Whether you’re into trekking rugged mountain terrain, exploring hidden caves, water adventures, tours that give you a better understanding of the Mountain State’s rich history, or being scared by one of the popular ghost tours, there will be plenty to choose from with these 9 best sightseeing tours in West Virginia.
Individual tours and group tours are available for this very popular two to four-hour tour high above the New River Gorge in Fayetteville, West Virginia. Participants will walk over 3,000 feet across the bridge and descend 800 feet to a trail below, safely tethered by ropes. This is a leisurely tour and affords plenty of time for taking photos of the magnificent view. Height, age, and other restrictions apply for this tour.
The ominously-named Mystery Hole in Fayetteville is a phenomenon that must be experienced. The Mystery Hole is an underground space where the laws of gravity are seemingly defied. In the room, people will stand at a slant. Objects and furniture balance precariously within the space and in seemingly impossible ways. It’s a challenge to debunk this mystery, but it sure is a sight to see.
Open early April to November, visitors can descend underground during the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine Tour into the Phillips-Sprague Coal Mine in an authentic vintage mine car. This tour, conducted by knowledgeable guides, provides a view into West Virginia’s coal mining history. Dress appropriately for the 58-degree temperature beneath the surface. Also included on the tour is the museum and several restored homes and buildings in the area that give you a better understanding of life during this period of the state’s history.
History buffs will love this one-of-a-kind tour of the Greenbrier Bunker in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Built as a government relocation facility in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War, public, private, individual, and group tours are available and take you through a section of the 150-room bunker that was once hidden and unknown from the public. Facility is wheelchair accessible except for the decontamination area, and age restrictions apply. Cameras and other recording devices are not permitted on the tour.
Is there life in outer space? That’s one of the questions that you can ask when you take the Observatory Tour at the Green Bank Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. Self or guided tours will at the Science Center and include exciting hands-on demonstrations and a chance to see the world’s largest fully steerable telescope. Stop by the gift shop or grab a bite to eat and purchase something to remember this fascinating view into radio astronomy.
Lost World Caverns is the location of the Wild Cave Tour in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Popular with young and old alike, the 45-minute self-guided tour will take you 120 feet below the surface to the world of stalactites and stalagmites. For the more adventurous, there’s a four-hour tour into the deepest and darkest parts of the cave only accessible by crawling and climbing. Gear is provided as part of the tour and pictures are taken by guides to show friends and family. Age and ability restrictions apply.
No visit to the Mountain State would be complete without visiting one of its most unique places. The Dolly Sods Wilderness Tour will show you a unique place where the climate and temperature at the highest point in the state is very similar to northern parts of Canada. This accounts for the special varieties of flora and fauna that are found here and nowhere else in the United States. Dress for cooler weather even in the warmer summer months as there is always a wind on the mountain. There are beautiful places for photos to remember your trip.
Want to test your endurance and stamina? Take one of the White Water Rafting Tours that begin in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. During the months of March and November, you can join with others and experienced guides and travel down the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers going through a national park nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Trips are designed for beginners to experts and all equipment is included with tour fee.
This Gothic-style penitentiary has a dark and storied past. Group tours are offered starting in April, and along the way guests will learn about how inmates spent 22 of 24 hours a day in their cells, among other harsh truths about life in prison (so it may not be suitable for the young ones!). For an even spookier experience, participate in the six-hour, private paranormal investigations. These tours have a maximum of 20 people allowed and an age minimum of 18. Tours begin at 11:59 p.m. sharp. You’re in for a terrifying treat.