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Just as the state’s license plates proclaim, West Virginia is a wild and wonderful place to get away for the weekend. Here you’ll find amazing states parks, national forests, and natural wonders that will take your breath away. You’ll also find fun cities with lots to do and small towns to help you temporarily forget about your busy schedule. Here are some of the best West Virginia weekend getaways you’ll love to explore.
New River Gorge
One of the most impressive natural sites in West Virginia is the New River Gorge. There is a thousand-foot-deep canyon here and also an impressive bridge that’s famous for local events. Bridge Day takes place in October and features thrill-seekers rappelling and parachuting off the bridge to the river down below. This is also a popular spot for white water rafting with seriously challenging rapids and also hiking with your dog for scenic views. Camping is available in the park for your weekend stay at eight different camping areas. While you’re in this area, make sure to check out the fun little town of Fayetteville nearby.
Seneca Rocks, Monongahela National Forest
The Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area is a scenic place to hike and set up camp for your outdoorsy weekend in West Virginia. This area of forest spans about 100,000 acres and is also a prime spot for rock climbing in the state. It is even the home of West Virginia’s highest peak. When you visit for the weekend, check out the Seneca Rocks Discovery Center, Seneca Shadows, and the Big Bend Campgrounds. The discovery center is at the base of Seneca Rocks and offers stunning views to start your journey of exploration. Three state parks, Cass Scenic Railroad, Blackwater Falls, and Canaan Valley, are all fairly close by as well if you have some extra time during your weekend.
It’s also fun to plan a weekend getaway to Charleston, West Virginia to explore the city’s indoor/outdoor market called Capitol Market, restaurant scene, and zip line tours. Charleston is the largest city in the state and the state’s capital too. You can learn about the local history here by visiting the popular West Virginia State Museum. Make sure to check out the eclectic East End Historic District, the kid-friendly Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, and the Haddad Riverfront Park for outdoor recreation and live concerts and events by the river.
Blackwater Falls State Park
There’s an amazing waterfall near the West Virginia town of Davis that you simply must see on a weekend excursion. It is a 57-foot cascade in the Allegheny Mountains of Tucker County. You can see the impressive waterfall at Blackwater Falls State Park by hiking around the park and noticing all the interesting rock formations along the way. Scenic views are available year-around here, and other popular sites, besides the famous falls, to photograph are Lindy Point, Elakala Falls, and Pendleton Point Overlook.
If you’re looking for a quaint and peaceful place to stay for your weekend in West Virginia, consider Berkeley Springs. There are a few spas here to book a relaxing treatment and some great restaurants and cafes in town. Soak in the natural warm springs here and pamper yourself for a couple of days. Then, wander around the town’s quaint streets to see the art galleries. Other favorite spots to visit here include Berkeley Springs State Park, Cacapon Resort State Park, Prospect Peak, and the Berkeley Springs Brewing Company. There’s an Apple Butter Festival hosted here in the fall that’s also worth checking out.
Babcock State Park
The scene at Babcock State Park is wonderfully charming and the site of a working grist mill. You can hike around this park, learn about its history, and stay overnight in a cabin for your weekend here. The park spans 4,127 acres of land and is filled with streams, trails, and rhododendrons. You can combine this with a weekend trip to see the New River Gorge Bridge because Babcock State Park is only about 20 miles away. Nature photographers love coming here to photograph the beauty of this park, while active travelers enjoy biking, fishing, boating, and camping here. The campground has 52 sites, and there are 28 cabins for vacation rentals too.
Morgantown, West Virginia is a college town worth visiting for the weekend too if you enjoy history, hiking, nightlife, and wildlife. Located along the Monongahela River, this is a weekend destination with a hip vibe and great attractions, such as the West Virginia Botanic Gardens and Monongalia Arts Center. It’s also worth spending some time on the Cheat Lake Trail to get some exercise and have the opportunity to see wildlife around the lake.
Many people don’t think about West Virginia when they’re looking for a snowy winter getaway, but Snowshoe, West Virginia offers exactly that and much more. This is a fun place to travel to for a winter weekend to ski at the local resort, go tubing, and strap on some snowshoes of course as well. But when the weather is warm, Snowshoe is also a great place to go mountain biking, swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, and horseback riding.
Coopers Rock State Forest
About 13 miles from Morgantown lies Coopers Rock State Forest, a lovely park with overlooks of the canyon and the Cheat River. Here you can see huge cliffs and boulders, historical sites, and really feel like you’re getting away for the weekend. Fishing, biking, hunting, and hiking are popular activities here. You can also camp at Coopers Rock State Forest from the spring season through the fall at the 25 sites of the McCollum Campground with electrical hookups or the 25 primitive sites of the Rhododendron Campground.
For another city weekend getaway suggestion, make a plan to visit Parkersburg, West Virginia. Check out Blennerhassett Island Historical Park, performances by the Actors Guild of Parkersburg, and the Blennerhassett Museum while you’re here. Parkersburg also has a nice city park, shows at the Smoot Theatre, and great wine at WineTree Vineyards. For your shopping excursions, the Nostalgia Antique Mall and Point Park Marketplace are recommended places.