Businesses Along Downtown Main Street in Shepherdstown West Virginia. Image credit: Kyle -

8 Towns In West Virginia With Thriving Local Businesses

West Virginia is the country's only state entirely within the Appalachian Mountain range. This state plays host to a rich natural scenery punctuated with rolling mountains and dense forests. Scattered across its landscapes are smaller, less-known communities bustling with culture, history, and heritage that will delight any traveler. Several family-owned and independent businesses are crucial in fueling their modest economies, hinting at a thriving local entrepreneurship spirit.

Beyond well-known landmarks in bigger cities, exploring these towns rewards discoverers with insights into local life and flavors removed from typical travel routes. A short staycation offers the perfect chance to venture into some of these distinctive locations and support hard-working proprietors. Join the journey through the following towns in West Virginia, proudly promoting homegrown commerce.


OHurleys General Store vintage sign, Shepherdstown, West Virginia
OHurleys General Store vintage sign, Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Image credit: Jonbilous -

This tiny Mountain State village on the banks of the Potomac River, steeped in German heritage, has a rich Civil War history that attracts tourists curious about its colorful past. However, it also boasts a delightful downtown, hosting a mix of independently run shops, boutiques, and specialty stores lining its historic streets that reflect the town's true character and culture. Several craft centers, including Evolve Shepherdstown, support local artists in enhancing their visibility by showcasing and selling their cute creations. Meanwhile, Honor D Fine Shoes & Hats is a trendy boutique specializing in women's fashion accessories, whereas O'Hurley's General Store sells an assortment of tools, dry goods, gift items, and clothing.

Shepherdstown plays home to a vibrant farmers market on Sunday mornings, where local farmers lay out their fresh produce and crafters showcase their traditional handicrafts to potential buyers.


East Main Street in Buckhannon, West Virginia
East Main Street in Buckhannon, West Virginia. Image credit: Tim Kiser via Wikimedia Commons.

Home to West Virginia Wesleyan College, this riverfront community harbors good-natured locals who welcome strangers with open arms. Part of this town’s charm lies in the modest family-run businesses that invite tourists for a casual yet unique shopping experience. The Buckhannon Antique Mall has a fantastic selection of primitives, antiques, old furniture, and other collectibles that offer visitors a chance to buy a special souvenir. A couple of home goods stores ensure residents get everything they need to accessorize their abodes. For instance, Dream Land Carpets has been a long-time provider of carpets, building a reputation for quality and reliable service.

Elsewhere, locals go to Ralph's Furniture & Mattress to get their bedroom furniture. This family-owned store exhibits a welcoming atmosphere and exhibits a wonderful selection of products. There are plenty of eateries and bars in Buckhannon feeding locals and tourists alike, including the trendy Whistle Stop Bar and Grill.


The City Centre area of Wheeling, West Virginia
The City Centre area of Wheeling, West Virginia. Editorial credit: aceshot1 /

At one point in its colorful history, Wheeling was among the wealthiest cities per capita in the United States, with an economy fueled by a thriving nail-making industry. While it is not as rich as its heyday, residents maintain a decent spending capacity, allowing local entrepreneurs to find success. This Ohio River village has a vibrant Main Street lined with shops, boutiques, and goods stores. Among these is the Wheeling Artisan Center Shop, which showcases the town's artistic side through a selection of regionally sourced arts and crafts and a lovely souvenir shop. Also, Hughes Design & Gift Gallery is the go-to supplier of home furnishings and decor accessories in Wheeling.

The wine and dine scene stands out for its charming mix of flavors. Local eateries like Later Alligator and Vagabond Kitchen serve delicious New American dishes with amazing craft brews and cocktails.


Downtown Elkins, West Virginia.
Downtown Elkins, West Virginia. Image credit: Joseph via

Many travelers come to Elkins for the popular Mountain State Forest Festival in the fall, one of the oldest in West Virginia. However, the community maintains its small-town charm throughout the year, especially for those who value casual shopping experiences. This is thanks to a cluster of independent merchants across its modest downtown, offering assorted goods and services. Phillips & Sons Pawnbrokers is a perfect example, having operated in the community for over two decades. Cupp's Furniture is also a trusted local home furnishings provider featuring Amish-crafted goods.

When hungry, residents and visitors have a wide array of options for enjoying a nice meal in Elkins. C.J. Maggie's and Scottie's of Elkins serve trademark American comfort food in a classic home-style diner.


Downtown Lewisburg, West Virginia
Downtown Lewisburg, West Virginia. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson DVM via

Many consider Lewisburg one of the coolest towns in West Virginia. This coolness trickles down to its beautiful downtown, home to an eclectic mix of locally owned businesses with a unique sense of character and heritage. Visitors will pick up Lewisburg's rustic charm from the neighborhood's multiple antique stores, allowing them to buy classic treasures at stops like Brick House Antiques and Robert's Antiques & Wine Store. A bustling restaurant scene ensures there is always an opportunity for a delectable dining experience at the many local restaurants dotting the neighborhood. You can sample the town's assorted flavors at Thunderbird Tacos or the French Goat.

Every week, the town hosts various farmers' markets that link buyers with farmers and crafters from the region. On Saturday mornings, the Courthouse Farmers Market comes to town, while Wednesdays are designated for the Lewisburg Farmers Market.


Local businesses in Fayetteville, West Virginia.
Stores in downtown Fayetteville, West Virginia.

Being a gateway to the New River Gorge National Park, Fayetteville experiences a lot of tourist traffic looking to explore the state jewel. This brings a sizable amount of purchasing power, resulting in thriving local businesses. The community's modest town center reveals a bustling craft brewery scene that invites newcomers to sample locally made brews at the Freefolk Brewery Taproom and Bridge Brew Works. A couple of gift shops and antique stores await passers-by who want a souvenir from their trip to Fayetteville. The New River Antique Mall is a popular stop known for harboring an exciting collection of coins, comic books, jewelry, and classic furniture.

Meanwhile, you can find classic and trendy clothing and fashion accessories at multiple different outlets in Fayetteville. Some popular spots worth checking out include Lost Appalachia Trading Co. and Very Rare Vintage.

Berkeley Springs

Washington Street in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Washington Street in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. Editorial credit: Malachi Jacobs /

Famous for its healing waters and soothing spa experience, Berkeley Springs boasts a unique charm enhanced by its down-to-earth locals. Berkeley Springs offers a quaint downtown district with delightful shopping opportunities. One of the best times for shoppers is during the Berkeley Springs Farmers Market on Sundays, as local vendors bring out their fresh produce and crafts for interested buyers. However, you can find nice things to buy on other days of the week. If you love souvenirs and unique gifts, Himalayan Handicrafts sells exquisite items from Tibet and Nepal, with more antique treasures to browse at the Berkeley Springs Antique Mall.

Elsewhere, the family-owned and run Cold Run Valley Winery offers visitors a variety of fantastic wine-tasting opportunities. The wines are crafted from organic fruits and feature some of the best offerings from West Virginia.


High Street (US 119) between Walnut and Fayette Streets in downtown Morgantown, West Virginia.
High Street (US 119) between Walnut and Fayette Streets in downtown Morgantown, West Virginia. Image credit: Andre Carrotflower via Wikimedia Commons.

This lively college town, home to West Virginia University, is known for its vibrant arts scene and sports culture. The youthful student population demonstrates a high affinity for spending, resulting in a booming local business environment across the downtown area. Here, you'll find assorted restaurants and boutiques that students frequent to dine and shop for trendy clothes. Notable mentions include Venerable Bean Bakery, which specializes in healthy snacks, and Flour & Feed. Those interested in clothing and fashion accessories can explore the latest trends at Coni and Franc or River Fair Trade.

The Morgantown Farmers Market is a must-visit if you enjoy good-natured interactions during your shopping experiences. Held on Saturdays, the market brings vendors from a 50-mile radius together to sell a variety of fresh produce, home-baked goods, meats, and crafts, culminating in a family-friendly and cultural atmosphere.

Final Thought

Whether shopping for fashion accessories, market products, or home goods, these towns in West Virginia showcase the entrepreneurial spirit fueling their unique cultural aspects and heritage. Supporting locally-owned businesses throughout a picturesque state tour allows visitors to directly appreciate the industrious enthusiasm keeping mountain communities thriving. The sense of civic pride in independent commerce makes each locale a rewarding stop on any Appalachian adventure. A long weekend exploring family operations and artistic ventures brings insightful perspectives on local flavors and traditions off familiar routes.

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