In the same unscientific survey where some UCSOP students reported their favorite Charleston area food options, they also listed some of their favorite activities. So if you are thinking that Charleston is too small to offer any fun, think again, and check out this list of favorites. Unlike the food, most of the time there were so many different answers, there was not a clear winners in the categories, so here is an overview of some of the favorites. And if you have a favorite that we have missed, leave us a comment.
Again, before checking out this list, there is something that you have to understand about Charleston, WV. When talking about the city of Charleston, people often include surrounding areas in that conversation. So when asked for favorites, students automatically included activities from surrounding areas. So check out all the fun, and maybe rethink your impression of Charleston, WV! As with the food post, we are also including some faculty and staff favorites here as well (yes, faculty and staff like to have a fun too!). Part 2 of this post will cover favorite local events, weekend getaways, sports, and live music.
Favorite Outdoor Activity
This list included a variety
of year-round activities, including skiing, hiking, playing tennis, riding motorcycles and ATVs, zip-lining, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and participating in a variety of activities on Magic Island. Live on the Levee is a series of free concerts in the summer on the river bank in downtown Charleston, and is also a faculty favorite. All summer long there are a variety of musical acts every Friday night, with plenty of places to pull up a chair, food trucks for dinner or snacks, and just a short walk to some other Charleston favorites, such as Taylor Books and Ellen’s Ice Cream on Capital Street. Many of these activities take place in the large variety of parks and wooded areas around Charleston, such as Kanawha State Forest, which is great for picnics, Frisbee, walking, studying, and has hiking and biking trails, as well as a pool. And the students did not even mention white water rafting – a WV staple for summer and fall fun. Try rafting the New River if you are a novice or the Gauley River if you are more experienced. Playing golf is a faculty and staff favorite. For those of you that have kids, I have included a like to a USA Today article about fun with kids in Charleston, but it highlights some of our student favorites also. I guess when it comes to fun we are all just big kids!
Favorite Place to Shop
Student tending to gravitate toward shopping at area malls, including the Charleston Town Center Mall, the Huntington Mall (it is really in Barboursville), Beckley’s Crossroads Mall, as well as downtown and Corridor G shops. Corridor G is a road that head south from Charleston into the coal fields of WV, but at the Charleston end has many shops and restaurants, including Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Lowes and Home Depot, Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, Marquee Cinemas, Red Lobster, Long Horn, Olive Garden, O’Charley’s, and many others, all in different shopping plazas. So you may hear people direct you to Corridor G, Southridge, Ashton Place, Dudley Farms, but it is all the same general area. There are also hotels in that area if you are coming for a visit. The Charleston Town Center is an excellent mall that has a variety of shops, including Macy’s, JCPenney, Sephora, Coach, White House Black Market, local cell phone providers, a bank, several restaurants and a food court, just to name a few.
Favorite Weekend Hangout
Once again the favorite hangouts included a variety of locations, including movies, coffee shops, the pool, and the mall. Local independent bookstore Taylor Books is a student and faculty favorite. They have coffee, beer and wine, desserts, quiche in Sundays, live music on Friday and Saturday nights, and an exhibit of local art. Oh yeah, and some comfy seating for reading. Below are links to Taylor Books’ Facebook page, Waves of Fun pool and water park, which at least one student specifically noted as a favorite weekend hangout (located in Hurricane, WV), and Moxxee Coffee.