Charleston West Virginia is a small, quiet city with a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, so much so that it's easy to forget it's the state capital. Providing, of course, that one can somehow miss the titanic golden dome of the capital building dominating the Kanawha riverfront. It’s the nation’s largest state capital dome and it’s gilded in 24-karat gold leaf.
The Kanawha riverfront has some fine walking and biking paths, as do many of the city’s parks. It is also the site of Charleston’s biggest festival, The Sternwheel Regatta. Every February a floating parade of sternwheeler boats paddle down the Kanawha River led by the flagship The Spirit of South Charleston. Along with the races and water activities there are concerts, vendors and performances by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
Outdoor adventure is minutes away in any direction. Kanawha State Park offers opportunities for biking, hiking, climbing, swimming, camping, fishing and year-round horseback riding. The city’s other parks have family friendly fun aplenty, with lakes and playgrounds for the kids and several charming 18-hole, 3-Par golf courses.
Visitors interested in Native American history will want to take a look at the Adena Indian Burial Mound just outside the city. It’s the state’s 2nd largest Burial Mound.