Welcome, globetrotters, to Charles Town! Your wandering steps have brought you here, and an adventure is calling your name. Now that you have arrived, you can choose to stay in the comfort of your room and watch the world goes by… or you can go out and embrace this new region. Meet the locals. Wander the streets. Explore its history. Is your hand on the doorknob already?
Charles Town isn’t at the top of many travelers’ bucket list, if it even has a place on those lists at all. But the quaint town is nicknamed the “Holy Town” for a reason, and now is the time to see it in a new light. Let Enjoyfuntrip accompany you on the journey with the list of things to do in Charles Town WV!
But Wait, Is Charles Town The Same As Charleston?
First things first, Charles Town is not the same as Charleston. Both of these lovely towns call West Virginia home, but they are 322 miles away from each other. That means around 5 hours of driving if you travel nonstop.
Many people might have heard of Charleston only, and I’m not surprised. After all, it’s West Virginia’s capital and cultural center. The city even played host to many notable events throughout the years and made it to the top 10 travel destinations in 2022 by Lonely Planet.
Well, that doesn’t mean you should overlook Charles Town! Though small, the Holy Town boasts a long and rich history dating back to its founding in 1976. Since it was founded by Charles Washington, George Washington’s youngest brother, Charles Town is intimately tied to the early days of the United States.
With plenty of historical traces, amazing findings, natural vistas, and exciting entertainment, the tiny but mighty town promises you an unforgettable experience all year round. So are you coming in the summer or during the holiday? Scroll down, and we will discover the best things to do in Charles Town WV for each season!
Things To Do In Charles Town WV – Spring
Spring in Charles Town brings warmer temperatures and a sense of optimism in every corner as residents take off their winter jackets. It’s time to enjoy the freshest farm products from the local market, embark on some leisurely outdoor sports, and picnic with your loved ones while surrounded by nature.
Without a doubt, Cascade Falls is one of the most magnificent water attractions in West Virginia (and arguably on the whole East Coast!). The falls, which are 69 feet in height, crash into a vast pool surrounded by huge cliff walls and luscious greenery. What we get is an awe-inspiring vista that embodies both serenity and power.
Aside from the scenery, Cascade also receives a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor because it’s super family-friendly. With platforms and wooden stairs, the majestic falls are easy to access even by wheelchairs, allowing any visitors to get a close look. Meanwhile, youngsters can snap Insta-worthy shots from various angles!
After working up your appetite by hiking up the waterfalls, take the whole family to the nearby campground to enjoy lunch while getting your dose of fresh air. With the birds’ songs and the sounds of water gushing over the rocks, an hour-long picnic here will feel like a week. That’s how relaxing and tranquil it is.
Charles Town’s Farmer Market
As mentioned, spring is the best time to get your fill of local veggies. If you want to take home fresh fruits, vegetables, and other farm products, head to Charles Town’s Farmer Market!
The market is open every Friday from 9 AM to 12 PM. Visitors can interact with friendly vendors and add delicious, hearty goods to their baskets. All of them come at excellent prices.
The residents also flock here to enjoy breakfasts, grab a coffee, and hang out. By spending the morning at Charles Town’s Farmer Market, you will become a part of their tie-knitted community. More than a place to shop, this has become the heart of Charles Town, connecting both the locals and tourists.
Locust Hills Golf Course
Framed by the splendid Blue Ridge Mountains, Locust Hill owes much of its brilliance to the location. If there weren’t any golf courses in this spot, the acres upon acres of rolling hills, streams, and lovely ponds would still be impressive. With the course here, though, it has become one of the most picturesque layouts in the country.
Locust Hill GC, CharlesTown WV 210501
According to Golf Digest Magazine, “every hole at Locust Hill is defined by its natural landscapes with the style of play determined by the elements.” Perhaps that’s why the course is consistently ranked among the top five courses in West Virginia. Feel the happiness of spring breezes and take in the surrounding beauty while you tee off!
Things To Do In Charles Town WV – Summer
Everywhere you turn during summertime in Charles Town, something exciting is going on. You can partake in the annual Summer Festival at the township park or catch free baseball games at Terry L.Marcus stadium.
However, keep this in mind: The average temperature is around 85°F, which is quite high. When the dazzling sun starts to wear you out, you can cool off with a glass of beer, then find some exciting indoor activities to escape the heat.
Harpers Ferry Brewing
So you think you can only find the best craft beer in Stowe, Vermont? Think again! Boasting stunning views, rich history, and a unique collective spirit, Harpers Ferry is a delightful place to visit. However, the delectable drinks are what truly make it thrive.
Nestled on the cliffs that overlook the Potomac River, Harpers Ferry is well-loved by the locals and beyond. They craft organic, locally-sourced drinks made with the purest ingredients and classic brewing techniques. Whether alone or with a group of friends, you can stop by to chill with a glass of beer and forget about the outside world for an hour or two.
After all, sipping on a cold brew in the summer is one of the best feelings in the world!
When night falls, it’s time to explore Charles Town’s vibrant gambling scene! Head to the Hollywood Casinos, roll the dice, and try your luck. Along with poker, slot machines, and table games like roulette or blackjack, the casino also features live horse racing at the nearby track. Will the Goddess of Fortune be on your side tonight?
If you are not into gambling, you can still marvel at world-class performances and endless forms of entertainment. Live music will play at the event center until the wee hours. Oh, and don’t miss out on this chance to grab a bite at one of the on-site restaurants – they are said to be the best places to eat in Charles Town WV!
The Old Opera House
Another way to spend a cozy summer night at Charles Town is to catch a show at the historic Opera House and learn about the landmark’s fascinating history. Aside from the six main stage productions, the Opera House also features a one-act play festival and a ballet every year.
Old Opera House’s 100th Birthday Season Celebrates History And Diversity
When August rolls around, they host summer camps in acting, dance, and voice, promising children and teenagers a wholesome experience.
Things To Do In Charles Town WV – Fall
To me, autumn is all about hot apple cider, crisp air, lovely foliage, and ghost stories. Put on your favorite sweater and enjoy the coziest season in this quaint town!
Cool Spring Nature Preserve
With over 30 acres of marshes, meadows, and woods, the Cool Spring Nature Preserve is the best place to get the leafy autumn view in Charles Town. As you feel the leaves crunch beneath your boots on a leisurely stroll, you will be surrounded by beautiful hues of gold, orange, and red. That stunning scenery would make for a perfect postcard!
Tucked deep in the forest is the 1869 house owned by Susan B. Thornton. The lovely cottage is among the building in Cool Spring Nature Preserves. What’s more, the area is also home to a variety of exotic animals, and they tend to be more active during the cooler months. If you want to see deer, red pandas, and bonobo apes up close, you know where to find them!
Ghost & Vampire Tours
When someone brings up “ghost stories”, your mind would probably wander to Galveston or Bartlesville. Surprisingly, with plenty of ghost tours and haunted historical landmarks, you can explore the spooky world right here in the Holy City!
Among the tours, the most sought-after is Charles Town’s Haunted History Walk by Angie and Tim. With a deep knowledge of the area’s history, these phenomenal tour guides will tell you about plagues, real serial killers, and the other-worldly spirits said to haunt the city’s streets still.
Not terrifying enough for you? Go for the “extreme tour”, where the guides will use ghost detectors to find traces of paranormal activities. Watch your back, folks!
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail is a national scenic destination that spans over 2,100 miles. It’s super picturesque during the falls, with vibrant willows, remnants of summer wildflowers, and trees that lend a splash of fall colors to the landscape.
2022 Appalachian Trail Conservancy Annual Meeting
For a fun and relaxing time at the trail, I recommend hiking the boardwalk trail to the stunning viewpoint on the south shore. From there, you can see the lake and watch various bird species. Don’t forget to bring binoculars and a zoom lens to snap some beautiful photos!
Things To Do In Charles Town WV – Winter
From November onward, Charles Town basically turns into a winter wonderland. With Christmas lights lining the snowy streets, you may feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale.
For me, the best way to spend winter in this small town is to slow down, trace back in time, and embrace quiet nostalgia as we wait for the new year to come.
Jefferson County Museum
Established in 1965, the Jefferson County Museum and Library showcase permanent exhibits covering a hundred years of local heritage, such as the daily life of the Shenandoah Valley’s Native Americans in the 20th century. History enthusiasts can also marvel at the artifacts, images, and documents about the Washington families.
A more low-key destination is the Beallair Manor, which dates back to the early 1800s. It was once the residence of Washington’s great-great nephew, Colonel Lewis.
Access to entering the home is relatively limited. However, tourists may still admire the ages-old architecture, feating an exquisite brick exterior and elegant stone columns.
Christmas Market Place
Leave it to the Holy City to throw an incredible Christmas party! Running for decades, the Charles Town Christmas Marketplace is a classic holiday market that honors long-standing traditions and exudes authenticity. More than 40 vendors gather together downtown to promote plenty of goods. These include unique artwork, handcrafted jewelry, ornament, and other artisan-creating holiday treasures for you to decorate your home.
This is a holiday event like no other since it features unique family activities, such as sitting on Santa’s lap and having breakfast with Santa. Come out to support local merchants and get a jump on your holiday shopping by checking out some of the handmade gifts available!
“Country Roads, Take Us Home”
“Almost heaven, West Virginia” – that’s how the legendary singer-songwriter John Denver described the state in his classic “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Indeed, Mountain State deserves to be one of the most sublime places in the U.S.
But if you only have time for one city, make it Charles Town. This small town perfectly captures West Virginia’s spirit: So wild, yet so elegant. The perfect combination of active recreational opportunities and entertaining excursions here will satisfy your adventurous soul – I can assure you that.
Follow my list of things to do in Charles Town WV, you will soon understand why people can’t get enough of this tiny but mighty area.