Take a “wild and wonderful” family excursion to Morgantown, West Virginia, to breathe in the fresh mountain air and gaze out on its expansive natural beauty. Just three hours from Northern Virginia and recognized for its distinctive urban sprawl right on the banks of the Monongahela River, Morgantown offers an array of unique outdoor activities for the entire family.
10 a.m.: Start your day the organic way and make your first stop at the downtown Morgantown Farmers Market, held every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Established in 2002, the farmers market is a popular destination with more than 40 vendors selling fresh produce, meats, eggs and breads. Everything is grown within a 50-mile radius of the city. Keep an eye out for North Elementary School’s booth—each week, students sell produce they planted and nurtured in the school garden. // 415 Spruce St.
10:30 a.m.: Visit Morgantown gem the West Virginia Botanic Garden and walk through the beautifully landscaped gardens. The 82-acre park features wooded areas, rolling hills, small streams and a sparkling pond at the center. The garden is perfect for birdwatching; you may even catch a glimpse of the song sparrow or the indigo bunting. // 1061 Tyrone Road
Noon: Satisfy your growling stomach at the Dirty Bird restaurant. From a menu focused on comfort foods, you can try the fried chicken, or if you’d prefer breakfast for lunch, opt for the two Belgian waffles with peanut butter-covered bananas spread in between. // 301 High St.
1 p.m.: Work off your lunch by taking a scenic tour of Morgantown along the Caperton Trail. The paved trail, named after a former West Virginia governor, travels in step with the city’s rich history from the banks of the Monongahela into downtown. // Start the trail at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park: 799 East Brockway Ave.
3 p.m.: Forks of Cheat Winery is a family-owned operation open since 1990 with a whimsical origin story: A young Jerry Deal, Forks of Cheat’s founder, was caught stealing grapes from his neighbor, so he decided to plant his own. Now, his winery grows both French hybrid and American varietal grapes and makes a variety of red, white, blush and specialty wines. Go for a tasting and buy a bottle to take home. At the gift shop, you’ll also find gift baskets, custom wine labels and bulk wine discounts. // 2811 Stewartstown Road
5:30 p.m.: Eat an early dinner at Black Bear restaurant, where you can order from a large menu of burrito recipes pulled from a variety of ethnic cuisines. // 132 Pleasant St.
6:30 p.m.: Cap off the day by traveling down to the Sunset Beach Marina to watch just that: the sunset. // 177 Sunset Beach Road