These West Virginia towns are small, but they have BIG tourist attractions! Which one is your favorite?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Seneca Rocks
This small community in Pendleton County boasts the rock formation that's the only "true peak" on the East Coast, making it a huge tourist attraction for climbers.
Moundsville is home to a retired state penitentiary, which is now a training facility and tourist attraction.
Moundsville is also home to the Marx Toy Museum, which is a museum of Louis Marx & Company, a toy manufacturer.
And while you're in Moundsville, check out Prabhupada's Palace of Gold. The palace was intended in 1972 to be a home for A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, but he died before it was finished. CNN called it one of the 8 religious wonders to see in the United States.
3. White Sulphur Springs
White Sulphur Springs has fewer than 2500 people, but it also boasts one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the state: The Greenbrier resort.
While you're in Greenbrier County to see the resort, head on over to the little town of Ronceverte, where Organ Cave is. It's the third-largest cave system in the state and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fayetteville is home to the New River Gorge bridge. Not only is the bridge one of the state's most photographed structures, each fall it brings in thousands of tourists for Bridge Day, the only day of the year when it's legal to BASE jump from it.
Fayetteville is also known for its rafting opportunities on the New River, some of the best white water in the region.
New Cumberland, a city with a population of about 1,100, is the site of the Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort, where guests can gamble, enjoy a nice dinner and even golf.
This unincorporated community in Pocahontas County has arguably the best skiing in the state at Snowshoe Mountain ski resort.
8. Green Bank
Also in Pocahontas County is Green Bank, which had a population of 143 in the 2010 census. The Green Bank Telescope is the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope and has most recently been involved with a project that seeks out alien life in space.
And while you're in the area for Snowshoe and the telescope, check out the Cass Scenic Railroad, also in Pocahontas County. Take a train ride through the historic company town of Cass and to Bald Knob, the highest point on Back Allegheny Mountain. The town of Cass had 52 people according to the 2010 census.
10. French Creek
French Creek, an unincorporated place in Upshur County, is home to the West Virginia Wildlife Center, a zoological park that displays 29 different species of West Virginia mammals, birds, and reptiles. It receives about 50,000 visitors a year.
11. Harpers Ferry
Step back into time at Harpers Ferry's historic district, which is made up of about 100 historic buildings. The district preserves the 1900-century town that played an important role in the Civil War.
12. Nitro's Marti Gras Casino
This casino and resort in the little town of Nitro is 60,000 square feet full of gaming and entertainment, according to its website.
Kenova is a pumpkin lover's dream. Each year homeowner Ric Griffith and an army of volunteers carve thousands of pumpkins and decorate his house with them. People come from all over to see it.
Did I miss any small towns with big tourist attractions? Let me know in the comments!