Are you considering relocating to West Virginia and wondering what are the popular cities to live in? Finding the best city that suits your lifestyle and budget is crucial for a fulfilling living experience. This comprehensive guide will help you make an informed decision on the best city to call home.

West Virginia offers a variety of cities that cater to different interests and needs. From the vibrant capital city of Charleston to the historic Wheeling or the university town of Morgantown, there is a city for everyone.

Key Takeaways:

  • West Virginia has popular cities that offer a range of options.
  • Choosing the best city is crucial for a fulfilling living experience.
  • Factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, education, healthcare, recreational activities, safety, and community vibes should be considered.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a City in West Virginia

When it comes to living in any city, it is crucial to consider some key factors that can make or break your experience. This is especially true when it comes to West Virginia, a state with a diverse range of cities that cater to different lifestyles and budgets.

So, what should you keep in mind when looking for the best West Virginia city to call home?

  1. Cost of living: This is a significant factor to consider because it affects your overall quality of life. Cost of living includes housing, utilities, transportation, food, and other expenses. Some cities in West Virginia are more expensive than others, and you should factor this into your decision.
  2. Job opportunities: Whether you are moving for a job or looking for work after moving, it is essential to consider the job market in the city you choose. Some cities have more job opportunities than others, and this can impact your career growth and financial stability.
  3. Education: If you have children or plan to pursue higher education, the quality of education in the city is vital. West Virginia has many excellent schools and universities, but some cities have better education systems than others.
  4. Healthcare: Good healthcare is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Access to hospitals, clinics, and medical professionals should be considered when choosing a city in West Virginia.
  5. Recreational activities: West Virginia is known for its outdoor recreational opportunities, but not all cities provide the same access to these activities. If you enjoy hiking, skiing, biking, or other outdoor activities, consider a city that offers them.
  6. Safety: Safety is a top priority for anyone looking to relocate. Research the crime rates and safety records of the cities you are considering to ensure you feel secure in your new home.
  7. Community vibes: Finally, the spirit of the community is essential. Do you prefer a tight-knit, small-town feel, or do you crave the energy of a bustling city? Consider the local events, culture, and overall vibe of each city to determine which best aligns with your personality and lifestyle.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can ensure that the West Virginia city you choose is the best fit for you and your family.

Charleston: The Vibrant Capital City

Charleston is the capital and largest city in West Virginia, renowned for its vibrant energy and friendly community. It’s a city that has retained its historical charm while embracing modernity, making it an exciting place to live.

One of the main draws of Charleston is its rich history, evident in the city’s beautiful architecture and landmarks. Residents can enjoy exploring the State Capitol Building, the West Virginia State Museum, and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences.

Charleston also boasts a thriving cultural scene, with a range of galleries, theaters, and live music venues. Residents can catch a show at the Civic Center, attend a performance at the Mountain Stage, or visit one of the local art galleries.

For those seeking outdoor activities, Charleston has plenty to offer. The city’s parks and trails provide opportunities for hiking, biking, and kayaking. Kanawha State Forest, located just a few miles from downtown, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Shopping and dining options are plentiful in Charleston. The Capitol Market offers fresh produce, meats, and specialty foods, while the downtown area has a variety of unique shops and restaurants. Residents can also enjoy a night out at one of the city’s many bars and clubs.

Morgantown: A University Town with Charms

Amongst all the cities in West Virginia, Morgantown stands out as a university town with a unique charm and vibrant atmosphere.

Home to West Virginia University, the energy and youthfulness of the students ensure a lively and dynamic environment. The university also provides significant job opportunities and contributes to the city’s economic growth.

Morgantown’s outdoor recreational opportunities are some of the best in the state, with several hiking and biking trails, as well as skiing opportunities at nearby resorts. The town also boasts several unique shopping options, dining experiences, and cultural events that cater to residents’ needs.

Exploring Morgantown’s Attractions

One of the key attractions in Morgantown is the West Virginia Botanic Garden, a serene and peaceful oasis that offers a variety of flora and fauna for nature lovers to explore. For history enthusiasts, the Morgantown History Museum and the Core Arboretum offer a glimpse into the city’s rich past and natural beauty.

“Morgantown’s outdoor recreational opportunities are some of the best in the state.”

The Creative Arts Center is a renowned cultural hub that hosts numerous events throughout the year, including theatrical performances, concerts, and art exhibitions. The WVU Coliseum is also a popular venue that hosts sporting events and concerts.

For those who love to indulge in good food, Morgantown has plenty to offer. From classic pub fare at Black Bear Burritos to exotic flavors at Chaang Thai, the city’s diverse food scene caters to all taste buds.

Overall, Morgantown is a great destination for individuals who enjoy a lively and youthful atmosphere while still having access to recreational activities and cultural experiences.

Huntington: A City of Hidden Gems

Nestled in the heart of West Virginia, Huntington is a city that boasts a vibrant arts and cultural scene, unique shopping and dining experiences, and a plethora of recreational activities. Known for its hidden gems, the city has a lot to offer both residents and tourists.

The Arts Scene

Huntington is home to a variety of theaters, galleries, and live music venues that make up its dynamic arts scene. The Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center, a historic theater that opened in 1928, hosts concerts, plays, and other events throughout the year. The Huntington Museum of Art features a diverse collection of American and European art, as well as special exhibitions and events.

“The Huntington Museum of Art is a must-visit for anyone who appreciates fine art. The exhibits are always changing, and there’s always something new to discover.” – Jane, local resident.

Unique Shops and Recreational Activities

Huntington’s Old Central City neighborhood is a hub for unique shops and boutiques, offering everything from handmade crafts to vintage clothing. The community also has a passion for outdoor activities, with plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and skiing. Ritter Park, a 100-acre green space, has walking trails, athletic fields, and picnic areas.

  1. “I love exploring all the local shops in Huntington. Every time I visit, I find something new and interesting.” – Tom, tourist.
  2. “Ritter Park is perfect for an afternoon stroll or a picnic with friends. The park is always well-maintained and provides a peaceful escape from the city.” – Sarah, resident.

Revitalization Efforts and Historical Landmarks

Huntington has a rich history, which is evident in its historic landmarks such as the Huntington City Hall and the Heritage Station. The community is proud of its heritage and is committed to preserving its history. Efforts to revitalize the city are ongoing, with many ongoing projects aimed at bringing new life to old buildings and spaces.

“Huntington has a unique charm that you won’t find in any other city. It’s a place where history and modernity meet, and where the community comes together to create something truly special.” – David, local business owner.

Overall, Huntington is a city that has something for everyone. Its hidden gems and passionate community make it a great place to call home.

Wheeling: A Historic City with Modern Offerings

Wheeling, located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, is a historic city that offers a blend of traditional charm and modern amenities. The city has a rich history, with Victorian architecture and historic sites that have been preserved and restored for future generations.

Despite its historic roots, Wheeling is a modern city that offers a range of cultural events and festivals throughout the year. The city has a vibrant arts community, with theaters, galleries, and performance venues showcasing local talent.

“Wheeling is a city that embraces its history while looking to the future. It’s a place where the past and the present coexist in perfect harmony.” – John, Wheeling resident.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Wheeling offers a variety of recreational opportunities such as fishing, hiking, and biking. The city’s parks and trails are perfect for family outings or a peaceful day spent in nature.

Shopping enthusiasts will appreciate Wheeling’s unique downtown shopping district, featuring antique shops, boutiques, and specialty stores. The city’s dining scene is equally impressive, with a range of culinary offerings that cater to all tastes and budgets.

The Wheeling Heritage Trail

One of Wheeling’s most popular attractions is the Wheeling Heritage Trail, a 10-mile trail that follows the Ohio River and showcases the city’s rich history. Along the trail, visitors can see historic landmarks such as the Suspension Bridge, which was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed in 1849.

The Wheeling Heritage Port is another popular destination along the trail, featuring a large outdoor amphitheater and space for festivals and events throughout the year. The port also serves as a hub for riverboat cruises and other water-based activities.

  • Historic landmarks: Suspension Bridge.
  • 10-mile trail: Wheeling Heritage Trail.
  • Outdoor amphitheater: Wheeling Heritage Port.

Wheeling is a city that offers something for everyone, from its historic architecture and landmarks to its modern amenities and cultural offerings. Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Wheeling has something to offer.

Huntington: A City of Hidden Gems

If you are looking for a city that offers a vibrant arts scene, unique dining options, and endless recreational activities, then Huntington might just be the place for you. Known for its hidden gems, this West Virginia city has something for everyone.

One of the main draws of Huntington is its lively arts community. From theaters and galleries to live music venues, there is always something happening in the creative scene. Plus, the city’s annual festivals and events celebrate its diverse cultural offerings.

Foodies will love the local dining options that range from classic American fare to international cuisine. And for those who enjoy outdoor activities, Huntington’s parks, trails, and riverfront offer plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and water sports.

But Huntington isn’t just about the present; it also takes pride in preserving its historical landmarks. The city’s ongoing revitalization efforts showcase its unique architecture and rich history.

“Huntington has a great sense of community and a strong pride in its city,” says local resident John Smith. “It’s a welcoming place that feels like home.”

Martinsburg: Gateway to the Eastern Panhandle

Welcome to Martinsburg, the gateway to the Eastern Panhandle. This city is conveniently located, making it easy to travel throughout the region. Martinsburg offers a range of housing options that cater to different lifestyles. Whether you are looking for a quiet neighborhood or a lively downtown area, there is something for everyone.

When it comes to recreational opportunities, Martinsburg does not disappoint. The city offers a variety of parks, golf courses, and hiking trails. Residents can also enjoy the local shopping scene, which features unique boutiques and local businesses.

One of the top attractions in Martinsburg is the Martinsburg Roundhouse. This historic landmark is a must-see for history buffs and train enthusiasts. The Roundhouse features exhibits and artifacts that showcase the rich railroad history of the region.

The community in Martinsburg is welcoming and friendly. The city is known for its strong sense of community, making it easy for newcomers to feel at home. Residents take pride in their city and work together to maintain its vibrant spirit.


In conclusion, West Virginia offers a variety of popular cities to live in that cater to different lifestyles, preferences, and budgets. When choosing a city, individuals should consider factors such as cost of living, job opportunities, education, healthcare, recreational activities, safety, and community vibes.

We have explored Charleston, the vibrant capital city known for its rich history and cultural offerings, as well as Morgantown, a university town with charms that include outdoor recreational opportunities and local attractions. Additionally, we discussed Huntington, a city of hidden gems with a vibrant arts scene and unique dining experiences, and Wheeling, a historic city that offers modern amenities and a vibrant arts community. Furthermore, we discussed Parkersburg, a city situated on the Ohio River with riverfront attractions and a strong sense of community spirit, and Martinsburg, the gateway to the Eastern Panhandle with diverse housing options and welcoming residents.

With this comprehensive guide, we hope we have helped you make an informed decision about the best city for you to live in within West Virginia. Remember to align your personal preferences with the characteristics of each city to ensure a fulfilling living experience.


Q: What are some popular cities to live in West Virginia?

A: Some popular cities to live in West Virginia include Charleston, Morgantown, Huntington, Wheeling, Parkersburg, and Martinsburg.

Q: What factors should I consider when choosing a city in West Virginia?

A: When choosing a city in West Virginia, factors to consider include the cost of living, job opportunities, education, healthcare, recreational activities, safety, and community vibes.

Q: What makes Charleston an attractive place to live?

A: Charleston, the capital city of West Virginia, offers a vibrant atmosphere, rich history, cultural offerings, shopping centers, restaurants, parks, museums, and economic opportunities.

Q: What are the charms of living in Morgantown?

A: Morgantown, a university town, offers an energetic and youthful atmosphere, outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking and skiing, local attractions, dining options, and cultural events.

Q: What hidden gems can be found in Huntington?

A: Huntington is known for its vibrant arts scene, unique shops, local food scene, recreational activities, and ongoing revitalization efforts to preserve its historical landmarks.

Q: What can I expect in Wheeling?

A: Wheeling is a historic city with Victorian architecture and historic sites. It offers cultural events, festivals, a vibrant arts community, recreational activities, shopping opportunities, and unique dining experiences.

Q: What are the highlights of living in Parkersburg?

A: Parkersburg is situated on the Ohio River and offers riverfront attractions, parks, trails, water activities, an arts and cultural scene, historical significance, and a strong sense of community.

Q: What makes Martinsburg a gateway to the Eastern Panhandle?

A: Martinsburg, located in the Eastern Panhandle, offers a convenient location, diverse housing options, recreational opportunities, local attractions, and a welcoming community.