West Virginia, known as the Mountain State, is not only blessed with breathtaking natural landscapes but also vibrant urban centers that offer a unique blend of history, culture, and outdoor recreation.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 8 largest cities in West Virginia and discover what makes each one special. From the bustling streets of Charleston to the charming neighborhoods of Huntington, let's embark on a journey through the heart of West Virginia.
Top 8 Largest Cities in West Virginia
As the capital and largest city of West Virginia, Charleston is a thriving urban center nestled along the Kanawha River. With a population of approximately 47,778, Charleston offers a rich history and a vibrant arts scene.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty to explore in the city's surrounding areas, such as the beautiful Kanawha State Forest, where hiking trails wind through dense forests and scenic overlooks provide stunning views of the Appalachian Mountains.
Located in the western part of the state, Huntington is the second-largest city in West Virginia with a population of around 45,074. Known as the "Jewel City," Huntington is home to Marshall University, which brings a youthful energy to the city.
Visitors can explore the Huntington Museum of Art, showcasing a diverse collection of American and European artwork, or take a stroll along the Ohio River at Harris Riverfront Park.
Nestled in the northern part of the state, Morgantown is home to West Virginia University, making it a vibrant college town with a population of approximately 29,339. With its picturesque setting along the Monongahela River and the surrounding hills, Morgantown offers ample opportunities for outdoor recreation.
From hiking and biking on the Rail-Trail system to kayaking on Cheat Lake, nature enthusiasts will find their paradise in this charming city.
Situated at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha Rivers, Parkersburg is the fourth-largest city in West Virginia, with a population of around 28,978. The city's rich history is evident in its well-preserved Victorian architecture, particularly in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.
Parkersburg is also renowned for its beautiful parks, such as Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park, where visitors can step back in time and experience life on a 19th-century plantation.
Located in the northern part of the state, Wheeling is steeped in history and known for its picturesque location along the Ohio River. With a population of approximately 25,924, Wheeling offers a mix of cultural attractions and outdoor adventures.
History buffs can explore the Victorian-era buildings in the Wheeling Historic District or visit the West Virginia Independence Hall, where the state was born. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities like fishing, boating, and hiking in nearby Oglebay Park.
Situated in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, Weirton is a small but close-knit city with a population of around 18,279. Known for its strong sense of community, Weirton offers a range of recreational activities for residents and visitors alike.
The city is home to the Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center, which preserves the region's history, and the Weirton Event Center, where concerts and festivals are held throughout the year.
Located in the north-central part of the state, Fairmont is a charming city with a population of approximately 18,034. Nestled along the Monongahela River, Fairmont offers a mix of historic sites and outdoor beauty.
History enthusiasts can visit the Marion County Historical Society and the beautifully restored High Gate Carriage House, while nature lovers can explore Prickett's Fort State Park, where they can learn about pioneer life and enjoy scenic hiking trails.
Situated in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Martinsburg is the state's eighth-largest city, with a population of around 18,988. Steeped in history, Martinsburg played a significant role during the Civil War and is home to numerous well-preserved historic sites.
Visitors can explore the Belle Boyd House, the childhood home of a famous Confederate spy, or take a step back in time at the Martinsburg Roundhouse, a historic railroad complex. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy the nearby hiking trails at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.