48 Hours in West Virginia – Our Visit to the Mountain State

This time last year Gene and I were excited to visit our 45th state, and spent 48 hours in West Virginia. We started our trip by landing in Columbus, Ohio and driving the 2 ½ hours into a small town in the Charleston area called St. Albans. Of course I was singing Take Me Home Conutry Roads by John Denver off and on the whole way, lol. Anyway, St. Albans is a cute little town and so glad we found a wonderful Airbnb for our short stay in the state. After flying into Ohio, then driving to West Virginia, we were pretty tired and crashed pretty soon after checking in.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Charleston Sign

We started our 48 hours in West Virginia by driving into Charleston and enjoying some coffee and tea at a local coffee shop called Mea Cuppa. They have one in downtown as well as the Capitol Market.  We visited both locations, but enjoyed sitting around and having a drink and snack at the one in downtown. After enjoying our coffee, tea (I am a tea person), and a small snack we made our way to the West Virginia State Capitol building. We had a great tour and learned a lot about the state and its history. I didn’t have much knowledge about West Virginia, but I considered it part of the south. We learned pretty quickly that they do NOT consider themselves part of the south – lesson learned, lol.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Capitol 1

After Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, the northwestern counties of Virginia loyal to the United States started the process which would ultimately create the State of West Virginia on June 20, 1863. The new state of West Virginia had several capital locations as well as capitols before the current captiol building in Charleston. For several years, the capital of West Virginia shifted back and forth between Wheeling and Charleston.  Eventually the state’s citizens voted on the final location of their capital, Charleston, on August 7, 1877. Construction began in 1924, the cornerstone was laid on November 5, 1930, and, after the three stages of construction were completed, Governor William G. Conley dedicated the capitol on June 20, 1932.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Capitol 2

After leaving the capitol building we drove around a little checking out the city and came across the Bob’s Big Boy Museum and statue It is actually a museum, but VERY small as you can see from the picture. It does have a lot of history about Bob’s Big Boy and Shoney’s which was interesting and informative. Thus I guess it was sort of a museum, just not one I think of when I think of a museum, lol. We drove around Charleston a little more looking around and saw quite a few other statues by local artist and had a couple craft beers. Had a nice dinner and eventually made our way back to St. Albans. It was a fun way to spend our first 48 hours in West Virginia.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Big Boy Statue

The previous day we had asked a few locals what was one of the things we couldn’t miss while visiting the area in one day. Several suggested the New River Gorge Bridge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. I love bridges and Gene was more than happy to drive the hour or so and see some more of this beautiful state. Before heading out on our drive, I really wanted a chai tea so we stopped at the coffee shop owned by the host of our Airbnb named Coal River Coffee. Everyone was so friendly, my tea was wonderful, and Gene siad he really enjoyed his coffee. One of the workers Hannah also suggested taking some time to stop and check out the Cathedral Falls on the way to Fayetteville.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Cathedral Falls

With many thanks to the wonderful people at Coal River Coffee, we made our way toward the bridge and stopped at Cathedral Falls and felt very grateful for the suggestion. The falls are one of West Virginia’s highest and most scenic waterfalls. It is a steep cascade that falls into a natural amphitheater, which is probably why it is called Cathedral. The falls is visible from the road, and the parking area, but there are much better views if you take a short walk. We did spend some time walking around taking pictures from different areas and just enjoyed the views. Even though it was still a little chilly, many people were out playing with their kids, dogs, or both. It was beautiful and I am so glad we stopped to take in the area for a little bit.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Bridge 1

Eventually we made our way to the New River Gorge Bridge and parked at the visitor’s center to get a map and see if they had a video or anything about the area. After looking around a while, we got back into the car with our map and made part of the Long Point trail. There were so many ways to go and places to stop that we got lost in a good way. We just explored and turned when something looked interesting, or we saw something on the map we wanted to see. It was a lot of fun taking pictures of the bridge from many different angles, especially under the bridge. After we were done exploring, we made sure to cross the bridge (which is not open to pedestrians) so we could say we were on the bridge, lol. However, for those that are interested in walking across the bridge, they do open it once a year on bridge day where you can watch BASE jumpers.

48 Hours in West Virginia - Bridge 2

But seriously it was a great day and I am so happy that this was suggested by several locals. Not sure if we would have found it if it weren’t for them. It was starting to get dark by the time we headed back to St. Albans, but we had a wonderful 48 hours in West Virginia. I hope to go back soon to the eastern side and check out the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you have been to West Virginia, please share which part of the state, and your experince there. I didn’t really have any preconcived notions good or bad about West Virginia, but it exceeded anything I was expecting.


Love to Travel

I would love to send you my free travel itinerary cheat sheets and emails when I post new articles! I usually post 2 times a week. Sign up now, receive your free travel sheets, and don’t miss an article. Thanks, Samantha

Travel Freebies

Subscribe to our mailing list

This post was created using WordPress. Create your own site for FREE!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *