Thinking about taking a trip to visit the best small towns in West Virginia? You have good taste and have come to the right place then! Most people flock to the bigger towns in West Virginia, but when you visit a small town you get a real feel for what life is really like. If you are visiting for just a weekend you may want to narrow your search down to just a few different small towns.
But if you have more time to explore, then try to knock all of these small towns in West Virginia off your bucket list. Pack your hiking shoes, and throw the family’s bikes on the rack because you don’t want to miss the natural beauty that these small towns have to offer. Now, let’s take a look and find the best small town in WV for you!
12 Best Small Towns in West Virginia You Must Visit
One of the most popular small towns in West Virginia is Harpers Ferry. It is full of natural beauty and plenty of interesting history. The town is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, Potomac, and Shenandoah Rivers, and there is even a section of the Appalachian hiking trail that runs through town.
One of the best attractions in town is the Harpers Ferry National Historic Park. Here there are over 30 historic buildings and this is where the abolitionist John Brown gathered his party for the famous raid of 1859. This National Park is one of the best places in town for hiking, biking, fishing, and relaxing outside in nature.
When visiting one of the best West Virginia towns, Harpers Ferry, you will want to head down to Lower Town. The old part of Harpers Ferry is full of restaurants, and shops, and gives a wonderful glimpse of how life was lived back in the early days of West Virginia.
Shepherdstown is one of the many small towns in West Virginia, but it is also the oldest. It was founded as a town back in 1730. This charming small city sits on the Potomac River and is direct across from Maryland. The most visited attraction in Shepherdstown is the university. Here you can learn about Shepherdstowns part in the Civil War. The university also puts on plays, music concerts, and lectures.
After touring the university you will want to head over to the historic center. This is the part of town where you will find most of the buildings from the original settlement along the Potomac River. If you are looking for a more active vacation the Virginia and Ohio Canal Historic Park is located in Shepherdstown and is an excellent place for hiking and biking.
The Yellow Brick Bank is one of the best restaurants serving locally sourced ingredients. This restaurant is inside an 18th-century warehouse that has been perfectly remolded to be modern but still has a historic atmosphere. They serve seafood and American classics. You will not go wrong visiting Shepherdstown, they are one of the best small towns in WV.
White Sulphur Springs
If you are looking for one of the best small towns to live in in West Virginia, White Sulphur Springs should be on the top of your list. This lovely small town is in the middle of the Algangy Moutain Ranges and is a popular destination for relaxation and rejuvenation. This small town in WV is famous for its hot springs, and luxurious spa resorts.
The top attraction in the top is the world-famous Greenbrier Luxury Resort. Here you can enjoy the spa, or spend day more adventurous day full of tennis, horseback riding, and or fly fishing. You can visit the grounds of the Greenbrier for a dip in the hot springs or take a carriage ride around town.
One of the most important events that take place in White Sulphur Springs is the Dandelion Festival. 5 different types of dandelions grow naturally in the valleys of White Sulphur and there is a big festival to celebrate the start of fall. The Dandelion Festival is held on Memorial Day weekend and always brings a big crowd.
Not only is Lewisburg one of the super cute towns in West Virginia, but it also has a reputation nationwide as the “coolest small town in America”. Plus, Lewisburg is also home to the famous West Virginia State Fair. One of the best things to do in town is to see a show at the Greenbrier Valley Theatre.
You can book a ticket for a comedy show, a professional theater performance, or a local musician. If you thinking about visiting Lewisburg another fun thing to do is visit the North House Museum. This is also a restored home from the 19th century. It has been restored and resembles what life was like when Lewisburg was first founded.
Lewisburg is also on the map for its amazing art scene. If you are in town on the second Friday of every month they hold an event known as the Lewisburg art walk. This is an event where local artist displays their newest artwork for the whole town to see. Outdoor lovers flock to this small town in West Virginia for rock climbing and fishing, and there are a few epic hikes as well.
Fayetteville is one of the prettiest towns in West Virginia inside the New River Gorge area. The most popular thing about Fayetteville is the New River Gorge National Park and Reserve which was founded in 2020 and offers over 70,000 acres of land to explore. The most popular trail to take when visiting the national park is the bridge trail, which follows the path of the longest steel bridge in the Americas.
Keep your eye out for wildlife throughout the park. Past visitors have run into black bears, white-tail deer, and even a few turkeys. Book a tour with one of the West Virginia Park Rangers to get the full lay of the land, or to take a kayak adventure.
The historic town square of Fayetteville is also worth a visit. Inside the old square, you will find restaurants, shops, and galleries. There is something for everyone to love about Fayetteville, making it one of the best small towns in WV.
Up next to quaint towns in West Virginia is the beautiful city of Thomas. Thomas is located in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia right in between the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River. Downtown Thomas is full of character with brightly colored homes and storefronts and is worth a visit if you are traveling to West Virginia.
People travel from miles around to check out the popular music venue The Purple Fiddle. You can enjoy fabulous live music in an intimate restaurant setting. The Blackwater state park is also another reason to check out Thomas.
At the Blackwater state park, there is a 62-foot cascading waterfall. Follow the boardwalk that you can see from the parking lot and it will take you directly to the falls. During the summer you can book a guided tour of the state park to learn a little more about the history of the area.
There are several hiking paths to explore here. The most popular, besides the waterfall hike, is the Pendelton Point hike. This short 1.2-mile hike will lead you to the viewpoint at the top of the falls. Giving you a bird’s eye view of the entire park.
Berkely Springs is one of the top towns to visit in West Virginia. Berkley Springs is also known for the natural hot springs that run through the town. You can find the majority of the Hot Springs inside the Berkely Springs State Park. This park in West Virginia is open all year round, but we are some of the features may be closed in the winter. It all depends on the weather.
Spend your day at the park soaking in the natural mineral waters that are known for their healing powers. Bring a picnic and stay all day, you will feel so much better after you do. For a more luxurious experience in the hot springs head over to the Bath House. This is an iconic 19th-century bath house that offers spa packages with natural pools to relax and rejuvenate in.
Another important part of Berekely Springs is the Ice House. No, this is not a place to go to get an ice bath, it is an art center. The Ice House offers workshops and art classes for people of all ages and skill levels. They also always have exhibits of local artists as well.
When it comes to food Tari’s Cafe is the hot spot in town. Here you can order seafood, classic American dishes, and a few international plates as well. Overall Berkely is one of the best small towns to visit in West Virginia it has everything you need to enjoy a laid-back spa vacation.
Charles Town is one of the small cities in West Virginia with big things going on. The best thing about Charles Town is the views of peaks from the Blue Ridge Mountains. Charles town is a popular small-town weekend getaway from Baltimore because it is only about an hour away.
One of the best things about Charles Town is the Hollywood Casino. If you are feeling lucky you can play a hand of poker in the poker room, watch or bet on horse racing, or try one of the many slot machines.
The Jefferson County Museum should be high on your list of places to visit in Charles Town. It covers the time from the original settlement to the civil war era. It gives an amazing glimpse of what life what like in West Virginia before the civil war. Charles Town was founded by George Washington’s little brother Charles Washington and is full of interesting history.
Up next for towns to visit in West Virginia, is Morgantown, this is the best-known town in WV behind Harpers Ferry. Morgantown is home to the University of West Virginia which is the biggest college in the state. Visitors of Morgantown are allowed to tour the WVU campus and when touring check out important buildings such as the Creative Art Center and the Milan Puskar Stadium.
Morgantown is more than just a lively college town though. There is also plenty to explore outside as well. The most popular outdoor attraction is Coopers Rock State Park. Take the trail that leads you out to the beautiful views from the Cheat River Gorge. You can rock climb, picnic, and explore the park at your own pace.
Depending on when you are visiting you may be able to catch the famous Morgantown Poetry Festival. Every year the town puts on this fabulous festival where local and professional writers share their work. As you would expect there is plenty of nightlife around this college town. You do not want to leave Morgantown off your list of the best small towns in West Virginia to visit.
Parkersburg is one of the prettiest small towns in West Virginia. They are located along the Ohio River on the western side of the state. One of the most popular attractions is the Blennerhasset Island Historic Site. You will have to take a short boat ride over the island to enjoy the sites. Be sure to check out the Blennerhasset Historic Mansion and the Parkersbuger and Ohio railroad. You can easily book tickets for the boat rides in town.
Another amazing thing to do in Parkersburg is to visit the old Oil and Gas Museum. Gas and Oil were a very important part of the founding of Parkersburg and inside the museum, you can learn how oil production was so profitable in the past.
For outdoor activities in Parkersburg check out the North Bend Rail Trail State Park. This is a 72-mile trail that takes you on a ride through the beautiful countryside. Downtown is also worth a visit if you are looking for yummy restaurants and boutique shopping.
Up next is one of the historic towns in West Virginia, Elkins. This is also a college town with the liberal arts college David and Elkins. When touring the college campus keep your eye out for the old Victorian House known as the Halliehurst. It is a beautiful historic home that is now the administration office for David and Elkins.
After you tour the college hop on the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad and take a scenic train ride through the mountains of WV. Or you can head over to the beautiful Granberry Glades Botanical Gardens in the Monogahela forest. The Botanic Gardens in Elkins are best known for carnivorous plants such as the Sundews and Pincher Plants.
Elk River Trail is also an amazing thing to do when checking out Elkin. This is a 30-mile trail that runs through Elk River. Bring your fishing pole because this is one of the best honey holes in all of West Virginia.
Wheeling is one of the super cute small towns in West Virginia full of surprises and fun things going on. One of the best things to do in town is to head over to the Wheeling Island Casino. Here you can play the slots, try your luck in the poker room, or just enjoy a drink at one of the casino clubs or bars.
Another thing to check out is the Wheeling Heritage Trail. This is the most popular hiking trail in the area. You can walk, bike, or run along the 14 miles of trail stopping at important and historical sites. Be sure to stop and take a look at the Wheeling Suspension Bridge. It is the oldest suspension bridge still in use in America. If you need to rent a bike there are a few different shops in town to check out.
If you did not know, Railroads were a big deal in West Virginia. When visiting Wheeling you have to check out the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum and take a walk down memory lane. They have historic old toys and model trains on display. There is so much to love about visiting Wheeling it has a perfect mix of old and historic things to do.