About CharlestonCapital of the state, Charleston was founded in 1794. From 1788-95, Daniel Boone lived across the river. He served in the Virginia Assembly in 1791. Remains of a Native American burial ground are in South Charleston at MacCorkle Avenue and D Street.
Serving as a regional cultural center, Clay Center for the Arts & Sciences of West Virginia houses a performance hall and a black box theater as well as museums, a planetarium and outdoor sculptures. Off I-64 exit 100 (Leon Sullivan Way) to 1 Clay Sq., the center is home to the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra; phone (304) 561-3570.
The Midland Trail National Scenic Highway/US 60 travels from Charleston to White Sulphur Springs through pastoral scenery and past the rugged New River Gorge.
Appalachian music, ethnic and traditional foods, West Virginia arts and crafts, dancing, storytelling and contests are part of the Vandalia Gathering, held on the Capitol Complex grounds and in the Cultural Center on Memorial Day weekend. Vandalia, proposed as the 14th colony during the late 1760s, had many backers, including Benjamin Franklin; the new colony's boundaries would have encompassed most of present-day West Virginia, in addition to much of what is now Kentucky. However, because of the strained relations between the fledgling American colonies and Great Britain, the plan never came to fruition.
For racing fans, Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, 12 miles west of Charleston off I-64 exit 47, offers greyhound racing. The glass-enclosed facility has more than 4,000 seats and a clubhouse; phone (304) 776-1000 or (800) 224-9683.
Note: Policies concerning admittance of children to pari-mutuel betting facilities vary. Phone for information.
Visitor Centers Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau 800 Smith St. Charleston, WV 25301. Phone:(304)344-5075 or (800)733-5469
ShoppingCharleston Town Center, downtown between Quarrier and Lee streets, has more than 130 stores including JCPenney, Macy's and numerous specialty shops. Capitol Street, the main street of Old Charleston, offers shops and restaurants housed in 19th-century buildings.
Open daily year-round, the Capitol Market at 800 Smith St. offers both indoor and outdoor shopping; phone (304) 344-1905. The restored former Kanawha and Michigan Railway Depot now houses specialty shops and eateries, and an outdoors farmers market provides fresh local produce as well as flowers, shrubs and trees.
Things to Do Clay Center's Avampato Discovery Museum
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