There are some places that you can only find in West Virginia: our forests, our restaurants, our historic towns – places that are unique to this state. These places give WV its personality, its rich culture and its beautiful scenery. And you can only find them out here in the mountains.
1. Dolly Sods Wilderness, Monongahela National Forest
Nestled deep within Monongahela National Forest, Dolly Sods is known for an unusual ecology that is generally found in Northern Canada. This is due to continental ice sheets that shifted during the Pleistocene Epoch and deposited Canadian plants and animal species here in the south.
2. Harpers Ferry
This small town in this most historic place in West Virginia. Settled in 1732 under a different name, this town's historic district is comprised of roughly 100 structures.
3. Green Bank Telescope, Green Bank
This is the largest fully steerable telescope in the world. At a height of 485 feet, it is taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is seated at the center of the 13,000 square mile National Radio Quiet Zone, a federal area that prohibits the use of radio, wireless and microwave signals that might disrupt the telescope's communications.
4. Cass Scenic Railroad, Cass
A big part of WV heritage is the railroad, which is responsible for the existence of many towns in this state. The Cass Scenic Railroad offers scenic train rides in traditional steam powered engines from the early 20th century.
5. Cranberry Glades, Hillsboro
If you come at the right time of the year, during fall, the red grasses of cranberry glades will make you feel like you are on another planet. As you enter the woods that lay beyond, you will find many strange species of plants, some of which are even carnivorous.
6. Heritage Village, Huntington
Heritage Village is a complete replica of a frontier-style town from the 18th century. It has roughly 30 structures than include several museums, a petting zoo, a general store, a restaurant and several lodges for guests who wish to spend the night or the weekend at the village. It is open daily and has several events throughout the year.
7. New River Gorge Bridge, Fayetteville
At 3,030 foot long, this steel arch bridge is the fourth largest single span arch bridge in the world and the third highest vehicular bridge in America. Every year, the event known as Bridge Day allows BASE jumpers and bungee jumpers to leap off the 876 foot tall structure.
8. Point Pleasant
Aside from being the site of a significant battle that proceeded the American Revolution, it is also the place where the enigmatic cryptid known as The Mothman was known to dwell for a 13-month period from 1966 to 1967. Widely considered a hotpot of paranormal activity, this town is one place that tourists visit all year round.
9. 21 at the Frederick, Huntington
This restaurant not only has great food, but it remains virtually unchanged since it was a 1920 hotpot called The Elephant Room. The hotel in which it is located is also a historic, lavish building whose lobby is also a museum of artifacts from the early 20th century.
10. Palace of Gold, New Vrindaban
This opulent place was built as a home for Srila Prabhuapada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness. Today, it is a tourist attraction that receives over 50,000 visitors a year.
11. Seneca Caverns, Riverton
Senenca Caverns is a karst cave in Germany Valley that is about 460 million years old. Before it was a tourist attraction, this cave was used by the Seneca Indians as a place for shelter, storage and ceremonial purposes. Today, it is open for daily tours.
12. Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis
Blackwater Falls receives its name from its main attraction: a 57-foot cascade fall whose amber waters were created by the tannic acid of fallen needles from red spruce and hemlock trees. The park also offers some of the most scenic views in the whole state. There are many activities for visitors to do, such as hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, camping and geocaching.
13. Seneca Rocks, Pendleton County
Seneca Rocks is a large crag that is known as the South's only true peak. It is a popular destination for rock climbers, but is also accessible by a trail that winds its way up the mountain to an observation deck and the peak itself.
These are just a few of the best places to visit in West Virginia. Do you know of any others? Feel free to comment below and join the discussion.