The undulating Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia embody the state's abundant natural beauty and colorful past. Tucked away in the mountains, Charleston, West Virginia's capital and largest city, sits only a 15-minute drive away from Nitro. At the West Virginia State Museum, 26 rooms of exhibits chronicle the mountain state's history, covering eras ranging from prehistory to frontier life and coal mining.About 15 miles from the hotel, the Kanawha State Forest hums with life, boasting 9,300 acres of flora and fauna, including 19 species of wood warblers. Twenty-five miles of hiking trails and nine mountain-biking trails crisscross dense woodlands, streams, and chipmunk duplexes.
When residents from 45 states and seven countries visit your museum in a year, you know you?ve got something special. At the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, that special something is a trio of museums. The Kathleen Savage Browning Miniatures Collection houses 1/12-scale reproductions of homes, people, and artwork. This is where the prince saw handcrafted miniature mansions and apartments throughout history. Meanwhile, the Genealogical & Historical Research Library displays books and documents from the past 300 years and the Regional History Museum brings the city?s story to life through colorful dioramas and more than 4,000 artifacts, such as 19th-century wedding gowns, swords from the Civil War, and prehistoric Native American items.
The Big Zipper's three ziplines stretch over ravines, valleys, and treetops, and together measure more than 2,300 feet. On tours, visitors glide along the zipline cables while strapped into secure full-body harnesses, enjoying a bird's-eye view of the rugged scenery below.
The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set
After continually traversing the globe since its breakout television performance nearly 18 years ago Riverdance returns stateside. A cast of six principal dancers will clobber the Music Hall’s stage with the stomps, taps, kicks, and tackles of traditional Irish step dancing, which, when synchronized with a live band and 18 troupe dancers, sends waves of rhythm cascading over all 3,420 seats in the Spanish Baroque theater. The show’s 18 scenes break into two acts: the first depicting the mythical beginnings of the Celtic people as they hatched from a kelpie's head, and the second portraying the Irish famine and ensuing wave of emigration.
The Paramount has always been a theater rooted in the past but looking toward the future. Observe the organ grills, for example, that flank the stage. A crucial fixture for any silent-movie theater, these artifacts were never used, since the first film screened here was a talking picture, ironically titled Silent. Although it no longer screens the movies, talkies, or smellies of the 1930s, the same building that met original audiences still meets visitors today?the four-foot brass chandeliers in the lobby have been restored and the angular art-deco style continues to pervade from the facade to the stage. Some say, too, that at least one of the original builders is still hanging around: old "Paramount Joe" is the resident ghost, and many of employees have stories about how the kindly phantom has given them a hand when they needed it.