A Perfect 24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

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Greetings Internet Stranger, and welcome to 24 hours of Morgantown Attractions! People who haven’t spent time in Morgantown, West Virginia don’t necessarily know what an adorable college town it is. And there is so much to do here that you would never expect! From gorgeous trees and rivers, to sushi and craft beer, to musical theater, to fine dining, Morgantown has everything you could want in a weekend trip. Come follow me, and I’ll show you exactly where to go.

24 hours of Morgantown attractions

24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

Where to Stay

I’m a solo traveler who doesn’t drive, so I always look for safety and convenience when choosing a hotel. That’s why I recommend the Euro-Suites Hotel. It’s got a great location within walking distance of many attractions like the Milan Pushkar football stadium. It has a 24 hour staff that could not be more helpful and friendly. A free breakfast buffet is included with your stay.

But best of all, the rooms are huge! I had an entire suite to myself for an affordable price. And I saw many families staying there who were in town for the big game, so it’s popular with groups of all sizes. It’s the perfect home base while you enjoy your 24 hours of Morgantown Attractions.

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here. And if you’re looking for other hotel options in Morgantown, check out these fantastic prices on many other hotels in Morgantown here.

24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

What to Pack

one day in pittsburgh itinerary

You’ll need comfy shoes for all the walking we’re going to do today. If it’s summertime, I love my special pink Birkenstocks. These aren’t your grandpappy’s Birkenstocks anymore. They come in every shade, and I always get compliments on my electric magenta shoes.

Morgantown is hot in the summer, so don’t forget the sunscreen. My favorite is the Neutrogena spray bottle because it’s so easy to apply. And as a solo traveler, I can actually use it myself on my own back. I just put it in my purse and re-apply throughout the day.

24 hours in pittsburgh

Finally, since we’re going to be out all day, you’ll want a battery for your cell phone. I always use the Anker charger. It’s light enough to fit in even a small purse. Plus the Anker lasts for several full charges of a phone, so I’ll never run out of juice!

24 hours of morgantown attractions

24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

Morning: Core Arboretum

One of the things West Virginia is most famous for is its natural beauty, and Morgantown is no exception. And one of the best places to experience this beauty is West Virginia University’s Core Arboretum, which is easily reachable from Morgantown’s downtown. (You can walk here, like I did, if you are an obsessive tramper, but you can also take a car or Uber, no problem.)

I wish that I could stroll with you hand in hand and demonstrate the beauty in each passing tree. But since that’s totally impossible, instead I’ll have to share with you…

Three Fun Facts: Core Arboretum

24 hours of morgantown attractions
1) What Exactly is an Arboretum?

So I’m not a scholar of Tree Latin, but I’m pretty sure it means “a botanical garden, but only for trees”. It’s 91 acres in bigness, which means you could spend all of your 24 hours of Morgantown attractions here and not see everything. (But I don’t suggest that you do that.) Morgantown: it’s more than just trees!

Because the Arboretum is run by the WVU, it’s totally free, which is excellent for travelers on a budget. And you can take advantage of all the programming the University has available for its highly-regarded West Virginia Tree Scholars. Take a stroll along the WVU trail or participate in one of the programs, like bird-watching. Check the website to see what’s on!

24 hours of morgantown attractions
2) Is There Anything to Do But Hug Trees?

Of course, Internet Stranger! You can stroll on down to the mighty Monongahela River and bask in its gentle beauty. Rivers: they’re definitely not trees! You can also enjoy the friendly conversation of locals strolling through the Core Arboretum. As a New Yorker, I was truly amazed at how West Virginians will say, “Hello! Beautiful day!” when they pass you, instead of steadfastly refusing to make eye contact and scuttling away like a crab.

Also, if you need to avail yourself of the facilities, there were tons of free Porto-Potties outside the Core Arboretum. But that’s not so much an activity, unless you’ve been dying to check “Use a West Virginia Porto-Potty” off your bucket list.

24 hours of morgantown attractions
3) How Can I Learn West Virginia Tree Science?

Well, WVU has tons of signs scattered about that can help you learn everything you always wanted to know about trees but were afraid to ask. For example, did you know that the Core Arboretum is home to one of the largest Chinquapin Oaks in the world? It’s been growing since the first English settlers arrived in Jamestown.

There’s also a famous Liberty Island Tree which is the offspring of a tree from Liberty Island in New York City. (Yup, that’s the island where Lady Liberty hangs her hat–I mean crown.) It was given to the Core Arboretum by the FA Bartlett Tree Expert Company, and I know that a Tree Expert Company sounds like something I would make up, but I promise you that it is very real.

24 hours of morgantown attractions

24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

Afternoon: Explore Morgantown

Now that we’ve seen the rural side of Morgantown, it’s time to check out its urban side. I mean, sure the urban side of Morgantown isn’t as crowded or concrete as Tokyo or Mexico City or even Wichita. But there’s still plenty of fun to be had in West Virginia’s coolest city. Allow me to demonstrate with…

Approximately Top 5: 24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

A Perfect 24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions 2
1) Lunch at Ogawa

So I know it looks like most of my posts on Morgantown are just trying to shatter stereotypes about West Virginia, but I have to admit that before my lunch at Ogawa, I would have thought good sushi would be just about impossible to find in WV. I mean, it’s a land-locked state! There’s a reason no one ever talks about finding amazing sushi in the mountains.

But damned if I wasn’t totally wrong because Ogawa has a tasty and fresh lunch bento box, and you can even watch them make the sushi fresh in front of you just like in a fancy restaurant. And the tempura is light and tasty too; my favorite was the sweet potato. That’s some quality Southern-Japanese fusion.

A Perfect 24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions 3

They even throw in a cup of refreshing miso soup, perfect on a crisp fall day. Great food and a great value!

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2) Metropolitan Theatre

If you’re lucky enough to be in town when there’s a show on, you simply have to buy a ticket for the gorgeous Metropolitan Theatre. The theater dates back to the 1920s, so just being inside is a real treat. I saw the production of Matilda, and the little girl who played the lead was definitely professional quality. (The young man playing Miss Trunchbull was also a total hoot.)

At the end, the whole cast came out and gave the director an emotional thank you. This is one of the best things about seeing community theater; you get to experience the difference that the arts can make for all the oddballs and creative types in a small community like this.

PS. If there isn’t a show on when you’re in Morgantown, check out the great collection at the West Virginia University Art Museum instead. But if you have to choose one, go with the theater, dahlink!

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3) Statue of Don Knotts

As you exit the Metropolitan, be sure to pay tribute to the most notable landmark in Morgantown, the statue of favorite local son, Don Knotts. You might know Mr. Knotts from his work on popular TV shows like The Andy Griffith Show and Three’s Company or from films like The Ghost and Mr. Chicken or my personal favorite, The Incredible Mr. Limpet, in which DK plays a cartoon fish who fights Nazis. (None of that is made up.)

In short, Don Knotts was a true comedy legend, and Morgantown is doing the right and proper thing by maintaining this glorious statue!

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4) Mountain State Brewing Company

After spending all afternoon with a room full of adorable moppets at Matilda, I needed a drink. Fortunately, Morgantown has a great craft brewery called the Mountain State Brewing Company. If you’re peckish, you can get a snack here, but since we have a big dinner coming up, I suggest just indulging in some of their local brews like the Almost Heaven Amber Ale.

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Or the Miner’s Daughter Stout, if you’re in the mood for something a little richer. Truly the names of these beers could not be more appropriate to Appalachia! Just keep in mind that they card a lot at this place, so bring ID. I know because the bartender carded me, and I haven’t been under 21 since George W Bush was President.

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5) Monongahela Once Again!

Shake off some of your beer by taking a stroll along the Monongahela once more. There’s a little walkway just behind the brewery–you can’t miss it! It’s in a more heavily trafficked location than our walk by the river this morning, so you’ll be able to see a different side of the lovely Monongahela. Now I can’t decide which is more important to Morgantown’s well-being: the Monongahela River or the statue of Don Knotts.

24 hours of morgantown attractions

24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions

Evening: Dinner at Tin 202

If you’re looking for a trendy restaurant in Morgantown, the kind you could take a Nazi-fighting fish man to, there’s no better choice than Tin 202. It serves small plates and craft cocktails, so you know it’s cool. In fact, when I went, all of the cocktails were named after Seinfeld references. I chose a ginger, bourbon, celery juice, black salt, and honey-laden concoction known as the Manzier. I don’t really know what those ingredients have to do with a brassiere for gentlemen, but then I have never seen an episode of Seinfeld.

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Two small plates, one dessert, and one Seinfeld cocktail seem like enough food for any medium-sized person like myself. For the first small plate, I chose the pork belly with apple. Pig + apple is a classic combo, but this was a much lighter version than any I have experienced. (This photo also inspired me to upgrade my cell phone camera, so that was just an added bonus.)

24 hours in morgantown attractions

And here we have some classic mussels served with potatoes and fluffy bread for sopping up all that delectable sauce. (Plus my dying cell phone camera managed to behave itself here.) There’s nothing unusual or surprising about this mussels dish, but why mess with a classic? If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it!

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And Tin 202 goes even more classic with its desserts. There were only three: creme brulee, chocolate mousse, and tiramisu, which coincidentally are three of the four desserts you could find on every restaurant menu in New York City in the 80s. (The fourth would have been key lime pie.) Creme brulee is my favorite, so that’s what I opted for, and I suggest you do the same. If tiramisu really does it for you, tiramisu your tush off!

That’s 24 Hours of Morgantown Attractions!

What would you do with 24 hours of Morgantown attractions? Do you have a degree in West Virginia Tree Science, and if so, where can I get one? And what’s cooler, being Don Knotts or being a Nazi-fighting Man Fish? Please leave your thoughts below!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have 24 hours of Morgantown attractions.

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