West Virginia is a magical land of lush green trees and humid breezes. People think of sweet tea and hunting when they envision West Virginia for the first time. However, this great state has more to offer than its famous hospitality. Come to West Virginia this year and experience its top museums.
African-American Heritage Family Tree Museum
WHERE: Ansted, WV
Learn all there is to know about the famed Underground Railroad before you go to the nearby Big Bend Tunnel and see it for yourself. This museum contains memorabilia and artifacts from famed educators like Booker T. Washington and Carter G. Woodson. While you experience the vastness of the Big Bend Tunnel, tour guides will tell you about John Henry, the man who carved the safe haven through a mile of solid stone in order to help slaves get to freedom.
Anna Jarvis Birthplace Museum
WHERE: Grafton, WV
Built in 1854, the building itself is as impressive as the 5,000 artifacts on display. People enjoy learning about Anna Jarvis, as well as about the history of the two-story wooden building. During the Civil War the house was used by General George B. McClellan as a headquarters for the war’s efforts. Troops were encamped around Grafton as they awaited the General’s next move. However, you can stay in charming West Virginia hotels rather than camping out around Jarvis’ birthplace like soldiers.
Avampato Children’s Discovery Museum
WHERE: Charleston, WV
Take your kids to a world-class discovery museum that will allow them to learn and discover as they explore endless rooms of exhibits and displays. Avampato is conveniently located in central Charleston, making it easy for short-term travelers to stop by and enjoy all that the museum has to offer.
State Capitol Complex of Charleston
WHERE: Charleston, WV
This classical building affords visitors exquisite views of the foyers, libraries, and wall-to-wall marble. Its grandeur makes tourists feel like they are in the heart of American pride as they explore the capitol building, which boasts a dome taller than the US Capitol Building. This historic landmark has been published on postcards and brochures of West Virginia for as long as it has stood.
Castle Halloween Museum
WHERE: Benwood, WV
For the less traditional traveler, there are museums in West Virginia that will titillate the senses and make you sleep with a light on. One such museum is the Castle Halloween Museum in Benwood. This incredible location holds more than 15,000 Halloween artifacts and rare objects. It is appropriately housed in an old, brick school building, which looks as disturbing and treacherous as many of the displays.
Castle Halloween Museum has antique postcards, masks, costumes, photographs, movie props, folk art, and more. From creepy Victorian dolls to the most haunting Salem Witch Trial artifacts ever found, this stop is sure to leave an impression on West Virginia visitors. However, it’s not all scary; exhibits include charming displays of Charlie Brown’s great pumpkin and Simpsons Halloween special toys.
When you visit West Virginia you will enjoy rich culture, storied traditions, and people who could be novel characters. Visit the great state of West Virginia and learn what you’ve been missing all these years.