From sports to live music, from West Virginia’s rich mining history to glass factory tours, and the best the great outdoors has to offer, you will find it all in our sampling of cheap things to do in West Virginia. Although no list can be complete, we have tried our best to put forth the top and most unique attractions for you.
- 1 Sports & Musical Experiences: Cheap Things To Do In West Virginia
- 2 Museum, Art & History: Best Educational Activities
- 2.1 1. Huntington Museum of Art
- 2.2 2. West Virginia State Museum and Culture Center: Charleston
- 2.3 3. Clay Center: Charleston
- 2.4 4. Green Bank Telescope: Green Bank
- 2.5 5. Blenko Glass Company: Milton
- 2.6 6. West Virginia’s beloved covered bridges
- 2.7 7. Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum: Beckley
- 2.8 8. George Washington’s Bathtub: Berkeley Springs
- 3 Explore Nature: Top Natural Attractions in West Virginia
- 4 Wrapping it up
Sports & Musical Experiences: Cheap Things To Do In West Virginia
If you are looking for sports or music-oriented outings, then you might want to check out a few baseball games, play a round or two of mini-golf, head for the batting cages, or sit in on some free live music opportunities. Here are a few unique experiences to consider, and because the cost is so reasonable, they top our sampling of cheap things to do!
1. West Virginia Power Game: Charleston
If you are a Baseball fan, you can have a blast by checking out a game or two of the famous West Virginia Power team. A really fun experience for families and baseball fans. General admission: Advanced ticket price is $6, and the day of the price is $8. Sunday special is $2 off all seats.
2. Concerts at the Purple Fiddle: Thomas
Who doesn’t love live music, especially when it is free! This is a great spot to grab a delicious bite and enjoy the best of the local music scene. Great atmosphere, with indoor and outdoor seating, and is family-friendly! They are open Thursday – Sunday with free concert time slots are usually at 1 PM and 8 PM.
3. Miniature Golf at Coal County: Fairmont
It’s not just a cool Mini golf spot, you can also practice your baseball batting skills at their batting cages, check out the mining museum, or have a party at their event space. They recently added frisbee golf, so you can have a go at that as well!
Adults can golf for $6.25 and children 12 and under golf for $5.25! There are four batting cages here, and you get 20 pitches for $1, or you can rent the cage for 30 minutes to 1 hour for $10 to $19.
Museum, Art & History: Best Educational Activities
All you History and art lovers, have a look at our dedicated sampling of artsy activities, explore our museums, and have a rich learning experience at little or no cost.
1. Huntington Museum of Art
This museum and cultural center is quite a find! The Huntington encompasses a permanent art collection of more than 16,000 objects, 10 exhibition spaces, an interactive education gallery, an art reference library of nearly 27,000 volumes, a 287-seat auditorium, the only tropical and subtropical plant conservatory in the state of West Virginia, a coral reef aquarium, two outdoor sculpture courts, five studio workshops, two miles of hiking trails, and a quarter-mile paved accessible Sensory Trail for the visually impaired. The art is a mixture of American, European, Japanese, and Chinese cultures, so it is like traveling the world while under one roof! Admission is only $5 per person, and Tuesdays it is completely free, so plan accordingly if you are able.
2. West Virginia State Museum and Culture Center: Charleston
Visitors will be immersed in this state’s history and culture as they enter the Show Path, which consists of a forty-five minute tour tracing the history of West Virginia, and comes alive through dynamic re-creations of key events and places in the state’s past. There are also 26 Discovery Rooms featuring art, film clips, music, and stories, should you want to dig in a bit deeper. The Show Path, Discovery Rooms and two Connections Rooms are presented as exhibitions following a chronological pattern that begins with prehistory and concludes in the 21st century. This is a rich interactive educational experience for people of all ages! Admission is free.
3. Clay Center: Charleston
From the Juliet Art Museum featuring permanent and traveling exhibits to their famed Discovery Museum, as well as the Caperton Planetarium with state-of-the-art visuals and sound, and Performance Center, where nationally and internationally acclaimed artists perform throughout the year, the Clay Center has it all!
Be sure to journey through their amazing Discovery Museum, which offers three floors of outstanding hands-on exhibits, such as the opportunity to learn about the science of sound in their well-equipped music studio, scale Ashton’s Climbing Sculpture, and splash around the WaterWorks station. This is sure to be a memory-making experience for the whole family!
Open 7 days a week, Adult admission is $9, and children $7.50. Please note there is an additional fee for most Caperton Planetarium shows and Performance Center concerts.
4. Green Bank Telescope: Green Bank
This unique attraction is home to the largest steerable radio telescope in the world. A great spot for science and astronomy buffs, and an enriching-educational experience for the whole family to enjoy. The Green Bank Science Center offers a variety of tours, as well as a self-guided walking tour available with miles of trails to explore. And, for those who love to bike, there are many onsite biking trails to enjoy for both beginners and experienced riders alike. Admission to the Science Center is free, with their menu of tour options beginning at $6. Check their website for dates, times, and ticket information for all tours and seated presentations.
Further, Green Bank happens to be one of several little towns within the expansive Monongahela National Forest. This is a fantastic location that provides a variety of recreational activities, such as camping, swimming, fishing, horseback riding, and just about any outdoor activity you can think of. With breathtaking views, this is a must to include if you are in the area.
5. Blenko Glass Company: Milton
Off the beaten path, this hidden gem is on the Travel Channel’s Top 10 US Factory Tour list! More than just a glass factory, this place is an experience! There is a museum on site and an opportunity to observe artists in action crafting various unique pieces. After the factory tour, you can visit the gift shop for one-of-a-kind pieces to purchase, if you’d like.
6. West Virginia’s beloved covered bridges
If you are a photography buff, then you must visit at least one of West Virginia’s 17 most notable wooden covered bridges. Dating back to the late 19th century, each bridge nestled against nature’s beautiful backdrop is brimming with historic significance from the Civil War to the pre-railroad era. The bridges are spread out between the 3 counties of Monroe, Greenbrier, and Philippi. And, of course, free of charge!
7. Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum: Beckley
Tucked away in the mountains of Raleigh County, and located in the scenic New River Park, the Exhibition Coal Mine and Youth Museum is the perfect place to travel back in time to gain an understanding and appreciation of the history, culture, and day in the life realities of a coal miner. Formally known as Phillips-Sprague Mine, it is the largest and most popular heritage destination in the region. Visitors will travel along a track by way of authentic minecarts, down through lantern-lit passages for this one-of-a-kind history lesson. Exhibition tours are conducted by experienced veteran coal miners, making this a priceless historical experience!
The Youth Museum, located just footsteps away from the Exhibition Coal Mine, features a variety of interactive exhibits. There is also a gift shop filled with unique coal figurines, traditional and educational toys, local crafts, books, and homemade fudge. Behind the Museum’s main building, stands the Mountain Homestead, a recreation of a typical mountain settlement on the Appalachian frontier. This is the perfect place for visitors to explore local history, science, and more. Be sure to check their website for hours of operation and tour availability.
8. George Washington’s Bathtub: Berkeley Springs
Located in Berkeley Springs State Park, this outdoor bath was created in the mid-1700s and is a unique attraction for history buffs, as it showcases the craft and everyday life of that era. Further, it was one of George Washington’s favorite retreats!
He used this spot for entertaining his guests, relaxing, and enjoying the great outdoors. You can grab a jug at the visitor’s booth for $1 and fill it up with fresh spring water as you continue on your day’s journey. Admission to the state park is free, so you can enjoy this location at no expense. The town of Berkeley Springs offers state-of-the-art spas, unique shops, and local art, surrounded by West Virginia’s beautiful outdoors.
Explore Nature: Top Natural Attractions in West Virginia
What could be more relaxing than being away from the hussel and bussel of city life? Here are a few spots to explore that will hopefully help you unwind and relax!
1. West Virginia Botanic Garden: Morgantown
Set on 85 acres of natural beauty, with 4.5 miles of trails to enjoy, and nine core gardens to delight the senses, Botanic Garden at Tibbs Run Preserve is a lovely and peaceful place to spend the day with family and friends.
Take a stroll through Butterfly Garden, relax in Hammock Haven amongst the many sculptures created by local artists, explore trails that weave through flowering meadows, hike the terrain to discover beautiful vistas, ponds, and rivers, or picnic and throw a frisbee with friends. Whatever you choose to do, the natural beauty and nature’s sites and sounds will serve to bring peace and joy to your day. Admission to the gardens is completely free, however, donations are welcome.
2. The Good Zoo at Oglebay Park and Resort, Wheeling
Make your wildlife dreams a reality with amazing animal encounters at the Oglebay Good Zoo. Home to over 50 species, 20 of which are on the endangered list, the Good Zoo offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animal kingdom’s most fascinating species. The zoo is also home to a veterinary hospital where visitors can view operations and routine checkups. Zoo admission is $11.95 for adults and $7.95 for children.
Oglebay Park also functions as a resort and conference center, and in addition to its fantastic zoo, it is home to a variety of activities available at one’s fingertips. Whether it is a visit to Oglebay Mansion Museum, a stroll through Bissonnette Gardens, or sports activities such as golf, tennis, horseback riding, swimming, and walking or hiking one of many trails, this is a spot one could spend a weekend or so exploring! They even have an aerial challenge course for all you daring adventurers out there! Price points vary depending on the chosen activity.
3. West Virginia Waterfalls
For breathtaking sites and unique photo-ops, an excursion to some of West Virginia’s favorite waterfalls might be just the ticket. And of course, it is free! Waterfalls you may want to consider:
Babcock Mill Creek Falls, located in Clifftop, has a backdrop of the Glade Creek Grist Mill and is one of the most photographed places in the state. Seated in Babcock Mill State Park, this is one of the many adventures the park has to offer.
Sandstone Falls is approximately 20-feet tall and offers a variety of different river views. Situated on the river, you can jump in for a refreshing swim.
Two gorgeous falls that are a must-see, and located in the Blackwater State Park near the town of Davis, are Blackwater Falls, a 50-foot fall, and Elakala Falls, which consists of four cascading drops that plunge more than 100 feet.
Cathedral Falls, located in Gauley Bridge, is a 60-foot fall that can be viewed from the comfort of your car as you drive by, but it is well worth taking a few minutes to park and step into one of the most scenic in the state.
Wrapping it up
These are some of our top suggestions for cheap things to do in West Virginia. There are many more places to explore and many more free activities to discover. We hope these suggestions will contribute to fantastic new memories!
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