Looking for a unique U.S. getaway this fall?
Here’s why West Virginia should be on your radar as a travel destination. This Eastern state nestled in the Appalachian Mountains has been growing in popularity with travelers lately.
More and more people are discovering the underrated beauty of the aptly nicknamed Mountain State.
There’s a reason that John Denver described West Virginia as “almost heaven” in his 1971 song “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Here’s why West Virginia is the perfect U.S. destination to visit this fall:
1. Great For Road Tripping
West Virginia is one of the best states for a road trip. With almost all of the state being located within the Appalachian Mountains, you can enjoy beautiful mountain scenery as you drive.
(And yes, it will make you want to play “Take Me Home, Country Roads” on repeat!)
It’s an especially good destination for a fall road trip, as the state is known for its vibrant fall foliage. This year, peak fall foliage is expected to be visible from late September through late October.
To get to West Virginia, travelers can fly into Charleston’s Yeager Airport, but with limited flights available, it is typically easier to fly to a larger hub city like Charlotte, North Carolina, Washington D.C., or Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and drive in from there.
2. America’s Newest National Park
One of the reasons West Virginia has been growing in popularity is because the state is home to America’s newest national park.
New River Gorge National Park was designated at the end of 2020, making it the newest of America’s 63 national parks.
This stunning national park is well worth a visit. Visitors can enjoy scenic hikes and outdoor activities like whitewater rafting and rock climbing. Endless Wall Trail and Long Point Trail are two of the most popular hikes in the park, offering breathtaking views of the mountains and New River Gorge Bridge.
During the fall, New River Gorge is an especially beautiful destination to visit, and visitors can enjoy fall foliage in vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold.
3. More Beautiful Parks
While New River Gorge is the only national park in West Virginia, the state is also home to a number of beautiful state parks, such as Babcock State Park.
Babcock State Park, which is located just 15 minutes from New River Gorge National Park, is one of the most iconic locations in West Virginia. Glade Creek Grist Mill at this park is known for being the most photographed place in the state.
Monongahela National Forest and Blackwater Falls State Park are two other areas of outstanding beauty in West Virginia. These two parks are located in the northeastern part of the state.
The northeastern part of West Virginia is also where you’ll find the state’s best ski resorts, like Snowshoe Mountain and Canaan Valley.
4. History And Culture
West Virginia may be best known for its natural state, but there’s more to the Mountain State than just, well, mountains. History buffs will also be interested in West Virginia’s historical sites.
One of the most famous historical sites in West Virginia is Harpers Ferry, where abolitionist John Brown led a raid and attempted slave rebellion in 1859, commonly cited as a precursor to the Civil War.
Another interesting historical site in West Virginia is The Greenbrier, a luxury resort dating back to 1778 that has earned the nickname “America’s Resort” thanks to its long history and the number of presidents who have stayed here.
Even if you can’t afford a stay at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, it’s worth a visit. Guided tours of the hotel are available, and you can enjoy lunch at one of the hotel’s restaurants.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com