Domestic US Travel – West Virginia
Domestic travel is at the top-of-mind for Americans, so we have decided to highlight several destinations in our upcoming blog posts. First up West Virginia!
5 Areas and Points of Interest in West Virginia
West Virginia is the most mountainous state east of the Rocky Mountains – and the most neglected by tourists. It has few big cities but is filled with scenic forests, rivers, and mountains. It is a state that offers white-water rafting, rock-climbing, hiking, and many other outdoor activities, which will be very attractive to families as they continue their social distancing. West Virginia is also known for its bluegrass music, fiddling, quilts, and crafts.
1. Harpers Ferry
The state’s best-known tourist sight. The town is located at the meeting of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers 55 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., where the states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. The sheer beauty of the region has been known since Revolutionary times. A National Historic Park incorporates part of the old town. Exhibits tell about John Brown, Storer College (a school built for freed slaves after the war), and the relation of the early weapons industry to the Civil War. A tour of the grounds includes the John Brown Monument, where he and his men made their last stand, and the John Brown Fort, where he was captured.
Is on the edge of the northern panhandle, the portion of land that juts in between Ohio and Pennsylvania just across the border form the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Wheeling is traversed by I-70, a major highway link between the Midwest and Washington. The Wheeling Suspension Bridge, one of the world’s longest river-spans, crosses the Ohio River. Visitors can go to Jamboree USA for live country music shows. During the summer months the city’s port hosts festivals, a regatta, and visits from passing riverboats.
3. Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area
A great mass of intricately eroded sandstone with a 900-foot precipice that is one of the eastern U.S.’s most unusual formations. As is typical in the southern Appalachians, the highest point on a ridge is referred to as a knob or dome. The summit of Spruce Knob (4,863 feet) is the highest point in the state and the summit of Spruce Mountain, the highest peak in the Allegheny Mountains. It is accessible both by trails and a paved Forest Service road.
4. White Sulphur Springs
In the southeastern part of the state, has been the site of a famous health and pleasure resort since its mineral springs became known in 1778. The area grew famous in the first half of the 19th century as the southern Queen of the Watering Places. Now the town is best known as the site of the Greenbrier, one of the country’s most luxurious and exclusive resorts. A few miles west is the lovely old town of Lewisburg, where a collection of 18th- and 19th-century buildings are designated as a National Historic District.
West Virginia is the acknowledged king of white-water rafting east of the Rocky Mountains. The eastern half of the state has class I (a mild glide) to class VI (a life-threatening run) rivers. Both individual rafting and organized rafting tours are available.
The New River, the Cheat River, and the Gauley River are three of the most known rafting rivers, but there are others serviced by tour operators in an industry that began in 1968. The New River Gorge, one of the state’s most spectacular sights, is designated a National River, the bridge spanning it is the second highest in the United States.
Rock-climbing and mountain biking have taken hold in West Virginia, along with the regular array of hiking, camping, fishing, and boating. Many of the mountains become ski resorts in the winter. Snowshoe Mountain and Canaan Valley are popular areas.
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