Morgantown, West Virginia
Morgantown offers a variety of cultural and outdoor recreation opportunities. From crowd-favorite local businesses and restaurants to the historic Metropolitan Theater and Hotel Morgan, Morgantown fuses the “college town” atmosphere with a strong local and regional history. Recreational opportunities are supplied through the Morgantown Board of Parks and Recreation, the local parks system, which offers two public swimming pools, an ice arena, and plenty of park trails. The Caperton and Decker’s Creek trails, which border the town and the Monongahela River, connect to neighboring towns and provide walkers, runners, and bikers with a picturesque view of downtown.
A short drive outside Morgantown offers even more opportunities for hiking, fishing, camping, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities. Coopers Rock State Forest, located 20 minutes east of Morgantown, is frequented by campers, hikers, bikers, researchers, and nature lovers, while nearby Cheat Lake provides boating, kayaking, and swimming only 10 minutes from downtown. In the winter months, skiers can visit Wisp Resort, located a short drive over the West Virginia/Maryland border. Whatever the season, West Virginia’s natural beauty continues to strike newcomers and locals alike, year after year. For those who wish to travel out of state, Morgantown is within easy traveling distance of Washington, D.C. to the east, Pittsburgh to the north, and Cleveland and Columbus to the west.
The WVU Downtown Campus Library is close to the Mountainlair, the student union, with a bank, post office, a la carte food court (including some vegan/mediterranean options) and cafeteria, bookstore, and Starbucks. The library also has a cafe with coffee and cold sandwiches, etc.
Close to campus is a local and wonderful coffee house called The Grind, which has good service, coffee, smoothies, scones, sandwiches, and salads. Off campus within the next 3-4 blocks are the following food places we can recommend:
Mountain People’s Co-op (your organic haven in Mo’town)
Chico Fat’s (burritos with local ingredients, friendly service)
Casa D’Amici (decent pizza by the slice)
Chaang Thai (great food, large menu—ask for the wide noodles!—and quick service. Also, beer & wine)
Morgan’s High Street Diner (Try their Egg Waffles Benedict! Great grits.)
Tin 202 (kind and welcoming owners, cuban greek influenced food, old-timey feel, great atmosphere, full bar. Vegetarian meals can be created from sides. Good fish dishes.)
Apothecary Bar (low-lit, small-ish bar where the professors and other adults hang out)
Montmartre (‘upscale’ restaurant and full bar on the top floor of the Hotel Morgan, includes outdoor seating on the roof)
Iron Horse (inspired pub grub and specialty cocktails)
Black Bear Burritos (with burritos inspired by cuisine around the world, a nice beer selection, and local live music, this is about as Mo’town as it gets)
Outdoor recreation opportunities abound inside and outside of Morgantown, including the following we can recommend:
- Caperton Trail, part of Monongalia Countys rail trails located within the Morgantown city limits, is flat and paved perfect for walking, biking, and rollerblading. Access at the Waterfront. The more adventurous can continue on the Mon River Trail for miles north or south of town, where the trail turns to crushed limestone.
- The Core Arboretum is a 91-acre park owned by WVU. It offers 3.5 miles of trail in mostly old-growth forest. The trail leads to the river and provides access to the Caperton Trail. Some plants and trees are marked. Beware that sections of this trail are quite steep.
- Coopers Rock State Forest is located about 12 miles northeast of Morgantown and is iconic for good reasons. A short path leads to the main scenic overlook; there is also a nearby ADA-compliant viewing platform. The trail system in the park accommodates hikes of varying lengths and difficulties. We recommend Ravens Rock, a moderate, 4-mile, out-and-back hiketo a less crowded but no less scenic rock outcropping.
For more things to do, check out the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau.