Wheeling is a quaint town in beautiful West Virginia, where many unique attractions and places to visit are waiting for anyone curious enough to come and learn and to have fun. Since the early 1800s, people have built incredible places like a 1650-acre park, mansions, massive bridges, a world-renowned zoo, theaters, museums, Cathedrals, some of the best restaurants in America, unique shops, a racetrack, an arena, and so many other places that are now historical landmarks. Both visitors and residents have a lot to see and do in Wheeling, West Virginia.
1.Wheeling Suspension Bridge
This modern marvel was built in 1849 as the largest suspension bridge in the world at the time. The bridge connects the mainland at Wheeling, WV to Wheeling Island, just west, spanning over 1,000 feet across the mighty Ohio River.
The bridge is so old that there are restrictions for how heavy a vehicle can be to cross it, as well as the proper separation between cars so that one spot does not carry too much weight. If visitors are looking for more history on the bridge, it can be found at the local historical society and museums in Wheeling, WV.
Where 10th St. becomes Virginia St. Wheeling, WV 26003
Visitors can find dozens of attractions, historical places, and events within the 1650 acres that make Oglebay Park. The Mansion Museum houses all the history of the lands and the people who made it all possible.
The entire park has two professional golf courses, two public golf courses, eleven public tennis courts, public pool, hiking trails, gardens, a greenhouse, and a ski slope. Also located within the park is the Good Zoo, the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater, the Wilson Lodge which has over 270 rooms and over 50 cottages available to rent, the Shrader Center, Camp Russel, and Schenk Lake. Throughout the year, events are held within the park at all the different locations.
465 Lodge Dr. Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 877-436-1797
3.The Good Zoo
© Pascale Gueret/stock.adobe.com
This zoo is located with Oglebay Park and was the first zoo ever built as a natural area. Visitors can explore over 50 species from all over the world, some of which are endangered or rare. Many habitats are located within individual sections with animals from different parts of the world.
Families and friends can enjoy the zoo in many ways. Visitors can learn about the animals and their habitats, explore the sections of the zoo, participate in different programs and events happening all the time, and take a train ride through the entire zoo. Food and drink vendors can be found around the zoo, along with gift shops, and special activities for the kids.
465 Lodge Drive Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 877-436-1797
Capitol Theatre was built in 1928 as the largest theater in West Virginia. Today, theatergoers can see Broadway shows, bands, and other live shows. The theater also offers rental opportunities for people who want a lot of class and space. Many use the Grand Ballroom as a beautiful wedding venue.
The building is ADA compliant and provides security and strict behavior rules so that everyone has a great time. Many events cater to every age, including shows for toddlers. What makes the Capitol Theatre so unique is that it hosts its radio shows, which plays most shows live on the radio for the public.
1015 Main St. Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-233-7000
5.Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum
© Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum
Most guests can guess what to expect at this museum, which includes a lot of toys from bygone eras and everything about trains, but there is so much more to discover. This museum is dedicated to preserving toys that people remember from their childhood, and to be stewards of the railway history of the area.
The trains aren’t toys, though. They are authentic and can be visited within multiple exhibits featuring the history of trains in the area. There are interactive exhibits with operating train engines that people of all ages can have fun with. The museum holds many community events throughout the year as well.
144 Kruger Street Wheeling, West Virginia 26003, Phone: 304-242-8133
6.West Virginia Independence Hall
© West Virginia Independence Hall
This uniquely elegant building was built at the start of the civil war and was used for government operations, even before West Virginia was officially declared the 35th state. Its architecture is fascinating, as the framework is built from wrought iron and stone.
Today, people wander the exhibits featuring the history of the building and the impact the people made during the civil war and after. Self-guided tours are encouraged, but visitors can also plan to have a tour guide who professionally reenacts a character from the mid-1800s. Many temporary exhibits come and go during the year, but the first floor is permanently dedicated to the history of the civil war and what the building represents.
1528 Market Street, Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-238-1300
7.Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center
Wheeling Island has some of the most popular tourist destinations in West Virginia, including the racetrack. Horse racing has been popular there since before the civil war. The track has greyhound racing and other gaming and gambling activities for adults to participate in.
Wheeling Island has hotel accommodations that can suit anyone’s need. Many different types of dining are available, from fast foods to fine dining options, and the track and Gaming Center also has food and drinks available. There are events that happen throughout the year for both adults and the whole family.
1 South Stone Street Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-232-5050
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This massive park is over 400 acres of so many fun and exciting things to do. There is something for everyone at Wheeling Park, including a water park with an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a water slide that spans well over 300 ft. in length, and a splash area for the little kids. For golfers, there is an 18-hole and a 9-hole course. There are also outdoor/indoor tennis courts, full-length soccer fields, a skating rink, an amphitheater where bands regularly perform, tons of picnicking spots with shelters and gazebos, natural playgrounds for the kids, walking trails, and more. The White Palace and Good Lake also exist within the borders of Wheeling Park.
1801 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003, 304-243-4000
The Wesbanco Arena is like many other Arenas and Civic Centers across the nation and serves as a home to many sports teams, a large concert venue, and many other events. The arena itself hosts many events like banquets, trade shows, conferences, and other similar public events. There are also many rooms available to rent within the walls of the arena. These rooms are both small and large and can accommodate up to several hundred people. The entire arena is ADA compliant and offers handicap parking that leads straight into the arena. Both residents and tourists frequent the Wesbanco Arena daily.
2 14th Street Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-233-7000
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10. Cathedral of St. Joseph
© Cathedral of St. Joseph
This building is an architectural work of art that is home to the local Bishop of the Catholic Church. The cathedral was built around 1820 and has been rebuilt and renovated over the last 200 years to serve both the public and the local Catholics. Visitors of Wheeling and residents are all welcome to attend church services happening almost daily. The cathedral itself is open to the public during business hours and can be toured so that visitors can see the massive work of art first-hand. There is plenty of history and beautiful architecture to discover at the cathedral for people of all ages.
1300 Eoff St Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-233-4121
11.Madonna of the Trail
This feature is a series of great statues of pioneer women who conquered the wilds of early America and helped establish settlements, towns, cities, and homes throughout the Western Expansion. The twelve statues are located on the National Old Trails Road, which was the main highway to the west, going from Maryland to California.
The statue in Wheeling, West Virginia is of a pioneer woman holding a baby along with a young child clutching her dress. The monument is located in the National Road Corridor Historic District within the downtown area of Wheeling. The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution made the monuments possible.
On Rte. 40, near the entrance to Wheeling Park: 1801 National Rd. Wheeling, WV 26003
12.Wheeling-Ohio County Airport
© 4frame group/stock.adobe.com
The Wheeling Airport (HLG) has been transporting cargo and passengers to their destinations since 1946, back when it was just a small airstrip and a small building with a tower. Since then, many different airlines and airplanes came and went. The airport provides its history within the main building, where visitors can see all the antique airplane and pilot memorabilia and learn about how air transportation evolved in Wheeling over the years. The airport is fully operational, and visitors going to Wheeling will fly into this airport. For tourists, it’s a great place to stop first among the many different attractions and historical places throughout the area.
115 Skyway Lane Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-234-3865
© Blue Church
The Blue Church is a testament to Greek revival architecture and stands as one of the oldest buildings in Wheeling. Unfortunately, many places that would have had historical significance today didn’t make it through the civil war, but the Blue Church stood through it. It was built in 1837 as an Episcopal Church. Many renovations have been done, but more need done, so the building is frequently changing.
Visitors are welcome to visit the building during business hours on most days. There are many community engagement and historical events throughout the year that visitors are encouraged to attend.
1206 Byron St. Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-232-3087 (Wheeling Heritage)
14.Challenger Learning Center
© Challenger Learning Center
The Challenger Learning Center was built in 1996 within Wheeling Jesuit University. The concept was first created after the space shuttle “Challenger” tragically exploded upon takeoff, in which seven heroic astronauts lost their lives. Since that tragedy, 48 other Challenger Learning Center locations have been built all around the world.
There are a ton of fun learning activities like simulated space flights, mission control, and astronaut training on a space station. The facility uses cutting-edge technology and real equipment to provide the most genuine experience possible. For people who wish to participate, but can’t get to a center, there are online programs available.
316 Washington Ave (Wheeling Jesuit University) Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-243-4325
15.First State Capitol Building
This historical building was built in 1858 but didn’t become the first state capitol building until 1875. A lot of history is stored within the walls of the old building, and the WALS (Wheeling Academy of Law and Science Foundation) ensures that people have access to it. Guided tours are offered for students of all ages.
There are many fun events and programs that students, adults, and professionals can participate in. One program is where a mock-trial is set up, and everyone plays a role in how the American justice system works. There are also many classes and professional events and programs for lawyers and green energy enthusiasts. The First State Capitol Building runs completely on solar power and encourages the community to learn more about green energy.
1413 Eoff St # 101 Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-232-2576
16.Wheeling Symphony Orchestra
Beautiful music has been playing in Wheeling by the Wheeling Orchestra since 1929 when a band of local musicians decided to make a society in which Wheeling could have their symphony orchestra. The orchestra can be seen many times throughout the year at the most significant gathering places in Wheeling, like Oglebay Park, the Capitol Theatre, Heritage Port Amphitheater, the Anne Kuchinka Amphitheater, and other venues in the towns and cities surrounding Wheeling. They are known to put on a couple of free concerts during the summer season and also offer kid’s programs that get them excited about playing instruments.
1025 Main St. Suite 811 Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-232-6191
17.The Mingo Native American Statue
This fantastic statue resides on top of the Wheeling Hill, overlooking the city, and was built in 1928 to praise the Mingo Native Americans who welcomed the settlers to their lands. The Kiwanis Club of Wheeling dedicated the statue to the City of Wheeling shortly after its construction.
The statue is of a Native American man from the Mingo tribe, wearing typical native American garments, holding a quiver of arrows, and his right hand outstretched to welcome any who come to Wheeling. A bow lay at the statue’s feet to signify that all visitors and settlers are welcome. Inscribed on its base is, “The Mingo.”
On the west side of National Road at the top of Wheeling Hill where Mt. Wood Rd, Pike St., and Stone Blvd. intersect,
18.Undo's Family Restaurant
© Undo's Family Restaurant
Great food is something that Wheeling is famous for, and that is because Undo’s Family Restaurant and others have given it that reputation by serving fresh Italian and American dishes since 1953. The restaurant was first the Flamingo Club, and its neighbor, the Benwood Stag Bar, and became Undo’s when Jenny and Undo Sparachane purchased both and opened the family restaurant.
Undo’s has one restaurant in Wheeling and four others in surrounding towns that provide unique Italian cuisine to thousands of people. The restaurant also has a catering service for both large and small events within the City of Wheeling and the surrounding area.
1165 Market Street Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-233-5566
© Vagabond Kitchen
This restaurant is located in downtown Wheeling and has a short but unique history. The idea behind the Vagabond Kitchen began in 2013 when Matt Welsch wanted to take his culinary knowledge to newer heights. He traveled across the country on his motorcycle, going from town to town, discovering new culinary techniques and food. Chef Matt explored the wide world of fine dining for over a year before he went back to Wheeling to open the Vagabond Kitchen. Chef Matt embodies the restaurant’s namesake and brings many cultures into the restaurant through the food they offer. People from all over the Wheeling area has made this restaurant quite famous.
1201 Market St. Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-905-6173
20.River City Restaurant and Bar
© Chee-Onn Leong/stock.adobe.com
The River City Restaurant and Bar is a 3-story, full-service bar, and eatery located within the Artisan Center in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia. The first-floor restaurant can seat over 250 hungry guests. Groups of guests are welcome to reserve the private party rooms, the Victorian Room, the Bar Room, or the Window Room, each of which can accommodate roughly 20 people.
The second-story bar area has pool tables, games, a lot of flat screen TV’s, and live music on the stage on special nights. Many events and specials are held at the restaurant and bar areas throughout the year. On the third floor, a 10,000 sq. Foot banquet hall is available for any event, wedding, or party.
1400 Main Street Wheeling, WV 26003, Phone: 304-233-4555
20 Best Things to Do in Wheeling, WV
- Wheeling Suspension Bridge, Photo: Chuck/stock.adobe.com
- Oglebay Park, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- The Good Zoo, Photo: Pascale Gueret/stock.adobe.com
- Capitol Theatre, Photo: simone_n/stock.adobe.com
- Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum, Photo: Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum
- West Virginia Independence Hall, Photo: West Virginia Independence Hall
- Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center, Photo: Studio_3321/stock.adobe.com
- Wheeling Park, Photo: vectorfusionart/stock.adobe.com
- Wesbanco Arena, Photo: vencav/stock.adobe.com
- Cathedral of St. Joseph, Photo: Cathedral of St. Joseph
- Madonna of the Trail, Photo: Viktor/stock.adobe.com
- Wheeling-Ohio County Airport, Photo: 4frame group/stock.adobe.com
- Blue Church, Photo: Blue Church
- Challenger Learning Center, Photo: Challenger Learning Center
- First State Capitol Building, Photo: jzehnder/stock.adobe.com
- Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, Photo: DeshaCAM/stock.adobe.com
- The Mingo Native American Statue, Photo: ChiccoDodiFC/stock.adobe.com
- Undo's Family Restaurant, Photo: Undo's Family Restaurant
- Vagabond Kitchen, Photo: Vagabond Kitchen
- River City Restaurant and Bar, Photo: Chee-Onn Leong/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: aceshot/stock.adobe.com