2011 Keystone Hideout
2011 Keystone Hideout
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West Virginia is one of the least densely populated states in the country, and its state capital follows suit. Charleston, West Virginia is essentially the only metropolitan area in a very rural state, where salt, coal, and natural gas reign as the most essential components of the economy.
Charleston was first settled shortly after the Revolutionary War, when pioneers like Daniel Boone began to move westward and colonize the fertile area beyond the great Appalachian Mountains. West Virginia was once part of Virginia but forever split from the state during the Civil War conflict that divided communities and even families.
Even though West Virginia has a rugged, woodsy image associated with it, Charleston happens to be a wonderful, cultural hub with lots of history and attractions. When you book an RV in Charleston, you’ll have access to many excellent festivals and celebrations that further solidify this southern city as an ideal travel destination. Events such as FestivALL, the Vandalia Gathering, and the West Virginia Dance Festival showcase the unique music, food, traditions, and culture of the Appalachian region.
In a state known for its spectacular, natural beauty, Charleston does not disappoint. The city remains a great place to rent an RV due to its proximity to some of the region’s best mountain hikes, forest camping, and wilderness areas. Charleston has some nice options as far as parks and public green spaces go, like Mary Price Ratrie Green Space and Kanawha Riflemans Memorial Park, but Magic Island Park is the local favorite by far. The park is named for its ability to sink below the water levels in the Kanawha River and repeat as if by magic. The island park is connected to the mainland and is often used for festivals and big events. The sandy shores and volleyball courts are popular in spring and summertime.
Kanawha State Forest is directly south of the city, and a great place to go with the Charleston camper rental. Over 9,000 acres, this area is a state forest in name only, and operates more like a state park with many recreation options. People can use the public shooting range, go for a hike, mountain bike, or even camp overnight in Kanawha State Forest.
Gauley River National Recreation Area is known for its Class V rapids on the Gauley River that flow through the park. These rapids are some of the best for experienced white-water rafting enthusiasts to try. To the west, Crown City Wildlife Management Area is a large conservation area in near Huntington on the Ohio-West Virginia state line, that was once an over harvested timber forest. Since it was donated for public use, it has become a great place to hunt, fish, and hike.
Take your Charleston motorhome rental to Chief Logan State Park for more entertainment and scenery. Chief Logan State Park has an outstanding outdoor amphitheater that puts on theatrical productions throughout the summertime. Additionally, there is a large museum, recreation center, swimming pool, mini golf course, and even a restaurant at this awesome public facility. Coopers Rock State Forest up near Morgantown is a fantastic place to camp, with stunning views of the valley below, and odd geological outcroppings.
Daniel Boone National Forest to the south, and Monongahela National Forest to the east both give vacationers exciting places to visit when they rent an RV in Charleston. Monongahela National Forest covers a large portion of the Allegheny Mountains, with some of the state’s highest mountain peaks. Over 800 miles of trails and eight distinct wilderness areas can be found at this incredible national forest when you visit in your Charleston RV rental.
Daniel Boone National Forest is of course named for the famed statesman, explorer, and wild west folk hero. The forest itself is located in Kentucky, but is a short drive away in your RV rental. Over a million visitors from all over pour into this fabulous conservation area to enjoy recreation and tranquility during the warmer months especially.
Charleston has a large number of interesting attractions for visitors to enjoy while in town, so there are alternatives for those who don’t necessarily want to spend their entire trip in the camper. Capitol Market in the heart of downtown is an excellent place to visit and shop for artisan crafts, delicious food, and fresh fruits & vegetables for your vacation. Capitol Street is the main focal point of Charleston, with many old buildings, elegant dining areas, and retail boutiques.
The West Virginia State Capitol Complex is home to several interesting attractions, like the Governor's Mansion, the Capitol Building, and the West Virginia Museum. The West Virginia Museum is an amazing place to learn about the complex history of the state, from the French and Indian War, the bitter Civil War that divided the state, and the potent mountain culture that the state is known for. A wealth of exhibits and important artifacts can be found at the museum, like antique hats and items used by some of the founding fathers of the United States. The Craik-Patton House and the Cox-Morton House are a few of the lovely historic homes in Charleston that can be seen on your grand tour of the city. The old architecture is truly a sight to behold.
The Avampato Discovery Center and the Clay Center combine to form a wonderful learning institution that fosters an understanding and appreciation for both the sciences and the arts. Children in particular seem to really enjoy these educational experiences, although they are tailored to people of all ages.
Of all the states in the country, you are perhaps most likely to find an awesome camping spot in West Virginia due to the state’s affinity for the great outdoors. There are several campgrounds, resorts, and RV parks around the state capital for you to enjoy with your Charleston travel trailer rental. Little Coal River Campground is located across from the Hatfield-McCoy Waterways Welcome Center, and is surrounded by splendid forest. Its position on the banks of the Little Coal River could make it a decent place to camp for swimming and fishing purposes.
Ole Henry’s Camping Retreat is an option for families with small children, and is open all year round, rain, snow, or shine. Huntington/Fox Fire KOA has a nice lakefront beach, bicycle rentals, a dog park, and great fishing spots for all to enjoy. Don’t forget to check out Kanawha State Forest and its campground in the serene wilderness away from the city.