What I didn’t previously know is that Huntington had a lot of gems worth stopping for.
I’m sharing more about the hidden gems and the best fun things to do in Huntington, West Virginia.
This article is written in partnership with the Huntington Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Where is Huntington, West Virginia located?
Huntington, West Virginia is located along the southern bank of the Ohio River in the southwestern corner of West Virginia where Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky meet.
My friend and her daughter joined me for a getaway to discover fun things to do in the Huntington area.
In 1871 the city of Holderby’s Landing was renamed Huntington in honor of railroad tycoon Collis P. Huntington. You’ll still find several ties to the city’s railroad history throughout the city.
Explore Pullman Square
220 9th St, Huntington, WV (Complex located Between 8th and 10th streets and 3rd Avenue and Veterans Memorial Boulevard)
Pullman Square is located in the heart of downtown Huntington and offers a variety of entertainment options including shopping, a Pullman Square 16 Marques Cinema Movie theater, and dining.
There are two 4-story tall parking garages on the east and west ends of the complex for a fee. There is also metered street parking nearby.
Drink and Play at Old North Arcade
16 Pullman Square Huntington, WV
One of the best things about visiting Old North Arcade is that most of the games are free with ANY drink purchase which includes non-alcoholic drinks.
The drink menu is themed with an assortment of creative names. Harry Potter fans will definitely be drawn to one of the most popular drinks, “Baby Butterbeer” that’s available both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Old North Arcade is an excellent place to tap into your inner child and guaranteed good time for both adults and kids on your next family adventure.
Just make sure that you visit before 8pm because after 8pm it’s for ages 21 and up only.
30 Pullman Square Huntington, WV
Inner Geek is an independent bookstore and one of the best places to find comics and collectibles.
It’s also a fun place for a trip down memory lane with an assortment of nostalgic toys available for purchase.
Make One-of-a-Kind Art at The Pottery Place
940 3rd Avenue Huntington, WV
The Pottery Place is a wonderful place to tap into your creative side. The Pottery Place offers an all-inclusive paint-your-own pottery studio for all ages.
You don’t have to be a gifted artist to have a good time. Just keep in mind that all art is subjective and try not to overthink it.
The hardest part is narrowing down and selecting your pottery piece and your paint colors.
If you need some inspiration check out the painted pottery on display next to the unpainted ones or their Instagram feed.
The staff can also provide guidance if you need some direction or recommendations for paint colors.
Pro tip- Make sure that you grab a rotating display stand near the paint section to make it easier to paint all of the sides of your piece.
If you’re visiting from out of town you don’t have to worry about pickup later because they can ship your pottery.
Try a Unique Pizza Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar
833 3rd Avenue Huntington, WV (Located next to The Peddler)
Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar is the perfect place to get out of your culinary comfort zone and try something new whether it’s a creative pizza, a menu item from the raw bar, or both!
We started with the habanero queso and the Hickory Ahi Tuna grilled very lightly over hickory wood, served rare with ponzu.
Next, we tried two very different pizzas.
The Jammin’ Jamaican was made with spicy black beans, topped with mozzarella cheese, jerk chicken, fresh baby spinach, red onion, juicy grilled pineapple, chipotle remoulade, and fresh cilantro.
I know it sounds like an odd combo but it really works!
The Crab Rangoon pizza was made with crab meat, cream cheese, green onions, roasted red peppers, sweet chili sauce, and crunchy wonton strips.
It was a VERY close call but my personal favorite of the two was the Crab Rangoon Pizza.
There are plenty of more traditional options on the menu too but I challenge you to try something new!
809 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV
The Market is a mixed-use space containing local shops, eateries and also hosts events and live music.
During our visit, we tried a few of the vendors inside.
Ice Cream at Austin’s at The Market
809 3rd Avenue Huntington, WV
This family-owned and operated ice shop started in Ceredo, West Virginia around 20 minutes from Huntington.
All of their ice cream is made onsite with original recipes including one of their most popular and unusual flavors, Grape Pineapple.
You should definitely try a sample of the grape pineapple flavor even if you don’t want to commit to a scoop of it.
We opted for the butter pecan ice cream and the dairy-free espresso Oreo flavor in waffle cones and a homemade chocolate chip cookie.
809 3rd Avenue Huntington, WV 25701
If you like butter in your coffee this is the place! Butter It Up is a farm-to-table restaurant that’s open for breakfast and lunch located inside The Market.
Breakfast is served all day long and sourced as locally as possible including their locally roasted coffee with their homemade butter.
If you don’t want butter in your coffee you still have plenty of specialty drink options.
All of the meals at Butter It Up are also made fresh and gluten-free. During our visit, we tried the peanut butter and jelly french toast special that was a fun twist on a classic.
210 11th St, Huntington, WV
You’ll find the Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau inside the original trail depo building.
This is a great place to stop to get ideas for additional things to do in the area and find out about upcoming special events.
The building also houses the Red Caboose that’s known for locally produced products that include art, jewelry, food, books, West Virginia-themed souvenirs, and more. You can also shop on their website online.
210 11th Street #15 Huntington, WV (At Heritage Station)
Empanadas for breakfast? I’m here for it.
This local bakery and cafe serves up delicious pastries made in-house and unique empanadas… so we had to try a little bit of everything in the name of research.
We started with an Alfajor baby cake and a dulce croissant.
The three of us shared all of the menu items which was a good thing because the baby cake would have been too much for one person.
Each bite of baby cake was perfection with a flavor fusion from layers made with a yellow cake with Swiss buttercream, dulce de leche, and an Alfajor on top.
Next, we moved on to the empanadas. We were surprised that each of our selections was unique in shape and the distinct flavors made it hard to pick a favorite.
Here are our top 3 empanadas in no particular order:
- Street corn
I also want to point out the fantastic floor tile and the train track hanging from the ceiling in case you spot a model train passing by.
Enjoy Coffee Inside a Shipping Container at Grindstone Coffeeology
816 8th Street Huntington, WV
Grindstone Coffeeology was founded by two Aussies who relocated to Huntington and are dedicated to brewing world-class coffee.
They roast their beans onsite and they have a nice seating space with plenty of natural light inside the repurposed shipping container.
If you prefer outdoor seating check out the nice rooftop patio on top of the shipping container building.
During our visit, we tried the honey lavender latte, strawberry rosebud latte, and maple oat & lemon zest latte. We loved the unique flavor options that were perfect for a much-needed afternoon “pick me up.”
2033 McCoy Road Huntington, WV
The Huntington Museum of Art was founded in 1952 and has over 17,000 rotating pieces in the art galleries that includes works by Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol.
West Virginia’s largest art museum and the only nationally accredited one in the state.
The three primary focuses of the museum are art, education in the community, and nature.
You’ll find an assortment of activities, programs, and tours throughout the year.
Admission is free for everyone on Tuesdays and ALWAYS free for guests ages 18 and under.
Herman P. Dean Firearms Collection at Huntington Museum of Art
This is one of the exhibits in the museum that’s really fascinating. The exhibit takes you on a chronological survey of historical firearms with a focus on weapons used during the American frontier period.
This firearm collection was really interesting and many of the pieces in the exhibit also doubled as functional works of art.
The museum is also home to the only tropical and subtropical plant conservatory in West Virginia that features an incredible glass sculpture by artist Dale Chihuly.
If you enjoy spending time outdoors you’ll definitely want to check out a nature trail during your visit. There are close to 3 miles of nature trails at the museum which resides on 52 acres.
Stroll Along Harris Riverfront Park
10th St &, Veterans Memorial Blvd, Huntington, WV
Harris Riverfront Park is a wonderful spot to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Ohio River. The park has a shaded walking path between rows of trees, swings, a waterfront amphitheater, and picnic tables.
There is also a playground and the David H. Harris Skate Park with 2,500 square feet of skateable surface.
Appreciate Appalachian Culture at Heritage Farm
3300 Harvey Road, Huntington, WV
Heritage Farm is a great place to learn more about Appalachian culture and innovation through hands-on learning, outdoor adventure, and each historical museum in the Appalachian Village.
You’ll understand why it’s truly a West Virginia hidden gem and Smithsonian affiliate after you see the extensive collection of pieces and the log structures.
There are a variety of interesting attractions for the entire family that appeal to all ages including:
- Petting zoo with farm animals
- Nature center
- Rock Climbing
- Wagon Rides
- Treehouse Trek
- Blacksmith Shop
- Mountain Biking
- Artisan Crafts
If you want to enhance your visit you’ll definitely want to check out the special tours, experiences, and the Adventure Park.
Visit the Marshall University Campus and Stadium
2001 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV
Marshall University is a public college in Huntington that was founded in 1837 and named after John Marshall, who was the fourth chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.
College football fans will want to check out The Joan C. Edwards Stadium formerly known as the Marshall University Stadium located at 2001 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV.
Marshall University became more well-known nationally after the movie “We Are Marshall” starring Matthew McConaughey in 2006. He played the coach who came to Marshall University after the tragic plane crash that killed 75 players, coaches, and fans.
A Few of the “We Are Marshall” Film Locations in Huntington
Spring Hill Cemetery – 1427 Norway Ave, Huntington, WV – Memorial for the victims of the Southern Airways Flight 932 plane crash.
Memorial Fountain – 1 John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV – The sculpture and fountain is located on the Marshall University Campus in honor of the 75 lives lost on November 14, 1970, in the plane crash. Each year there is a memorial service on the anniversary of the crash and the fountain’s water is turned off until the following spring.
Keith Albee Performing Arts Center – 925 4th Avenue in Huntington – The scene at the movie theater where the guys found out about the plane crash at the beginning of the film.
857 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV
This sports bar is a great local spot to watch a game and admire Marshall memorabilia with American fare and drink.
Try a Flatbread from the Coal Fired Oven at Christopher’s Eats
5340 US-60, Huntington, WV
Christopher’s Eats offers patrons coal-fired flatbreads made in the state’s only 100% coal-burning oven.
During our visit, we tried the Greek flatbread that was cooked to perfection in the 900-degree oven that uses Anthracite coal.
This particular type of coal is the oldest and cleanest type of coal that’s mostly free of smoke and particulate emissions.
The Anthracite coal was sourced by US coal miners and extracted from already mined sites with a portion of profits from the coal sales going back to help the environment return to a working ecosystem.
There are plenty of great menu items at Chrisphopher’s Eats to choose from in addition to the flatbreads along with seasonal cocktails.
We really enjoyed the Atlantic Salmon served with two sides and house-made tzatziki. The shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon and onion were really good!
Explore Central City Shopping District
14 Street West, Huntington, WV
This is a fun area to explore antique shops, art galleries, restaurants, and other local businesses.
Comic book lovers will love the shop that’s packed with recognizable characters.
555 14th St W, Huntington, WV
The Wild Ramp is an indoor, year-round non-profit farmers market featuring food from local farmers and products from local artisans.
When I first heard the name of the store my first question was “What’s a ramp?”
A ramp is a wild allium similar to a wild onion or leek that can be found in Appalachia.
Huntington celebrates their love of wild ramps annually at “Stinkfest” a festival featuring ramps prepared in a variety of ways along with live music and local vendors.
604 14th St W, Huntington, WV
Cicada Books & Coffee is an independent bookstore primarily filled with second-hand books in addition to new books curated by staff.
There is a cozy nook in the back of the store where you can enjoy a coffee with friends or there is more dining chair seating toward the front.
610 14th St W, Huntington, WV
Inside this antique mall, you’ll find vintage items from 30+ dealers.
There is also an exhibit highlighting Central City history and memorabilia.
Admire the Murals in Central City District
There is a nice concentration of murals in the Central City District.
Be on the lookout for unique quilted patterns on the sides of the buildings along with a few larger murals.
The colorful sidewalks are also a fun photo stop.
Westland Plaza Shopping Center, 800 14th St W, Huntington, WV
The vendor mall is open 7 days a week and is located a short drive from the rest of the shops along 14th Street.
If you want to continue your antiquing adventure, The Peddlers Mall is typically open a little later than the other antique shops.
There is a vast assortment of items from vendors inside including crafts, furniture, art, decor, clothing, and more.
Sculptures Around Huntington, West Virginia
(Located throughout downtown Huntington)
You’ll find uniquely painted tugboat sculptures and trains located throughout the city of Huntington.
Find Your Favorite Hot Dog on the Huntington Hot Dog Trail
One thing that I learned during my visit is that people in Huntington are REALLY into hot dogs!
They are the self-proclaimed “Weenie Capital of the East” and have a hot dog trail to prove it!
There are 9 local hot dog stands on the Huntington Hot Dog Trail:
- Hillbilly Hot Dogs – 6951 Ohio River Rd, Lesage, WV – You don’t want to miss this one! *Read more about our experience at this iconic Hillbilly-themed hot dog stand here.
- Sam’s Hot Dog Stand – 2885 5th Ave, Huntington, WV
- Shaffers Drive-in – 1226 S Main St, Milton, WV
- Hazlett’s Triple H Drive Inn – 4450 5th Street Rd Huntington, WV
- Frostop Drive-In – 1449 Hal Greer Blvd, Huntington, WV
- Dog Haus Biergarten – 6310 US-60, Barboursville, WV
- Farley’s Famous Hot Dogs – 201 Midland Trail, Hurricane, WV
- Midway West Drive-in – 445 6th Ave W, Huntington, WV
- Stewart’s Original Hot Dogs – 2445 5th Ave, Huntington, WV
How the Hot Dog Trail Works
- Sign up online to access the digital vouchers for each hot dog stand.
- For a novelty hot dog pin you need to visit any of the 5 participating hot dog stands on the Hot Dog Trail and get your digital voucher validated.
- If you’re extra ambitious visit all 9 hot dog stands and you’ll be crowned a “wiener” and receive a hot dog t-shirt.
- * A purchase must be made at each spot to qualify and one prize is awarded per completed passport
- Contact the Huntington Area CVB about your prizes after you qualify.
- If you share your hot dog trail experience on social media using #HuntingtonHotDogTrail and every post on Instagram and Facebook will be an entry into a monthly drawing.
*Purchases for hot dogs and other dishes count toward completing the trail.
Try a “West Virginia Dog”
Part of the West Virginia hot dog experience is trying a “West Virginia Dog.”
What’s on a “West Virginia Dog?”
A West Virginia Dog is made with the following hot dog toppings:
- Chili or “sauce” depending on what part of West Virginia you’re from
Wander Ritter Park
910 13th Ave, Huntington, WV
Ritter Park is a beautiful park with plenty of green space, a walking trail, a dog park, art sculptures, tennis courts, pickleball courts, a picnic area, and more.
The playground at Ritter Park was named one of the 10 best playgrounds in America by Child magazine.
Ritter Park Rose Garden has a 3-acre rose garden that was originally created in 1908 for floral arrangements for Henry E. and Arabella Huntington.
If you visit the park during the summer you’ll find seasonal shows by the Outdoor Community Theater in June and July along with seasonal activities including Huntington Music & Art Festival in the fall.
If you like unique architecture check out the row of beautiful houses across the street from the park entrance.
Architectural Tour of the Churches on 5th Avenue
Speaking of architecture, if you love beautiful architecture you’re definitely going to want to still down 5th Avenue.
There are 7 churches on 5th Ave in Huntington and each has its own distinct architectural style to admire.
- First Congregational Church – 701 5th Ave.
- Johnson Memorial Methodist Church – Corner of 5th Ave. and 10th Street
- First Presbyterian Church – 1015 5th Ave.
- First United Methodist Church – 1124 5th Ave.
- Trinity Episcopal Church – Corner of 5th Ave. and 11 Street.
- Fifth Avenue Baptist Church – 1135 5th Ave.
- Central Christian Church – 1202 5th Ave.
You can also see the oldest historic house, the Buffington-McGinnis House in Huntington which was constructed by 1816 and located at 101 Main StreetHuntington, West Virginia.
Take a Tour of Blenko Glass Company
9 Bill Blenko Dr, Milton, WV.
Since 1893, Blenko Glass Company has been creating colorful mouth-blown and hand-cast architectural and art glass.
A visit to Blenko Glass Company for a tour or visit to their discounted gift shop is definitely worth the additional drive.
Play and Dine at Camp Landing
10699 US-60, Ashland, KY (23 minutes from Huntington, WV)
Camp Landing is an entertainment district with restaurants, a cinema, games, and more!
Play for Hours at Malibu Jack’s at Camp Landing
10699 US 60 W Ashland, KY 41102 (23 minutes from Huntington)
You’ll definitely run out of time before you run out of fun at Malibu Jack’s at Camp Landing!
Malibu Jacks Indoor Theme Park has the following:
- 14 lanes of bowling
- Full go-cart track
- Mini-golf course
- Laser tag arena
- Indoor roller coasters
- 3D experience rides
- State-of-the-art arcade
- Large jungle gym,
- Birthday cabanas
- Full food and beverage service
We had a blast playing for hours in the arcade, playing laser tag which also doubles as a cardio workout, and racing each other on the go-kart track.
With 120,000 sq ft of attractions, there is something to do for the whole family.
Strike a Pose on the Artsy Fartsy Walk at Camp Landing
The Artsy Fartsy Walk is a fun area interactive art gallery.
You can find the walkway between Smokin’ J’s and the Cinema at Camp Landing.
There are 15+ different exhibits so you can get creative with your Instagramable poses.
It’s also an excuse to take pictures with friends and family.
This area is also perfect for killing some time if you’re waiting for a table or have time before a movie at the cinema.
10699 US-60 Ste 950, Ashland, KY
Smokin’ J’s Rib and Brewhouse is a great place to dine while you’re at Camp Landing.
Their unique slow-smoking and cooking process has a lot of flavors and tends to leave their meats with a pinkish or reddish coloring even when they’re completely cooked.
For an appetizer, we started with the BBQ nachos. It was a generous portion between the 3 of us.
For adults, I would highly recommend trying their Bourbon slush! It’s delicious and refreshing.
We opted for the 2 meat BBQ Sampler. We chose the Jalapeno cheddar sausage and the brisket that was really tender. For our two sides, we selected cornbread and fried corn.
For dessert, we tried the delicious Bread Pudding that was served warm with ice cream, pralines, and caramel & topped with whipped cream.
Additional Things to Do in Huntington, West Virginia
Looking for even more things to do in Huntington?
Here are a few more suggestions.
- Museum of Radio & Technology – 1640 Florence Ave, Huntington, WV – See antique radios, tape recorders, ham equipment, vintage computers, and more.
- Camden Park – 5000 Waverly Rd, Huntington, WV – West Virginia’s only amusement park and home to the Big Dipper wooden roller coaster. The park dates back to 1903 as a picnic area for Camden Interstate Railway Company and remains 1 of 13 trolley parks still in operation in the United States. Ride roller coasters, major rides or take one of the paddle boat rentals on Swan Lake.
- Huntington Railroad Museum – 14th St. West at Memorial Blvd, Huntington, WV – Perfect for train and history lovers.
- Beech Fork State Park – 5601 Long Branch Rd, Barboursville, WV – Boating, camping
- Haunted Majestic – Scary floating seasonal attraction on the Ohio River
- Keith Albee Performing Arts Center – 925 4th Ave, Huntington, WV – A beautiful building from 1928 with a rich history of performers and incredible architecture.
- Lost Escape Room– 803 3rd Ave, Huntington, WV – Challenge yourself in an escape room.
- Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House – Family-owned and operated restaurant since 1938 known for its spaghetti, haddock fish sandwich, and homemade pie. Previous famous visitors include John F. Kennedy, Billy Joel, and Muhammad Ali.
- Paul Ambrose Trail for Health – 18.6 miles bike and pedestrian trail system
- St. Cloud’s All-Inclusive Playground – playground and splash pad
- Barboursville Park – 750 acres with a splash park, picnic tables, volleyball courts
- Dreamland Pool – 323 23rd St, Kenova, WV – large outdoor swimming pool open during the summer months that was previously known as the largest public swimming pool east of the Mississippi.