West Virginia is a picturesque state in the Appalachian region of the US, renowned for its natural beauty, lush forests, and winding rivers. The state also has a rich history and cultural heritage, with dozens upon dozens of museums, historical sites, and festivals.

Nicknamed the Mountain State, West Virginia offers visitors a wide range of attractions, from natural wonders and outdoor adventures to the best casinos in west virginia. The state’s newest attractions showcase the diversity and beauty of West Virginia and offer visitors unique experiences you can’t find anywhere else. Here are the details:

The Greenbrier

The Greenbrier is a must-visit destination for holidaymakers who enjoy the finer things in life. Its rich history, luxurious amenities, and unique attractions make it a perfect spot for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation.

The resort has added several new attractions in recent years, including a casino, a golf course, a spa, and an adventure center. The casino offers a wide range of gaming options, from slot machines to table games, and is popular with visitors looking to try their luck.

For those seeking adventure, The Greenbrier’s adventure center is the place to be. The center features ziplining, a ropes course, a climbing wall, and a giant swing, making it a popular destination for thrill-seekers of all ages.

The Greenbrier is also home to a fascinating piece of Cold War history. During the Cold War, a secret bunker was built beneath the resort to house Congress in the event of a nuclear attack. The bunker remained a secret for more than 30 years until a newspaper article revealed its existence in the ‘90s. 

Today, visitors can take a tour of the bunker and see the living quarters, communication centers, and decontamination chambers. It’s a unique and sobering look at the threat of nuclear war and how the US government prepared for it.

West Virginia trees
Photo by West Hicks on Unsplash

New River Gorge National Park and Preserve

Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a peaceful retreat in nature, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve has a little something for everyone with rugged beauty, thrilling adventures, and peaceful tranquility.

In December 2020, New River Gorge was designated as the 63rd national park in the United States, cementing its status as one of the country’s most significant natural wonders. The park spans more than 70,000 acres and encompasses the New River Gorge, one of North America’s oldest and deepest canyons.

Visitors to New River Gorge National Park and Preserve can enjoy a plethora of activities in addition to adventure sports. Hiking and biking are popular ways to explore the park’s trails, and fishing is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon by the river.

The breathtaking views of the canyon from the park’s overlooks are a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of this region. But New River Gorge National Park and Preserve isn’t just a beautiful natural area; it’s also a haven for adventure sports. 

While hiking and fishing are popular, you can also try thrilling activities such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and BASE jumping. BASE jumping, an extreme sport that involves jumping off a fixed object and deploying a parachute, is legal in New River Gorge, making it a prime holiday destination for adrenaline junkies from all over the world.

The Tamarack

The Tamarack is a unique shopping and arts center that showcases the best of West Virginia’s art and culture. This one-stop-shop features galleries, shops, and a restaurant serving delicious regional cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients. 

Explore The Tamarack’s vast collection of artwork, jewelry, pottery, and other handcrafted items, while meeting the talented artists and artisans behind them. The center also hosts regular art exhibits, musical performances, and cultural events that showcase the state’s vibrant arts scene.

One of the most notable things about The Tamarack is that it’s a juried showcase, meaning that only the best West Virginia artists and artisans are selected to display their work here. As such, you can rest assured that the quality of the artwork and handmade items is of the highest standard.

Aside from the shopping and dining options, visitors can also enjoy the beautiful surrounding scenery. The center is located in Beckley, West Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, with breathtaking views of the natural landscape.

The stunning architecture is also worth mentioning, inspired by traditional Appalachian architecture and blending seamlessly with its surroundings. The building was designed by the late John Carl Warnecke, a world-renowned architect responsible for several iconic American structures, including the Kennedy gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery.

town in West Virginia
Photo by REVOLT on Unsplash

Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo

Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo is a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors of all ages. With a variety of animals to see, interactive encounters, and educational tours, it’s an ideal destination for families, animal lovers, and anyone looking for a fun and unique adventure.

The zoo is home to several rare and endangered species, such as the clouded leopard, red panda, and serval. The zoo’s breeding programs, dedicated to conservation efforts, have successfully helped increase the populations of several of these endangered species.

You can take a guided tour of the zoo, which provides a more in-depth experience and the opportunity to learn more about the animals and their habitats. It also takes you behind the scenes to see the animal enclosures and learn about the zoo’s conservation efforts.

Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo is open year-round and offers a unique experience each season. In the summer, visitors can cool off in the zoo’s water park, while in the fall, the zoo is transformed into a festive pumpkin patch. During winter, the zoo is decorated with holiday lights, and visitors can enjoy a festive atmosphere while viewing the animals.