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Known for its natural beauty and rich history, West Virginia also boasts some of the most charming college towns in the country.
The West Virginia college towns featured in this article are full of life, culture and excitement, providing students and longtime locals alike with a truly stellar quality of life. From the Appalachian charm of Morgantown to the picturesque beauty of Shepherdstown, these towns have something for everyone.
Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, Morgantown is home to West Virginia University (WVU). With its lively arts scene and ample outdoor recreational resources, Morgantown is the perfect blend of urban sophistication and rustic beauty. As you wander through downtown, you will find a variety of unique shops, cafes and restaurants, many of which proudly display their support for the WVU Mountaineers.
The annual FallFest and Gold and Blue Games are just a few of the exciting events that showcase the strong community spirit in Morgantown. Whether you’re looking to explore the scenic trails at Coopers Rock State Forest or attend a lively concert at the Metropolitan Theatre, Morgantown offers countless unique experiences for residents and visitors alike.
Morgantown’s rich history is evident in its well-preserved historic districts, like Woodburn Circle and South Park. The Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit system provides easy access to the WVU campus, making it convenient for students to commute between classes and explore the town. With various festivals, including the West Virginia Wine and Jazz Festival and the Morgantown Art Walk, the city is an exciting destination for art lovers and foodies. As one of the most iconic college towns in West Virginia, Morgantown guarantees a memorable experience for all who visit.
Located along the Potomac River, Shepherdstown is home to Shepherd University. This quaint, historic town is known for its charming streets lined with brick sidewalks, beautiful 18th and 19th-century architecture and thriving arts scene. The town’s rich history is evident in landmarks like the Rumsey Monument, which commemorates the achievements of James Rumsey, an inventor and a resident of Shepherdstown. The Shepherdstown Opera House, which dates back to 1910, is another historic site that continues to be a hub for arts and entertainment.
The Shepherdstown community comes together throughout the year for various events and festivals, including the Contemporary American Theater Festival, the annual Appalachian Heritage Festival and the popular Christmas in Shepherdstown celebration. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the close proximity to the C&O Canal Towpath and the Appalachian Trail, providing ample opportunities for hiking, biking and enjoying the great outdoors.
A small, friendly town in central West Virginia, Glenville is home to Glenville State College. The college is renowned for its academic programs in natural resource management, criminal justice and education. Glenville’s picturesque setting, surrounded by rolling hills and lush forests, offers a serene environment for students and outdoor enthusiasts to earn their degrees. Cedar Creek State Park, with its beautiful hiking trails, fishing opportunities and picnic areas, is a favorite among residents and visitors.
Glenville’s historic downtown district is a charming area featuring quaint shops, cozy restaurants and a beautiful courthouse square. The town hosts various events throughout the year, like the West Virginia State Folk Festival, which celebrates the state’s rich cultural heritage with traditional music, dance and crafts.
Situated along the Ohio River, Huntington is home to Marshall University. Known for its artsy population and beautiful parks, Huntington provides an enriching experience for all who visit. The city’s downtown area, featuring the historic Pullman Square, offers a variety of shopping, dining and entertainment options. The arts scene in Huntington is showcased through venues like the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center and the Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences, providing ample opportunities for cultural exploration.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to do in Huntington, with the beautiful Ritter Park and its picturesque walking trails, as well as the expansive Harris Riverfront Park along the Ohio River. The annual ChiliFest and the Huntington Music and Arts Festival are just a few of the exciting events that bring the community together, making Huntington one of the most lively college towns in West Virginia.
Another charming college town in West Virginia, Buckhannon is home to West Virginia Wesleyan College. This picturesque town, nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, has a welcoming atmosphere and an array of outdoor activities. The historic downtown area, with its beautiful red brick streets and quaint shops, is the perfect place to spend an afternoon strolling and enjoying the local charm. Buckhannon is also known for its colorful murals that adorn several buildings throughout the town, adding a unique touch of artistry to the cityscape.
Outdoorsy types will appreciate the numerous parks in and around Buckhannon, like the Buckhannon River Walk, a beautiful trail along the river and the nearby Audra State Park, with its hiking trails and scenic beauty. The annual West Virginia Strawberry Festival, a week-long celebration of the town’s agricultural heritage, features live music, parades and delicious local treats, attracting visitors from near and far. Buckhannon’s small-town charm and natural beauty make it an ideal college town in West Virginia for students from all walks of life.
Welcome to your new West Virginia college town
These charming college towns in West Virginia, each with its own unique character, offer a variety of experiences for students and visitors alike. From the bustling arts scene in Morgantown and Shepherdstown to the tranquil beauty of Glenville and Buckhannon, the towns above provide the perfect setting for an unforgettable college experience. So, whether you’re considering attending one of these universities or simply looking for a new place to explore, don’t miss out on the opportunity to discover the best college towns in West Virginia.