Featured Destination: West Virginia

West Virginia is Heavenly

Life is old here, where the ironically named New River is actually one of the oldest on the continent. It cuts through the Appalachian Plateau to form New River Gorge, an outdoor playground for everything from rafting to ziplining. Nearby is the state’s most photographed site, New River Bridge. With a span of 1,700 feet, it’s the longest steel arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere. Every third Saturday in October the Fayetteville bridge hosts a festival that includes hundreds of BASE jumpers plunging 876 feet into the river below. Plan a walking tour here for breathtaking scenery as you cross the bridge—fastened to a safety cable in case you get too distracted. At Hawk’s Nest State Park, a tram ride will take you 1,000 feet down to the bottom of the Gorge for a completely different perspective and some awesome whitewater rafting.

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Old Coal Country

Explore a town born out of industry, where unique cultures were formed both above and below the ground.

Visit Beckley

The State Capital

Discover the cultural and artistic hub of a state rich in American history, in the capital of West Virginia.

Visit Charleston

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Things to do in West Virginia

See Why It’s Called the Mountain State

Numerous state parks and nationally protected lands offer adventurers endless options for outdoor fun around here. The quaint mining town of Beckley serves as the unofficial HQ for all southern West Virginia attractions. Take time to learn about lives and lifestyles here—above and below ground. The state’s coal mining history is beautifully told at the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum in town, while neighboring Tamarack is an artisan’s haven—and a traveler’s treasure trove for unique souvenirs.

Next, take a journey up through the Monongahela National Forest to view—and experience—more gorgeous greenery, twisty roads and spectacular sites off the beaten path.

A Window into America’s Past

On the West Virginia side of the Potomac River in Harpers Ferry you’ll find the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Here you’ll be reminded of John Brown’s ill-fated raid on a local arsenal in hopes of arming slaves for revolt in 1859. Two years later, and a little further west in Philippi, the Civil War’s first shots were fired. West Virginia eventually separated from its Confederate sibling, Virginia, to become a U.S. state on its own.

Even older state history can be found in Moundsville at the edge of the Ohio River. The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features a large burial mound built by the Adena culture more than 2,000 years ago as a means to honor the dead. It’s now considered the region’s preeminent archeological research site and is open to visitors year-round, as is the adjacent Delf Norona Museum.

Swing by the State Capital

Book your next West Virginia hotel in the state capital of Charleston for that heavenly break from the road—or a smoky campsite—you’ve been searching for. It may be the biggest city in the state, but it still has that small-town charm. Make it a point to visit the impressive 24k gold-domed capitol building, designed by Cass Gilbert, (who also did the stately Woolworth Building in New York) and take a free tour of the grand marble interior. The surrounding governmental buildings are now known as the West Virginia Capitol Complex, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

West Virginia Hotels

With that famous John Denver song in mind, plan your getaway to a place where, instead of taking you home, those country roads lead to (almost) heaven. Check out our hotels in West Virginia for great rates, rewards and travel-essential amenities.