best small towns in West Virginia

Exploring The Best Small Towns In West Virginia: Hidden Gems And Charming Getaways

Best Small Towns In West Virginia

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the non-stop energy of city life, yearning for a peaceful retreat? You’re definitely not alone. Like many of us, we’ve scoured high and low to find those perfect solutions that truly stand out.

This article is your personal guide to discovering some of West Virginia’s most closely guarded secrets – its quaint small towns where calm and charm are in abundance. Are you ready to embark on this adventure?.

Key Takeaways

  • West Virginia’s small towns offer peaceful retreats with plenty of history, outdoor activities, and unique experiences.
  • Places like Lewisburg, Hinton, Davis, Thomas, and Shepherdstown are known for their charm and scenic beauty.
  • Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking in state parks, exploring historic districts, or relaxing in luxurious spa retreats.
  • These towns provide an escape from city life with opportunities to connect with nature and local culture.
  • Planning your trip involves ordering a vacation guide, exploring road trip options, and considering the best times to visit.

Exploring Best Small Towns in West Virginia

A bustling small town main street with historic buildings, locals, and a peaceful atmosphere.

Uncover charming getaways and hidden gems while exploring small towns in West Virginia. Featured destinations like Hinton, Lewisburg, Buckhannon, Elkins, Shepherdstown, Thomas, and Davis offer unique experiences waiting to be discovered.

Charming getaways

West Virginia’s small towns are perfect for those of us seeking charming getaways. They offer peaceful, scenic retreats away from the hustle and bustle. We can explore historic main streets, relax in cozy mountain lodges, and enjoy local hospitality.

These places let us step back in time and experience a slower pace of life.

In Lewisburg, Morgantown, Elkins, Thomas, and Davis, we find ourselves surrounded by beauty and history. Each town has its own unique attractions—from antique shops to art galleries—and plenty of trails for outdoor adventures.

A short drive takes us to state parks where nature’s tranquility is overwhelming. Here, we create memories that last a lifetime amidst West Virginia’s picturesque landscapes.

Hidden gems

In our travels, we’ve stumbled upon towns that feel like stepping back in time. Places where history comes alive and nature surrounds you. Hinton, for instance, sits quietly by the New River Gorge, offering breathtaking views and a glimpse into railroading’s past.

We love wandering through its historic district, imagining life at a slower pace.

Another treasure is Davis. Nestled in the heart of the Monongahela National Forest, this small town offers access to Blackwater Falls—one of West Virginia’s most photographed sites.

The thundering waters and lush surroundings make it a perfect getaway for those seeking peace or adventure on the trails. Every visit leaves us eager to explore more hidden corners of these charming small towns.

Featured Destinations

A busy Riverside dining scene in Lewisburg with a variety of people enjoying farm-to-table meals.

Discover the charm of Hinton, a small town nestled along the New River Gorge with its historic district and outdoor adventures. Lewisburg, known for its thriving arts scene and picturesque downtown, is a must-visit destination offering boutique shopping and farm-to-table dining experiences.


Hinton steals the spotlight among West Virginia’s quaint towns, nestled on the banks of the stunning Greenbrier River. This hidden gem is perfect for those of us craving a peaceful getaway filled with charm and scenic beauty.

With each step through its historic streets, we’re treated to views that seem straight out of a postcard, making Hinton an unforgettable stop on our road trip adventures.

Exploring Hinton offers more than just breathtaking scenery; it’s a deep dive into West Virginia’s rich history. The town invites us to slow down and appreciate its timeless architecture, local shops, and friendly faces eager to share stories from days gone by.

Whether we’re venturing along riverside paths or enjoying a quiet moment in one of its cozy cafes, Hinton captures our hearts with its blend of natural beauty and old-time nostalgia.


Lewisburg, nestled in the scenic Greenbrier Valley, is a charming small town known for its rich history and vibrant arts scene. The thriving downtown area boasts unique shops, galleries, and restaurants to explore.

History buffs can visit Carnegie Hall and the North House Museum to delve into Lewisburg’s past as a Civil War stronghold. Don’t miss the renowned 4th of July Celebration – one of many events that showcase the town’s lively community spirit.

The laid-back atmosphere makes it an ideal spot for a leisurely stroll or enjoying a picnic in one of its leafy parks. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate nearby adventures such as hiking in the Allegheny Mountains or exploring the underground wonderland at Lost World Caverns.


Buckhannon, a quaint town in West Virginia, boasts a rich history and charming atmosphere. The city offers a peaceful getaway with its historic district, beautiful architecture, and delightful local shops to explore.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the area’s intriguing history by visiting landmarks such as the Weston State Hospital or strolling through its picturesque streets. Additionally, Buckhannon hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, providing an opportunity to experience the town’s vibrant culture and community spirit.

For those seeking outdoor adventures, nearby attractions like Audra State Park and the scenic waters of Tygart Lake offer opportunities for nature enthusiasts to indulge in hiking, boating, fishing -perfect for unwinding amidst stunning natural landscapes.

In addition to its historical charm and natural beauty, Buckhannon also provides unique dining experiences that cater to diverse tastes. From home-style cooking at local diners to specialty cafes serving up delectable treats, food lovers will find plenty of culinary delights awaiting them in this hospitable town.


Elkins, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, beckons with its rich history and vibrant arts scene. The town boasts unique experiences like the Mountain State Forest Festival and scenic rides aboard vintage trains through picturesque landscapes.

History buffs will marvel at landmarks such as the 19th-century Graceland Inn, while outdoor enthusiasts can explore nearby national parks and whitewater rafting destinations.

Additionally, Elkins is renowned for its traditional music culture and hosts events like Augusta Heritage Center’s Bluegrass Week. Visitors can also immerse themselves in local artisan crafts at the Randolph County Community Arts Center or sample delectable homemade treats at the town’s specialty shops.


Shepherdstown, a vibrant town in West Virginia, offers a perfect blend of history and culture. This charming destination is the oldest town in the state and is brimming with historical landmarks and architectural treasures.

Visitors can explore Shepherd University, steeped in rich history.. It’s also home to annual events such as the Contemporary American Theater Festival and Oktoberfest, offering lively experiences for travelers seeking cultural immersion.

In addition to its historical charm, Shepherdstown provides access to natural beauty along the Potomac River – making it an ideal spot for those who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking or kayaking.


Thomas, nestled in the heart of West Virginia’s beautiful mountain towns, offers a delightful retreat for history and culture enthusiasts. With its vibrant arts scene and historic buildings, it provides an off-the-beaten-path experience.

The town also boasts proximity to scenic attractions such as Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, and Dolly Sods, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers seeking tranquil getaways.

Plus, don’t miss exploring the old coal heritage at Cortland Acres or taking a leisurely stroll along the picturesque rail trail that winds through this charming small town.


Davis in West Virginia offers a peaceful and scenic getaway for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience. The town is nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by stunning natural beauty and abundant outdoor activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing amidst picturesque landscapes.

The region’s historical context adds to its charm with intriguing cultural experiences awaiting discovery among the old historic buildings, local artisan shops, antique stores, and cozy cafes.

Furthermore, Davis is conveniently located near Blackwater Falls State Park and Canaan Valley Resort State Park—two renowned destinations that showcase the region’s breathtaking scenery.

Must-Visit Best Small Towns in West Virginia

A few small towns in West Virginia are must-visit destinations. Such as Lewisburg, a charming and historic town known for its local shops and vibrant arts scene. Another gem is Shepherdstown, steeped in history with its well-preserved buildings and lively community events.

Davis captivates visitors with its stunning natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities.

Buckhannon’s delightful downtown area offers quaint shops, delicious eateries, and a welcoming atmosphere. Elkins provides a blend of cultural heritage and scenic beauty, encompassing the best of Appalachian charm.

Meanwhile, Thomas allures with its hip art galleries, unique dining experiences, and mountainous landscapes enthralling every visitor who seeks an authentic escape.

Popular Activities and Attractions in West Virginia

Explore outdoor adventures like hiking, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. Experience luxurious spa retreats, delve into fascinating history, and visit Bavarian-inspired towns for a high-culture vacation.

Outdoor adventures

West Virginia’s outdoor adventures offer breathtaking scenery and thrilling activities. From hiking in the Coopers Rock State Forest to exploring the Blackwater River, there’s no shortage of natural beauty.

You can also visit the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, go whitewater rafting on the New River, and marvel at Seneca Rocks’ stunning formations. The state parks are perfect for picnics and peaceful walks while admiring cascading waterfalls like Douglas Falls or taking in panoramic views from Spruce Knob, the highest peak in West Virginia.

The charming small towns provide a perfect base for your outdoor escapades with easy access to nature reserves such as Canaan Valley and Dolly Sods. Whether it’s birdwatching at North Fork Mountain or exploring historic trails within Cacapon Park, each adventure promises an unforgettable experience that truly captures West Virginia’s remarkable landscapes.

Luxurious spa retreats

Nestled within the serene mountain landscapes of West Virginia, luxurious spa retreats offer a tranquil escape for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. These peaceful havens boast an array of pampering treatments, from soothing massages to therapeutic mineral baths, all set amidst breathtaking natural surroundings.

Visitors can indulge in holistic wellness experiences while enjoying the calm ambiance and fresh mountain air. With options like The Greenbrier with its renowned sulphur springs or the upscale spas in charming small towns like White Sulphur Springs and Berkeley Springs, West Virginia offers an idyllic setting for unwinding in style.

Spa enthusiasts can immerse themselves in revitalizing experiences surrounded by picturesque scenery at these sought-after destinations. In addition to world-class spa facilities, visitors can also savor gourmet dining options featuring local ingredients and partake in outdoor activities such as hiking and biking to complement their restorative getaway.

Fascinating history

West Virginia’s small towns are steeped in fascinating history, with each town boasting its own unique past and stories to tell. From the frontier heritage of Lewisburg to the coal mining history of Elkins, there is much to learn and explore.

Discover abandoned towns, jails, theme parks, and schools that offer a glimpse into West Virginia’s intriguing past. The state is also home to scenic attractions such as Blackwater Falls and Seneca Rocks, which have played significant roles in shaping the region’s rich history.

The historical context of these small towns adds depth and character to your visit, providing an opportunity to connect with the heritage and culture of West Virginia. You’ll find yourself immersed in tales of pioneering spirit, industrial development, and natural wonders that have contributed to the state’s captivating narrative.

Bavarian-inspired towns

Nestled in the West Virginia mountains, you’ll find charming towns with a distinct Bavarian influence. These picturesque destinations offer a unique experience with their Bavarian architecture, delightful specialty shops, and traditional German cuisine.

Immerse yourself in the Old World ambiance as you stroll through these quaint streets dotted with colorful facades and welcoming beer gardens. Discover the rich heritage of these towns while savoring delicious sausages, pretzels, and locally brewed craft beers that transport you to the heart of Bavaria.

With their enchanting Alpine charm and warm hospitality, these Bavarian-inspired towns are perfect for travelers seeking an authentic European feel without leaving the U.S. Experience a blend of Appalachian beauty and German culture as you explore these off-the-beaten-path treasures.

High-culture vacations

West Virginia’s small towns offer a unique opportunity for high-culture vacations, with several historical and cultural attractions to explore. From the world-class outdoor adventures to visiting abandoned towns, jails, theme parks, and schools, there is no shortage of intriguing history and culture to immerse oneself in.

The state is also home to scenic attractions such as Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, Dolly Sods, Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Douglas Falls – providing a perfect blend of natural beauty and rich cultural experiences that cater to those seeking a peaceful and scenic getaway with an enriching cultural experience.

Creative experiences

Immerse yourself in the creative experiences awaiting you in West Virginia’s small towns. Explore local art galleries showcasing traditional Appalachian crafts and modern masterpieces.

Discover vibrant music scenes with live performances ranging from folk tunes to classic rock, offering a unique blend of musical heritage and contemporary sounds.

Unearth the rich literary traditions through poetry readings, book signings, and storytelling events that celebrate the diverse voices of West Virginia’s small towns. Engage in hands-on workshops where you can learn traditional arts such as quilting, pottery making, and woodworking, gaining insight into the region’s cultural legacy while creating your own unique souvenirs.

Peaceful and quiet getaways

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a tranquil retreat in West Virginia’s small mountain towns. Discover charming villages like Hinton, Shepherdstown, and Thomas, offering serene landscapes and a slower pace.

Unwind amidst breathtaking natural beauty at Blackwater Falls or Canaan Valley, immersing yourself in the peaceful ambiance of these hidden gems. Whether it’s escaping to an isolated cabin or strolling through historic streets untouched by time, these quiet getaways offer a serene respite for those seeking a restorative escape from the demands of everyday life.

Intriguing history and culture

Our journey through West Virginia’s small towns brings us face to face with intriguing history and rich culture. From the eerie remnants of abandoned towns, jails, and theme parks to the historical significance of Fayetteville being voted one of the Coolest Towns in America by Budget Traveler, there is an abundance of captivating tales waiting to be discovered.

The state’s scenic attractions such as Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, Dolly Sods, Seneca Rocks, Spruce Knob, Douglas Falls, and North Fork Mountain also offer a glimpse into West Virginia’s fascinating natural history.

These are just a few glimpses into the unique historical and cultural experiences awaiting travelers exploring these quiet and charming towns.

Western culture

Western culture in West Virginia’s small towns offers a rich tapestry of history, art, and traditions. From the preserved architecture to local crafts and festivals, there’s a deep appreciation for heritage and creativity.

You’ll find intriguing museums, lively music scenes, and delicious culinary experiences blending old-world flavors with modern twists at every turn. The fusion of Appalachian roots and contemporary influences creates an inviting atmosphere where you can immerse yourself in the authentic essence of small-town life.

Whether it’s exploring historical landmarks or engaging with local artisans, discovering the Western culture adds depth to your travel experience in these charming destinations.

Planning Your Trip to West Virginia

Plan your trip by ordering a vacation guide and exploring road trip options. Consider the best times to visit and research accommodations and lodging choices for a smooth travel experience.

Ordering a vacation guide

To explore West Virginia’s quieter and smaller towns, ordering a vacation guide is essential. The guide provides valuable information about must-visit small towns, popular activities, lodging options, and road trip ideas.

It offers insights into the fascinating history, outdoor adventures, luxurious spa retreats, creative experiences, and peaceful getaways that define the state’s charm. Additionally, it includes details on renowned attractions like Blackwater Falls, Canaan Valley, Dolly Sods, Seneca Rocks – all of which offer unique experiences for travelers seeking off-the-beaten-path destinations in North America.

Exploring road trip options

Let’s plan a scenic road trip through the charming small towns of West Virginia. Take a leisurely drive along Route 219 to soak in the stunning landscapes and visit hidden gems like Lewisburg, Elkins, and Davis.

For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, consider the winding roads leading to Thomas and Shepherdstown. Don’t miss out on exploring college towns and experiencing unique bridge tours during your journey through this picturesque state.

If you’re interested in historical sites, why not venture off to explore abandoned places that reveal intriguing glimpses into West Virginia’s past? Consider adding visits to abandoned schools or jails for an unconventional twist to your road trip.

Best times to visit

The best times to visit West Virginia’s small towns are during the spring and fall seasons. Spring brings blooming flowers, mild temperatures, and fewer crowds, making it an ideal time for outdoor activities and exploring charming streets.

In the fall, the vibrant foliage creates a picturesque backdrop for leisurely strolls and scenic drives through the mountains. These seasons offer pleasant weather for enjoying outdoor adventures while avoiding extreme temperatures and tourist rushes.

During summer, you can take advantage of outdoor events like festivals and fairs in these quaint towns. However, be prepared for warmer weather and busier attractions as this is peak tourism season in West Virginia’s small towns.

Accommodations and lodging options

There are various accommodation options in West Virginia’s small towns, including cozy bed and breakfasts, historic inns, charming guesthouses, and comfortable cabins. Many of these lodgings offer picturesque views of the surrounding mountains or serene countryside.

Some accommodations even provide unique experiences such as staying in a renovated farmhouse or a rustic log cabin to immerse oneself in the local culture and history. Visitors can also find comfortable hotels with modern amenities if they prefer a more traditional stay, offering convenient access to nearby attractions and points of interest.

For those seeking a more luxurious experience, there are elegant resorts and boutique hotels available that provide upscale accommodations along with exceptional dining options and spa facilities for relaxation.

Best Small Towns in West Virginia Conclusion

Discover the allure of West Virginia’s small towns, each housing its own hidden gems and unique charm. From the historic streets of Lewisburg to the picturesque beauty of Davis, there is an abundance of captivating destinations waiting to be explored.

Embrace the peace and tranquility of these off-the-beaten-path getaways as you immerse yourself in their rich history and natural wonders. Start planning your road trip today and uncover the enchanting essence of these delightful small towns nestled in the heart of West Virginia.

Best Small Towns in West Virginia FAQs

1. What are some hidden gems in West Virginia for a weekend getaway?

West Virginia is full of hidden gems, like the historic Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum and the mysterious Point Pleasant. These places offer unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

2. Can I explore national parks during my visit to small towns in West Virginia?

Absolutely! Many small towns are close to beautiful national and state parks, perfect for road trips or a peaceful weekend surrounded by nature.

3. Where can I find charming getaways in West Virginia?

Charming getaways are everywhere, from the scenic beauty of Greenbrier County to quaint towns near Missouri River bends. Check out sites like TripAdvisor or for great finds.

4. Are there any historical sites in these small towns?

Yes, many of these small towns boast rich histories with landmarks that tell tales from centuries past… Imagine walking through streets that whisper stories of yore!

5. How do I plan my trip to these small towns?

Planning is easy! Start by picking a town or an attraction you’re interested in—like those mentioned on WVNS news—and then map out your road trips around them, including stops at state parks or other interesting spots along the way.

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