West Virginia is one of the most beautiful and underrated regions in the US. The Eastern state is mostly known for its timber and coal mining industries but in more recent years has since transformed into an outdoor lover’s paradise.
The scenery and landscapes here are nothing short of jaw-dropping with sprawling lakes, stunning mountains (West Virginia is often known as the Moutain State), white-water rivers, and gorgeous winter ski resorts. Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in West Virginia…
1. West Virginia State Capitol, Charleston – a beautiful building to explore in West Virginia
An inspiring State Capitol building, the West Virginia State Capitol is one of the most impressive buildings in Charleston. The classical-style legislature building overlooks the scenic Kanawha River and its swirling waters.
The magnificent building with impressive flooring, delicately engraved flowers, Austrian crystal chandeliers and marble walls is one-of-a-kind. Built in the 1930s by renowned architect Cass Gilbert, the state capitol is a part of the West Virginia Capitol Complex and the Governor’s Mansion.
Standing atop the building is the highest state capitol dome in the United States. Watch the Senate in session or catch a glimpse of the shimmering dome at night, this historic building is truly a sight to behold.
2. Monongahela National Forest – a beautiful place to explore with gorgeous vistas, country roads and flowing streams
A vast paradise of beautiful forest, rugged landscape and free-flowing rivers, the Monongahela National Forest is located in the Allegheny Mountains of East Virginia.
Engulfing more than half of the Pocahontas County, the Monongahela encompasses some of the most ecologically diverse areas in the US. With five federally designated wilderness areas, river systems, the Mon provides a wide range of recreational opportunities.
Hike the majestic Falls of Hills Creek, rock climb the quartzite-capped Seneca Rocks, camp beside the beautiful settings of Williams River, or simply drive through the Highland Scenic Highway, the Monongahela is an ideal place to explore the beauty of nature.
3. New River Gorge Bridge – the longest arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere
Ranked amongst the finest mega-bridges of the world, the New River Gorge Bridge is located near the city of Fayetteville in the Appalachian Mountains. Built in 1977, the bridge connects the hills on either side of West Virginia’s New River Gorge.
A marvel of engineering, the 3,030 feet long bridge with an arch of 1,700 feet is one of the longest steel span bridge in the western hemisphere.
Easily the most photographed places of West Virginia, the bridge is a sheer work of structural art.
4. Babcock State Park – one of the most stunning places to visit in West Virginia
Adjacent to the bubbling New River Gorge National River with rugged cliff tops and a serene atmosphere is the beautiful Babcock State Park. Located in the Fayette County of West Virginia, the Babcock state park covers 4,127 acres of pristine beauty to connect with nature.
The heart of the park is the legendary Glade Creek Grist Mill which is a replica of the original Cooper’s Mill. A living monument of the numerous mills which once thrived in West Virginia, the Glade Creek provides freshly ground cornmeal.
Seep in the breathtaking views of the cliffs and waterfall or stroll along the Boley and Glade Creek Lake, this iconic state park is a perfect tranquil retreat.
5. Daniel Boone Park – a gorgeous park with beautiful natural scenery
West Virginia’s riverfront capital, the Daniel Boone Park is nestled along the bubbling Kanawha River near the capital city of Charleston.
The Park commemorates the early Charleston resident and assemblyman who was a pioneer frontiersman of the United States.
A scenic park tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Charleston city, the Daniel Boone Park offers a quaint and relaxed environment along the banks of the lovely River.
Enjoy a day out picnicking, boating or feeding the wildlife, the park is an excellent place to sit back and delight in the calm scenery.
6. Bear Rocks Preserve – one of West Virginia’s most loved beauty spots
An iconic treasure of the Mountain State, the Bear Rocks Preserve is a 477-acre subalpine landscape covered in heath barrens, massive boulders, and windswept shrubs.
Owned by the Nature Conservancy, the Bear Rocks form the northern border of the very popular Dolly Sods Wilderness of the Monongahela National Forest.
Over the years winds and rains have sculpted the quartz and sandstone rocks into quirky formations. At 4,000 feet elevation, the high rock and scoured ridgelines make for an excellent hike to witness & capture the breathtaking beauty of this massive landscape.
7. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park – a very popular place to visit with the family
At the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers is the charming historic town, Harper’s Ferry. In and around this quaint town is the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Located within 50 miles of Washington DC, the park is a stepping stone to the era of American history.
Stroll the picturesque streets or visit the historic buildings and museums, this region will give you an insight into early American life & the Civil War.
Hike to the site of the Civil War battle and the famous Ohio Canal Trail or explore the restored historic district, you’ll love Harper’s Ferry for its endless recreation and nature.
8. New River Gorge National Park – a slice of a scenic paradise and one of the best places to visit in West Virginia
Easily one of the most beautiful places to visit in West Virginia the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is protected by the United States National Park Service.
The sparkling water of the New River is known for the calming presence amongst the West Virginian woods. One of the oldest rivers of the continent, the New River Gorge National River conserves approx. 70,000-acres of land between the towns of Hinton and Fayetteville.
Established in 1978, the New River is one of the oldest rivers on the continent.
The country’s best whitewater rafting and rock climbing destination, New River continues to shape the geological features of the longest and deepest gorge in the Appalachians.
Whether you seek solace or adventure, an experience in the New River will leave you renewed and forever changed!
9. Appalachian National Scenic Trail – the most loved recreational footpath in the US
One of the most popular trails of the US, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail traverses 14 states through majestic mountains, forests, meadows and culturally important lands along the East Coast. While the stretch of the Appalachian Trail in West Virginia is brief but lives fully to the state’s motto.
The extensive 2,200-mile trail of the AT weaves through the mountain ridges and raging rivers along the border.
While the trail around the Harper’s Ferry is bustling, southern West Virginia’s trail cuts through the majestic mountains and ridges of the Jefferson National Forest and the Peters Mountain wilderness.
10. Spruce Knob – West Virginia’s highest point in the Allegheny Mountains
Amidst the wonderful wilds and enchanting mountains of the mountain, the state is the beautiful and unchanging Spruce Mountain and its summit, Spruce Knob.
An alpine mountain covered with spruce trees, grassy openings, and forested ridges gives you the feel of the north without having to travel that far.
At 4,863 feet on the Allegany Mountains, the Spruce knob is a part of the Monongahela National Forest. Blanketing the East Coast, the dense spruce forest of the Spruce Mountain offers excellent hiking and backpacking opportunities.
Catch the awe-inspiring scenery from the lookout tower or hike through the graveled trails, Spruce Knob is a true wonder of West Virginia.
11. Coopers Rock State Forest – a hidden wonder of the West Virginia state forests
Once a hideout of a fugitive cooper trader, the Coopers Rock State Forest is a slice of heaven miles from Morgantown. Established in 1936, the 12,747-acre park extends through Monongalia and Preston counties.
A local’s favorite, the park features canyon overlooks, historic sites, sandstone cliffs, cross-country ski terrain and a perfect river for rafting.
With a chain of stunning rock cliffs along the Cheat River Gorge, the main overlook provides a striking panorama of the gorge and distant horizon.
Hike along the enormous boulders and rhododendron blooms or enjoy the breathtaking overlooks, the Cooper Rock is a relaxing getaway with friends and family.
12. Summersville Lake – one of the most beautiful lakes in West Virginia
This gorgeous West Virginia beauty spot is a fantastic place to visit or take a vacation – you can camp or stay in cozy cabins located around the lake.
The stunning lake was formed by a rock-fill dam on the Gauley River and is now is the largest lake in West Virginia, with around 2,700 acres of superb quality water.
A fantastic place to hike, swim or just relax and take in the wonderful and tranquil West Virginia scenery.
13. Cranberry Glades Botanical – an exotic ecosystem which is also home to ancient bogs
Offering a stark different climate from Central West Virginia, the Cranberry Glades Botanical Area preserves the largest area of bogs in the Mountain State.
The predominant acidic wetlands of the north are found in the Hillsboro Town of Pocahontas County.
Part of the Monongahela National Forest, the bogs are full of cranberry plants, wild orchids, and carnivorous bug-eating pitcher plants.
The 750-acre of the botanical area offers a boardwalk to explore the unique ecosystem and learn about this landscape of the southern mountains.
14. Trout Run Valley – a hiker’s heaven in the Great North Mountain Range
A tributary of the Cacapon River, the Trout Run Valley belongs to the Potomac River. Located in the Hardy County of West Virginia, the Trout Run Valley offers stunning vistas of the Little Sluice and Massanutten Mountains.
Part of the George Washington National Forest, the Trout Run Valley is a hiker’s paradise with numerous trails.
Catch a stunning vista of the ascending mountains, beautiful ridges, and streams from different perspectives in the 27-mile hike of the Trout Run Valley.
15. Cheat Lake Trail – a soothing escape along the serene lake and beautiful West Virginia countryside
A scenic wooded 4.5-mile trail along the east banks of Cheat Lake is known for its scenic lake views and lavish forests. The trail located on the east of Morgantown off Morgan Run Rd offers a tranquil place to enjoy nature and its varied fauna and flora.
The wide crushed stone path trail is easily accessible on foot and bike.
A beautiful place to come and relax, the Cheat Lake Trail also offers beaches for swimming, piers, and boat docks. Trail along the former rail corridor or view the charming nature at the trail’s southern end near Greystone, Cheat Lake offers the best spot for leaf-peeping during fall.
16. Snowshoe – West Virginia’s best winter destination
The largest winter East Coast ski destination in the Mid-Atlantic, Snowshoe village is located in Pocahontas County in West Virginia. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, the village of Snowshoe lies atop the summit of the mountain.
Heaven for skiers and snowboarders, Snowshoe offers wide acres of expanded terrains and evenly trails for ski beginners and maverick. With extensive biking trails, snowmobiling, tubing, biking, and much more, the choices at Snowshoe are endless.
17. Blackwater Falls State Park – one of the most spectacular places to visit in West Virginia
If you are looking for a majestic place that has a serene vibe, look no further! One of the best places to visit for nature aficionados is Blackwater Falls State Park.
The 57-foot cascade is located in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County which is about 2 miles from Davis. This majestic fall features stunning points such as Lindy and Pendleton, popular places for proposals and one of the most photographed spots.
Hikers in particular will definitely enjoy this park as it offers 20 miles of hiking trails and the longest sledge run on the East Coast. This attraction is open all year round, so whenever you happen to be in West Virginia why not visit this amazing park?!
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Scott started his travelling life back in 1999, when he headed off on a solo jaunt to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia with just a backpack, a camera and a spirit for adventure. After that, the travel bug bit hard and now he is always seeking to head off somewhere new. Over the years he has lived in Italy, Qatar, Ireland, UK and the US but his spiritual home will always be Rome as this is the city which most satisfies his unrelenting craving for culture, good food and great football. Scott loves nothing better than to be behind the camera and also runs his own blog and Instagram page. He also counts Melbourne, Cape Town and Tel Aviv among his favourite places. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @scottbalaam
What is the prettiest place in WV? ›
- Lindy Point, Blackwater Falls State Park. ...
- Spruce Knob, Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. ...
- Ravens Rock Overlook, Coopers Rock State Forest. ...
- Rohrbaugh Plains Overlook, Dolly Sods Wilderness. ...
- Long Point Trail, New River Gorge.
Perhaps the most well-known destination in West Virginia, Harpers Ferry is more than a quaint 19th-century town. It's a National Historic Park with Civil War sites including battlefields, remnants of campsites and, most notably, John Brown's Fort and the John Brown Museum.Is West Virginia a pretty State? ›
Tucked away between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Ohio River, West Virginia is an absolutely beautiful part of the States to explore, with a plethora of incredible landscapes on show. Its many mountains, forests, and whitewater rivers lend themselves perfectly to all kinds of fantastic outdoor activities.What is the cleanest town in West Virginia? ›
Welcome to Eleanor, the “Cleanest Town in West Virginia.”Where is the rich part of West Virginia? ›
Wealthiest City in West Virginia: Wheeling
Wheeling, West Virginia, population 27,062, is situated along the Ohio River in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Steeped in history, West Virginia's first state capital is a scenic place to make a home.
|Most Popular New Cars by State -iSeeCars|
|West Virginia||Chevrolet Silverado 1500||4.3%|
Located at the western edge of Virginia in the Alleghany Mountains, Highland County enjoys the highest mean elevation of any county east of the Mississippi River. Called "Virginia's Little Switzerland," with roughly 2300 residents, it is also one of the least populated eastern counties.What is Virginia's most visited park? ›
A registered Natural Landmark, First Landing is the most visited state park in Virginia and contains one of the most endangered habitat types in the world - the maritime forest.What is the prettiest US state? ›
- Washington, the Evergreen State, takes top spot. ...
- In second place, with a beauty score of 8.64, is California. ...
- Alaska takes the third position and due to being so vast and with such little population, it offers tremendous untouched natural beauty to explore: glaciers, mountains, rushing rivers and pristine lakes.
People moved to West Virginia for a variety of reasons including family, lifestyle and cost of living. The main reason people are leaving West Virginia is for work. The states that were most moved to in 2021 are: Vermont South.
Is West Virginia safer than Virginia? ›
Which is Safer - West Virginia or Virginia? For 2022, West Virginia is the safer spot, with Virginia coming in second in the South Atlantic. West Virginia has lower violent crime rates as well as property crime rates.What is the European looking town in West Virginia? ›
Shepherdstown, rich in German heritage, is home to the famed Bavarian Inn Resort and Brewing Company, and every year this town welcomes Christmas with the kind of homespun celebrations that are becoming increasingly rare in an era of competing technicolor holiday light spectaculars.What natural wonders are in West Virginia? ›
7 natural wonders in the National Parks and beyond
- Cranberry Glades. ...
- New River Gorge National Park and Preserve. ...
- Blackwater Falls. ...
- Seneca Rocks. ...
- Lost World Caverns. ...
- Ice Mountain.
- Bar Harbor.
- Jackson Hole.
- Park City.
- Hot Springs, AR.
Among the five places in West Virginia with available data and populations of at least 25,000, Huntington ranks as the poorest. The typical Huntington household earns $33,012 a year, compared to the statewide median household income of $48,037.What is the safest city in West Virginia? ›
West Virginia all-time
While the record-breaking -31° in Canaan Valley might seem impossibly cold, the all-time coldest temperature recorded in West Virginia was actually in Greenbrier County. Back in 1917, Lewisburg saw temperatures bottom out at -37° on Dec. 30.
These days, Logan is no longer booming. It's not rich. It's not famous. But it has acquired the honorable distinction of being known as the friendliest town in West Virginia.What is the whitest county in West Virginia? ›
Justice had a net worth of $1.2 billion in September 2018, making him the wealthiest person in West Virginia, though it has declined to $513.3 million as of October 2021.
How many millionaires are in WV? ›
|Rank||State||$1mm+ investable assets|
- 8 1965 Renault Dauphine.
- 7 1973 Ford Pinto.
- 6 1974 Triumph Stag.
- 5 1981 Cadillac Fleetwood.
- 4 1982 Ferrari Mondial.
- 3 1982 Pontiac Firebird SE.
- 2 1998 Fiat Multipla.
- 1 2005 Ford Thunderbird.
|Rank||Model||Assembly location for cars sold in the U.S.|
|1||Tesla Model Y||Fremont, Calif., or Austin, Texas|
|2||Tesla Model 3||Fremont, Calif.|
|3||Lincoln Corsair||Louisville, Ky.|
|4||Honda Passport||Lincoln, Ala.|
Negro Foot is an unincorporated community in Hanover County, Virginia. The community's unusual name has attracted the attention of media commentators. The origin of the name is obscure.What town is known as Little Switzerland? ›
New Glarus is America's Little Switzerland. For over 150 years, the beautiful little community of New Glarus, Wisconsin, has been a magnet for Swiss settlers.Why do they call it Little Switzerland? ›
Thus Little Switzerland was so named because its sweeping panoramas of deep valleys and distant ranges resemble those in the foothills of Swiss Alps.What is the 2 most visited national park? ›
Every year, millions of visitors come to the park to take in the views and enjoy a bit of outdoor recreation in the desert. Grand Canyon National Park is the second most-visited American national park, covering well over one million acres of predominantly desert landscape in northwestern Arizona.What's the prettiest national park? ›
- GRAND CANYON.
- DENALI NATIONAL PARK.
- YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK.
- HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK.
- ZION NATIONAL PARK.
- GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK.
- OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK.
- GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK.
Sandbridge Beach is among the top clear water beaches in Virginia. Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for sea creatures when you go kayaking or swimming.What is the clearest water in Virginia? ›
The Clearest Lake In Virginia, Smith Mountain Lake, Is Almost Too Beautiful To Be Real. Smith Mountain Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in the state of Virginia, and it provides just as much beauty as it does square footage.
What is the #1 best state? ›
- Washington. In the 10 years MoneyRates.com has been conducting this study, Washington has topped the list five times for the best states to live in the US. ...
- North Dakota. ...
- Minnesota. ...
- Michigan. ...
- Texas. ...
- Illinois. ...
- Kansas. ...
WalletHub has an answer. Researchers at the personal finance publication ranked the 50 states based on scores in five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety. Massachusetts topped 2022's list, touting a score of 62.65 out of 100.What US state has beautiful beaches? ›
Hawaii is home to many of the best beaches in the US, but Makena Beach State Park, at the south end of Wailea, is a wild, seemingly endless expanse of golden sand and turquoise water that feels more secluded than its crowded neighbors.Is West Virginia rich or poor? ›
These states and territories have the highest percentages of poverty in the country: Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico, Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Oklahoma.Is West Virginia paying people $20000 to move there? ›
The full relocation package is valued at more than $20,000. West Virginia lost a greater percentage of its residents than any other state. From 2010 to 2020, the population dropped 3.2%, or about 59,000 people.Who is the most famous person from West Virginia? ›
- Hal Greer, professional basketball player.
- Mary Lou Retton, professional gymnast.
- Randy Moss, professional football player.
- John Chambers, CEO of Cisco Systems.
- George Preston Marshall, owner and president of the Washington Redskins.
- Ted Cassidy, actor.
- Jennifer Garner, actress.
The title of most affordable city in West Virginia goes to Parkersburg. Located along the Ohio-West Virginia border, Parkersburg also ranks as the fourth largest city in the state. Enjoy exploring historic sites downtown or romping in the parks along the Ohio River.
Check out the richest counties in the Mountain State. Jefferson County, where Shepherdstown and Charles Town are, has a per capita income of $29,733, making it the richest county in West Virginia. The second-richest county in the state is Putnam County.