The Best of West Virginia Awards 2013
The votes are in! Readers from all corners of the state have weighed in on their favorite eateries and entertainment venues, celebrities and care providers, shopping spots and scenic escapes.
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This & That
photographed by elizabeth roth
BEST TOWN TO RETIRE
Lewisburg offers its residents the best of both worlds—all the perks of a small town with plenty of opportunities to stay active—making it a prime location for retirement. Downtown offers a variety of restaurants, art galleries, boutiques, and cafés, and the surrounding area is a haven for golf enthusiasts. History lurks in every corner, and cultural preservation is at the core of the community. All it takes is one visit to get hooked on Lewisburg’s lively yet laid-back charm.
Lewisburg was named one of the coolest small towns in America by Budget Travel magazine in 2011, and the heartbeat of the city is its vibrant downtown. A stroll down Washington Street yields an eclectic, award-winning assortment of nearly 50 restaurants and cafés, galleries and venues, boutiques and shops—not to mention historical attractions. Grab a latté at The Wild Bean and sip as you explore the antiques, art, and eateries.Greenbrier Valley Convention and Visitors Bureaul, 200 West Washington Street, Lewisburg, WV 24901; 304.645.1000; greenbrierwv.com
BEST LOCAL NONPROFIT
Read Aloud West Virginia
How do you raise a state full of lifelong readers? Read Aloud West Virginia has assumed responsibility by answering that question with real solutions. This nonprofit recruits and trains volunteers to visit classrooms, daycare centers, and after-school programs to read and instill a love of literature at an early age. Formed in 1987 by a group of parents from Kanawha County, the organization has grown to encompass almost half of West Virginia’s counties.1700 MacCorkle Avenue, Room 179, Charleston, WV 25314; 304.345.5212; readaloudwestvirginia.org
BEST PLACE TO RAISE KIDS
You may think of Morgantown as a college town, but this thriving community is also a great place to start a family. There are plenty of family-friendly things to do—celebrate curiosity at the Children’s Discovery Museum of West Virginia, enjoy art at The Wow! Factory or one of the many WVU exhibits, go to a WVU sporting event, or spend all day at one of the parks or pools maintained by BOPARC. Add award-winning schools and a low crime rate to the mix and you’ve got a no-brainer.
BEST PLACE TO START YOUR CAREER
Consistently hailed as one of the best economies in the nation (Forbes cited it as a Top 10 City for Business and Careers in 2012), Morgantown offers many opportunities for young professionals in fields like health care, technology, and education. The unemployment rate hovers around 5 percent, a number that many economists agree is ideal. The largest employers in Morgantown are the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Mylan Pharmaceuticals, and West Virginia University, but small business is also booming.City of Morgantown; 304.284.7405; morgantownwv.gov