View of Harper's Ferry, West Virginia.

7 Adorable Small Towns In West Virginia

West Virginia boasts some of the most stunning sites, including fiery sunsets, vast mountains, and mighty rivers. Many don't know how many adorable little towns hide within this state's borders. These towns are home to rich histories predating the arrival of Europeans and plenty of classy charm. Craft beer, homemade dinners, and local art displays are just a few of the many comforts and beauties these towns provide. Don't forget to bring your swimsuit as well! The rivers and lakes dotting these regions will really draw out the adventurer in anyone.  


Autumn sun rays on fall foliage at Glade Creek grist mill at Babcock State Park near Fayetteville, West Virginia.
Autumn sun rays on fall foliage at Glade Creek grist mill at Babcock State Park near Fayetteville, West Virginia.

Fayetteville is one of the best spots to begin your travels throughout West Virginia. Offering a small-town feel, hospitable lodging, and fantastic natural beauty, Fayetteville has it all. Established in 1872, Fayetteville's history predates its official founding by about 50 years, when it was known as Vandalia. And before European arrival, the Cherokee, Sioux, and Iroquois called this land their home and left behind some stunning jewelry and other artifacts. 

Explore the local historic sites, such as Pierce Cemetary and Huse Memorial Park. These sites will provide you with an immersive experience of the town's past while giving you a glimpse of the old glory of the region. Finally, check out the Free Folk Brewery to try the local region's delicious beers and mixed drinks accompanied by homemade foods. 


Sandstone Falls on the New River at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve
Sandstone Falls on the New River at New River Gorge National Park and Preserve near Hinton, West Virginia.

Hinton, West Virginia's slogan, "where rivers and friends meet," perfectly encapsulates this small-town vibe. Several rivers run through its boundaries, including the New River and several small tributaries, making a beautiful landscape worth exploring. Watersports and events are some of the main attractions of Hinton, with the Bluestone State Park located just a few miles outside its borders. 

Although you can also join the locals in boating and waterskiing right on the New River throughout the summer. Take a tour of Courthouse Square and its many shops and diners. The Railroad Museum is a fantastic spot to spend a few hours exploring their local culture and history. After walking around town, stop by the Lucky Rivers Cafe and Catering. It's a peaceful place to sit down, enjoy a nice cup of coffee, and talk with new friends. 

Harper's Ferry

Houses on the street of historic town in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia
Houses in the historic area of Harper's Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia.

Similar to Hinton, Harper's Ferry offers fantastic water sports locations and stunning natural scenery. Harper's Ferry is a national park and a nationally recognized historical region. You can't overstate the historical significance of this site as the home of John Brown's raid in the Civil War. 

Visiting Harper's Ferry allows tourists to get a fully immersive West Virginian experience. The Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers flow along the sides of this village and give it an organic and natural charm. These rivers were influential during the Civil War and significant to the first peoples inhabiting the region long before European arrival. 

Be sure to visit John Brown's Fort and other unique sites throughout Harper's Ferry National Park. The park has many hiking and biking trails, making for the perfect weekend getaway in nature. However, if you want a more low-key experience, visit downtown! Museums like the John Brown Wax Museums and local shops like The Country Cafe are great locales to tour and relax. 


Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Parkersburg, West Virginia
Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, Parkersburg, West Virginia. Editorial credit: Malachi Jacobs /

Parkersburg is located along the confluences of two main rivers, much like Harper's Ferry. The Kanawha and Ohio Rivers flow around this beautiful, quiet town in southwest West Virginia. Parkersburg has a little of everything for anyone hoping to explore a quaint and charming village, including boutiques, historic sites, and nature reserves. 

Parkersburg City Pond and Park are two sites you should become familiar with on your travels. Not only are these sites excellent spots to meet and mingle with local townsfolk, but you can enjoy a swim in the town's pool and play a game of tennis on their courts! After an active day outdoors, eat at Rubi's Pizza and Grill. And remember to get some dessert at the delicious Root Beer Shack! 

White Sulphur Springs 

The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia
The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. Editorial credit: Mark Winfrey /

White Sulphur Springs, much like Fayetteville, is a region steeped in ancient and recent historical significance. According to legend, a young girl named Amanda Anderson traveled to the region in the 1770s to get treatment for her severe rheumatism. Reportedly, the mineral-rich springs in the area relieved her ailments, and people began flocking to this town for treatment at the springs. 

Today White Sulphur Springs retains many of its old-time charms. The White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery is a perfect day trip for anyone interested in this town's natural beauty and industry. This nature zone is not heavily developed and provides excellent hiking and exploration.  However, this small town also provides some excellent eating and shopping experiences! Big Draft Brewery is a favorite spot for travelers and locals, with some of the best food and drinks in town. If you really want to see something luxurious, visit The Greenbriar on the outskirts of town. This massive and majestic resort is sure to take your breath away! 


A train station in Elkins, West Virginia.
A train station in Elkins, West Virginia. Editorial credit: Steve Heap /

Elkins began as a railroad town through the funding and support of two prominent U.S. senators in 1890. These railroads brought prosperity in the early years of Elkins and connected it to larger cities like Pittsburg. Although the town took a hit during the Great Depression, it managed to push through and achieve a new standard of beauty. 

Elkins is known for its cultural and artistic expression. The Appalachian Forest Discovery Center is a must-see site for visitors who love the wilderness and old cultures. This site prides itself in offering visitors a glimpse into the natural beauty and wonder of Appalachia and sharing local cultural traditions like woodcarving and music. Also, try one of the many tourism railroad lines! The Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad is an excellent way to glimpse Elkins' founding while seeing the surrounding region. 


A historic building along Main Street in Buckhannon, West Virginia.
A historic building along Main Street in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Editorial credit: Roberto Galan /

While Elkins is known for its railroads and rugged history, Buckhannon boasts a more upscale history and culture. Initially inhabited by the ancient Mound Builder's culture, Buckhannon remains one of the most culturally rich regions of West Virginia. The West Virginian Wesleyan College was established in 1890 and still stands as one of the prominent features of this lovely township. Visitors should walk around the campus and get a front-row seat of the region's fascinating history and architecture. Be sure to explore the Buckhannon River Walk Trail near the majestic Buckhannon River. Finally, rest and refresh at the cozy Whistle Stop Bar and Grill. 

West Virginia's major cities, like Morgantown and Wheeling, are well-known and liked by people outside the state. However, most people are unaware of how much this lovely land offers those who visit. Never underestimate all this rugged mountainous land contains!  From small family-owned shops to majestic backwoods bike trails, these small towns are magical in their own right. Ensure you have plenty of time to traverse this state, even the lesser-known small towns! 

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