Charleston West Virginia Layover
My first visit to Charleston West Virginia started with a gorgeous evening flight into the hilltop airport just to the west of downtown Charleston. The hills around the city were absolutely fabulous on this hazy day as the peaks gently faded off into the distance set with the background of some of the tallest mountains off to the East. It definitely got me excited to go out and explore. This, right here is why being a pilot is so much fun. Once you are up to speed with the airplane and hold a schedule, it’s like being on a perpetual road trip that lets you come home for half of the month.
A Walk To Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston
After a quick stop at my hotel, I was the only crew member who wanted to explore the town and find out what to do in Charleston. The front desk recommended that I should walk down to Capitol Street, just several blocks away. Abutted by a riverside park and venue, this street was definitely the most touristy place in the city, except for maybe the capitol grounds themselves. As you walk toward this quaint downtown, sculptures, fountains, and other venues decorate the streets and riverfront.
Haddad Riverfront Park
At the junction of the river and Capitol street, you will find an outdoor amphitheater and venue that will hold about 2500 for events. Check here for events during your stay.
Adelphia Sports Bar and Grille
I had been craving good chicken wings for a few days and found them in the most unlikely place; Adelphia Sports Bar and Grille. No, this little bar on Capitol Street didn’t have an Olympic theme but rather was a good non-chain sports bar with great authentic Greek food. On the advice of my hotel’s front desk, I quickly settled in at the bar and ordered a basket of wings to enjoy with some Monday night sports.
I ordered a basket of plain hot wings and split the order with Adelphia’s own special greek Adelphia sauce. Both were excellent. Looking back, I would have gotten a full basket of the Adelphia sauced wings. I have seriously dreamed about them lately (remind me to bid for layovers in Charleston soon – and yes, sometimes this is all the difference between a good layover and a bad one.)
Capitol Street in Charleston WV
Capitol Street is located in downtown Charleston and is a strip of the city you can’t miss on your visit. It’s full of shopping, arts, walking, and great dining. If you are looking for the 20-something-year-old bar scene, head closer to the river. If you are looking for a little more class, you can find it pretty much everywhere else.
This would be a nice place to stay until evening and enjoy the brick sidewalks and romantic settings after stopping in for a small bite to eat or an appetizer.
What To Do In Charleton West Virginia
For being a state capitol, Charleston is actually a pretty small city. Nestled between the Kanawha River and the hills of Western West Virginia was a nice mix of feeling like you were in the middle of nowhere, yet still being the political center of the state. It was a nice balance. As I sat at the bar sipping on my iced tea and wings, I talked to some locals about what do to around town. They explained the area was really a great destination for outdoorsman including bicycling (which they called rail biking), whitewater rafting, and then the typical hunting and fishing you might expect in the Appalachians. Not ever hearing of rail biking before, I had to ask more. Rail biking is a thing here where people go and bike abandoned railroad tracks through the hills. They are fairly flat, have tunnels to go through, and are supposedly gorgeous. I bet a fall rail biking would be incredible.
As I walked around other parts of the city, there was plenty of life to find. Runners filled the riverside trails and many people were dressed up looking for their favorite restaurants. I don’t know why I found this funny, but on brochures, menu’s, and outside the restaurants, they all seemed to be “the Best” at something. It reminded me of Northern Minnesota in small towns where the businesses get super competitive about little things. I guess that’s ok because I this is how I found some of the greatest wings I have ever had. It just so happens that if you are also looking for the best pizza, you are in luck because these two restaurants are next door to each other.
What I’m Doing Next Time
If you have more than a few hours in Charleston West Virginia, make sure to visit some of the other parts of town too. Next time I’m here on a layover, I will be visiting the gold-domed capitol building and the grounds around it that host a riverside park and Governors Mansion, the West Virginia State Museum, Capitol Market, and the Kanawha State Forest.
Check out our other day trip cities too!
Are you planning a trip up north or in the mountains? We have some reviews of Great Falls, Montana; Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Dickinson, North Dakota, Grand Junction, Colorado; Vancouver, British Columbia and Gunnison, Colorado you should read before you go.