West Virginia is rich in rail heritage. Take a trip back in time when trains were used to haul coal, timber, oil and gas from nearly inaccessible areas. Learn about the importance of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) to the Civil War. Visit the historic logging town of Cass. Discover the legend of John Henry the “steel drivin’ man” and his epic victory over a steam drill near Talcott, W.Va.
Scenic Train Excursions
Imagine viewing West Virginia’s scenic beauty while traveling from the comfort of a rail car. With four major scenic train systems to choose from, travelers can take their pick of day trips or full-fledged vacation excursions and ride the rails to tour West Virginia by train. Enjoy the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad where bald eagles are spotted on most trips; Cass Scenic Railroad with its Shay steam locomotives; Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad where visitors can ride the rails and then enjoy a show at the American Mountain Theater; or the New River Train with its scenic railroad tours.
WV Music Heritage
West Virginia’s hills ring with the sounds of a growing number of cultural possibilities. Get in tuned with our music heritage. Visitors here are sure to find Appalachian music includes fiddlers and mandolin players almost everywhere, and especially at bluegrass music festivals. But that’s not all: West Virginia also offers Celtic traditional music, Irish fiddle music, jazz, classical and more. Travel the state and you’re likely to discover a rich diversity of music influence by different cultures and heritages. So, take out your dancing shoes and tap your toes to a range of sounds.
Arts and Crafts
Mountain State artisans are known worldwide for creating unique handmade crafts and beautiful masterpieces. Visit local shops, galleries, art and crafts shows and fairs and festivals to discover one-of-a-kind pottery, dazzling jewelry, custom woodwork and hand-blown glass. Afterward, take a self-guided tour along quilting trails in Mason and Roane counties and Old Central City in Huntington to see some of the state’s most loved treasures that evoke reminders of our heritage.
Civil War History
American Civil War history comes alive in West Virginia, the only state to be born from that tragic conflict. Learn about the state’s past through firsthand experiences. Relive past events at Civil War sites throughout the state.
Capture a piece of history throughout the Mountain State as you discover landmark theatres and explore state parks along The West Virginia Historic Theatre and The West Virginia Historic New Deal/CCC trails.
The Mountain State’s artisans are internationally renowned for fine hand-blown glass. Visit attractions such Appalachian Glass Products & Services, Blenko Glass Company, Fenton Art Glass and Ron Hinkle Glass for a tour or demonstration. To learn more about the state’s glassmaking past, visit the West Virginia Museum of American Glass in Weston, W.Va. This museum showcases talented glassmakers throughout the years using photos, glassmaking equipment and other artifacts.
From the capital city to smaller mountain communities, visitors and residents alike will find something to capture their interest. The state’s fairs and festivals are a celebration of the music, food and handmade arts and crafts that make West Virginia almost heaven. Tap your toes to traditional bluegrass music, sample regional fare, browse through Appalachian crafts and traditional art and buy one-of-a-kind handmade quilts at arts and crafts shows around the state.
Coal, Oil, Gas and Timber in West Virginia
West Virginia’s abundant natural resources helped build America and today continue to be a major source of energy for much of the nation. Discover the state’s natural resources at places such as the Parkersburg’s Oil and Gas Museum, the Oil and Gas Festival or the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.