West Virginia Travel Regions
-Wonders of WVA
West Virginia: The Wonders of WV
West Virginia's history is full of struggle, hard work and large changes. Its people bear witness to that history. Self-reliance and a deep attachment to homeplace are West Virginia qualities. So are generosity, hospitality, a sense of humor and joy in life.
The history of each region of the state is woven into its present. You'll find it in ancient Adena burial mounds, restored pioneer settlements and Civil War reenactments. There are thousands of historic sites and structures to explore - from miners' shanties to elegantly restored mansions to entire villages. History rides the rails on scenic rail excursions and comes to life in outdoor dramas.
In cities and small towns around the state, you'll find museums that celebrate West Virginia's history, culture and arts. Some are large and comprehensive; others are small and quirky. There are collections devoted to Native American culture, contemporary and traditional arts, science, Revolutionary and Civil War history, coal, oil and gas, glass, radios, railroads, cars and farming.
Crafts of a Culture
You'll find quality handmade arts and crafts in every nook and cranny of the state, as well as opportunities to meet the artisans who create them. From pottery to painting, from weaving to woodworking, from candles to quilts, West Virginians uphold a long tradition of making beautiful things with their hands.
Nowhere is West Virginia's handcraft heritage more evident than at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia. This dazzling showcase for arts, crafts, food, theater and music made by more than 1,200 state residents is a destination in itself. More than 10,000 different items are for sale at Tamarack, which is located in Beckley, off I-77 at Exit 45.
The center also operates five demonstration studios, a 200-seat theater for live entertainment and films, a restaurant featuring the best in regional cuisine and a travel information center.
Live and Onstage
The performing arts flourish in West Virginia. West Virginia Public Radio's internationally broadcast music variety show, Mountain Stage, originates at the Cultural Center in Charleston, and the West Virginia Symphony also makes its home in the capital city. In Huntington, the Marshall Artists Series serves up theater, music and dance. Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling is the home to Jamboree USA, a favorite of country music fans, and to the Wheeling Symphony. In Morgantown, West Virginia University's Creative Arts Center sponsors more than 300 musical and theatrical performances each year, and West Virginia Public Theatre offers a summer full of productions. In the Eastern Panhandle, on the campus of Shepherd College, the Contemporary American Theater Festival presents new American plays each year.
Summer brings actors and audiences outdoors, for outdoor drama in various parts of the state. Some of them are at Pricketts Fort State Park, Grandview Park, Moorefield and Chief Logan State Park.
West Virginians celebrate food, crafts, music, dance, ethnic cultures, history and just about every other good thing you can imagine. There are festivals for apple butter and antiques, buckwheat and bass, chili and coal, dandelions and dulcimers - well, you get the idea.
Summer and fall are the seasons for county fairs all over the state, and the West Virginia State Fair has been a Lewisburg tradition for more than 75 years.
Join in. Eat, drink, dance, sing and share stories with West Virginians. Take time to savor the rich cultural mix that makes the Mountain State the special place it is. And come back soon.