Having grown up in West Virginia, I often forget about some of the really amazing things that this state has to offer. During the summer, I find myself saying, “I’m bored!” After looking into just a few things that this state has to do, not only during the summer, but all year long, I’ll never be bored again!
1) Taylor Books, located on the historic Capitol Street in downtown Charleston, is a perfect little coffee shop and bookstore. Grab a cup of their coffee or a draft beer and listen to a local band play!
This bookstore has been a life-long favorite of mine. Going to this bookstore is more than just supporting a local business to me, it is like a home away from home.
2) The Clay Center, located in Charleston as well, is family friendly and is packed full of fun things to do. The Clay Center has multiple concerts, symphonies, and plays going on year-round, hands-on learning activies, and even an amazing Electricsky Theater and Planetarium!
3) Stray Dog Antiques, just around the block from Taylor Books in Charleston, is a lovely little hole in the wall thrift shop and antique store. This antique shop has so much to look at, such as antique furniture, clothing, books, and jewelry. I have found so many amazing gems in this little shop and I'm so glad that I walked up on it one day.
4) Carnegie Hall, located in Lewisburg, WV, is a cultural center similar to the Clay Center. This Carnegie Hall is one of the only eight Carnegie Halls still used in the world.
To name just a few services that it offers: live performances and shows, classes and workshops, fine arts exhibits, and an independent film series.
5) The RiffRaff Arts Collective is a group of performing, visual, literary, and healing artists located in Princeton.
The RiffRaff has live performance venues, a recording studio, 6 artists studios, a music school with approximately 200 students, and a fine arts gallety. "The Room Upstairs," a restored ballroom, hosts weekly music shows, experimental theatre, art shows, and much more.
6) The Tamarack, located in Beckley, is a one-stop West Virginia tourist center. This isn't your everyday rest-stop with over-crowded bathrooms and lame vending machines.
The Tamarack offers handcrafts, fine art, regional dining, music, and much more. It attracts about a half a million people each year.
7) Oglebay Resort and Conference Center, located in Wheeling, WV, is a beautiful resort with so much to offer.
Pictured above is the Winter Festival of Lights, which is a six-mile long light show featured each November and December. Oglebay also offers and luxury spa, a 36 hole golf course, the Good Zoo with over thirty acres of animals, and sixteen acres of the most beautiful gardens.
8) The Capital Market, located in Charleston, is a farmer's market that offers some of the most amazing local goods!
Pictured above is the outdoor market that they have throughout the summer and fall. They also have a selection of real Christmas trees in the winter. The Capital Market has such amazing indoor merchants and a great restaurant called Soho's.
4) The Corner Shop, located in Bramwell, WV, is an old-fashioned style diner restaurant.
This little shop even has an old-fashioned soda fountain and homemade ice cream.
10) Live on the Levee is another outdoor festival, located in Charleston, WV.
This is the 12th year and it will be held every Friday starting from May 22nd until September 4th.
11) The Riverfest, located in St. Albans, WV, is a much smaller festival but is still plenty of fun.
This festival has an Idol singing contest, Gospel bands, plenty of food vendors, and amazing fireworks, which can be seen for miles, set off right across the Kanawha River. I've been to this small festival many times growing up, and I have watched it expand over the years. It has a small town feel to it because of it's size, but that doesn't make it any less fun and awesome.
13) The West Virginia State Fair, located near Lewisburg, WV,is held yearly in August since 1881.
Just last year, Foreigner, Chris Tomlin, and Hunter Hayes had concerts at the State Fair. It also hosts a carnival, a horse show, bluegrass bands, and has merchant tents full of arts, crafts, and of course- tons of food!