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Unique Things to Do in West Virginia

While you might imagine vacationing in West Virginia will include hiking, fishing, and lots of other outdoor adventures, several unique things to do should definitely find their way onto your itinerary. Staying at Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins will take care of your R&R needs, so let this list of unique things to do in West Virginia take care of the rest.

Whether you’re vacationing with kids in tow or you’re newlyweds looking for a getaway, you’ll find West Virginia is home to plenty of one-of-a-kind adventures from underground caves to space exploration and points between.

1. Cavern Tours at Smoke Hole Caverns

inside of smoke hole cavernsSmoke Hole Caverns offers two unique attractions in one convenient location. The Smoke Hole Cavern Tours are a guided exploration through ancient—yet still active—caves. Adults love the history of this area, and the formations throughout the caverns are awe-inspiring for all ages. This area was opened to the public in the 1940s and draws its name from its proximity to the Smoke Hole Canyon.

These stunning caverns are steeped in history to learn about during this hour-long tour, from the Seneca Indians’ use of them to smoke wild game to early settlers distilling corn whiskey inside the discreet passages. Enjoy this up-close look at the unique mineral formations that took centuries to deposit, and learn how the cave is still changing today.

When you’re finished with the tour, bring the kids over to the Moonshine Mining Company. This is an exciting hands-on mining experience for kids to pan for amethyst, rubies, emeralds, crystals, and other hidden treasures. You’re sure to find the ultimate souvenir—with a fabulously fun story. 

What Makes It Unique: These caverns are unlike any other in the world with room-like areas featuring floor-to-ceiling formations created from millions of droplets of mineral-rich water building up over centuries. Here, you’ll observe one of the world’s largest ribbon stalactites—an impressive, must-see attraction. 

Location & Hours: Smoke Hole Caverns is located just a two-minute drive from Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins and offers tours daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Because the caves are covered, this is a fun event, rain or shine.

2. Sightseeing Road Trip of West Virginia Waterfalls

douglas falls in west virginiaWaterfalls in the West Virginia area are some of the largest and most unique in the world. We’ve mapped out a complete waterfall road trip so you can take a self-guided tour to discover six of the most impressive cascades and their interesting surroundings. Not only will this provide stunning photo ops with some of the most scenic backdrops in the state, but this four-hour sightseeing trip gives families, newlyweds, or anyone on vacation, a day full of quality time exploring West Virginia. 

What Makes It Unique: This DIY waterfall tour is unique in that you can make it your own. Choose to stop at all six or a selection and take in an extra hike here and there before getting back to your sightseeing. This tour features Blackwater Falls, the highest waterfall in West Virginia, and Douglas Falls, a location with fascinating tropical-colored water.

Location & Hours: This tour includes four hours of travel time (about 130 total miles). The length of time this takes depends on how long you stay at each site, but we recommend giving yourself enough time to enjoy each waterfall during daylight hours for the best experience and to ensure parks are not closed.

3. Wild Caving at NROCKS Outdoor Adventures

A man caving and wearing caving gear.This half-day Wild Caving at NROCKS exploration takes the typical tourist cave with manicured, well-lit paths and exchanges it for a totally unique experience. Discover undeveloped underground passages with the help of a knowledgeable guide—and a trusty headlamp. You’ll learn about geology, cave formations, and practice underground navigation. Squeeze and stoop through narrow slots and low crawls to access hidden areas featuring delicate and beautiful rock formations that seem wholly untouched. Select a Beginner (must be 6+ years old) or Intermediate Tour (must be 10+ years old) to suit your thirst for adventure and physical abilities. 

What Makes It Unique: Seeing caves untouched and in this “as-is” natural state is a rare experience that provides a more adventurous-feeling outing while still enjoying safety and expertise from guides.

Location & Hours: While NROCKS Outdoor Adventures is only 30 minutes from Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins, these caves are authentic and truly remote, so cell service is not reliable here. Bring written directions for navigation assistance. This adventure park is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., though reservations are required.

4. Specialty Tours at Green Bank Observatory

a giant satellite tower at the national radio observatoryPrepare to be fascinated visiting the Green Bank Observatory, a one-of-a-kind, high-tech Mecca of observation for engineers, computer scientists, and radio astronomers. There are many tour options to interest kids and adults. Choose a self-guided or guided tour of the grounds to see the scale model of the solar system along a 1.5-mile path and snap photos of the Green Bank telescope—the world’s largest fully steering radio telescope.

Specialty tours are also offered and include the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Tour, the High Tech Tour, a behind-the-scenes look at the telescope control room and engineering, and the Nature Walk, a naturalist-led experience of the area’s unique plants, animals, and geology. There’s truly something for everyone at this exploratory destination in West Virginia. 

What Makes It Unique: The Green Bank telescope is one of the world’s largest moving structures and observes up to 6,500 hours each year, operating 24 hours per day, 362 days a year. Seeing this enormous structure and learning about the data it compiles is an experience you won’t find elsewhere. 

Location & Hours: The Green Bank Observatory is located about one hour south of Harman’s Luxury Log Cabins and is surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest. This remoteness makes GPS devices unreliable—printing directions is recommended for easier navigation. Tours are available daily. Refer to the admission and schedule page for details, and note that reservations are required. 

Adventuring is half the fun of a vacation, and these unique things to do in West Virginia will make sure your time is full of delightful discovery. The other half of vacation—relaxing and reconnecting—comes easy when you stay in a luxury cabin rental with cozy accommodations. Whether you’re taking a family vacation or enjoying a romantic retreat, visiting Harman’s and enjoying these unique active adventures and stunning outdoor experiences will give you plenty of things to cross off your bucket list.