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About Charleston, WV


About Charleston - "Charlie West"


Located where the Elk and Kanawha Rivers meet, Charleston is both the capital of West Virginia and the largest city in the state. In spite of that distinction, the city is quite compact and easy to get around in. Many of the most popular attractions are located near the Capital building, which itself is a major attraction.

The Charleston State Capital is perhaps the most well-known building in the entire state. Its 300-foot dome is completed covered with 23.5 karat gold. Inside, a massive and famous chandelier hangs from the dome. Beyond that, Cass Gilbert, who designed the State Capital Building, used a variety of classical themes that meld together to create something truly unique. Gilbert was one of America's most famous architects, designing both the Supreme Court and the U.S. Treasury Building in Washington. The West Virginia State Capital building reflects much of the same charm.

The whole area around the State Capital Building is often called "East End". This district is one of Charleston's oldest commercial districts. However, there is a lot of modernity mixed in as well, offering a unique blend of old and new. From historic statues to urban graffiti-style work, downtown Charleston has an artsy vibe to it. Many areas are gentrifying.

Beyond art on the streets, you can also find a lot of art at the nearby Clay Center for Arts & Sciences. There, you can catch shows that combine performing arts, sciences, and visual arts. You might catch gospel performances, or swing & jazz. Or perhaps Motown, southern rock, or more hard-hitting rock and roll. There's also the Charleston Light Opera Guild, which puts on off-broadway shows.

Families should consider a stop at the Avampato Discovery Museum at the Clay Center. The Discovery Museum features a huge range of interactive science exhibits. You can explore energy, magnetism, health, engineering, science, and other fields. Many of the interactive displays practically bring science to life.

The Milton Gardner's Earth City is set up like an old-school road show and offers information on earth sciences. The Health Royale features a variety of activities that will teach you about health and fitness. Visitors can check out STEAMworks if they want to learn more about math, engineering, and technology. Kidspace is designed specifically for children under the age of five.

The Capital Market is a hot destination where locals often bring people stopping by for a visit. The Market is also at the top of the list for local politicians and business people setting up lunch meetings. Many of the city's best restaurants are located in the market. The Market is great to bring kids looking for pumpkins for Halloween, or a tree for Christmas as well.

The Live on the Levee concert series features a mix of music from authentic African to modern country. These concerts are held at the Haddad Riverfront Park every Friday from May to September. From March through December, the city also hosts ArtWalk events as well. During these events, local artists show off their talents and works.

The Charleston Civic Center also hosts a huge range of events and fairs throughout the year. From art shows to car shows and craft fairs and culinary events, the Center is a busy place. The Haddad Riverfront Park also hosts a wide range of concerts and special events. Located along the river, people often partake from their boats. Car shows, concerts, a 4th of July Celebration, and the Smoke on the Water Chili CookOff are just some of the many hot events.

Charleston has plenty of other charms. Did you know that the city was actually the first city in the world to have a street laid in brick? "Summers Street" was laid down all the way back in 1870. Taking a stroll through downtown Charleston, you'll find a wide range of historical buildings. You will also find a good range of cafes, galleries, bookstores, and crafts shops that line the leafy streets. Whether you're looking for pizza, Asian, ice cream, or whatever else, you'll likely find a place you'll enjoy.

There are plenty of other opportunities as well. Want to enjoy the great outdoors? There are plenty of nearby areas that are perfect for biking, hiking, or cross-country skiing. Prefer camping? Pitch a tent at the nearby Kanawha State Forest, which is just seven miles south of the city. The forest extends over 9,000 acres. It's home to nineteen different species of wood warblers that make their home in the trees. If you're not looking to stay overnight, you can pitch a blanket and enjoy a picnic. Have kids in tow? There's a playground as well.

Looking for a place to stay around Charleston? There are a variety of high-end hotels, bed & breakfasts, and other options scattered around town. Of course, with the parks nearby, some visitors choose to get back to nature instead. Whatever your preference, you're likely to find it.


Photos of Charleston:


Charleston, WV
Charleston, WV
Skyline
Skyline
City Lights
City Lights
Downtown
Downtown
City Center
City Center
Aerial
Aerial


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