The capital of West Virginia has cultural attractions dating back to the 1700s and the largest capitol dome in the country. Surrounded by scenic forest, it’s also a place to enjoy outdoor activities.
Charleston is the state capital and largest city of West Virginia. Watch comedy, visit museums and see theater and art exhibitions downtown. Go hiking, biking and fishing in state forests just outside the city limits.
The West Virginia State Capitol has the largest state capitol dome in the country. Photograph the iconic dome, which is decorated in 23-karat gold leaf.
Enjoy a leisurely walk around the grounds to see statues and other monuments. Enjoy the classical architecture on tree-lined Capitol Street as you walk between boutiques, restaurants and bars on the city’s main thoroughfare.
Visit the West Virginia Cultural Center and State Museum, also located in the State Capitol Complex. Discover facts about West Virginia from prehistoric times to present day. The Cultural Center has a theater and exhibition space that regularly host events.
Visitors of all ages will love the Avampato Discovery Museum in the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia. Learn about science through interactive exhibits or see a planetarium show in the domed theater. The center’s gallery space has a comprehensive collection of art dating back to 1600s, when the city was first settled.
Get out and enjoy the great outdoors at Kanawha State Forest, 7 miles (11.26 kilometers) south of downtown. Go hiking, biking or horseback riding along its many trails. Bring your own rod to go fishing in the lake. Bring a tent to stay in a campsite for a small fee.
Go back into the city for a night of live entertainment. Stop by the Comedy Zone Charleston in downtown for an evening of laughter. It’s the longest running comedy club in the state. Listen to the musical talent of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, which plays at the Clay Center.
Several major highways run through Charleston. Yeager Airport is located just outside the city and Amtrak provides rail service several days a week. See the city’s downtown cultural attractions on foot and then rent a car to explore the incredible natural scenery outside the city limits.