Greater Morgantown, West Virginia
[dropcap]G[/dropcap]reater Morgantown is an extraordinary land of natural beauty; high country and mirrored lakes are gifts, referred to by locals as “Almost Heaven.” Countless customs and traditions passed down over generations are a vibrant part of daily life and make Mountaineer Country an epicenter of Appalachian culture that is reflected in handcrafted artwork, locally grown foods, music, and celebrations!
There’s no better way to get a true taste of Mountaineer “Spirit!” than to take a day and sample the local wines and the ports fortified with moonshine at Forks-of-Cheat Winery. For craft brews, stop by West Virginia’s oldest operating microbrewery, Morgantown Brewing Company, or the taproom of Chestnut Brew Works in the historic South Park area of Morgantown. You’re bound to run into friendly people, eager to share their stories and learn about yours over the rim of a glass!
You’ll find a diverse and imaginative cuisine at Morgantown’s fine dining restaurants. Stefano’s is family owned and specializes in Old World Italian and American cuisine with recipes that have been handed down through generations. Local Chef Marion Ohlinger focuses on farm-to-table fare and Appalachian flair at his new restaurant, Hill and Hollow, located in the renovated Seneca Glass factory.
Dining alfresco by the mighty Monongahela River is a must and the 19-mile rail trail that winds along the river’s banks will lead you to local eateries that offer waterside dining, like Table 9, Terra Café, Oliverio’s Ristorante, and Mountain State Brewing Company.
Just off the beaten path of I-68’s Bruceton Mills exit is Little Sandy’s Restaurant. With simple country cooking, like homemade biscuits and gravy, it’s one of the best places to sample the local specialty, buckwheat cakes and sausage. Two good reasons to visit Aurora: Cathedral State Park where you’ll find an ancient hemlock forest of majestic proportions, and Melanie’s, “home of good food, friendly smiles, and low prices.”
Downtown Morgantown pulses with the beat of countless live performances and talented DJs. Because the downtown is compact, club hoppers can stroll streets that teem with activity all night long.
Venture out of the city and you’ll find honkytonks, beer gardens, and family-run taverns. While Crockett’s is a legend to any student who ever visited or attended West Virginia University, it’s Mario’s Fishbowl that holds so many memories: 60 years of reflections are written on the receipts, napkins, and business cards that layer the walls and “the coldest beer in Morgantown is served in “Weiss” goblets, or “fishbowls.”
Annual festivals are a great chance to see us as we really are: the last weekend in July draws more than 60,000 riders to MountainFest motorcycle rally. Gear down and unwind on our country roads; our incredible twists and turns have been compared to those in Europe. Fall brings the WV Wine and Jazz Festival, a stage for the state’s award-winning wines. More than 100,000 visitors make the pilgrimage to nearby Kingwood for the unique local flavor of buckwheat cakes and sausage during the Preston County Buckwheat Festival. Autumn drives through dazzling foliage displays pair up handily with September events.
Breathtaking outdoor adventure, local wine and local bands give this picturesque university city a laid back vibe. Take time to wind down in small art galleries, antique shops, intimate little eateries by the river and year ‘round friendly festivals. You’ll run out of time long before you run out of things to do in Greater Morgantown.