Affordability, career options and a standout quality of life draw talent to the Advantage Valley area.
Advantage Valley is a hidden gem, a region of 613,577 residents in the western section of West Virginia that includes the Charleston and Huntington metro areas. It is a region that blends the best of open spaces and big-city amenities with spectacular natural features, a diverse economy with abundant career opportunities, affordability and ease of getting around.
Easy on the Wallet
When comparing the total cost of energy, food, health care, housing and transportation, among other things, Salary.com found that the cost of living in Charleston is 5.9% and Huntington is 11.1% below the national average. Housing prices in the region are 81% of the U.S. average, and the median home price is $132,000, making home costs significantly lower than other cities, including Lexington, KY, and Richmond, VA.
Huntington has the state’s largest mall, plus a historic train depot that has been converted into retail space called Heritage Station.
Charleston is the state capital as well as the place to find museums, orchestras, theater, festivals and other cultural events.
Abundant Career Options
Advantage Valley is an ideal location for those starting or advancing in their careers as well as for remote workers who can take advantage of its affordability.
The region offers a wealth of career opportunities in a diverse economy that includes industry sectors such as advanced manufacturing, automotive, chemicals, information technology and health care. The area offers ample prospects for new or relocating talent with plenty of upward mobility, plus standout quality of life comforts and conveniences for trailing spouses and families.
The outdoors is calling in Advantage Valley, as this region is overflowing with opportunities to get your adrenaline pumping – think whitewater rafting, rock climbing and snow skiing.
If the rapids are what you are after, take a short drive to Gauley River, and you’ll be able to experience 22 levels of whitewater. Another area to brave the rapids is New River Gorge National Park, which is only a little over an hour away. This is also a popular spot to get a good climb in, if rock climbing is something you fancy.
As for those of you who want to break out your snow skis, head on over to Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, which boasts 257 acres of skiable terrain.
For those looking to take a walk or bike ride, Advantage Valley is also home to a number of parks, such as Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston. Another option is the 70-acre Ritter Park in Huntington, which features a walking trail, an award-winning playground and a dog park, among other things.
While these outdoor spots are attractive to residents, they also draw tourists. Another popular tourist destination in the area is Capitol Market, which is located in a turn-of-the- century train station. Made up of numerous shops that offer everything from fresh produce to coffee, wine and cheeses, and West Virginia-made gifts, folks can spend hours here. And if you get hungry, several lunch spots are at your fingertips.
If you’re looking for another market to try, visit The Wild Ramp farmers market in Huntington, where residents rave about the produce.
Plus, residents have options when it comes to craft brew. A local favorite is Christopher’s Eats.
If you’d like to learn more about the Advantage Valley area, check out the latest edition of Livability: Advantage Valley, WV.