Located within a day’s driving distance from three quarters of the largest metropolitan areas of the United States, there are a wealth of things to do in Morgantown West Virginia that make it a great place for getaways and weekend trips to escape the big city life. Settled in the early 1770s, this city is filled with history, architecture and culture, as well as popular sporting events and a large university. Museums, theaters, and recreational events can all be found in this area, as well as great accommodations and restaurants. Whether planning a trip to or merely passing through, this list of the top things to do in Morgantown West Virginia will help you make the most of your time in this charming city.
Things To Do In Morgantown West Virginia
Stay at the Morgantown Marriott at Waterfront Place
Located right on the Monongahela River, this Marriott is a full service hotel close to the University of West Virginia campus and has offerings all along the river. With 207 beautifully decorated rooms, room service, Bourbon Prime restaurant, over 50,000 feet of event space, indoor pool, and full menu Starbucks for guests to enjoy. You’ll find the rooms are beautifully decorated in light gray and equipped with TV’s (with internet TV available), beautiful showers, coffee and tea maker, and comfortable beds.
The Marriott is a great location for exploring Morgantown and just minutes from the Campus.
Visit the Whiskey Stone at the Forks of Cheat Baptist Church
Originally built around 1775, the Cheat Baptist Church was the first church established west of the mountains of Virginia. Although it has been rebuilt since its destruction by fire over the course of the last few centuries, it retains much of its mountain charm and a few historic artifacts as well. Home to the Cheat Baptist Church Cemetery, the highlight of a visit here is one particular headstone with a peculiar history, making a visit to this area one of the top things to do in Morgantown West Virginia. The Whiskey Stone as it is called once acted as a place for bootleggers and moonshiners to meet with prospective clients to sell their liquor under the cover of darkness during the Prohibition years. Today, you can find a local winery located at the Forks, where a legal still harkens back to bootlegging days along with wines created from the local vineyards.
Visit Coopers Rock
One simply doesn’t visit Morgantown and not come to Coopers Rock! One of the most Instagrammed locations with sweeping views! Catch the perfect view when the sun lights up or go during the day for stunning views!
Learn about the fascinating history of pharmacology at the Cook-Hayman Pharmacy Museum
Located at the WVU School of Pharmacy, the Cook-Hayman Pharmacy Museum is probably one of the most unique things to do in Morgantown West Virginia. Filled with memorabilia and artifacts from the complex and lengthy history of pharmacology, including tools, compounds, recipes, business papers and even the pharmacist’s cases originally used to hold the precious medical ingredients used so long ago, the museum is a true snapshot of the art of pharmacology as it has evolved over the years. Many of the items were donated by pharmacists, doctors and collectors from all around the country and the namesake creators of the museum completed the collection with pieces from their own personal stashes of memorabilia, making it by far one of the most comprehensive collections that exist today.
Explore the arts at the WVU Art Museum
Morgantown West Virginia is home to the flagship campus of West Virginia University and holds one of the highest rankings as a research institute in the United States. Also located on this esteemed campus is the WVU Art Museum, a free-admission art space dedicated to the exhibition of contemporary arts within the city of Morgantown. With two galleries to display traveling exhibitions as well as a large archive of permanent collections and art from the college, the WVU Art Museum is one of the top things to do in Morgantown West Virginia. Visit this museum to take advantage of the opportunity to view some of the top traveling exhibitions and learn about the contemporary art theories and styles as well as the genres that inspired the work.
*Please note: there is no parking at the Art Museum. We were told to park at one of the surrounding restaurant parking lots and walk over.
Step back in time at the B&O Depot Museum of Rowlesburg
Just under an hour away in the town of Rowlesburg on the outskirts of Morgantown is the B&O Depot Museum. Housed inside an original freight and passenger station for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad is this museum dedicated entirely to trains and artifacts from the history of railroading in the area. Not only can you find some of the original uniforms worn by conductors and engineers, but you can also find an original 1927 caboose and many other tools and items from the days of steam-powered trains. A replica of an 1847 Howitzer is another big attraction for visitors to this museum. The B&O Depot Museum is often considered one of the most comprehensive train museums in the region and for this reason is another of the popular things to do in Morgantown West Virginia, even if it is located outside the city center.
Visit Cheat Lake for the MOST beautiful sunset!
One of the most peaceful places in the area is Cheat Lake. While waiting for the sun to set, there was just a family of ducks floating around hanging out waiting for the magic to happen.
I know further up the Lake you can rent boats. I checked on pricing and it was very reasonable (about $140 for two hours – check exact listings). This would make for a fun summer activity and the area is just stunning.
*Please note: the map function in apps is not correct in getting you to the right location because of a road name change. Follow the signs off the highway to the park where you will find parking and take the short walk down.
Stop for a show at the Metropolitan Theatre
Built in 1924, the historic Metropolitan Theatre to is the place to go to enjoy live entertainment in Morgantown. Originally opening as a Vaudeville performance venue, the Metropolitan Theater has hosted innumerable big name stars over its robust tenure, include some of the greats like Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Helen Hayes. The building itself, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, consists of an auditorium, two shops, and basement pool room. Commencement ceremonies for West Virginia University take place in this theater, a testament to its importance to the city as a gathering place. If you are interested in art, history, and architecture, visiting the Metropolitan Theatre is one of the top things to do in Morgantown West Virginia.
Sample wine at Forks of Cheat Winery
If you blink, you may miss it. The winery upon arrival just looks like a home, but they are home to some prize winning wines. Unlike many tasting rooms, Forks of Cheat Winery does not offer flights of wine but you can taste any of the wines for no charge. So I think you are getting the better deal here. One of the first wines that caught my attention was a blackberry. We were told this wine was a favorite and it was delicious (especially if you love sweet wine) and it mixed well with the Cabernet!
There is a deck to sit on and drink wine while overlooking the rolling hills and vines. Additionally, the winery sells cheese, meats and crackers for your enjoyment.
Embrace the lumberjack life at Mountain Man Axe Throwing
If throwing sharp objects at wood sounds appealing to you then you might just be a lumberjack at heart! As one of the most unique things to do in Morgantown West Virginia, Mountain Man Axe Throwing makes a great group activity, whether it be a special occasion or a normal night out with your friends. If you are alarmed at the notion of throwing a bladed weapon, don’t be! Mountain Man Axe Throwing is safe for adults and children 12 years and older.
*Please note: you are required to wear closed toed shoes to enter.
Stroll the West Virginia Botanic Gardens
Located in the Tibbs River Run Preserve is West Virginia’s only botanic garden, earning a top spot on any list of things to do in Morgantown West Virginia. The West Virginia Botanic Gardens feature over 85 acres of wilderness and gardens, including old growth forests, wetland areas and walking paths throughout. Open daily from dawn till dusk, the Botanic Gardens are a non-profit organization and promise free admission to the park for visitors looking to explore the wilds of West Virginia within easy distance of the city of Morgantown. A stroll through the gardens reveals trees, some as old as 250 years old, as well as views of the Tibbs River, rocky cliffs and all the flora and fauna found in this area of West Virginia.
Take in the view at Monongalia County Ballpark
Opened in 2015, Monongalia County Ballpark is home to the West Virginia Mountaineers, members of the Big 12 Conference, and also the West Virginia Black Bears, a Minor League team of the New York Penn League. With its state-of-the-art fan and player amenities, this 3500-capacity park is one of the top facilities in the region, even compared to Major League parks! Monogalia County Ballpark has been heralded as one of the best collaborative efforts the state of West Virginia has seen–and you can experience proof of its glory yourself from atop the hill that the park was built into! The sprawling green hillside offers a perfect view of the park below, and beyond that, the city of Morgantown can be seen against the horizon. So even if its the off season, or baseball isn’t your cup of tea, the view alone makes this visit one of the most rewarding things to do in Morgantown West Virginia.
Try for a strike at Suburban Lanes
If family-fun entertainment is on your list of things to do in Morgantown West Virginia, be sure to stop by the Suburban Lanes. This bowling center features 24 bowling lanes, a pro shop, a snack bar, and cosmic bowling! Open 7 days a week, this venue is the perfect spot for birthday parties, work events, leagues, and more. Boasting state of the art bowling technology and equipment as well as the largest inventory of bowling balls in the entire state of West Virginia, Suburban Lanes will surely be one of the better bowling complexes that you’ll visit anywhere!
One of my favorite things to do is to eat and that means hunting down all the best restaurants in Morgantown West Virginia on my visit. I am a huge sucker for sweets and I will choose it over savory any day – so my top two picks for sweets in the area are: Insomnia Cookies and Peace, Love and Little Donuts! The cookies come out warm and fresh and same with the donuts. I love that the donuts are made right in front of you and you can pick all your flavors!!
Hike to the peaks at Dorsey’s Knob Park
Located south of Morgantown, Dorsey Knob Park consists of 71 acres of picturesque landscape that is suitable for hiking, picnicking, camping, among other outdoor activities. The main feature of the park, Dorsey Knob, is a mountain summit that reaches an altitude of 1398 feet. Adequately nicknamed “Sky Rock,” this summit overlooks the Monongahela River and the Appalachian Mountains–a stunning view that you really need to see to believe. The number of options this park has to offer makes it the most versatile of all the things to do in Morgantown West Virginia.
Stop for a photo at Woodburn Hall
Woodburn Hall is known as the symbol of the University and part of Woodburn Circle at West Virginia University. Part of the downtown campus and a popular spot to take photos, Woodburn Hall should be on your list of things to do in Morgantown West Virginia when you visit.
*Please note there is no parking here.
While it might not be on the top of many bucket lists, there are so many unique and intriguing things to do in Morgantown West Virginia, making this a location that perhaps should be on your bucket list! Conveniently located near so many mega metropolises, it is a perfect mix of small town charm, historic Appalachian life and modern amenities. Escape the hustle and bustle for a weekend getaway to this charming city and you’ll see why so many people visit year after year. When planning your own adventure to this mountaineer city, don’t forget to consult this article listing the top things to do in Morgantown West Virginia so you don’t miss a single thing this unique city has to offer!
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Disclaimer: This article is written in Partnership with the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau. As always, opinions are entirely my own.
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