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Visit West Virginia: Free Travel Guide to the Mountain State Discover Coal Country, Cumberland Gap and the Heart of Appalachia

Welcome to the narangahTravel West Virginia free travel guide, including everything you need to plan your adventures in the mountain state. Start with our quick links to choose a region to explore or a destination you already have in mind. Read up on West Virginia history, geography, and culture. Review our practical information and advice. Check out the online, downloadable, and print resources for West Virginia travel and tourism.

West Virginia Quicklinks


Potomac Highlands  New River-Greenbrier Valley  Hatfield-McCoy Mountains

Mountain Lakes  Metro Valley  Mid-Ohio Valley

Northern Panhandle  Mountaineer Country  Eastern Panhandle

Cities & Destinations

Bluefield  Charleston  Harpers Ferry Huntington  Martinsburg  Morgantown

  Parkersburg  Snowshoe  Wheeling  White Sulphur Springs

West Virginia at a Glance

West Virginia is one of the most scenic states, famous for the natural beauty of its forested mountains, valleys and streams. It is considered the heart of Appalachia, a part of the eastern United States long associated with coal mining, logging, and poverty. It is the only state located entirely within the region. West Virginia was formed by separating from Virginia during the Civil War. It was the only state to separate from the Confederacy and one of only two states entered into the Union during the Civil War era.

West Virginia is made up of nine distinct travel regions, each with its own character, history and heritage waiting to be discovered. The Eastern Panhandle offers relaxing small town escapes from the hustle and bustle of the D.C. metro area. The Potomac Highlands boasts dramatic scenery and historic mountain railroads. New River-Greenbier Valley is the place for exciting world-class whitewater rafting and home to the famous Greenbrier Resort.

Explore frontier history at Prickett’s Fort State Park in Mountaineer Country, or visit West Virginia Independence Hall in the Northern Panhandle. Both regions have plenty of history on display.

Visit the Mountain Lakes region for a watery adventure or some boutique shopping. Investigate family feuds in the Hatfield-McCoy Mountains. Enjoy a peaceful drive through the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Don’t miss the Metro Valley region’s beautiful gold domed state capitol or Huntington, home of Marshall University.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park marks a consequential location at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac rivers famous for John Brown’s abolitionist raid of 1859. This strategic location changed hands eight times during the Civil War, making it one of the most contested battlegrounds of the conflict.

Popular West Virginia annual events include the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair, the Mountain State Harvest Festival and the Berkley Springs International Water Tasting. The Bridge Day celebration near Fayetteville draws nearly 100,000 people. The Wheeling Winter Festival of Lights is one of the biggest in the nation.

Coming Soon

West Virginia is dominated by the Allegheny Mountains, a part of the Appalachian Mountain System that covers the eastern two thirds of the state. The Alleghenies extend all the way from southern West Virginia north and East into Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

The Allegheny plateau covers the western third of the state. Its rolling hills provide good agricultural land.

Hot water mineral springs are sprinkled around the state, the most famous being located at White Sulfur Springs. The karst geologic formations result in a large number of caves, of which Organ Cave is the largest.

The most significant river is the Ohio river, which makes up the entire western border of the state. The Potomac and Shenandoah rivers meet at historic Harpers Ferry.

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Blenko Glass Beautiful handcrafted glass products made in Milton, West Virginia since 1921. Tableware, gifts, suncatchers, bottles, bowls, decanters and more.

Marble King

West Virginia Salt Charleston was built on salt. Sample fine salt products from J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works, family owned salt producers for over 200 years.

West Virginia Specialties

Pepperoni Rolls The ubiquitous West Virginia sandwich snack. Pepperoni sausage baked inside a white bread roll. Originally a lunch option for coal miners in the early 20th century, now sold as a snack available in every convenience store in the state.Variations can include cheese or different kinds of peppers. Order home delivery from the Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, home of the original pepperoni roll!

Top West Virginia Attractions


Popular West Virginia Festivals and Events


Practical Matters

West Virginia is centrally located between the Mid-Atlantic states and the Southeast, putting it within easy reach of a majority of the United States population.

Arrival by Plane

West Virginia has seven commercial airports. The two largest are Yeager Airport (CRW) in Charleston and Tri-State Airport (HTS) in Huntington, which together handle 90% of the commercial air traffic in the state. Yeager Airport is served by America Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, all of which fly to and from their own regional hubs. Spirit Airlines offers seasonal service between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Tri-State Airport is served by American Eagle and Allegiant Air. American Eagle offers service to the American Airlines hub in Charlotte, NC. Allegiant fly to destinations in Florida, with seasonal service to Myrtle Beach, SC.

Other commercial airports are Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW) in Beckley, North Central West Virginia Airport (CKB) in Clarksburg, Greenbrier Valley Airport (LWB) in Lewisburg, Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW) in Morgantown, and Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport (PKB) in Parkersburg.

There are at least fifteen general aviation airports around the state. For more information, check the state air transportation website.

Arrival by Car

West Virginia sits at the crossroads of six interstate highways, I-64, I-68, I-70, I-77, I-79, and I-81.

Charleston is less than 3 hours drive from either Columbus, OH via US Route 33 and I-77 South, or Lexington, KY via I-64 East. It’s a little more than 4 hours drive from Charlotte, NC via I-77 North.

Wheeling is 2 hours drive from Columbus, OH via I-70 East and Pittsburg is just one hour away via I-79 South and I-70 West.

Morgantown is 1 hour from Pittsburg, PA via I-79 South and 3.5 hours from Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C. via I-70 West and I-68 West.

Drive Safe

Current road conditions are available by telephone by dialing 511, or online at WV511.org. The West Virginia Department of Transportation also has a 511 app downloadable from its website.

The West Virginia Courtesy Patrol is available for roadside service while you are in the state. If you need help, call +1 (888) 359-3683 or *77 from your mobile phone. The patrol changes flat tires, offers jump starts, provides gasoline, gives out directions, and more.

West Virginia Welcome Centers

I-64 Eastbound Huntington +1 (304) 545-1819.
I-64 Westbound White Sulphur Springs +1 (304) 536-4553.
I-70 Westbound Valley Grove +1 (304) 767-0177.
I-77 Southbound Williamstown +1 (304) 375-2700.
I-79 Southbound Morgantown +1 (304) 328-5261.
I-81 Northbound Inwood +1 (304) 229-8836.
I-81 Southbound Falling Waters +1 (304) 274-2281.
I-68 Westbound Bruceton Mills +1 (304) 379-2648.

Welcome Center Hours
08:00-18:00 daily, May-October
09:00-17:00 daily, November-April

West Virginia Turnpike Travel Plazas

I-77 Service Plaza Princeton, +1 (304) 487-2214.
Turnpike Northbound Bluestone, +1 (304) 384-7534.
Turnpike Northbound Morton, +1 (304) 595-2238.
Turnpike North and Southbound Beckley, +1 (304) 256-6695.
Tamarack Crafts Center Beckley, +1 (888) 262-7225.

Buses Welcome

Arrival By Bus

Greyhound Bus Lines has service in West Virginia connecting to over 3800 destinations throughout the country. Greyhound stations are located in Charleston, Huntington and Wheeling, with stops in over 20 destinations around the state.

Megabus has bus connections to Mountaineer Station in Morgantown, WV, serving the University of West Virginia.

Arrival by Train

Amtrak serves West Virginia. The Amtrak Cardinal, running between New York and Chicago, stops in White Sulphur Springs, Alderson, Hinton, Prince, Thurmond, Montgomery, Charleston, and Huntington. The Capitol Limited, running between Washington, D.C. and Chicago, stops in Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg.

In the Eastern Panhandle, you can travel the MARC Train Brunswick Line from Washington, D.C. to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV.

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West Virginia Slang

Buggy Shopping cart (or grocery cart) you push around the supermarket.

Herd Or the Herd. Nickname of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team.

Holler Distance unit of measure, as in “A hoot and a holler away.”

Poke Grocery bag.

Organ Short for Organ Cave, the largest cave in West Virginia.

Ramp Onion.

Red up To clean your room.

Rednecks United Mine Workers union members who tied red bandanas around their necks during their fight for safer working conditions for miners everywhere.

Drive Safely in West Virginia

Be sure to obey these West Virginia rules of the road:

  • SPEED LIMITS are 70 MPH on most Interstate highways, 25 MPH in most business or residential areas, and 15MPH in school zones.
  • NO TEXTING OR CALLING while driving unless using a hands free device.
  • BUCKLE UP! All vehicle occupants must wear seatbelts. Children under age 3 must be in an approved child safety seat.
  • WEAR HELMETS State Law requires motorcyclists to wear helmets at all times.

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Florida Travel Resources

West Virginia Travel Websites:

GoTOWV.com The official state tourism portal. Lots of slick image building material showing off the best that West Virginia has to offer. Trip planning tools. Download the app [iOS].

Visit Wheeling WV Online portal of the Wheeling West Virginia Convention & Visitors Bureau. Guide to Lodging, Dining, Shopping, Attractions and Events.

West Virginia Travel Guides

We like Su Clauson-Wicker’s West Virginia Off the Beaten Path and Leonard Adkins’ Explorer’s Guide West Virginia.

Here are a few more off-beat options:

Hiking West Virginia (Reed)

West Virginia Curiosities: Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff (Steelhammer)

Wild & Wonderful (and Paranormal) West Virginia (Michaels)

West Virginia History and Culture

West Virginia: A History (Williams) Considered one of the finest books ever written about the state. Readable style, informative.

West Virginia Histories: Unique People, Unusual Events, and the Occasional Ghost (Volume 1) (Swick) Collected human interest columns from the Clarksburg Exponent Telegram. Entertaining.

The National Map Get the most up-to-date maps available from the USGS.

West Virginia state flag
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