After 16 weeks in Charleston, West Virginia, I have come to love certain places. I have also learned things like where to get my gas or where to buy groceries. It is exciting going to a new city and having to learn all these things, getting settled in, and finding your new favorite places and/or things to do. I am going to share with you some of my “favorites” from my assignment here.
My absolute FAVORITE coffee shop here is Taylor Books. It is an adorable shop on Capitol Street right in downtown Charleston. It gives a very homey feel as it is also a bookstore. You can grab a coffee, settle into one of the cozy chairs, and stick your nose in a book. In the back of the shop there is an art gallery and also an area for pottery classes that are held weekly.
Others: Moxxee Coffee, Starbucks, Krispy Kreme
My favorite place to go for dinner is the Bluegrass Kitchen. The food is delicious and the choices are pretty healthy. The best part about this restaurant is that EVERY night (except Fridays) there is live music! It is usually bluegrass music that is performed and the artists are quite talented. Though it looks like a hole in the wall place, you will not be disappointed with your experience here.
Others: Pies & Pints, Adventures Bar and Grill, Plaza Maya
It’s definitely a hard choice to pick my favorite hiking trail. Honestly, any trail in Fayetteville around the New River Gorge Bridge is a great hike with good scenery. But since I’m picking favorites, I will say that my favorite trail is Long Point Trail. It is 1.6 miles one way and follows along the edge of a cliff. At the end of the trail you reach a great view of the New River Gorge Bridge.
Others: Endless Wall Trail, Bridge Trail, Kanawha State Park
I love chasing waterfalls. Their beauty always amazes me. My favorite waterfall that I visited while on my assignment was Sandstone Falls. It is about a 1.5 hour drive from Charleston. You pass through a little town called Hinton and take a backroad past several trailer homes to get to the falls. At Sandstone Falls, there are a couple trails you can take, a bridge you can walk across, and “off-trailing” you can do.
Others: Cascade Falls, Kanawha Falls, Blackwater Falls, Elekala Falls
West Virginia is a gorgeous state and from many places you can get great views of the Appalachian Mountains. My favorite viewing spot was at Hawk’s Nest State Park. There is a short path that you walk out to and come to a view of the river and mountains. Given away by the name, there are a lot of hawks flying around as well.
During the fall, the views get prettier as the leaves change colors and the mountains look like rainbows.
Others: Grandview, Lindy Point, New Gorge Bridge Overlook
The place I enjoy walking around the most in Charleston is the state Capitol. The grounds are pretty, full of statues and flowers. You can tour the Capitol for free. There is also a World War 2 Memorial and the Governor’s Mansion on the same grounds as the Capitol. When standing on the steps of the Capitol, it overlooks the Kanawha River.
Others: Capitol Market, State Museum, downtown shopping
At the beginning of my assignment, it was summertime. Some events that are special to the summer are the following: baseball games at Appalachian Power Park, Music on the Levee, Charleston Artwalk. Appalachian Power Park is where the West Virginia Power team plays. They are a minor league baseball team that gets recruited to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Music on the Levee is an event where there is live music on the riverside every Friday night free of charge. The Charleston Artwalk is an event that happens the first Thursday evening of every month – the shops from downtown all come together and display their artwork.
List for Next Time
Below is a list of places/things to do that were recommended to me several times, but I was unable to do.
- Greenbrier Resort
- Scenic Cascade Railway
- Whitewater Rafting
- Secret Sandwich Society