If it’s adventure you want, it’s adventure you’ll get in the Mountain State. A hearty mix of city life and outdoor excitement, Charleston, West Virginia, is the perfect base for just families, couples, and solo travelers. Only in the state capital will you discover the best of West Virginia is always within reach.

Here are some activities and adventures that locals keep in their back pocket.

Photo Credit: Bunny and Norm Lenburg

Get a history lesson at Charleston State Museum

You can’t be a local without knowing a thing or two about the state and city’s past, right? At the Charleston Culture Center and State Museum, you can trace your West Virginia ancestry and learn about the extensive mining history in the region. It’s kid-friendly and free, making it well worth a morning visit before you begin the rest of your day.

Photo Credit: David Bennett

Explore Kanawha State Forest

Just about a 10-minute drive from Charleston, the views and trails at Kanawha are too nice to miss and the spot every local will recommend you visit. If you can, plan a trip in late spring when the wildflowers, butterflies and birds are in full bloom and bursting with life. It’ll make for a truly magical hike.

Earn your keep at ACE Adventure Resort

The one-stop-shop for all things in adventure in Charleston area, you can do everything from rock climbing to mountain biking at ACE. Spread across 3500 acres of land, the adventure park hosts a number of festivals and special events throughout the year and pays back it’s volunteers in a big way -- with free rafting, zip lines and cabin rentals! Can’t do a full day? Half-day work is also rewarded.

Photo Credit: Frank Kehren

Check out the New River Gorge Bridge

An hour and half drive from the capital, New River Gorge is one of the most photographed bridges in North America. The longest steel-span bridge in the Western Hemisphere and the third highest in the country, with that in mind, we wouldn’t recommend that far of a drive just to get a quick picture. We think you should walk across it with the Bridge Walk Tour, which will take you under the cars for a full on view of the river rushing below you. It’s an adrenaline rush at its finest and it’s totally worth the trip.

Photo Credit: Michael Blow

Get wet and wild with River Expeditions

Since you’re already near the New River Gorge Bridge, let the thrill seeking continue with an awesome white water rafting adventure. With New River Gorge National Park as its playground, the River Expeditions crew will take you down the river and through the woods like only they know how.