The Mountain State, West Virginia, is the only state in the country that lies completely within a mountain range—the Appalachian Mountains, in this case. Locating West Virginia vacation rental cabins comes easy in a tree-covered state that is blanketed with stunning lakes, pristine rivers, historic towns, and majestic mountain vistas. Whether you want luxury, seclusion, or both, these West Virginia destinations have you covered.

1. Snowshoe

snow ride

Whether you are a snow bunny or a sun worshiper, there’s something for you to do at Snowshoe. When the snow falls, you find magic in every flake. From an exhilarating day on the ski slopes to the thrills of tubing down a hill, at the end of a cold day, Split Rock Pools gives you a good place to warm up. There are two hot tubs outside and a wading pool indoors for the kids. For a different kind of adventure, try a horse-drawn sleigh ride, snuggled under warm blankets, gliding silently through a winter landscape. In the summertime, the area transforms into the hiker’s and biker’s paradise with beautiful, green trails, crystal waterfalls, and pristine lakes. Whatever the season, when you venture into the Village at Snowshoe, the variety of shops and restaurants offer eclectic choices to suit your tastes.

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2. Berkeley Springs

autumn leaves
Source: wvstateparks.com

Berkeley Springs is the mountain town to visit if you want to be pampered. This artistic community features quaint shops, art galleries, and museums, but the mineral springs are what make the town famous and the spa business prolific. Berkeley Springs State Park occupies the center of the town, as it was developed around a historical mineral spring. The park’s first bathhouse opened in 1930, and now features a variety of baths, spa services, a Jacuzzi tub, Roman baths, and massage services. A unique cafe, Give Purrs a Chance, lets you enjoy a meal while watching cats as they play in their acrylic enclosure and their main room. If you like the night sky, the Morgan County Observatory hosts regular star parties, serving refreshments and making various telescopes available.

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3. Fayetteville

iron bridge connecting two mountains

One day each year, base jumpers gather in Fayetteville to plummet 800 feet off the New River Gorge Bridge. Whether you join the jumpers, join the party, or visit some other time during the year, you can still get a sense of how high the bridge is as it stretches across the gaping gorge with a stroll across the underbelly on what is known as a bridge walk. If the height is not your cup of tea, 70,000-acre New River Gorge Park along the New River features a wide variety of recreational activities. It’s one of the most popular rock-climbing spots on the East Coast, there are over 1,400 hiking trails, and the gorge includes some of the most challenging whitewater rafting in the country. When the crew works up an appetite, check out the Secret Sandwich Society or Dirty Ernie’s Rib Pit for a taste of mountain fare with a distinctly quirky flair.

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4. Seneca Rocks

rocky mountain

When you arrive in Seneca Rocks, the majestic peaks of the Monongahela National Forest stand out. If you want to see those peaks up close, the Via Ferrata at NROCKS offers a spectacular, easygoing adventure for the whole family. You scale the cliff on fixed-anchor, steel steps during the mile-long trip that takes between three-and-a-half to five hours. You gain 1,085 feet in elevation and cross a 150-foot high suspension bridge that is 200 feet long. If you’d rather see your part of the 900,000-acre park from the ground, there are hundreds of miles of multi-use trails and scenic roads. Other popular park activities include biking and fishing. Harper’s Old General Store is oldest continuously operated store in the state, retaining many of its 1902 fixtures and architecture that reaches back into the 19th century. On the second floor, you can grab a casual lunch or dinner and eat out on the Front Porch, a balcony with a view.

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5. Harpers Ferry

people walking on the footbridge

Harpers Ferry is notable as the site of the John Brown abolitionist uprising, and it’s located at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers. Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is located where the rivers meet, and where the Appalachian Trail passes through West Virginia into Maryland. The trail is about 2,200 miles long, and West Virginia boasts four miles of that, a small section of which passes through Harpers Ferry on a footbridge. You can walk across the bridge to Maryland and back in a matter of a few minutes. Other family adventures include whitewater rafting, fishing, boating, and zip lining at Harpers Ferry Adventure Parks. Pick up subs at Hannah’s Train Depot for dinner. It’s a red train car, full of ambiance, and the service is quick.

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6. Elkins

railway beside the river
Source: mountainrailwv.com

Elkins is a quaint mountain town that loves history, mountains, and trains. West Virginia’s Graceland is a historic mansion that US Senator Henry Davis built in 1893 as a summer home. Graceland and two other historic structures on the Davis & Elkins College campus comprise a historic district. The college is also home to the Stirrup Gallery, a museum with vast holdings from all over the world. When you’re ready to do some exploring, the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area features a stunning landscape of grassy meadows, stunted trees, and sphagnum bogs to the north. The southern area features a lush forest in a canyon along the North Fork of Red Creek. If stepping back in time is on your mind, board the Mountain Explorer Dinner Train for a four-hour excursion through a breathtaking back country to the High Falls of Cheat. The staff prepares and serves your four-course meal during the trip.

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7. Summersville

thick mountain near the watercourse
Source: Flickr / Todd Neal

When you want a vacation that gets you close to a mountain lake, make tracks for Summersville. Within about a 15-minute drive from your cabin in the woods, you can combine paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, and rock climbing for a day-long adventure in one spot—Summersville Lake. Explore the crystal-clear coves by the cliffs in a kayak or do some rock climbing on those cliffs. Rent a pontoon boat to cruise the lake and get in some fishing and swimming. When you get back to your vacation rental cabin, stage an epic cookout, toast marshmallows, and call it a perfect day.

 
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