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Best Places to Live in West Virginia

Great locales include Morgantown, Wheeling, Beckley

By Kevin Litwin on February 24, 2016

Best Places to Live in West Virginia
West Virginia / Courtesy of dpbirds under a CC 4.0 license.

Top universities, multiple housing choices and outdoor recreation opportunities are among the many reasons why West Virginia is a popular state to live, and some of the favorite communities in The Mountain State are as follows:


The capital of West Virginia, Charleston is at the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha rivers and is lined by an expansive Kanawha State Forest. Key economic sectors are higher education, government and medicine, and also playing a major role is McLaughlin Air National Guard Base. Shoppers can frequent Town Center Mall.


Along the Ohio River is Huntington, where Marshall University serves as an education jewel of the city. Distinct neighborhoods and a historic downtown district highlight many housing choices, and Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center are top healthcare options. The community has 11 public parks and many trails.


Parkersburg is largely a college community thanks to Mountain State College as well as West Virginia University at Parkersburg. Residents and tourists can enjoy outdoor recreation at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, and local transportation advantages include Interstate 77, U.S. Highway 50 and Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport.


Along the banks of the Monongahela River is Morgantown, best known as home to West Virginia University. Citizens have several interesting neighborhoods to live, and a popular recreation spot is Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park. Accommodating to businesses and residents are Interstate 68, Interstate 79 and Morgantown Municipal Airport.


Lining the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountain foothills is Wheeling, a city with a strong economy led by education, energy, healthcare and tourism. Centre Market is a thriving shopping destination with boutiques and restaurants, and a 2,500-seat Capitol Theatre is the largest theater in West Virginia.

South Charleston

Good highways and Mallory Airport give South Charleston a top transportation system, and the city is headquarters to the West Virginia State Police. The Kanawha River runs through the community, and students can attend Marshall University-South Charleston and BridgeValley Community & Technical College. Little Creek Park is an attractive outdoor gathering place.


Nicknamed “Jewel of the Hills,” Clarksburg has an economy strong in manufacturing as well as retail, and Eastpointe & Newpointe is the largest strip mall in West Virginia. Also in Clarksburg is the West Virginia Criminal Justice Information Services Division, and the city hosts an annual West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival.


With a beautiful downtown district, Beckley is known as the hub of southern West Virginia and the region’s 100,000 residents. The city is a convenient stop along Intestates 64 and 77, and also serving the community and area is Beckley Raleigh County Memorial Airport. Three university campuses are in Beckley.


A well-attended Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival is annually held in Fairmont, a college town highlighted by Fairmont State University and its 7,700 students. Popular entertainment destinations for residents and tourists include downtown Fairmont as well as outdoor recreation along the Monongahela River and Pricketts Fort State Park.


Beautiful homes, parks and trails are quality of life attractions in Bridgeport, located just off Interstate 79. A 100-store Meadowbrook Mall welcomes regional shoppers throughout north-central West Virginia, and golfers can play a championship Pete Dye Golf Club. A challenging college prep curriculum is taught at Bridgeport High School.

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