West Virginia is a small state in the Appalachian Mountains that is often overlooked when planning family vacations, but what people do not realize is that we have a beautiful state with activities the whole family can enjoy. Many people do not even know our state is here. You would not believe how many people still think we are part of Virginia. By the end of this essay, you will see why West Virginia should be on your list of places to visit. West Virginia is made up of several small knit communities that began with the old coal mining towns. Several coal mines are open today to help explain some of West Virginia's rich heritage and industry. Exhibition Coalmine should be one of your first places to see to help you better understand our state. The phrase “Wild and Wonderful” has been used several times in describing our state. There are some very picturesque views around West Virginia that people love to capture. The beautiful mountains are what people love the most! Blackwater Falls, Dolly Sods, and New River Gorge are only a few of the great places to see, and they're only a few hours from Charleston. If you are staying in the city of Charleston, there are a few great recreational parks that are close by if you are the type that likes the great outdoors. Coonskin Park, Kanawha State Forest, and Little Creek are just a few of the parks that my family particularly enjoys visiting. Hiking, biking, whitewater rafting, fishing, kayaking, hunting, and riding four wheelers are some activities you can enjoy in these places. Several festivals and fairs take place around the area and most are not far from the capital city of Charleston. Going to festivals is one of my favorite things about this state, and you can almost always find one to go to during the spring, summer, and fall months. Every county has a fair, and, of course, there is always the state fair. There's always plenty of food, rides, music, and good folks from around West Virginia. It is the perfect place to discover what West Virginia is really like. If you are interested in discovering more about the history of West Virginia there are several great places to see. The capitol has just recently updated the state museum and you can find out almost anything you want to know there. Independence Hall in Wheeling and Harper's Ferry are also interesting places to see and hold a lot of history for our state. Recently, our state has just celebrated it's 150th birthday. It was a great celebration in front of the capitol in Charleston. People from all over the state came to see the light show, fireworks, and join in the other festivities. It was the biggest firework production the state had ever seen, and everyone loved it! The light show was spectacular. It was projected on the front of the capital building, and it showed several things that occurred throughout history in our state. It was so good that I went to see it every day that it showed. How many other states do you know that celebrate like that for their state's birthday? As you can see, our state has much to offer even though it is so often overlooked. Whether you are young or old or like exploring the great outdoors or just enjoy learning some history, there is always something exciting to do. So the next time you are planning a trip, I hope you will consider stopping by our state. We'd love to have you!
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