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Described as "almost heaven," West Virginia has generous natural beauty, fascinating history, talented artists and craftsmen, renowned music, and a wealth of outdoor adventures. Named the Mountain State with a saying that "Mountaineers Are Always Free," West Virginia owes its birth to the lofty Appalachian Mountains that protect it. When the Civil War broke out, the mountain settlers didn't much agree with their tidewater kin. So when Virginia seceded from the Union, several western counties broke off on their own. Thus, West Virginia was created.

Spectacular scenery is around almost every turn. Stand on the bridge above New ...

Described as "almost heaven," West Virginia has generous natural beauty, fascinating history, talented artists and craftsmen, renowned music, and a wealth of outdoor adventures. Named the Mountain State with a saying that "Mountaineers Are Always Free," West Virginia owes its birth to the lofty Appalachian Mountains that protect it. When the Civil War broke out, the mountain settlers didn't much agree with their tidewater kin. So when Virginia seceded from the Union, several western counties broke off on their own. Thus, West Virginia was created.

Spectacular scenery is around almost every turn. Stand on the bridge above New River Gorge and be awed by the 1,000-foot canyon. Climb to Spruce Knob, the highest point in the state, and see why dedicated rock climbers feel compelled to reach the top time after time. Or venture underground in the state's many caves, such as Lost World Caverns with its huge subterranean rooms and 235-foot waterfall. Ease your muscles and your mind in the warm, mineral rich waters of White Sulphur Springs and Berkeley Springs. Pioneers discovered these bubbling springs more than two centuries ago.

Get off the main highway and wander along country roads graced by sparkling creeks, lofty peaks, pastoral scenes, old farmhouses and antebellum mansions. Keep an eye out for handicraft skills passed down through families — colorful quilts, pottery, baskets, furniture and hand-carved what-nots. Keep an ear open for the haunting tunes of mountain music. And enjoy being in "almost heaven."

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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