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History Lessons at the State Capitol

The West Virginia Capitol Complex is a trip back in time. Clustered here are several landmarks to be toured, including the Capitol building itself, whose gold-leaf dome is taller than the U.S. Capitol’s, while the Governor’s Mansion is a fine example of Georgian-style architecture. Nearby, the West Virginia State Museum documents the state’s history through exhibits and displays. Along the Kanawha River, you’ll find Charleston’s contribution to the national Civil War Trails program.

 

Mountain Adventures in the Great Outdoors

Charleston makes it easy to get out into nature. Start with Sunset Carriage Trail, a gentle one-kilometer trail designed for pedestrians. Head to Kanawha State Forest or Coonskin Park for more hiking and biking (the forest even has a pool). In the middle of the river and connected to land, you’ll find Magic Island, a park that offers beach volleyball and other fun. Play golf on one of eight courses close to downtown or head out for something more adventurous – within an hour’s drive, you have access to mountain biking, skiing, canoeing and canopy tours.

 

Vibrant Entertainment Scene

Charleston is a city that comes together for festivals and art-related events all year long. To join the celebratory scene, spread out your picnic blanket at Haddad Riverfront Park, which offers free concerts, or head to the symphony, opera, ballet or theater, all of whom routinely perform at the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences. This cultural hub also includes Avampato Discovery Center with its domed Electric Sky Theater. Cruise along the Kanawha River on Spirit of West Virginia, an authentic sternwheel paddleboat. For shopping, head to Charleston Town Center Mall, whose three stories feature 130 shops and eateries, or the Capitol Market, which is located in an old train station and sells local and artisanal goods.

Fun Fact

The third version of the West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston
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Today’s building is the third version of the State Capitol; it burnt down in 1921 and again in 1927.

Hot Air Balloon over Asheville, North Carolina
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