Did you know that West Virginia is one of the 10 least visited states in America? You might have guessed that based on its lack of National Parks. But there’s a lot that West Virginia has to offer tourists.
Approximately 16 million people travel to West Virginia each year, and often those guests visit Blackwater Falls State Park, Seneca Rocks, or Snowshoe. Although those are beautiful destinations, if you’re planning a trip to the state, Bridgeport, WV, should make your list of places to visit.
Located just north of the Monongahela National Forest and just south of the city of Morgantown, it’s close to lots of places to visit and things to do. Let’s take a closer look at how to do Bridgeport, WV, like a local!
Where Is Bridgeport, WV?
Located in north-central West Virginia along I-79, the city of Bridgeport was chartered in 1816 and incorporated in 1887. The total area covers about 10.5 square miles.
Simpson Creek, a tributary of the West Fork River, runs through the city. Bridgeport is about two hours north of the state’s capital of Charleston and two hours south of Pittsburgh, PA. Since it sits off I-79, it’s in a great location to easily access central West Virginia.
Traveler’s Tip: Visit another favorite small town in southern West Virginia by spending a perfect day in Beckley.
What Is Bridgeport, West Virginia Known For?
For locals, Bridgeport is a family-friendly community. Although businesses are booming and the new White Oaks business park is home to support services for United Hospital Center (UHC), FBl’s Criminal Justice Headquarters, and FBl’s Biometrics Center of Excellence, it maintains its small-town atmosphere.
New businesses claim Bridgeport as home while their employees enjoy outdoor spaces and family activities. The city government strives to make Bridgeport, WV, a progressive community.
5 Ways to Do Bridgeport, WV Like a Local
When visiting a smaller location, you don’t want to stick out as a tourist. So to experience Bridgeport, WV, like a local, here are a few ideas. Whether you enjoy the outdoors, shopping, dining, or sports, there’s something for everyone!
1. Hike at Valley Falls State Park
State parks are some of the best locations to experience local life in new places. You can see the local wildlife and foliage and learn about the area’s history. Valley Falls State Park in Fairmont, WV, has four stunning waterfalls within its 1,145 acres. There are 18 miles of hiking and biking trails that feature beautiful overlooks. It’s only a 40-minute drive from Bridgeport, WV, and worth every minute!
2. A Mountain Clays Shooting Range
This is a great outdoor adventure experience when visiting Bridgeport, WV. At A Mountain Clays shooting range, you can shoot from a covered porch and enjoy scenic views from the cabin. The shooting stations are easy to access and protected from the weather, so you can visit any day you’re in the Bridgeport area.
Guests rave about the hospitality and instruction given at the facility. Finally, it’s only a 10-minute drive from Mountain State Brewing Company, so enjoy a beer when you’re finished.
3. Shop at Meadow Brook Mall
If you enjoy shopping, Meadowbrook Mall is a great place to experience Bridgeport, WV, like a local. Shop stores like Hibbett Sports, Victoria’s Secret, Kay Jewelers, Old Navy, and more. Enjoy a Philly steak, a slice of pizza, or a Chinese meal from the Food Court for lunch.
Spend the whole day or just a few hours here. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day except Sunday when hours are 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
4. Happy Hour at Mountain State Brewing
After you’ve visited A Mountain Clays, head down the road just six miles for happy hour at Mountain State Brewing, one of the oldest distributing microbreweries in West Virginia. Flagship brews include Cold Trail Blonde Ale, Almost Heaven Amber Ale, Seneca IPA, and Miner’s Daughter Stout. They also brew seasonal beers. Enjoy artisan flatbreads baked in the wood-fired brick ovens and have a relaxing afternoon.
5. Watch a Game at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex
Sports fans will enjoy visiting this Bridgeport Recreation Complex, commonly called “The Bridge.” Here, you’ll find locals involved in swimming, volleyball, basketball, pickleball, and soccer. Watch an adult league game of soccer or basketball. If you’re planning a lengthy stay in the area, consider joining a team and jumping in on the fun.
How Big Is Bridgeport, West Virginia?
Although West Virginia’s population has declined over the last 10 years, the city of Bridgeport has grown. According to the 2020 Census data, the population is about 9,300 people, 15% higher than in 2010.
With the recent addition of Charles Pointe, it looks like Bridgeport is committed to creating a community focused on the future. This mixed-use community includes over 1,700 acres along I-79 and combines commercial, residential, and recreational opportunities.
Is Bridgeport, WV Worth a Visit?
First, West Virginia is worth a visit. The newer generations are breaking the stereotypes and seeking to build progressive communities. Bridgeport is one of those cities.
With green spaces, flourishing new businesses, and family-friendly activities, it’s a great place to call home or to visit on your road trip. So wherever you’re traveling along the I-79 corridor, take the Bridgeport exit and explore all this city has to offer.
When do you plan to visit Bridgeport, WV? You won’t be disappointed!