Things Tourists do in West Virginia

West Virginia is no doubt one gem of state to enjoy fun outdoor pursuits...hiking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, skiing, camping, you name it!

Things Tourists do in West Virginia

The great thing about West Virginia though it's that even if you aren't looking to hit the outdoors, you'll be able to find lots of great things to do as a tourist. Here it's some ideas:

Hop on a tourist train

One of the coolest things tourists do in West Virginia is to ride one of the state’s tourist trains for a bit of fun and explore the beautiful mountain scenery of West Virginia.

West Virginia boasts several tourist train operators offering different types of ride experiences (i.e. dinner, leaf-peeping, murder mystery, Santa Claus rides, etc) to choose from. West Virginia's tourist train operators are:

1)Potomac Eagle: is one of the most popular tourist train operators in WV and offers scenic/nature rides of West Virginia’s mountain valley.

2)Mountain Rail Adventures: offers six different types of train experiences such as dinner train rides, scenic train rides and themed train rides.

3)Cass Scenic Railroad: offers historic train rides during the summer aboard a 1900’s steam-driven locomotive.

4)Mountain State Mystery Train: offers train trip packages such as the Cherry Blossoms tour, which is a train ride to Washington DC during the National Cherry Blossom Festival (April 13th-15th) that includes a few days staying in the capital.

5)New River Train: runs during the fall foliage and offers train ride excursions through the beautiful New River Gorge of West Virginia, which includes a couple of stop-offs in the towns of Thurmond and Hinton.

Catch a show

You can’t say you’ve been to West Virginia if you haven’t been to the American Mountain Theater to watch a comedy show, or music performance.

The theatre is one of a kind in West Virginia and offers family-friendly shows similar to the Branson shows. The American Mountain Theater is located in the small town of Elkins, which is about an hour’s drive from Morgantown.

Visit a battlefield site

West Virginia is one of the most popular destinations along the "Civil War Discovery Trail" to learn about the American Civil War and visit civil war battle sites. The most popular civil war battlefield sites in WV you can visit are Harpers Ferry National Park, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park (Little Levels), Rich Mountain Battlefield (Beverly), Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park (Summersville), and Cheat Summit Fort (Elkins).

It’s worth mentioning that the town of Beverly is home to a historic house turned museum called “Lemuel Chenoweth Museum”, which boasts very interesting civil war and Indian artifacts on display.

As far as civil war reenactments, Droop Mountain Battlefield State Park, Lewisburg and Rowlesburg reenact some the best civil war reenactments in West Virginia. Droop Mountain normally takes place in October, while Lewisburg battle reenactment takes place between May 21st-22nd. The Rowlesburg reenactment also takes place annually in early May.

Enjoy wine tastings

One of the most relaxing things tourists do in West Virginia is visiting a winery. West Virginia wine country may be not as well known as California's Napa Valley but this region is certainly one of the top wine regions in the United States.

There are plenty of vineyards you can visit in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as other wineries across West Virginia where you can enjoy wine tours and sample fine wines. Some of the wineries in West Virginia worth mentioning are Daniel Vineyards (Crab Orchard), Kirkwood Winery (Summersville), Fisher Ridge Wine (Charleston), Wolf Creek Winery, and Lambert's Vintage Wine (Weston).

By the way, if you love your wines, it'll be a good idea to visit West Virginia during a wine festival such as the WV Wine and Arts Festival in May (Martinsburg), or the Festival of Food & Wine in mid January (Morgantown).

Attend a festival

If you’re in the process of planning a vacation in West Virginia, be sure your trip coincides with one of West Virginia’s annual festivals. A visit to West Virginia is always more rewarding when you can attend an event to get a chance to mingle with the locals.

Everyone has their favorite festival in West Virginia but some of the best festivals in the state are the West Virginia Hot Dog Festival in Huntington (July 28th), West Virginia's Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival in Charles Town (June 8th-Sep 30th), the Cherry River Festival in Richwood (July 30th), and the West Virginia Roadkill Cook-off in Marlinton (Sep 29th).

See. Best Places to Visit in Virginia
6 Things to do in northern Virginia in the summer 
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