Wild and Wonderful Destinations

The beautiful state of West Virginia may sometimes be overlooked by those planning vacations, but what many do not realize is that the state offers wonderful scenic destinations with a range of amenities and interesting historical locations.

Chester, WV is located in the northern panhandle of the state. For those who are interested in exploring West Virginia this summer, but don’t want to travel far, here is a list of closer destinations that offer the unique sites the state is known for.

Grand Vue Park located in Moundsville, WV offers lots of outdoor activities for family and friends. Zip lining, hiking and swimming are just a few of the many options. Grand Vue also offers several lodging choices, including treetop villas. Also located in Moundsville is the Grave Creek Mound, a major landmark of West Virginia. The city of Moundsville earned its name from this giant hill that serves as a burial place for members of the ancient Adena culture. The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Center located next to the mound offers exhibits and information pertaining to the site and the people who built it.

A local attraction that some may have taken for granted is the Homer Laughlin China Company. Tours can be scheduled at this historical business that specializes in the famous colorful Fiestaware pottery. The main office building is a beautiful stone structure covered in ivy, which adds an old world touch. Visitors can tour the factory and the company museum. And if you time it right, after your tour you can stop by the World’s Largest Teapot in downtown Chester during World’s Largest Teapot Day. Many vendors and activities will be set up to celebrate the landmark. The annual event is planned this year for Saturday, August 10.

And for those who are interested in spooky tales, you might want to check out Point Pleasant, WV, a 3 ½ hour drive south from Chester. This city is home to the alleged sightings of the Mothman, which as the name states was a supposed half man, half moth creature. Many local townspeople claimed to have come in contact with the being before the disastrous collapse of the Point Pleasant Silver Bridge in December 1967. It is a tale that earned itself a movie titled The Mothman Prophecies, starring Richard Gere and Debra Messing. The town offers a Mothman museum plus other quirky tourist spots.

Some notable destinations that aren’t as close but may be worth the drive are the New River Gorge, a national park, and Blackwater Falls State Park. These parks offer a larger scale of fun and adventure. New River Gorge is known for its extreme outdoor activity selection, such as white water rafting and rock climbing. Blackwater Falls State Park, as its name suggests, offers the main attraction of a giant waterfall.

So if you find yourself looking for a quick weekend getaway or a longer family vacation, it doesn’t take much exploring to see that West Virginia truly is “almost heaven” as the states slogan declares.


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