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Southern Region

West Virginia's Metro Valley combines urban attractions and the appeal of rural living. West Virginia's largest cities are here, including Charleston, the state capital, and Huntington.

A guided tour of the imposing State Capitol - Charleston reveals the story of the state's "floating capital," whose multiple moves between Wheeling and Charleston from 1863 to 1877 finally required a referendum to secure a permanent home. Views of Charleston's historic East End are dominated by the Capitol's golden dome.

Mountain bikers, wildflower watchers, hikers and swimmers will enjoy huge Kanawha State Forest, minutes from downtown Charleston.

From the beginning, Mother Nature bestowed her best upon the New River/Greenbrier Valley. Its scenery and resources have attracted waves of explorers, prospectors and other pursuers of the good life. Lewisburg, recommended in the National Geographic Guide to Small Town Escapes, invites a leisurely stroll. Roll through autumnal colors on a train in the New River Gorge National River. The Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine invites the curious to take a "man-trip" into a coal mine. Foot-tapping fiddle music is the order of the day at the Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop. Bring binoculars to espy soaring hawks over Peters Mountain, at a ridgetop observatory. Fayetteville is replete with galleries housing crafts and art objects.

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