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West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States, though it is also considered part of the Mid-Atlantic Southeast Region.[Note 1] It is bordered by Pennsylvania to the northeast, Maryland to the east and northeast, Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, and Ohio to the northwest. West Virginia is the 41st-largest state by area and ranks 38th in population, with around 1.791 million residents. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions of 1861, at the start of the American Civil War. Delegates from the Unionist counties of northwestern Virginia decided to break away from Virginia, which also included secessionist counties in the new state.[6] West Virginia was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key border state during the war. It was the only state to form by separating from a Confederate state, the first to separate from any state since Maine separated from Massachusetts, and was one of two states (along with Nevada) admitted to the Union during the American Civil War. While a portion of its residents held slaves, most of the residents were yeoman farmers, and the delegates provided for the gradual abolition of slavery in the new state constitution and the state’s legislature passed the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery on February 3, 1865.

The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio, with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles (110 km) from North Carolina. Huntington in the southwest is close to the states of Ohio and Kentucky, while Martinsburg and Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle region are considered part of the Washington metropolitan area, in between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The unique position of West Virginia means it is often included in several U.S. geographical regions, including the Mid-Atlantic, the Upland South, and the Southeastern United States. It is the only state that is entirely within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission; the area is commonly defined as “Appalachia“.[7]

The state is noted for its mountains and rolling hills, its historically significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and hunting.


Things to do in West Virginia:

Why visit West Virginia

West Virginia is full of scenic nature, friendly faces, and honest to goodness family fun for all ages. Charleston Capitol Market The Charleston Capitol Market was created in 1997 using the architectural bones of the Kanawha and Michigan Railroad railyard from the 1800s.

In addition, those interested can take part in walk-in workshops, where they’ll witness live glasswork and can even join in by making their very own paperweight.

When to visit West Virginia

Traditional West Virginia dance with its many influences takes center stage, with demonstrations of Irish, Scottish, Morris, Swiss, Croatian and Appalachian dancing. (

Better Plan a Spring Trip, too: Vandalia Gathering ( Charleston, West virginia ) Rich Appalachian folk culture is celebrated at the annual Vandalia Gathering, keeping the old ways alive in the modern era.

Traditional West virginia dance with its many influences takes center stage, with demonstrations of Irish, Scottish, Morris, Swiss, Croatian and Appalachian dancing.

What to do in West Virginia

Whitewater Rafting Paddlers rank West Virginia as one of the top river destinations in the world for both technicality and scenery (think towering cliffs). See the Hatfields Gravesite The Hatfields, of the Hatfields and McCoys feud fame, are buried in West Virginia. Visit West Virginia’s Beautiful State Capitol West Virginia is home to the most beautiful state capital of them all. Tour the Blenko Glass Company Blenko is a brand of hand-blown glass that has been produced in West Virginia since 1893 and is seen and sold around the world. West Virginia Public Radio’s nationally syndicated show, “ Mountain Stage “, has been going strong in the Kanawha Valley for over 30 years. This live show is a reason that people visit West Virginia. Sample Blue Smoke Salsa If you’ve ever seen a display of West Virginia products, chances are you have seen Blue Smoke Salsa, a delicious jarred salsa created and bottled in Ansted, West Virginia. Spend the Weekend at Stonewall Resort The Stonewall Resort is in West Virginia’s rolling hills and is full of outdoor fun. Watch a Baseball Game Come out and enjoy America’s favorite pastime at Appalachian Power Park with the West Virginia Power. The Power is West Virginia’s minor league baseball team and is the class-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tour the WV State Wildlife Center Located in French Creek, the West Virginia State Wildlife Center is home to owls, raccoons, bison, river otters, and bears plus many other local animals.