Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Harpers Ferry, (800) 848-8687, www.jeffersoncounty.com/cvb.
West Virginia Tourism, Charleston, (800) 225-5982, www.callwva.com.
Augusta Heritage Center, Davis and Elkins College, 100 Campus Drive, Elkins, (304) 637-1209, www.augustaheritage.com. Spend a week at Augusta and learn all about Appalachian culture--its music, its crafts, its dance, and its folklore. Call or visit the Web site for details. Or just go for a weekend, Aug. 9-11, for the annual Augusta Festival and its art fair, music, square dancing, and food.
Beartown State Park, near Hillsboro, (304) 653-4254. "We're here. We're queer. We don't want anymore bears." That Homer Simpson-led chant succeeded in ridding TV's Springfield of its bears (all one of them). But what drove the animals from this collection of house-size boulders and weird rock formations where they are said to have once lived is unknown. In any event, the rocks are nice to look at.
Berkeley Springs State Park, 121 S. Washington St., Berkeley Springs, (304) 258-2711, www.berkeleysprings.com. These 74.3-degree mineral-water springs might sound more inviting in winter than during the steamy summer months, but the museum on their history (the Old Roman Bath House here has been in continuous use since 1815) is interesting year 'round.
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Harpers Ferry, (304) 535-6298, www.nps.gov/hafe. You're probably familiar with the story of abolitionist John Brown's famous raid here, but lots more pre-Civil War and Civil War history was made here too. Learn about it all by visiting scenic Harpers Ferry's museums and outdoor exhibits. A good day to go is June 29, for Freedom's Birth: An American Experience, an annual event with living-history exhibits, music, and fireworks.
Museum of Radio and Technology, 1640 Florence Ave., Huntington, (304) 525-8890, free. That is, old radio and technology. This museum displays stuff like vintage hi-fis and 1940s radios.
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, (304) 456-2011. If little green men exist out there in space, the folks operating these giant, white telescopic dishes in West Virginia's mountains might someday get a call from them. In the meantime, you can visit this radio astronomy observatory and learn how it works.
Prabhupada's Palace and City of Gold, Moundsville, (304) 843-1812, www.palaceofgold.com. Once the home of swami Srila Prabhupada, founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, this palace now serves as a shrine to him, and a place for you to admire Middle Eastern architecture. Stay overnight if you like at the guesthouse or in a private cottage.
Spruce Knob, near Judy Gap, (800) 225-5982, www.callwva.com. The highest mountain in the Mountain State, Spruce Knob stands 4,860 feet high, and its barren peak can be reached via an easy-to-walk trail with informative markers and an observation tower.
West Virginia Museum of American Glass, Main Avenue and Second Street, Weston, (304) 269-5006. Glass is big in West Virginia, and it was even bigger from 1900 to '50, the period on which this museum focuses.
Wheeling Downs, 1 S. Stone St., Wheeling, (877) 946-4373, www.wheelingdowns.com. Enjoy watching your hard-earned dollars disappear as you bet them on horses, cards, keno, or slot machines.
Jamboree in the Hills, July 18-21, Wheeling, (304) 233-709. The hills are alive with music, a rodeo, an amateur talent show, classic cars, regional arts and crafts, and antiques.
Spring Mountain Arts and Crafts Fair, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 14-16, Sam Michaels Park, Charles Town, (800) 624-0577, $3-$5. You already have enough arts and crafts to fill two houses, yet you want more. This annual festival, with its 200 juried booths, is as good a place as any to get them.
Vandalia Gathering, May 24-26, Charleston, (304) 558-0162. This yearly folk festival offers clogging, music, art, storytelling, and food from throughout West Virginia.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Blackwater Falls State Park, Davis, (800) 225-5982, www.blackwaterfalls.com. Take an easy hike to one of the overlooks on either side of 63-foot-high Blackwater Falls, or try biking or horseback riding elsewhere in the park. A lodge, cabins, and sites for tents or trailers are available for overnighters.
Butts Tubes and Appalachian Whitewater Express, 10985 Harpers Ferry Road, Loudon Heights, (800) 836-9911, www.buttstubes.com. Put your butt in one of Butts' tubes, canoes, duckies, or rafts and take a whitewater trip down the Shenandoah or the Potomac.
C&O Canal Bicycling, 19351 Deer Path, Knoxville, (301) 834-5180. No, these aren't water bikes. They're normal land two-wheelers that you can rent for use along the C&O Canal's 184.5-mile elevated trail.
Greenbrier, 300 W. Main St., White Sulphur Springs, (800) 624-6070. The bunker underground was built to protect members of Congress during an attack. The five-star luxury resort and three golf courses above ground were built to entertain anyone who can afford them.
Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Rentals and Tours, 235 W. Washington St., Charles Town, (304) 724-1253, www.wvbiker.com. Choose a BMW, Harley, Honda, or Triumph, then ride it out through the West Virginia countryside.
Hinkle's Dying-Arts Glassworks, Buckhannon, (304) 472-7963, www.hinklesglass.com. Besides buying up lots of glass, you can see how it's made here by taking a studio tour.
Jefferson Orchards, Kearneysville, (888) 792-7753, www.jeffersonorchards.com. Pick-your-own apples, nectarines, peaches, and plums, plus jams and jellies made from picked-by-someone-else fruits.
Tamarack, Beckley, (888) 262-7225. West Virginia makes it easy to sample its wide-ranging wares by placing tens of thousands of art objects under one roof. Food from all over the state is available too.
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