What is there to do in West Virginia? This is a question I was asked numerous times as I shared my upcoming plans to travel east. West Virginia is the 10th smallest state, and one of the lesser populated states. However, it’s truly a hidden gem. Made up of tree covered Appalachian Mountains, there is a reason this state is nicknamed Almost Heaven. Save this list of beautiful places to visit in West Virginia to inspire your next adventure.

Love exploring small towns and hidden gems? Check out these cute small towns: Explore Eureka Springs in Arkansas, Hang out Lakeside in Bayfield Wisconsin, Take a Hike in Lanesboro Minnesota and Road Trip Hot Springs in South Dakota.

1. Cacapon State Park (Almost Heaven Swings)

For being a small state, West Virginia has some of the most beautiful state parks to visit. Located near the historic town of Berkley Springs, Cacapon State Park is a haven for history buffs and nature lovers. Visitors have the option to book a stay at their newly expanded lodge or in a cabin at the Old Inn. The Cacapon resort also includes dining options, a full spa and golf. For nature lovers, there are plenty of places to hike, bike and fish.

I encourage visitors to follow the signs that leads to Cacapon Mountain Overlook. Your winding drive up the mountain will turn into a gravel road. Located near the parking area and observation deck is the Almost Heaven Swing (don’t forget to take a picture!). Click here for a full list of all the Almost Heaven Swings in West Virginia.

2. The Charming Town of Wardensville

There are various beautiful towns to visit in West Virginia. If you are a lover of the slow paced, small towns, Wardensville should be on your list of places to go. This charming town dates back to 1832 and is located in the Potomac Highlands. There are various charming stores such as Word Play (book store with something for everyone), Lost River Trading Post and the Farmer’s Market & Bakery.

For places to eat they have the cutest coffee & breakfast shop, Driftwood Cafe. Marina Pizza offers delicious pizza & ice cream, and for a nice dinner out, pay a visit to Mack’s Bingo Kitchen. Wardensville is a haven for nature lovers, home to Warden Lake, Trout Run and 30 minutes from Lost River State Park.

3. Rent a Cabin in the Woods

West Virginia is all mountains, and what better way to experience it than staying at a cabin in the woods? We were lucky enough to experience the Forest Getaway, a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom cabin (accommodates up to 6 guests) nestled in the woods. One of my favorite things about the Forest Getaway is the location- it’s only 8 minutes from Wardensville! We experienced the best of both worlds, being away from it all yet having the convenience to run into town for anything we needed.

This cozy cabin had everything we needed-from a fully stocked kitchen, grill, fire pit and outdoor lounging areas to having a fully stocked bathroom and a washer/dryer. Not to mention the luxurious soaking tub in the upstairs bathroom! There is also an area to work remotely, with a gorgeous view of the forest.

4. Babcock State Park (Almost Heaven Swings)

Have you ever seen a picture of a mill with a stone building, waterfall and river by it? If so, you may be looking at an image of Babcock State Park, one of West Virginia’s most iconic state parks. If you are planning a trip to the New River Gorge National Park, consider paying a visit to the iconic Babcock State Park as well, located 20 miles south east of the Canyon Rim Visitor Center.

This park is most known for it’s Glade Creek Grist Mill, along with the waterfalls and whitewater rafting nearby in the New River Gorge. There are also hiking opportunities, picnics, fishing and even a small beach area for swimming on the river. Babcock State Park is also home to one of the Almost Heaven Swings. It’s situated perfectly with a view of the Glade Creek Grist Mill.

5. New River Gorge Bridge & Canyon Rim Visitor Center

When I think of West Virginia, I can’t help but have a picture of the New River Gorge Bridge pop into my head. This National park is different than many others I have visited, because most of the highlights are scattered between highways, interstates and towns. We decided to use the east entrance to visit Canyon Rim Visitor Center.

I encourage you to make this your first stop because you get a map, then can walk to the back of the visitor’s center for an iconic view of the gorge. And who can forget, the bridge itself? The trail heads to access the overlooks to get up close to the New River Gorge Bridge is located beside the Canyon Rim Visitor Center.

6. Kaymoor Mining Trail & Scenic Drive (New River Gorge National Park)

Near the Canyon Rim Visitor Center is the Fayetteville Station Road Tour. This road is a 100 years old and winds down to the base of the New River Gorge Bridge, providing a beautiful scenic drive. It’s a one way road enjoyed by visitors and with neat little hiking areas along the way. I encourage you to hike the Kaymoor Trail, home to the gorgeous Kaymoor waterfall and other scenic views. It was one of our favorite parts about seeing the New River Gorge National Park.

7. Thurmond Abandoned Mining Town (New River Gorge National Park)

Have you ever wanted to visit a town from the 1900s that is perfectly preserved? Thurmond is a coal mining town that went from being the richest in the state to being abandoned with the switch to diesel. Today, this town is frozen in time. You can drive the small, winding roads through the town to see the houses being taken back by nature. Park and walk the historic downtown and view the railroad over the bridge. It was an experience unlike any other we have ever had.

8. Grandview Overlook (New River Gorge National Park)

Grandview Overlook is the highest point located in the New River Gorge National Park at 14,000 feet from the river. It reminded me a bit of Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona with the shape of the bend- except green with trees of course! This park was very peaceful, and has paved trails to walk, numerous playgrounds and picnic area. Of course, the observation deck over the bend is the most iconic spot in this park.

9. Blackwater Falls State Park

Photo credit to https://wvstateparks.com/park/blackwater-falls-state-park/

Blackwater Falls State Park is an ideal spot for hiking, camping and Pendelton Point Overlook. Of course, it’s most famous for it’s 57 feet, amber colored Blackwater Falls. There is also the option to stay at the lodge, cabin and other recreational activities like boating, scenic train rides and swimming.

10. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)

Technically, Shenandoah National Park is located in Virginia. However, it’s less than 30 minutes from the West Virginia border. From our cabin, we arrived to the northern entrance to the Skyline Drive in 50 minutes. This is a park very easy to get to from West Virginia, and also a park that shares the gorgeous tree covered Appalachian Mountain Range.

If you only have a day to spend in Shenandoah National Park, I suggest you spend it on the Skyline Drive. We entered the park from the northern entrance and stopped at the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. Skyline Drive runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and takes about 3 hours to travel. There will be dozens of scenic overlooks you can stop at along this drive. For hiking, the Dark Hollow Falls is one of the most popular hikes followed by hiking Old Rag Mountain, Bearfence Mountain and Mary’s Rock Summit Trail.

  • Sunset on the docks of the Goose Lake Getaway.

    Romantic Getaway in Minnesota : An Itinerary for a Weekend Getaway Lakeside in Harris and Chisago Lakes Area

  • 10 Beautiful Places to Visit in West Virginia

  • 12 Incredible Things to Do Near Eureka Springs in the Ozarks

  • Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior: Things to Do During a North Shore Weekend Trip

Comments +

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Almost there!

Free guide

Feel empowered to take charge of your crossing off dream desintations from your bucket list!

Travel Love

Follow US

Hey there

Follow along on our social media platforms! We want to hear your travel and blog suggestions, questions and hear about inspiration of your own!
Instagram: @thetravelingwildflowerr