10 Must-Visit Attractions in Charleston, West Virginia



10 Must-Visit Attractions in Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, the capital of West Virginia, is not only a bustling city but also a cultural hub that offers a plethora of attractions for visitors. Nestled in the central western part of the state, Charleston is easily accessible from major cities like Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Lexington. Its spectacular scenery, blending with a small-town charm, makes it a unique destination. Whether you're planning a day trip or an extended stay, Charleston has something for everyone. In this article, we will explore the top 10 attractions in Charleston that you shouldn't miss.

1. West Virginia State Capitol

Standing majestically above the Kanawha River, the West Virginia State Capitol is a must-visit attraction in Charleston. Its iconic 300-foot dome surpasses the height of Washington D.C.'s State Capitol by five feet. Besides being the home of the West Virginia Legislature and the Governor's office, the State Capitol boasts impressive architecture. Visitors can explore the building's interior and enjoy breathtaking views of the Kanawha River.

Address: 1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, WV 25305
Hours: Mon - Fri: 8 am - 5:30 pm; Sat: 9 am - 5:30 pm; Sun: 12 am - 5:30 pm
Tours: Available by calling Capitol Tours & Information - (304) 558-4839

2. West Virginia State Museum

Located within the Capitol complex, the West Virginia State Museum, also known as The Cultural Center, offers a captivating journey through the history and lifestyle of the Mountain State's residents. From prehistoric periods to coal mining and fossils, the museum showcases the state's rich heritage. Visitors of all ages can enjoy interactive exhibits, including a film showcasing West Virginia's current landscapes.

Address: 1900 Kanawha Blvd E #435, Charleston, WV 25305
Hours: Tue - Sat: 9 am - 5 pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: Free

3. Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences

The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences, established in 2003, is a cultural hub and home to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. This renowned attraction in Charleston hosts a variety of concerts, showcasing different musical genres such as rock 'n' roll, jazz, gospel, and southern rock. Additionally, the Clay Center exhibits local performances and offers visitors a chance to explore art and science.

Address: 1 Clay Square, Charleston, WV 25301
Hours: Tue - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm; Sun: 12 pm - 5 pm (closed on Mon)
Price: Adults: $12; Children/Seniors: $8

4. Veterans Memorial

Located within the State Capitol Complex, the Veterans Memorial is a public monument dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives during the 20th-century wars. The memorial features four monoliths symbolizing the four military conflicts of that era, surrounded by an impressive pool. The interior walls are etched with the names of fallen heroes, making it a poignant and significant site to pay respects.

Address: 1900 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, WV 25305
Hours: 24 hours (daily)
Price: Free

5. Capitol Market

For a unique shopping experience, make sure to visit Capitol Market in downtown Charleston. This indoor-outdoor farmers' market offers a wide range of locally-made products, including wines, sushi, farm produce, seafood, plants, and flowers. With its galleries, boutiques, and incredible food options, Capitol Market is a must-visit for leisurely shopping and exploring the vibrant local culture.

Address: 800 Smith St, Charleston, WV 25301
Hours: Mon - Sat: 10 am - 6 pm; Sun: 12 pm - 5 pm

6. Capitol Street

A leisurely stroll along Capitol Street is a delightful way to experience the charm of Charleston. Lined with historical buildings and colorful infrastructures, this street offers an array of shops, bookstores, cafes, and galleries. Indulge in West Virginia's famous cuisine at the restaurants along Capitol Street while immersing yourself in the city's vibrant atmosphere.

7. Cato Park

Nature enthusiasts and families shouldn't miss a visit to Cato Park, one of West Virginia's beautiful parks. Located just seven miles south of Charleston, Cato Park offers various activities for visitors of all ages. Explore the park's hiking and nature trails, play golf on the 9-hole course, take a dip in the public pool, enjoy a game of soccer, or let the kids have fun on the playground. There's something for everyone in this scenic park.

Address: 200 Baker Ln, Charleston, WV 25302
Hours: Mon - Fri: 9 am - 5 pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
Price: Free

8. Kanawha State Forest

Located just south of Charleston, Kanawha State Forest is a nature lover's paradise. Spanning 9,300 acres, this forest is home to a diverse range of bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers. Visitors can hike, bike, cross-country ski, and camp amid the picturesque woodlands. With picnic areas, a playground, and other family-friendly amenities, Kanawha State Forest is an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Address: 7500 Kanawha State Forest Dr, Charleston, WV 25314
Hours: 9 am - 5 pm (daily)
Price: Free

9. Heritage Towers Museum & Culture Center

Discover the history and culture of West Virginia's black community at the Heritage Towers Museum & Culture Center. Housed in the historic LaBelle Theater, this museum offers educational tours and exhibits that showcase African heritage and promote cultural diversity. Visitors can immerse themselves in the stories and contributions of the black community in West Virginia.

Address: 612 Virginia St E, Charleston, WV 25301
Hours: Tue - Thu & Sat: 11 am - 4 pm; Fri: 11 am - 8 pm (closed on Sun & Mon)
Price: Adults: $7.50; Children (12 and under) & Seniors: $5.50

10. New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Positioned just outside Charleston, the New River Gorge National Park and Preserve is a natural treasure steeped in history. Spanning over 70,000 acres, this national park offers a diverse landscape for outdoor enthusiasts. Explore the iconic New River Gorge Bridge, hike through scenic trails, go rock climbing, or experience exhilarating white-water rafting. The park also preserves the rich heritage of the region's coal mining history, adding another layer of significance to this stunning destination.

Address: WV 25846, United States
Hours: Open 24 hours (daily)

Cost: Free entrance, fees may apply for certain activities and camping

Charleston, West Virginia, is a destination that seamlessly blends natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Whether you're exploring its architectural wonders, delving into the state's heritage, or immersing yourself in the great outdoors, Charleston offers a memorable experience for every visitor. Plan your trip to this captivating city and discover the charm that makes it an unforgettable destination.

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)