West Virginia Travel Guide

West Virginia State Travel Guide

About West Virginia

West Virginia is known as a ‘mountain state’ and is one of the states that is located in the southern parts of the United States Of America. The entire state of West Virginia lies within the Appalachians - which is a mountain range. Being a southern state, it is surrounded by the five states of Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and by Kentucky.

West Virginia was at first a part of Virginia state itself. It split in 1863 into two different states - Virginia and West Virginia. This happened because the citizens and residents of the two states disagreed over social issues such as secession and slavery. Both the states anyway selected to stay on with the Union.

West Virginia Official Language(s) none (de facto English)
West Virginia Demonym West Virginian
West Virginia Capital Charleston
West Virginia Largest City Charleston
West Virginia Largest Metro Area Charleston metro area
West Virginia Area  Ranked 41st in the US
 - Total 24,230 sq mi
(62,755 km2)
 - Width 130 miles (210 km)
 - Length 240 miles (385 km)
 - % water 0.6
 - Latitude 37° 12′ N to 40° 39′ N
 - Longitude 77° 43′ W to 82° 39′ W
West Virginia Population  Ranked 37th in the US
 - Total 1,819,777 (2009 est.)
- Density 75.1/sq mi  (29.0/km2)
Ranked 27th in the US
 - Median Income  $38,029 (48th)
West Virginia Elevation  
 - Highest point Spruce Knob
4,863 ft  (1,427 m)
 - Mean 1,500 ft  (460 m)
 - Lowest point Harpers Ferry
240 ft  (73 m)
West Virginia Before Statehood Virginia
West Virginia Admission to Union  June 20, 1863 (35)
West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin (D)
West Virginia Lieutenant Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D)
West Virginia Legislature West Virginia Legislature
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house House of Delegates
U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller (D)
Carte Goodwin (D)
U.S. House Delegation 1: Alan Mollohan (D)
2: Shelley Moore Capito (R)
3: Nick Rahall (D)
West Virginia Time Zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
West Virginia Abbreviations WV US-WV
West Virginia Website http://wv.gov

West Virginia Some Details:

  1. The capital of West Virginia is Charleston
  2. The state population is at about 1.7 million people
  3. The motto of the state is - ‘Mountaineers are always free’

Regions of West Virginia

West Virginia is split up into five distinct regions:

  1. Ohio Valley - this area borders the Ohio River and the state’s panhandle on the west.

  2. New River and Greebrier Valleys: This region offers exciting water sports like whitewater rafting and also offers some scenic parlands. This region is at the extreme southern part of the state.

  3. Potomac Highlands: This region is deep within the Monongahela National Forest and the Allegheny Mountains. This region has been deeply involved with the state’s civil war and history. This state offers exciting options for skiing and caving.  

  4. Mountains and Lakes Country: This region is known as the technology corridor of the state. It borders Pennsylvania and has many lakes and other water bodies to offer.

  5. Metro Valley - this is the main area as it includes the capital city of Charleston as well. This region constitutes the primary urban center. It borders the states of Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

Cities of West Virginia

The most popular cities of West Virginia are: 

  1. Beckley
  2. Bluefield
  3. Charles Town
  4. Charleston
  5. Harpers Ferry
  6. Huntington
  7. Morgantown
  8. Parkersburg
  9. Wheeling

Things to Do in West Virginia

Most travellers and tourists will be interested in the following activities in West Virginia:

  1. West Virginia offers a lot of unusual outdoor options. There are many beautiful routes to take while driving around to see the country-side. Some routes includes the Coal Heritage Trail, the Midland Train and the Highland Scenic Highway.

  2. The Blackwater Falls State park is another favorite as it offers sights of a very pretty falls - it is considered to be one of the most photographed sites in the region.

  3. Charles Town - not to be confused with the capital city of Charleston. This town was founded by the younger brother of George Washington. The town hosts several festivals and also offers the opportunity to shop for antiques.

  4. For a well known experience at the a spa or resort, you can go to White Sulphur Springs. It is known for it’s luxuries and offers other activities like Golf and shopping.

  5. There is also a civil war discovery trail that walks tourists through the history of the state.