Best Things to Do in Morgantown, West Virginia


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Greetings Internet Stranger and welcome to the best things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia. People don’t always think of West Virginia when they think of tourist destinations. In fact, I have made it a goal to take a trip in all 50 states, and I saved West Virginia for 48th, largely because it’s difficult to get to if you don’t drive.

But Morgantown, West Virginia is a truly adorable college town, and there’s more than enough to do if you spend a long weekend here. You don’t even need a car to enjoy the yummy food, cute shops, and great sports at the University of West Virginia. Follow me and I’ll show you exactly how to make the most of your 24 hours in Morgantown.

best things to do in morgantown west virginia

Best Things to Do in Morgantown

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 explore the best things to do in Morgantown.

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.

Best Things to Do in Morgantown

What to Pack

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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.

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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!

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Best Things to Do in Morgantown

Morning: Explore Downtown Morgantown

OK, so Downtown Morgantown is not exactly the largest downtown area in the United States. But I was pleasantly surprised at how much it has to offer. You can easily spend half a day here exploring the small museums, tasty eateries and adorable shops. The locals are so friendly and excited to meet tourists! I treasure all my memories of talking to the West Virginia locals here.

Downtown Morgantown is a lengthy but enjoyable walk from the Euro-Suites, especially if the fall foliage is popping like it was when I visited. Please allow yourself some free time to wander about without a plan and see the places that tickle your fancy. But I’ll be happy to get you started with…

Approximately Top 5: Downtown Morgantown

best things to do in morgantown
1) Breakfast at The Grind

I have to admit that Morgantown, West Virginia is not the first place I think of when I think of gourmet coffee. But it’s a college town, and college kids, as we all know, love their lattes and their flat whites and their whatnot. So join your fellow kids at The Grind and experience the finest coffee West Virginia has to offer.

You can choose a dark or light roast to go with your latte and snack on one of their fine baked goods. (I recommend the decadent maple bacon scone.) Just keep in mind that the place is super popular, so don’t hog your seat for too long.

best things to do in morgantown
2) Morgantown History Museum

The Morgantown History Museum is one of the best value museums I’ve ever visited because it’s both extremely interesting and completely free. You’ll learn all about the founding of West Virginia because it seceded from Regular Virginia during the Civil War and rejoined the Union. Honest Abe himself made West Virginia a state. Truly, West Virginia has the best original story of any state in the Union.

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Like many history museums, the Morgantown History Museum has a section dedicated to its most famous sons and daughters. And it seems that the most famous person to come out of Morgantown is comedian Don Knotts, of The Andy Griffith Show and Three’s Company fame. But my favorite Don Knotts role is his role as Man-Fish in The Incredible Mr. Limpet, so I’m glad they’ve featured that part in the museum.

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3) Monongalia Arts Center

There’s nothing quite as exciting as an arts center in a small town like Morgantown. People in places like NYC or LA can start an art gallery because they think it’s chic or to make money without actually having a true passion for art at all. But you know the people running the Monongalia Arts Center have a real and deep love for the arts. It brings together all the art lovers in the city.

If you visit the Monongalia Arts Center, free of charge, the docent will give you a tour of the current exhibit and of the building itself. The MAC is housed in a lovely classical building that used to be the local post office. The legend is that the supervisor used to spy on the workers from a catwalk above the ground floor–but of course now the catwalk is useful for performances at the Monongalia Arts Center.

The docent even invited me to see a show at the MAC later that weekend, but I had tickets to the West Virginia University football game, so I had to decline, which made me feel like a real Neanderthal. But then again, in West Virginia football is an art form too.

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4) Shopping

Morgantown’s shopping are isn’t large, but just about every shop there is worth visiting. I strongly recommend Appalachian Gallery, where you can peruse the wares of West Virginia’s finest artists. I bought a pair of blue and gold fused glass earrings that were just what I needed for the big WVU football game that afternoon. (The colors of West Virginia U are blue and gold.)

River Fair Trade is also an excellent place to shop for clothes, accessories, or lovely items for your home. The staff is super helpful and will tell you all about the artisans that make each item. I bought a scented candle that was supposed to match my Zodiac sign. (I’m obviously a Gemini because I never stop talking.)

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5) Lunch at Black Bear Burritos

Black Bear Burritos was yet another delightful surprise in Morgantown. If you had asked me prior to my visit if I would like to enjoy some West Virginia fish tacos, I would have replied, “Is that a joke? Or perhaps a disturbing euphemism for cow patties?”

Yet I loved my tilapia tacos at Black Bear, which were spicy and bursting with flavor. Black Bear Burritos: busting down West Virginia stereotypes one fish taco at a time. (Black Bear Burritos, I give you permission to use this slogan! And all I ask is 10 percent off the gross!)

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Best Things to Do in Morgantown

Afternoon: West Virginia University Sports

They say in the South, football is like a religion, and while it’s certainly debatable whether or not West Virginia is a Southern state, it’s not at all debatable that they take football very seriously here. During my weekend in Morgantown, I met West Virginia University alums who had come from all over the country to attend the big game.

No list of best things to do in Morgantown is complete without one of WVU’s sporting events. If you happen to be in Morgantown during football season, be sure to go root on the Mountaineers at Milan Pushkar Stadium! It’s tons of fun even if you never went to WVU. And if you’re not in town during football season, just see what other games are playing at West Virginia University. (Info on tickets for all sports is available here.)

While I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to see the exact game I saw, I can definitely give you pointers for whatever game you do see with…

Three Fun Facts: West Virginia Football

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1) How Do I Get In?

It’s pretty easy to get in as long as you have a ticket that you bought in advance online. It’s a shortish walk to the stadium from Black Bear Burritos or from Euro-Suites, depending on the time the game starts. You’ll see a bunch of WVU fans tailgating around the area before the game. And you can’t really get lost on the way to the stadium because literally everyone is walking in the same direction, and they are all wearing blue and gold.

Just one odd tip to keep in mind: West Virginia University only allows clear bags into the stadium. I guess they’re assuming people will be able to store most things in their car? But I have no car. Fortunately I do have a clear PVC packing cube that I got from Dwyane Wade’s luggage collection for Away travel, so I was able to use that as a purse for the day instead. Thanks, Dwyane Wade!

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2) Is the Game Fun Even If You’re Not a WVU Fan?

Hell to the yeah, Internet Stranger! The main reason it’s fun is that “Country Roads, Take Me Home” seems to be the team’s unofficial fight song, so it gets sung a lot by the whole stadium, which is a blast to participate in. Also the team’s mascot is the Mountaineer, which means a dude in a raccoon hat gets paraded around a lot, which is hilarious.

Just don’t go if the Mountaineers are playing a team that you are passionate about because it won’t be as fun. I was bummed because they were playing Iowa State University, whose colors are cardinal and cold, and my jacket is cardinal colored, which meant I had to go without my jacket during a chilly evening. 🙁 But better to freeze my kazungies off than have a bunch of rabid Mountaineer fans think I was rooting for Iowa State.

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3) What About Snacks?

You’re a fool if you snack on anything other than Almost Heaven Kettle Corn! It’s the only popcorn that sings John Denver lyrics while you crunch it. Buy it as soon as you arrive because they seem to sell out fast, and I can understand why!

best things to do in morgantown

Best Things to Do in Morgantown

Evening: Dinner at Stefano’s

If you’re looking for that real West Virginia fine dining experience after the football game, you can’t do better than Stefano’s. This classy Italian joint seems to be located in the basement of a strip mall, but I promise the food is *chef kiss*. Start out with a seasonal app, which in autumn might be a succulent butternut squash soup with bacon.

best things to do in morgantown

I can’t decide what I liked more–eating this lovely halibut with crab and Parmesan risotto, or having a table full of West Virginia businessmen try to pick up my tab. (I declined because I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings. But I appreciate the effort!) Some people say you shouldn’t mix dairy with seafood, but I think these are sad, lonely people who hate the thought of happiness.

best things to do in morgantown

My favorite course was this limoncello tiramisu–such a creative and fun idea! Two Italian tastes that taste great together. And it wasn’t too sweet or heavy, like tiramisu can be sometimes. But you know what they say–if you want great Italian desserts, you need to come to West Virginia! That’s why it’s almost heaven.

best things to do in morgantown

That’s The Best Things to Do in Morgantown!

What do you think are the best things to do in Morgantown? Who’s the most famous person from your hometown, and did he or she ever play a Fish-Person in a movie? And is West Virginia almost heaven, or can we just call it actual heaven? 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 one day with the best things to do in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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