West Virginia has plenty of cities well known for their shopping, events, and tourist attractions, but there are several underrated cities that are often overlooked. Just because these cities are less known doesn’t mean they don’t have a lot to offer.
1. Historic Harper's Ferry
Located in the eastern panhandle, Harper’s Ferry is a quaint little town rich in history. While visiting Harper’s Ferry you will learn the history of John Brown’s raid. It also offers the opportunity to visit several buildings believed to be haunted by Civil War soldiers. If you are looking for a little adventure, Harper’s Ferry offers white water rafting and one of the coolest zip lines in the state!
2. Adventurous Gilbert
Gilbert is a small town with a whole lot of outdoor adventure to offer. If you are into ATVs Gilbert is the place to be! It is home to the nationally recognized Hatfield and McCoy ATV Trail. Gilbert offers visitors a great selection of lodges and restaurants. It is also the host of the annual National Trail Fest, which is a celebration of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail.
3. New Martinsville, Wetzel County
Located at the base of the northern panhandle, this small town has it going on. For years, residents have been building on to the town’s great architecture, art and history. The Wetzel County town has an art council, which sponsors concerts and presents “Arts in the Parks.” The art council also puts on productions at the historic Lincoln Theater located in the heart of the town. It is, however, New Martinsville’s people and their positive attitudes and giving-back mentality that make New Martinsville is one of West Virginia’s best kept secrets.
4. Downtown Buckhannon
When people think of cool small towns they instantly think of Fayetteville or Lewisburg, but Upshur County’s Buckhannon is just as artsy, charming and cool. Buckhannon is home to an estimated 5,000 residents and offers an artsy main street packed with antique shops, art galleries, boutiques, and dining. It was named one of America’s top 15 cities by the Huffington Post.
5. Bramwell, West Virginia
Bramwell is a small town located in Mercer County. At one time it was a booming coal town and home to some of the richest people in the state. In the early 1800s it was home to the most millionaires per capita in the United States. Driving through Bramwell you will find yourself braking frequently so you can get a better look at the many gorgeous historical houses that line its streets.
6. Old fashioned Barboursville
Barboursville’s streets are lined with old brick buildings and manicured lawns. An old-fashioned gazebo sits in the center of town as a reminder that you are somewhere unique. On the edge of the city limits you will find the 750-acre Barboursville Park that offers a soccer field, tennis and basketball courts, several playgrounds, a fishing pond and lake as well as walking paths and bike trails. Barboursville offers something for everyone!
7. Downtown Thomas
Thomas is a former coal town in Tucker County. It is home to the Mountain State Brewing Company and the Mountaineer Wind Energy Center. If you have never seen a windmill in action the Energy Center is well worth checking out. Thomas also offers art galleries, antique stores and a brick oven pizzeria. One of Thomas’s most popular establishments is The Purple Fiddle, which is a bluegrass venue, café and guesthouse that resides in what was once the general store.
Bridgeport is a tight knit commercial with a rich history. It has plenty of shopping and gets a high rating just for its adorableness.
9. Rural Town Of Clay
Clay is a small town where everyone knows your name. It sits along the beautiful Elk River, which offers some of the best fishing in the state. In June, Clay is host to the Elk River Fest and every September people come from around the state for the Golden Delicious Apple Festival.
10. Charles Town
Charles Town is the the spot where the trial and execution of John Brown took place. Charles Town offers battlefields, historic districts, and museums. It is also the host of WV Fest.
11. Downtown Summersville
Summersville is located in Nicholas County. It offers visitors plenty of shopping, restaurant choices, lodging, and the beautiful Summersville Lake. The lake is a popular destination year round for boating, sailing, swimming, fishing and scuba diving.
Have you visited any of these amazing cities? If not, make plans to do so soon – you won’t regret it!