From the mountains to the valleys, from the past to the future, West Virginia has so many exciting places to visit that you’ll have a hard time choosing. If you want to discover for yourself or go with a group, you’ll find knowledgeable and skilled guides to help your adventure be the best it can. Choose from these 10 best guided tours and discover something you didn’t know about Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!
Nationally recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle-Friendly Business, new River Bikes in Fayetteville, West Virginia, offers tours designed for various levels of ability from beginners to experts. Tours are customized to ability and can be for a full day or a partial day as desired. Lunch is included in the all-day tours. All tours include the bike, helmet, necessary transportation to and from starting point, and water.
Coal Country Tours started in 2010 with a desire to share the Mountain State’s coal-mining history with visitors from all over. The three-day West Virginia Mine Wars and Coal Heritage Tours are developed in partnership with the Shenandoah County Parks & Recreation and depart from various starting points. Points of interest include Tamarack, the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine, the town of Matewan, and other locations that play a part in the state’s mine history. Tour costs include all travel, two nights lodging, two meals a day, tour, guides, and all admission fees.
Wheeling, a city more than 200 years-old, has many historical buildings and areas worth discovering, including more Victorian houses still standing than any other city in the U.S. A professional guide will take you on a walking tour of Wheeling, also known as “The Crossroads of America.” The tour begins at the Wheeling Visitors Center and ends in colorful Victorian Old Town with a tour of one of the turn-of-the-century homes. They offer an optional Tea Luncheon after the tour for a reasonable fee.
Open to the public for tours, Black Draft Distillery in Martinsburg, West Virginia, gives a behind-the-scenes look at how corn mash becomes moonshine. The first distillery in the area opened since Prohibition, Black Draft Distillery offers tours every Friday and Saturday and visitors can see how authentic moonshine and bourbon is made and sample seasonal beverages if they are over 21 years-old. Recipes and tips for creating delicious cocktails are available.
Once inhabited by Native Americans, a large estate was built on the island by Harman Blennerhassett, an associate of the infamous Aaron Burr. It was destroyed in a fire in 1811, but later rebuilt, and the island was open to the public last year during the summer months. Visitors to the island can arrive there by sternwheeler from Parkersburg, West Virginia, and are free to explore the island and mansion. Tours are conducted that give the history of the island. Horse-drawn carriage rides, picnics, bike rentals, and nature walks are also available while visiting the island.
Are you thrilled by things that go bump in the night? Then you need to go on one of the Ghost Tours of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, hosted by O’ Be Joyful Historical Tours & Entertainment. Featuring guided walking tours that include history and music, this tour is rated as the No. 3 “Historic Walking Tour” and the No. 1 “Ghost Tour of Harpers Ferry” by TripAdvisor. Open year round and available every day except Sunday, this is a family friendly experience that you won’t want to miss.
Hosted by Heritage Farm in Huntington, West Virginia, weekday tours for school children are available for the Heritage Museum, The Doll Museum, and The Country Store Museum. Local craft artisans are on site on the farm tour to provide live demonstrations of skills used on farms in the past. A variety of passes are available on weekends, including individual and family passes, and there is a gift shop, restaurant, and petty zoo are also on premise.
Are you a foodie who appreciates unique cuisine that features local culture and history? This walking tour in Lewisburg, West Virginia is for designed with you in mind. Conducted by long-term residents of the Mountain State, you’ll enjoy the creative adventure that includes up to 16 people, five food stops, and all food. Family friendly and covering approximately 1.5 miles, tours are public, but private tours can be arranged.
Located in the historical town of Cass, West Virginia, Cass Scenic Railroad offers two choices, a two-hour and a four-hour tour, on an original Shay locomotive up the side of the mountain for an up-close view of the wilderness area that provided timber for over 12 years at the beginning of the century. Guided tours of the town, the locomotive shops, the museum, and the mill ruins are free and last from 30 to 45 minutes each.
Visitors taking this 45-minute self-guided tour will descend over 120 feet down into the cool 52-degree caverns to see such underground wonders as The Snowy Chandelier, one of the large stalactites in the U.S., and the War Club, a 28-foot stalagmite made famous in the Guinness Book of World Records. You’ll want to have your camera with you so you can capture these beautiful natural formations on film. The tour is designed for anyone over age 10.