darkest, depths of the cave.”
907 Lost World Road, Lewisburg, WV, Phone: 304-645-6677
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Take A Splashing Leap At Ace Lake
With ziplines, giant inflatables and a waterslide, this adventure lake could keep you and the kids busy for days. The blob is the main attraction: one person sits on the edge, and another leaps onto the other end sending that first person flying into the water for a big splash! Who in your family can soar the highest?
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Whitewater Raft The Gauley River
Paddlers rank the Gauley River as one of the top river destinations in the world for both technicality and scenery . Maybe that is why thousands flock to Adventures on the Gorge in Lansing to brave the class 5 and 6 rapids for a one-of-a-kind whitewater rafting outdoor adventure. Newer paddlers will love the Lower Gauley river portion, while daredevils will be salivating at the Upper Gauleys challenges. These combined rivers drop 650 feet in 24 short miles. Hang on! If whitewater rafting is not for you, maybe you will prefer the zip lining options.
New River Gorge National Park
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If youre unsure of what to do in WV, New River Gorge National Park is a wonderful option with loads of outdoor possibilities.
Notably, New River is one of the continents oldest rivers and its surrounded by more than 70,000 acres of forestry and park.
The craggy, whitewater river flows through pitted canyons and is the scene of plenty of seasonal fun.
Like New River, the park itself provides limitless opportunities for scenic adventures.
If youre interested in a more leisurely experience, you might consider camping, a scenic drive, fishing, or bicycling.
If youre looking for more action-packed excitement, visitors are welcome to climb, hike, hunt, and even whitewater raft.
But no matter how you plan to spend your time here, the focal point for all visitors is always the New River Gorge Bridge, a structural masterpiece that is the most photographed site in all of West Virginia.
So, if youre wondering what to do in WV, wonder no more plan to spend some time in this magnificent park.
Address: Glen Jean, WV 25846, United States
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New River Gorge National River
Contrary to its name, New River is actually one of the oldest rivers on the continent. As it flows into West Virginia, it cuts through the Appalachian Plateau, forming the New River Gorge and plenty of whitewater for tubing, rafting, and canoeing. Other recreational opportunities are all around it: hiking, ziplining, hunting, fishing, bird-watching, camping, biking, and rock climbing.
One of the state’s most photographed sights is the soaring New River Bridge, the longest steel span in the hemisphere and the nation’s third highest, 876 feet above the canyon floor. The National Park Service maintains 70,000 acres of park lands along the river, and at Hawk’s Nest State Park, you can ride an aerial tramway into the bottom of the New River Gorge, a prime spot for whitewater rafting.
South of New River Gorge National River at Bluestone State Park there is hiking, fishing, camping, and boating on the large lake behind the Bluestone Dam.
Stay At The Greenbrier Resort
The world-renowned Greenbrier Resort is a year-round luxury resort and National Historic Landmark, which opened in 1778, is dubbed Americas Resort. Think elegant restaurants, high-end shops, a plethora of amenities, Instagram-worthy swimming pools, an exciting casino, a top-rated spa and a prestigious golf course. These are only some of the things youll experience in the gorgeous small-town of White Sulphur Springs, WV. A do-not-miss shop is the Greenbriers Christmas Shop at the Depot, which will dazzle mom and kids.
FYI: For a fun outing, visit the charming small-town of Lewisburg, only 15 minutes away.
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Fun Things To Do In West Virginia: Snowshoe Mountain
Snowshoe Mountain represents the best of West Virginian winter. Adventure, relaxation, exquisite dining, lodging, and kid and teen activities, they have it all. Thrill-seekers can sign up for adrenaline-fueled mountain tours on snowmobiles or RZRs, among other high action activities.
Guests looking to relax can spend a day at the spa experiencing a wide array of treatments, take a calming candle-lit yoga class, and marvel at winter wonderland views on a scenic lift ride. Activity hot spots like Coca Cola Tube Park, inflatable bouncy houses, and Split Rock indoor heated swimming areas are just a few of the resort’s family-friendly activities.
10 Snowshoe Drive, Snowshoe, WV, Phone: 877-441-4386
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Visit Wvs Only Amusement Park
Camden Park, home of the happy clown, is a retro but still enjoyable small amusement park established in 1902. Crowd favorites of this 26-acre complex include rides such as the Big Dipper, Paratrooper and Rattler. Long-time visitors, like myself, will remember pronto pups and the roller rink. We like to pack our lunch to save money and make the afternoon more family-oriented.
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Take A Ghost Tour In Parkersburg
I first learned about this fun ghost tour through Southern Living magazine about ten years ago. In Parkersburg, presences are felt from Civil War days, haunted hotels exist, railroad ghosts thrill ghost hunters and an alien spaceship touched down here, from the Mothman Prophecies . It is no wonder this is a spiritual world favorite. The tour is a fun way to get your feet wet. If you are fearless, spend the night at the Blennerhassett Hotel, a luxury said-to-be haunted hotel I enjoy visiting for its charm and incredible onsite restaurant.
Hike Through Hawks Nest State Park
Hawks Nest State Park is bursting with majestic beauty. Its fun comes in the form of stunning panoramic views, wildlife, hiking and a jetboat adventure ride. Rooms are affordable if you wish to stay and the restaurant is pretty good. The whole complex just received a massive facelift. I enjoy hiking the nature trails at Hawks Nest, taking pictures, eating lunch, and riding the aerial tram down to the river.
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West Virginia With Kids: Top Things To Do In The Mountain State
From the moment my family arrived, we found West Virginia to be quite literally a breath of fresh air. A quick four-day family vacation to the Mountain State left such an impression that my tween daughter announced nearly immediately that she’ll be moving there!
Whether seeking outdoor adventures, such as whitewater rafting and hiking in stunning West Virginia’s state parks, or enjoying a classic state fair and exploring caves, families with kids of all ages will find plenty of fun things to do in West Virginia. We knew little of this mountainous southern state beyond the refrain of John Denver’s anthem….”almost heaven, West Virginia.” But we couldn’t agree more. What we found was a refreshingly authentic travel experience, steeped in nature and sweetened by welcoming locals. Our overwhelming impression is just the absolute greenness of the sate: thick forests of trees, so many trees, and lush, dense greenery. More than three-quarters of the state is covered by forest.
Read on for our family-friendly travel guide-slash-love-letter to the state of West Virginia. We’re sharing some of the favorite restaurants, resorts, cities in West Virginia, and yes the abundance of outdoor opportunities and more fun things to do in West Virginia when traveling with kids, from camping to skiing and more.