Affectionately known as “Almost Heaven” by its residents, the land of West Virginia lives up to its celestial reputation. Gorgeous countryside is one thing you’ll find plenty of in the Mountain State, with lush, diverse landscapes seen everywhere you look. As a matter of fact, the Appalachian Mountains run right through West Virginia, which is why the beautiful region is also referred to as Appalachia.
If it’s culture you seek, West Virginia will not disappoint. The state is steeped in history, and was a key site during the American Civil War. West Virginia is also rich in minerals, which made it a catalyst for industry in the turn of the 20th century (and a fascinating destination for spelunkers today). The Mountain State boasts a rich musical heritage as well. Appalachia was the birthplace of bluegrass music, a cherished American pastime. And who could forget John Denver’s famous song, “Take me home, country roads”, whose lyrics inspired the state's nickname, "Almost Heaven”? Certainly not West Virginians! In 2014, the beloved song became an official (and very fitting) state anthem.
Our Top Recommendations
The Best Parts of West Virginia
- HARPERS FERRY NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK: This beautiful park is comprised of land in West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, and had a very important role in the Civil War. Stroll hand-in-hand past the preserved buildings and museums of the historic district, or enjoy an abundance of outdoor activities around the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers.
- HIGHLAND SCENIC HIGHWAY: Also known as West Virginia Route 150, this North-South parkway was designed to be a scenic route. It is a must-see for visitors, and is especially appreciated by roadtrippers for views of its breathtaking landscapes. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road!
- LOST WORLD CAVERNS: These underground caverns near Lewisburg contain some truly fascinating rock formations, with names like “Ice Cream Wall”, “Bridal Veil”, and many more. The caves are open to the public, and you can choose between a walking tour on wooden boardwalks, or a guided “wild” tour to even deeper sections of the caves.
- SENECA ROCKS STATE PARK: This crag in Pendleton County, WV is the only “true peak” in the Eastern U.S. This razorback ridge is a sight to behold, and the hike to and view from the observation deck are simply gorgeous. To add touch of romance, horseback rides to the top are available.
- BLACKWATER FALLS STATE PARK: Tucked into the Allegheny Mountains lies the highest and most-photographed above ground waterfall in the state, Blackwater Falls. You may have seen these falls pictured on calendars and jigsaw puzzles, but the only way to truly appreciate their splendor is in person. The park offers numerous hiking trails and a campground.