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Parkersburg, West Virginia Travel Guide

Complete Vacation, Recreation and Tourism Information

Perched on the banks of the Ohio River, Parkersburg is a city of Revolutionary War history and outdoor recreation. In a state known for glass-making, this city is home to one of the most famous factories, Fenton Art Glass. A relatively flat spot in a mountainous state, Parkersburg is an arts center for the region and was once home to the oil and gas industries, with a museum to prove it.

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park in the Ohio River is a 500-acre island accessible only by sternwheeler. Aaron Burr failed in his attempt, with Harman Blennerhassett, to establish a southwest empire here after killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Open May-October, the park includes self-guided walking tours, hiking trails, horse-drawn wagon rides, biking, picnicking and tours of the reconstructed Blennerhassett Mansion.

Located in the downtown, Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History features historical exhibits of the area, some dating back 12,000 years. Try a walking tour of the Julia-Ann Historic District past local restored homes. The Oil and Gas Museum presents the area history of these two industries. Visit nearby Williamstown to see Fenton Art Glass Company, which offers factory tours showing the art of glassblowing and making, part of the area's heritage. A gift shop and museum are located on site.

Parkersburg offers many options in the arts. Parkersburg Art Center features a contemporary gallery of regional and national works. Riverside Artists Gallery offers the work of local artists in various media for sale. Smoot Theatre, located in a 1926 vaudeville house, presents performances by national artists. Other nightlife options include performances by the River Cities Symphony Orchestra, Parkersburg Choral Society and productions of the Actors Guild of Parkersburg.

Outdoor recreational opportunities include North Bend State Park at the North Fork of Hughes River for swimming, fishing, golf, tennis, hiking, biking and horseback riding. Another option, Mountwood Park, is a wooded area with fishing, hiking and nature trails.

Parkersburg's dining options range from fine dining at Spats Restaurant at the Blennerhassett Hotel to family dining at River City Tavern & Grill.

Parkersburg is located about 20 minutes south of Marietta, OH and 80 miles north of Charleston, WV near the Ohio River and Ohio state line. From Charleston, take I-77 north.


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