Learn About Charleston

Charleston is the capital city of West Virginia. Known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and scenic landscapes, Charleston captivates visitors with its unique blend of tradition and modernity. Steeped in a tapestry of stories that date back centuries, this charming city has evolved into a dynamic hub that celebrates its heritage while embracing progress. Charleston is a city defined by its geography, situated along the banks of the Kanawha River, which gracefully meanders through the heart of the city. The river not only provides a stunning backdrop to the cityscape but also offers recreational opportunities for locals and tourists alike. The scenic beauty of the river is complemented by the rolling hills and lush greenery that surround Charleston, creating a tranquil and inviting atmosphere. One of the city's most iconic landmarks is the West Virginia State Capitol, an architectural masterpiece that stands proudly on a hill overlooking the Kanawha River. The golden dome of the Capitol gleams in the sunlight, symbolizing the state's resilience and determination.

Visitors can explore the Capitol grounds, which include statues, memorials, and beautifully landscaped gardens. The West Virginia State Museum, located on the Capitol Complex, provides a comprehensive journey through the state's history, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that highlight Charleston's role in shaping West Virginia's history. Charleston's downtown area is a delightful blend of historic charm and modern sophistication. The Capitol Street Historic District is a testament to the city's commitment to preserving its architectural heritage. Lined with red-brick buildings housing a variety of shops, restaurants, and galleries, Capitol Street exudes a vibrant energy. The city's commitment to the arts is evident in the numerous galleries and studios that dot the area, showcasing the work of local artists and contributing to Charleston's creative spirit. Cultural enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in Charleston. The Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences is a cultural hub that houses a performing arts theater, a planetarium, and an art museum. This dynamic venue hosts a diverse range of events, from Broadway shows and symphony concerts to interactive science exhibits, making it a gathering place for people of all ages.

Additionally, the city hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and food to heritage and the great outdoors. For nature lovers, Charleston offers an abundance of outdoor activities. The Kanawha State Forest, located just a short drive from downtown, provides a pristine natural escape. Hiking trails wind through the forest, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The Cato Park Golf Course provides an opportunity for golf enthusiasts to enjoy a round against the backdrop of the West Virginia hills. Culinary delights await those exploring Charleston's food scene. From traditional Appalachian fare to innovative culinary creations, the city's restaurants showcase a diverse range of flavors. Local farmers' markets offer fresh produce and artisanal goods, contributing to the farm-to-table movement that has gained popularity in the region. Charleston is a city that seamlessly blends its rich history with a modern, dynamic spirit. From its scenic landscapes and iconic landmarks to its vibrant arts scene and diverse culinary offerings, Charleston invites visitors to immerse themselves in the unique tapestry of this Appalachian gem. Whether exploring the historic streets, attending a cultural event, or simply enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds the city, Charleston leaves a lasting impression on all who have the pleasure of experiencing its charm.

Best Places To Live In Charleston

Charleston offers a unique blend of rich history, scenic beauty, and vibrant communities. Among the various neighborhoods that make up the city, several stand out as the best places to live, each offering its own distinct charm and amenities. Explore the top picks for those seeking a fulfilling and enriching lifestyle in the capital city.


is known for its proximity to the renowned West Virginia State University. Residents here enjoy a peaceful atmosphere surrounded by lush greenery and easy access to cultural and educational opportunities. With parks, community events, and a strong sense of togetherness, Institute is an ideal spot for those seeking a balanced and close-knit community.


 Situated along the northern banks of the Kanawha River, Dunbar boasts a welcoming suburban feel while maintaining close ties to the city's amenities. This family-friendly community is characterized by its well-maintained parks, local businesses, and a range of housing options. Residents of Dunbar can relish the tranquility of suburban life without sacrificing access to essential services and entertainment.

South Charleston

Known for its diverse array of housing options and vibrant atmosphere, South Charleston is a bustling community with a rich history. The city is home to a mix of cultural attractions, parks, and a thriving business district. The blend of modern amenities and a strong sense of community make South Charleston an attractive choice for individuals and families seeking an urban lifestyle within a friendly and welcoming environment.


Hillsdale, situated to the southwest of Charleston, offers residents a suburban escape with a distinct rural flavor. This tight-knit community is known for its spacious properties, scenic landscapes, and a sense of tranquility. Hillsdale provides a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life while remaining conveniently close to Charleston's amenities.

Kanawha City

Located on the city's east side, Kanawha City is a well-established and sought-after neighborhood. This area boasts a mix of historic and modern homes, a variety of dining options, and convenient access to shopping centers. Residents can enjoy the picturesque Kanawha River and take advantage of the many parks and recreational opportunities that enhance the quality of life in Kanawha City.

Mount Pleasant

Nestled just across the Ravenel Bridge from downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant exudes southern charm with its mix of suburban tranquility and waterfront allure. Boasting good schools, parks, and a family-friendly atmosphere, it's an ideal haven for those seeking a balanced, coastal lifestyle near the heart of the Lowcountry.

Charleston offers a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. Whether you prefer the suburban tranquility of Institute, the family-friendly atmosphere of Dunbar, the vibrant urban lifestyle of South Charleston, the rural charm of Hillsdale, or the historical appeal of Kanawha City, there's a perfect place for everyone to call home in this picturesque city by the river.

Neighborhoods Or Areas In Charleston

Charleston boasts a diverse tapestry of neighborhoods and areas, each with its own unique charm and character. Explore some of the notable neighborhoods in and around the city:

Sissonville: Situated to the northwest of Charleston, Sissonville offers a suburban escape with a touch of rural charm. Known for its scenic landscapes and friendly community atmosphere, Sissonville is a haven for those seeking a quieter pace of life. Residents can enjoy outdoor activities at places like Coonskin Park or explore the local shops and eateries that give this neighborhood its distinctive flavor.

Wallace: A historic neighborhood with a rich architectural heritage, Wallace exudes a timeless charm. Tree-lined streets and well-preserved homes characterize this area, providing residents with a sense of nostalgia. Wallace is home to cultural landmarks, such as the historic Spring Hill Cemetery and the South Hills neighborhood park, making it a delightful blend of the past and present.

Mink Shoals: Located along the scenic Elk River, Mink Shoals offers a tranquil riverside living experience. Residents can enjoy water-based activities like fishing or kayaking, surrounded by the picturesque beauty of the West Virginia landscape. This close-knit community provides a serene retreat while maintaining convenient access to Charleston's amenities.

Big Chimney: Situated to the northeast of Charleston, Big Chimney is a residential area known for its welcoming community and accessibility. The neighborhood is named after the prominent Big Chimney Mountain and offers a mix of housing options. With proximity to major highways, Big Chimney provides easy connections to downtown Charleston and other parts of the city.

Malden: Steeped in history, Malden is one of Charleston's oldest neighborhoods, dating back to the early 19th century. The area has preserved its historic charm, featuring well-preserved homes and landmarks. Malden is also home to the African Zion Baptist Church, an essential part of the region's cultural and historical identity.

Charleston is a city that celebrates diversity in its neighborhoods, each contributing to the vibrant tapestry of the community. Whether you seek the tranquility of riverside living, the historic charm of well-preserved architecture, or the suburban allure of Sissonville, Charleston has a neighborhood to suit various preferences and lifestyles.

Things To Do In Charleston

Charleston beckons with its scenic landscapes, historical charm, and vibrant parks. Whether you're a history buff, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxing day out, Charleston has a myriad of activities to offer. Here are some must-visit destinations in and around the city:

Criel Mound

Begin your journey through Charleston's past at Criel Mound, an ancient Native American burial mound dating back over a thousand years. As you climb to the summit, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the Kanawha Valley. This historic site invites visitors to reflect on the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Joplin Park

For those seeking tranquility amid urban life, Joplin Park provides a peaceful retreat. This charming park is dotted with walking trails, picnic areas, and serene ponds. Bring a blanket, unwind by the water, and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Joplin Park is perfect for a leisurely day outdoors.

Coonskin Park

 Embrace the great outdoors at Coonskin Park, a sprawling 1,000-acre haven offering a plethora of recreational activities. From hiking and biking trails to fishing and paddle boating on the lake, there's something for everyone. The park also boasts a golf course, a swimming pool, and playgrounds for the little ones, making it a family-friendly destination.

Magic Island Park:

Situated along the Kanawha River, Magic Island Park is a scenic gem that blends natural beauty with recreational amenities. Stroll along the riverfront, have a picnic on the green lawns, or engage in water activities like kayaking. The park's peaceful ambiance makes it an ideal spot to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the river.

Capitol Market

harleston's Capitol Market is a culinary haven, showcasing West Virginia's finest. From farm-fresh produce to artisanal crafts, it's a vibrant hub of local culture. With diverse eateries and charming boutiques, Capitol Market offers a delightful blend of flavors and experiences in the heart of West Virginia's capital.

Danner Meadow Park

Nature enthusiasts will find solace at Danner Meadow Park, a lush green space that offers a respite from the urban hustle. Explore the walking trails surrounded by wildflowers and take in the beauty of the meadows. It's a haven for birdwatchers and those looking to connect with the serenity of the natural world.

Charleston seamlessly weaves together history and nature, inviting visitors to explore its diverse offerings. Whether you're delving into the archaeological wonders of Criel Mound or embracing the tranquility of Coonskin Park, Charleston promises an enriching experience for all who venture into its embrace. So, pack your walking shoes and sense of adventure and embark on a journey through the captivating landscapes of this charming city.

Transportation, Roads, And Highways In Charleston

Charleston boasts a network of transportation arteries that weave through the picturesque Appalachian landscape. Known for its rich history and vibrant culture, Charleston's transportation infrastructure plays a pivotal role in connecting the city and fostering economic growth. Take a closer look at the famous transportation, roads, and highways that define the heartbeat of this charming capital city.

Interstate 64 (I-64): As a vital corridor for both local commuters and interstate travelers, Interstate 64 stands as a key gateway to Charleston. Stretching from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the heartland of the country, I-64 connects Charleston to major cities, facilitating the flow of goods and people. The iconic Southside Bridge, which spans the Kanawha River, offers breathtaking views of the city and serves as a symbolic entry point for those arriving from the east.

Kanawha Boulevard: For a more leisurely journey, locals and visitors alike often find solace in the Kanawha Boulevard. This scenic route runs parallel to the river, offering picturesque views of the Capitol Dome and the historic East End. Lined with parks, walkways, and green spaces, the Boulevard is not only a transportation route but a destination in itself, providing a serene escape within the bustling city.

Yeager Expressway: Navigating Charleston's neighborhoods is made efficient by the Yeager Expressway, a local highway that provides quick access to various districts. This essential roadway facilitates connectivity between downtown Charleston, South Hills, and the West Side, ensuring residents can easily access amenities and services throughout the city.

West Virginia Route 114: For those seeking a more scenic route, West Virginia Route 114 meanders through the Kanawha State Forest, showcasing the region's natural beauty. Connecting to the city's outskirts, this route not only serves as a pathway for outdoor enthusiasts but also allows for a serene commute away from the urban hustle.

Patrick Street Bridge: The Patrick Street Bridge, an iconic landmark, spans the Elk River, linking downtown Charleston with the historic Elk City district. This historic crossing is not only a crucial transportation link but also a nod to the city's past, reminding residents of the industrial heritage that helped shape Charleston.

Charleston weaves a tapestry of transportation options that blend modern efficiency with historical significance. From the bustling interstates to the serene boulevards, each road and highway contributes to the city's vitality, connecting neighborhoods and fostering the seamless flow of life in this charming Appalachian capital.

Best Restaurants In Charleston

Charleston boasts a vibrant culinary scene with a diverse range of dining options to satisfy any palate. Among the plethora of choices, several restaurants stand out as the best in the city, offering a delightful combination of flavors, ambiance, and service. Here are some must-visit restaurants in Charleston:

Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill BBQ

Located in Charleston, Dem 2 Brothers And A Grill BBQ is a haven for barbecue enthusiasts. With a menu brimming with smoky delights, this restaurant is known for its mouthwatering ribs, pulled pork, and brisket. The cozy and welcoming atmosphere enhances the dining experience, making it a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.

Brick Salt Bar+Kitchen:

 For those seeking a contemporary and upscale dining experience, Brick Salt Bar+Kitchen is the perfect choice. This restaurant combines a chic setting with an inventive menu that features locally sourced ingredients. From delectable appetizers to exquisite entrees, each dish at Brick Salt is a masterpiece, showcasing the culinary expertise of the chefs.

Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille

 Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille seamlessly blends a lively sports bar atmosphere with a diverse menu that caters to all tastes. Whether you're a sports enthusiast looking for a place to catch the game or a food lover in search of delicious pub fare, Adelphia has you covered. The extensive drink menu complements the array of appetizers, burgers, and signature dishes.

Tidewater Grill

Overlooking the scenic Kanawha River, Tidewater Grill offers a fine dining experience with a focus on fresh seafood and steak. The elegant ambiance, paired with impeccable service, creates an ideal setting for special occasions or a memorable night out. Whether enjoying a sunset dinner on the outdoor patio or savoring a perfectly cooked steak, Tidewater Grill promises a delightful culinary journey.

Bluegrass Kitchen

Bluegrass Kitchen in Charleston, West Virginia, is a culinary gem known for its farm-to-table ethos. With a menu celebrating local, seasonal ingredients, it offers a diverse array of creative dishes. The rustic-chic ambiance adds to the charm, creating an inviting space for patrons to savor the flavors of Appalachia in a uniquely modern way.

Pies & Pints - Charleston, WV

Pizza and craft beer enthusiasts rejoice at Pies & Pints. This restaurant is a haven for those craving unique and inventive pizza creations paired with a carefully curated selection of craft beers. From classic combinations to bold and unexpected flavors, Pies & Pints promises a pizza experience like no other. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it a go-to spot for casual dining.

Charleston is a culinary destination with an array of outstanding restaurants. Whether you're a fan of barbecue, upscale dining, seafood, sports bars, or creative pizza, the city has something to offer every palate. Explore these top restaurants to embark on a culinary journey through the diverse flavors of Charleston.

How You Can Visit In Charleston

Charleston invites you to discover its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque landscapes. To make the most of your visit, let's delve into the various transportation options available to explore this charming city.

Taxis and Rideshare Services: Whether you prefer the ease of a taxi or the convenience of rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft, Charleston provides ample options for quick and hassle-free transportation around the city. Taxis can be found at designated stands, while rideshare services operate throughout the city.

Rental Cars: For those who prefer the freedom of exploring at their own pace, rental car agencies are conveniently located at the airport. From compact cars to spacious SUVs, you can choose the vehicle that suits your travel needs. Charleston's well-maintained road network makes it easy to navigate and explore the surrounding areas.

Public Transportation: Charleston offers a reliable public transportation system, including buses that connect key locations within the city. The Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Authority (KVRTA) provides cost-effective and eco-friendly options for getting around. Check the schedules and routes to plan your itinerary accordingly.

Downtown Trolley: To add a touch of nostalgia to your visit, consider hopping on the Downtown Charleston Trolley. This charming mode of transportation takes you through the city's historic districts, providing insights into its captivating past.Kanawha Riverboat

Cruises: Elevate your Charleston experience with a riverboat cruise along the Kanawha River. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city skyline and surrounding landscapes while indulging in a leisurely voyage. Several operators offer themed cruises, ensuring a unique and memorable experience.

With a variety of transportation options at your disposal, exploring Charleston becomes a seamless and enjoyable experience. Whether you're arriving by air, navigating the streets in a rental car, or savoring the charm of downtown on foot, Charleston's welcoming atmosphere and rich heritage are sure to leave an indelible mark on your travel memories.

Popular Hotels And Resorts In Charleston

Whether you're visiting for business or leisure, Charleston offers a range of accommodation options, with some notable hotels and resorts standing out for their comfort, service, and convenient locations.

Wyndham Garden Cross Lanes Charleston

Located in the serene Cross Lanes area, Wyndham Garden offers a peaceful retreat while providing easy access to the vibrant city. The hotel boasts spacious rooms, modern amenities, and a welcoming ambiance. Guests can unwind by the pool or enjoy a delectable meal at the on-site restaurant, making it an ideal choice for both business and leisure travelers.

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Charleston

 Marriott's commitment to excellence is evident at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Charleston. Conveniently situated, this hotel provides easy access to downtown attractions and the business district. Guests can expect stylish rooms, complimentary breakfast, and a fitness center. The attentive staff ensures a pleasant stay, making it a top choice for those seeking comfort and convenience.

Holiday Inn & Suites Charleston West, an IHG Hotel

A name synonymous with quality, Holiday Inn & Suites offers a blend of modern amenities and Southern hospitality. Located in the heart of Charleston West, this IHG hotel features well-appointed rooms, a fitness center, and an indoor pool. Business travelers appreciate the well-equipped meeting spaces, while families find the nearby attractions and comfortable accommodations appealing.

Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Downtown/Civic Center

 For those desiring a central location, the Courtyard by Marriott near the Civic Center is an excellent choice. Modern design and thoughtful amenities characterize this hotel. Guests can enjoy the inviting bistro, stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi, and relax in well-designed rooms. Its proximity to downtown attractions and the Civic Center makes it a prime option for both business and leisure travelers.

Four Points by Sheraton Charleston

Four Points by Sheraton Charleston is a welcoming hotel in the heart of the city. Known for its modern amenities and comfortable accommodations, it offers a convenient stay for both business and leisure travelers. With a central location, it provides easy access to Charleston's attractions and is part of the reputable Marriott International chain. Guests can expect quality service, well-appointed rooms, and a seamless blend of comfort and style during their stay at Four Points by Sheraton Charleston.

Hampton Inn Charleston-Southridge

Situated in the Southridge area, the Hampton Inn offers a welcoming atmosphere and convenient access to shopping and dining. The hotel features comfortable rooms, a complimentary hot breakfast, and a fitness center. Travelers appreciate the warm hospitality and the proximity to the Southridge Shopping Plaza, making it an ideal base for exploring the city.

Charleston welcomes visitors with a variety of accommodation options. Whether you prefer the tranquility of Cross Lanes, the convenience of downtown, or the accessibility of Southridge, these popular hotels and resorts ensure a delightful stay in the charming capital city of West Virginia.

Point Of Interest In Charleston

Charleston is a city rich in history, culture, and captivating attractions. Among its many points of interest, the following stand out as must-visit destinations:

Mortar Man: Erected as a symbol of the city's industrial heritage, Mortar Man is a striking sculpture overlooking the river. Crafted from materials reminiscent of the city's manufacturing past, this sculpture pays homage to Charleston's role in the development of industry and innovation.

Davis Park: Davis Park is Charleston's central hub for outdoor recreation and community gatherings. With its lush greenery, walking trails, and serene ambiance, the park provides a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely stroll or attending a local event, Davis Park is a vibrant focal point for the city's residents and visitors alike.

Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau: The Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau serves as the perfect starting point for your city exploration. Knowledgeable staff can guide you through the city's attractions, events, and hidden gems. This information hub ensures you make the most of your visit, providing insights into the city's history and helping you plan an itinerary tailored to your interests.

Avampato Discovery Museum: The Avampato Discovery Museum, nestled within the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, is a haven for curious minds of all ages. With interactive exhibits, hands-on displays, and immersive learning experiences, the museum showcases the wonders of science, technology, and creativity. It's a perfect destination for families, students, and anyone with a passion for discovery.

West Virginia State Museum: Immerse yourself in the history and culture of West Virginia at the State Museum. From Native American artifacts to the state's role in the Civil War and beyond, the museum offers a comprehensive journey through time. Engaging exhibits, multimedia displays, and carefully curated collections make it a captivating destination for those seeking to understand the roots of the Mountain State.

Charleston invites you to uncover its diverse tapestry of attractions, each contributing to the city's unique character. Whether you're fascinated by history, enjoy outdoor recreation, or have a thirst for knowledge, Charleston has something to captivate every visitor. Explore, discover, and make lasting memories in this charming city along the banks of the Kanawha River.