Here we are in the middle of April trying to think of a fun but relatively safe vacation for the family. A trip to a beach resort sounds like great fun, but one look at the map of vacation Covid-19 hot spots shows numbers and infections on the rise at some of the most popular beach destinations. So, why not look for a destination where the Covid-19 outbreaks are decreasing and can provide a plethora of fun family activities. A West Virginia vacation would be perfect. In this article, I want to provide options of the active outdoor type and if that is not your thing, West Virginia has a great deal of sightseeing options for those who like history.
Outdoor activities and where to find them
West Virginia is the ideal place for fun outdoor activities such as:
- White water rafting, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing.
- Zip lining.
- Outdoor adventures including; laser tag, paintball, cave tours, guided hikes, mountain biking, guided rock climbing, horseback riding, and team building events.
Where can I find these activities?
Lansing West Virginia-A small community in Fayette County, West Virginia, along Route 19, less than three miles from Fayetteville. This area is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Here you find two local companies, The New and Gauley River Adventure Company, and Adventures on the Gorge, both specializing in providing great White Water River options for every member of your family. There are rafting trips for families with little kids; slightly more challenging trips for families with older kids; and trips for the thrill seekers. After your rafting adventure, there are other types of outdoor adventures to explore such as; horseback riding, fishing, and mountain biking.
Adventures on the Gorge, also offers a variety of aerial adventures such as Zip Lining, and various aerial obstacle course adventures the whole family can enjoy.
Charleston-Once a frontier town and home of Daniel Boone, today Charleston is the historic capital of West Virginia. The history buff may want to include the following sites during this visit:
- The State Capitol with its 23 karat gold dome and classic architecture.
- West Virginia State Museum covering the history of West Virginia from its early coal mining days to the present.
- Capitol Street with its historic and unique retail establishments.
- Governor’s Mansion.
- Craik-Patton House, one of the oldest in Charleston located In Daniel Boone Park.
- Mountain State Distillery, Downtown Charleston’s first distillery.
Wheeling-Located about 60 miles west of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Wheeling was originally a settlement in the British colony of Virginia, and later the second largest city in the commonwealth of Virginia. Due to its location along major transportation routes, Wheeling became a manufacturing center in the late nineteenth century. A few landmarks to explore include:
West Virginia Independence Hall is a historic government building built in 1860 as a custom house, post office and courthouse. It housed the Wheeling Convention, as well as the West Virginia Constitutional Convention, which resulted in the separation of the Union West Virginia from the Confederate Virginia.
- Johnson Camden McKinley House built between 1914 and 1920 for the coal baron and is wife.
- Wheeling Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the main channel of the Ohio River at Wheeling West Virginia. It was the largest suspension bridge in the world from 1849 until 1851.
- Cathedral of Saint Joseph or Saint Joseph’s Cathedral is the seat of the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. It is home to the oldest congregation of Wheeling, West Virginia.
- Robert C. Woods House built between 1839 and 1945 is a 2.5 story, 13 room brick dwelling with an Italian style façade.
- Chapline Street Row Historic District is a national historic district encompassing 10 contributing buildings, including eight residences.
- Wheeling Warehouse Historic District is a national historic district that includes 20 contributing buildings.
Harpers Ferry-A historic town in Jefferson County, West Virginia. It is situated at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers where the States of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia meet. An important piece of The American story, Harpers Ferry could be an interesting stop for history buffs. Sites to visit would include:
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park-The Park includes small museums, battlefields, uninhabited hillside houses and picturesque streets.
- Jefferson Rock- A rock formation on the Appalachian Trail in Harpers Ferry.
- The Point-Where the Gray Coats blew up the B&O Railroad Bridge.
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters
- John Brown’s Fort
- Harpers Ferry Station
- John Brown Wax Museum
- Harper House
- John Brown Monument
What are the costs?
There are several online tools we can use to help determine approximate overall cost associated with the destination of choice. I prefer tripadvisor.com for arriving at costs for hotel, food and entertainment. Travelmath.com for costs associated with air travel or estimated cost of gas for car travel. Today, with all the travel concerns including quarantine, disasters, and possible health issues, I never travel without purchasing Travel Insurance. My travel Insurance policy of choice is Travelex.
Covid-19 has forced us to look at life differently. Our desire to take vacations or plan short getaways has intensified, as a result of the lengthy quarantine we all had to suffer through. However, the need to proceed with caution must be considered. A vacation or quick getaway to West Virginia may be the perfect option to consider. Enjoy.
I look forward to reading your comments and don’t forget to share this article with friends and family.