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Rediscovering West Virginia

Many Mountain State residents have cut back on or even canceled vacation plans for the summer. But with the Independence Day holiday weekend upon us, we suspect some are thinking a recreational trip would be just the thing.

Good. A day trip or even a weekend away from home need not break the bank — and there is no better place than wild, wonderful West Virginia to do it.

Wheeling area residents are especially fortunate because of the large number of attractions right here. A day spent at Oglebay Park can pack in plenty of family fun. Or, if you are in the mood to learn more about our state’s history, try West Virginia Independence Hall.

Farther afield, but still within easy driving distance, state parks and forests remind us why the wild and wonderful label is appropriate. Coopers Rock State Forest is an easy day trip. Blackwater Falls and Canaan state parks can be done in a day, but they are best if you can spend a weekend or even more.

Throughout the state, in fact, are wonderful places for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. Many of us could use some of that, could we not?

COVID-19 already has prompted many West Virginians to rediscover our own state. Cost and time factors make staying inside the state more attractive, especially with the 30% discount on state park lodging for West Virginia residents.

“We’re seeing West Virginians getting out and exploring their own state” more than in the past, state Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby remarked earlier this summer.

Both state and private lodging facilities and restaurants have begun rebounding from the COVID-19 shutdowns. Doing so is a special challenge for privately owned attractions, of course.

So this summer, perhaps this weekend, consider what Ruby refers to as a West Virginia “stay-cation.” Rediscover our beautiful state and your wonderful neighbors. You may wonder why on earth you ever went elsewhere on vacation.

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