Living in Virginia for nearly 25 years of my life, I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t ever done much exploring in the ‘other’ Virginia. Mountains are the thing I miss most since moving to Texas. And I always heard that West Virginia had some of the prettiest ones.
Back when I was on my Texas brewery road trip, I received an invitation for a weekend trip out to Morgantown, West Virginia. The adventure was to be hosted by BlaineTurner Advertising and the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau.
It had been almost nine months since I’d last been back home to the Appalachian mountains. So I eagerly replied back, “YES”.
Next thing I knew I was booking a flight to my hometown, Roanoke, Virginia to pick up my sister and
Hanging out on the old railway bridge over the river. My sister and I! She’s ten years older than me, but doesn’t look a day over 25.
After that, it was a straight shot to Morgantown to visit the first brewery on our list: Mountain State Brewing Co. Located right on the river running through the heart of Morgantown, a beer on their backyard-vibes patio was a gorgeous introduction to the area.
Above, Welcome to Morgantown! The view from Mountain State Brewing Co’s outside patio
There’s something so relaxing about being up in the mountains in a town like Morgantown.
Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze
Country roads, take me homeJohn Denver, Take Me Home, Country Roads
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads
In case you didn’t know, West Virginia University calls this
town home. And when I visited, the students had all recently left for the summer.
I previously lived a college town myself. And it was one in which I did not actually attend the local college, (still, Go Hokies!). Some would call those people ‘townies’…
As a ‘townie’, I can understand the bittersweet relief of the slow downed pace of summers. Crowds die down, bars become more relaxed, you meet more neighbors … I enjoy that speed.
But still– it was tempting to wait all summer and plan my visit during the fall
That’s when all the leaves change from green to shades of orange, maroon, and yellow. Plus, I love to tailgate, and I’ve heard West Virginia University knows how to tailgate. Goodness, isn’t college football amazing?
But hey, look at these blue and green rolling mountains and tell me they wouldn’t be something spectacular in any season…
Overlooking Morgantown and the Monongahela River at Dorsey Knob Park.
For whatever pace of mountain adventures you prefer, Morgantown has so much to offer.
Below are some of the best things I got to do, eat, and drink during my recent weekend trip to Morgantown, West Virginia. Opinions are my own, and I personally recommend everything listed! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions, cheers~
Why Visit Morgantown, West Virginia
- The up-and-coming beer scene in the surrounding area is always exciting for any craft beer fan. Plus, Chestnut Brew Works is a standout star putting out some impressive stuff loved by all of the Mountaineers.
- There’s a surprising amount of places to eat using local ingredients and offering lots of vegetarian and vegan options.
- Cheer on the Mountaineers at a WVU Game. These people know how to get down and tailgate for the greatest sport in the world: college football
. Hike, raft, and explore to your heart’s content in the mountains of West Virginia.
My vegan sister was so delighted by all the healthy options she had during her visit.
When to Visit Morgantown
- Morgantown, West Virginia is located in the northern part of the state, just about 1.5 hours south of Pittsburgh. It’s a gorgeous, short drive away from Ohio, Northern Virginia, Washington D.C. and Maryland.
- The absolute best time to go would be when the leaves are changing in the fall. However, spring and summer are beautiful too.
- Since Morgantown is home to West Virginia University, take into consideration that the students will be gone during summer and football games will be BUSY days for Morgantown.
West Virginia Botanic Garden
How to Get to Morgantown
- By car: Morgantown is right in the middle of four states: Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, plus Washington D.C. making it a nice drive for many people in the mid-Atlantic region.
- By air: There is Morgantown Municipal Airport just a short five minutes from Downtown. You have another option into the Pittsburgh International Airport. Then rent a car and head an hour south to Morgantown.
- By boat: You’re on your own for this one… BUT there are plenty of rivers and creeks running all through the state. I bet it could be done!
Fun Things to do in Morgantown, WV
Dorsey’s Knob Park
Stands nearly 600 feet above a landscape of deep valleys and tall pines, providing a picturesque view of greater Morgantown and the Monongahela River. great spot for picnic and panoramic views.
Monongahela River Front Rail-Trail
The rail-trail follows scenic Deckers Creek upstream with noticeable elevation change of 1,000 feet over 19 miles. In Morgantown city limits, the trail is asphalt, outside Morgantown the trail is surfaced with a smooth crushed limestone.
Morgantown Farmers Market
Morgantown’s local farmers market. All sorts of local goods and foods. Every Saturday, 8:30am-noon, from the first Saturday in May to the first Saturday in November.
River Fair Trade
River Fair Trade is a socially conscious, eco company whose main goal is to connect its customers with artisan-made, fair trade goods from around the world. By offering their beautiful, handmade products from a home base in West Virginia and via the internet, River Fair Trade hopes to help empower small collectives and single artisans worldwide to participate in the larger global economy.
West Virginia Botanic Garden
Where to Eat in Morgantown
Black Bear Burritos
Morgantown’s family-friendly choice for a wide range of burritos including zany creations & vegetarian options. Every burrito option comes with an option to switch out the meat for tofu! So awesome!
There are two locations in Morgantown, and the in Evansdale features live music every Friday. This place is very supportive of the local craft beer scene as well. So it’s a great spot to find all the local favorites on tap
Mountain People’s Co-Op
Mountain People’s Co-Op is a full service natural and organic food market located in Morgantown, WV. For over 40 years, we’ve been a trusted source for high-quality, nourishing food. As a local business, we support sustainable food, environmental responsibility, and our community. Our Co-op market is open to the public and membership is not required to make purchases.
Morgantown Flour and Feed
Unique eatery and drinkery located along the Monongahela River and Deckers Creek Rail-Trail serving down home food with a twist. There’s always a long list of West Virginia craft beer as well as live music on Saturday Nights.
New American fare, plus wine, craft beer & cocktails served in a bright, contemporary space. Table 9 is a top-notch gastropub that celebrates local farms around West Virginia and develops seasonal food and beverage menus. This was our fancy-fancy dinner of the trip and we were treated like royalty. The restaurant has a very unique funky
Relaxed eatery with a patio for scratch-made sandwiches & salads, with espresso drinks & local beer. The perfect spot for a riverside latte or breakfast.
Breweries in Morgantown
Chestnut Brew Works
Chestnut Brew Works started as a small brewery nestled in the woods of southern Monongalia County, about 10 miles south of Morgantown in April of 2013. The demand quickly outpaced the supply, however, so they recently expanded their operations and added a taproom in the historic South Park area of Morgantown. This is the brewery in Morgantown to watch. Hop heads will love their short but mighty beer list.
Morgantown Brewing Company
Otherwise known as the “brewpub” and West Virginia’s oldest operating brewery selling house brews and great food. Morgantown Brewing Co. is one of the oldest and largest full-scale distributing microbreweries in the state of West Virginia, established in 2005.
Mountain State Brewing Co
With four locations around West Virginia, Mountain State Brewing brewery and eatery features wood-fired flatbreads, bar food & house beers with mountain views in a low-key pub setting. Their Morgantown location is located on the rail trail in the Wharf District in Morgantown.