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“Don't be fooled!”

West Virginia State Museum
Ranked #1 of 49 things to do in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Located in the Cultural Center, this interesting museum traces the history of West Virginia through a series of exhibits containing everything from an extensive collection of antique hats donated by a local school teacher to the telescope George Washington used to survey lands within the state.
Charleston, West Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
105 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Don't be fooled!”
Reviewed August 15, 2013

The first floor is only the theater (shows selections of the classics all summer), archives, and a few quilts and display pieces.

Don't be fooled by that sparseness, there's a whole museum in the basement and West Virginia did not skimp setting it up. Starting with the geological formation of the state, you walk through a series of interactive exhibits all the way through to present day. A totally worth while stop on your trip to the state.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Sasha S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Berea, Kentucky
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Well done”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

When we first entered we didn't think there was much to see, then we went downstairs and spent 3 hours looking at all the stuff they had. They have it set up as a time line from pre-historic to modern day. It was quite nicely done. I didn't expect that level of museum from the outside of the building or the main lobby. The main lobby however was cool too, because they had a quilt show going on and my Mom's a quilter so we spent a long time looking at the designs on the quilts.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank KYTravelingMama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, West Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Trip through time”
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Well worth the trip to see, especially if you've not been since the complete renovation and overhaul. Housed in the Culture Center, on the state capitol building complex. The main museum is arranged chronologically, as a history of the state of West Virginia, from prehistoric times to the present. Other exhibits and collections are rotated, or changed out, periodically, so there's always something new to see. I brought my teenagers here when they were in 8th grade, doing West Virginia Studies. They seemed to enjoy it, and it definitely enhanced their knowledge of our state. There's plenty here for out-of-state tourists, too, if they are at all interested in history, science, industry, crafts, or just beautiful exhibits. The best part is that it's all FREE! Nice gift shop near the main entrance to the Culture Center.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank donnamT1072HD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Albans, West Virginia
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“coal mining history and facts”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

along with coal mining facts, there are displays of the gown the wv first ladies wore. There are hand made quilts and many more interesting items to see.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank Sue M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, West Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Great Place”
Reviewed July 29, 2013

This is a great place to visit for all ages. Some interactive exhibits also. The museum is also free! So you can not beat it. Also you can visit the state capitol because it is on the capitol grounds. Most of the time the Capitol building is open to the public.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Jesscruick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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