When you hear Charleston, you’re probably thinking of South Carolina, right? Well, even though it might not be on your radar, the capitol city of Charleston, West Virginia is full of lovely spots and I’ve gathered seven reasons you need to make it your next weekend getaway.
I ended up going to Charleston because some of my travel plans fell through, and I’m so glad it turned out this way! It was never on my list of places to visit, but boy did it surprise me. It’s a wonderful city filled with kind people, and you’ll be glad you came.
Whether we were sampling whiskey, being seated at a restaurant, tubing on the Elk River or simply checking into our hotel, everyone we met was incredibly nice. It’s that southern hospitality that gets me every time, and something I loved about Charleston.
Charleston takes life at a slower pace. People take the time to get to know you, even if you’re just passing through for the weekend, and you can walk all across this downtown. It’s small enough that your feet can take you from one end to the other in no time at all, making for a pleasant trip because you never have to stress about getting anywhere. Strolling down Capitol Street was one of my favorite experiences.
Charleston is a hidden gem in the foodie world, which is why I’m recommending you head this way! They have delicious restaurants on Capitol Street with outdoor seating, like Pies & Pints. The state is known for its southern cooking, but did you know pepperoni rolls are the official food of West Virginia? I could have spent all weekend creating DIY food tours here.
Who doesn’t love a pretty city with access to nature? It doesn’t take long to escape city life and head into the mountains where endless adventures await you. You can go kayaking or tubing on one of the may rivers flowing around Charleston, or you could check out a state park or national forest nearby. Within three hours of Charleston there are countless parks to visit and get a taste of the outdoors.
One of the best things about small cities is how cheap they are. While you have all the luxuries of nice hotels, charming downtowns and plenty of things to do, you can afford all of it! Where else can you stay on the water and not break the bank?
Aside from the cool whiskey distillery downtown and wine shop at Capitol Market, Charleston has a surprising amount of night life. Even on a Sunday night of a long weekend quite a few places were open and we had a blast! I’d love to return and do a pub crawl on a Friday or Saturday so I could see all of the places downtown. Again, because everything is so close, you can walk to tons of pubs, and because the city is so friendly you’ll meet plenty of locals to share a drink with and get more recommendations from.
There’s so much to love about this city, I’ve hardly scratched the surface. Because it’s underrated you can avoid crowds and over priced attractions, and you gain an incredible weekend of fun. Don’t miss the eclectic gift shops and unusual attractions (like axe throwing) when you come to Charleston.