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West Virginia's Northern Panhandle is home to historic Wheeling, which is the area's hub. This city is associated with the American Revolution's final battle, arrival of the National Road, the Ohio River's first bridge, a blooming of industry that seeded great wealth for some and an explosion of Victorian mansion construction. Visitors can take a two-hour historical tour of the town. For families with multiple interests, Oglebay Park in Wheeling boasts 1,650 acres of outdoor sport venues, shops, a lodge and cottages, a garden, greenhouse and nature centers, three golf courses, an amphitheater, mansion and zoo.

In Proctor, Thistle Dew Farm opens its doors to visitors to view no fewer than 750 bee colonies. Visit Chester and take in the action of live thoroughbred racing on two track surfaces. Newell is the location of Homer Laughlin China Co, the country's top producer of its kind, home of the popular and collectible Art Deco pattern, Fiesta. It is open for tours.

Mountaineer Country takes its name from a certain statue. In Morgantown, a bronze mountain man guards West Virginia University's student union. In 1998, Prometheus Books cited Morgantown as the best small city east of the Mississippi.

Pricketts Fort State Park near Fairmont is a living history center that can be enjoyed any time of the year. The life of devoted First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, is celebrated in various ways by the entire town of Arthurdale.

Outdoor recreational options in this area seem inexhaustible. Scenic waterways and lakes suggest canoeing, kayaking, rafting, water-skiing and swimming. Thousands of acres of lush forests and wildlife management areas invite birdwatching, wildlife viewing, fishing and hunting, hiking, rock climbing, rappeling, biking and horseback riding.

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