free in west virginia

Charleston, West VA Capitol at dusk. Photo courtesy of Thorney Lieberman

Charleston, West Virginia, is a family-friendly city full of great things to see and do for people of all ages. In addition to a great variety, everything is nearby. In fact, you could fill a day with shopping dining and recreation without ever having to get back in your car. And those places that do require a car trip are quick and easy to get to. If you are traveling on a budget, you can find plenty of family friendly things to do that are free in West Virginia.

  • Stopping by the Capitol Market. This indoor/outdoor market offers a unique shopping environment in a historic railway setting. Shop for West Virginia-made items and have lunch or dinner in one of the market’s restaurants. Or, simply relax outside on the porch.
  • Sightseeing at the historical, 24-karat, gold-plated state Capitol. Architect Cass Gilbert based his design of the West Virginia state Capitol dome on the Paris building housing Napolean’s tomb. The Governor’s Mansion and state Capitol grounds also are must sees.
  • Visiting the West Virginia State Museum. Located in the Culture Center, the museum is full of West Virginia history and offers self-guided public tours.
  • Experiencing the tradition and fun of many Charleston festivals throughout the year including the Vandalia Gathering, Multifest, Charlie West Blues Fest and SportsFEST.
  • free in west virginia

    Charleston, West VA July 4 Fireworks. Photo courtesy of Thorney Lieberman

    Tapping your toes and clapping your hands during the Live on the Levee concert series every Friday evening starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

  • Browsing Charleston’s thriving art scene during ArtWalk – a year-round, Thursday evening walking tour through downtown Charleston.
  • Gathering the family and heading to Magic Island for summer movies, beach volleyball, Jet Ski races and many more year-round events.
  • Spending time with family and friends at Coonskin Park or Kanawha State Forest during a cookout, picnic or relaxing walk.
  • Making your way to Haddad Riverfront Park for concerts and other special events.
  • Touring Heritage Towers, Charleston’s African American heritage center, or going back in time at the Craik Patton House.
  • Experiencing FestivALL – a 10-day celebration of music, dance, theater and visual arts that transform Charleston into a work of art all its own.
  • Taking part in the East End Garden Showcase – a self-guided tour celebrating urban gardening in Charleston’s historic east end neighborhood.