“Virginia” is in honor of England’s Queen Elizabeth I “The Virgin Queen,”
Nickname: Mountain State
State bird: Cardinal
State flower: Rosebay Rhododendron
Surrounded by the Appalachians, the mountain State of West Virginia has a history of poverty and physical isolation. Today, however, tourists flock to this beautiful region to enjoy historic sightseeing and an abundance of recreational sports, including skiing and other wintersports, mountain-biking, whitewater rafting, hiking and fishing. At the historic town of Harper’s Ferry, the site of John Brown’s rebellion in 1859, numerous fine museums run exhibits on slavery and the Civil War. More than 200 festivals, fairs, special events, tournaments and races celebrate and showcase the culture and heritage of West Virginia.
Whitewater rafting is a favourite activity at the New River Gorge National River, which winds its way through the Appalachians. The Monongahela National Forest occupies a vast area in the eastern part of the State and includes the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. Home to bears and deer, Monongahela offers over 500 campsites and miles of hiking trails. West Virginia also boasts some of the nation’s best State parks, with good naturalist programmes and recreation facilities. These include four resort State parks, complete with lodges, cabins, swimming pools, championship golf courses, restaurants and additional amenities. Other attractions include the State Capitol in Charleston, one of the finest Italian Renaissance buildings in the USA.