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Jan. 9, 2023 | CHH Foundation, St. Mary's Foundation
by Bradley Burck

100 Things to Do in Huntington Before You Die

Fun in Huntington, WV

Huntington, West Virginia is a fun place! Having lived here since 2005, I don’t dwell on days gone by, when the population was higher and downtown was bustling (which it is again). Instead, I look at what this city could be in the future. From my perspective, I see a town on the rise. It is a secret – a diamond in the rough just waiting to be polished to a bright gleam. My thoughts have recently been reinforced by the Wall Street Journal in an article on the 10 best places nationally for remote workers to live.

What follows is a bit of a tribute to Huntington.

The goal is to give you at least 100 ideas of fun things to do in and around Huntington. Enjoy this list, which my team at the Mountain Health Foundations came up with over a fun dinner one night after work. These aren’t in a particular order. The idea is that over the years you check each suggestion off your “bucket list.”

1. Do the Hot Dog Trail

Huntington's best dogs!

Huntington is well-known for hot dogs. Why, I’m not sure, but there are a lot of hot dog stands here. I’d wager more than any other city in the nation. Once, when my sister came to visit, we made it a point to do what I call the Hot Dog Trail. We tried every place that wasn’t a popular franchise (OK, Sam’s Hot Dogs is in five states, but it still has a local feel). Our route included:

Frost Top
Midway
Stewart’s
Sam’s Hot Dog Stand
Farley’s Famous Hot Dogs
Triple H Drive Inn

What you also need to know is that Huntington has its own way of doing hot dogs. They include some kind of chili, mustard, and onions. Make sure you order it the same way each time so you have a true comparison. Opinions vary on who serves the best “dog.” Y’all figure it out.

Location: See the links to each of the restaurants above.

2. Visit Evaroni’s Pizza

Pizza in Huntington

Imagine it … a sit-down pizza place where a family can come together, eat pizza, and have a good time. Places like this used to exist back in the 1970s and ‘80s, but they’ve kind of lost their place in society. Evaroni’s never did.

This Kenova restaurant is vibrant – it is always full – and their pizza is unique. Over the years I’ve met HUGE Evaroni’s fans and just as many detractors. Their sauce is very sweet, which some love and others hate. Either way, the opportunity to sit down and eat pizza out with your people in a spacious location is cool!

Location: Evaroni’s Pizza

3. See the Healing Field

See the flags at the Healing Field

Each September, the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District descends on Spring Hill Cemetery and puts out hundreds of American flags in rows. The purpose of this display is to remember the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001. Among those who died on Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon, was Huntington native and Marshall grad Dr. Paul Ambrose.

The project was conceived by Tom Bowen, a Huntington native who participated in the rescue and cleanup at New York’s Twin Towers. Then-Director Kevin Brady was moved by the idea and it turned into an annual event. When the flags are out, tours are available, or you can quietly stroll through the area and reflect on our nation’s freedoms, which make us unique in the world.

Location: Spring Hill Cemetery

4. Go to the Hot Dog Festival

Festival in honor of Hot Dogs!

Huntington is home to the annual Hot Dog Festival, sponsored by iHeart Media. Celebrating the city’s love of hot dogs, it takes place annually in late July. All local hot dog vendors are invited to participate.

Activities include hot dog-eating contests, the Bun Run, Buns on Bikes ride, and a wiener dog race. All the monies raised – which over the years totals more than $275,000 – go to support the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital.

Location: West Virginia Hot Dog Festival

5. Attend ChiliFest

Annual Chili celebration

Produced by local chef Ron Smith, ChiliFest has been a Huntington staple for several decades and is connected to the Chili Society’s World Championship. Vendors compete against each other to see who sells the most chili.

Over the years, the Huntington Fire Department, Cabell Huntington Hospital, and others have been the favorites. In fact, the firefighters deliver a nine-alarm chili that will burn your mouth! Chili of every kind is served – everything from goat or buffalo to vegetarian and more. All funds raised from this event go to the Ronald McDonald House in Huntington.

Location: Chilifest Huntington

6. Take a Heritage Farm Tour

Museum, farm, ropes course and more

Started by local legend Michael Perry, Heritage Farm’s mission is to be a reminder of the past and how people in this region survived tough times and lived to prosper and thrive. The farm was featured in 2011 on the History Channel’s long-running show, American Pickers.

Heritage Farm is home to a vast amount of central Appalachian culture, history and “stuff” – everything from tools to guns to kitchen supplies used throughout history. The quality of what they provide has allowed the location to become a Smithsonian Affiliate site. The farm is open most days for group tours and to anyone on weekends from May through October. They host Spring, Summer and Fall Festivals, plus an Appalachian Christmas Village the first two weekends of December. If you can get a tour with the current executive director, Audy Perry, do it. He is a wonderful person, gives a great tour, and has a heart for people and the region.

Location: Heritage Farm and Museum and Village

7. Meet the Mayor

Mayor Steve Williams

The mayor’s office is located in Huntington City Hall. Every mayor has his or her own flair. If you get there before his final term is up at the end of 2024, you will like Steve Williams – the first three-term mayor in the city’s history. Running a city like Huntington is a tough job. See if you can get your picture with him (even if you don’t like his politics).

Location: Huntington City Hall

8. Rent a Boat at Beech Fork

Boat rentals at Beach Fork

Beech Fork State Park is a treasure, with entrances in both Cabell and Wayne County. This place has much to offer, from a frisbee golf course and huge playgrounds to cookout areas, camping, lodge accommodations (Cabell side), fishing, swimming pool, beach, shooting range and more. In the summer, try renting a boat – a kayak or a paddle boat – and going out on the lake. It is simply glorious. Note: wear sunscreen or you’ll burn.

Location: Beach Fork State Park

9. See a Marshall Football Game

Football, football, football at Marshall

When Joan C. Edwards Stadium (where Marshall University plays football) is packed, there is simply no better stadium in the United States to watch a college football game. You will encounter a friendly, raucous and generally enjoyable crowd that loves their team.

Over the years, Marshall football has had its ups and downs, but lately they’ve been up. Their 2022 appearance in the Myrtle Beach Bowl marked the sixth straight year the team has been to a bowl game – and ninth in the past 10. Add to that its historic upset of Notre Dame early in the 2022 season and you have a lot of passionate Thundering Herd fans. You want to get to a game (even if you don’t like football). The memories will last a lifetime.

Location: Joan C. Edwards Stadium

10. See a Marshall Basketball Game

Basketball with Coach Dantoni

When Coach Dan D’Antoni started the 2022-23 season with Marshall, he was 75 years old. So no telling how long he’ll be around – another reason you need to get out and watch his brand of basketball while you still can! It’s “run and gun” and a lot of fun! Historic, too, considering his status as a former player and former NBA assistant coach with his brother, Mike.

Actually, Dan has continued the fast-break style of play invented by legendary Marshall coach Cam Henderson, so “Hillbilly Ball” is likely to continue for a long time. It’s fast, exciting and full of moments you will be glad you saw in person. Ticket prices are affordable too.

Location: Cam Henderson Center

11. Go to a Concert at the Mountain Health Arena

Concerts at Mountain Health Arena

Seeing a concert downtown at the Civic Center – now called the Mountain Health Arena – is a rite of passage in Huntington. Over the years, bands and artists like KISS, REO Speedwagon, Chicago, Kenova native Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, Ratt, the Bill Gaither Band and others have played this 7,500-seat space.

Location: Mountain Health Arena

12. Tour the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital

Children's Hospital in Huntington

Unbeknownst to a number of folks who live here, Huntington is home to a state-of-the-art children’s hospital. The brainchild of local business leader David Graley, the $19 million project was funded with private donations, with the great majority coming from local residents. Located on the fifth floor of Cabell Huntington Hospital, Hoops has 72 beds for pediatric patients and has some of the most advanced equipment available. You will be impressed to know a place like this exists in this region. Plus – the Children’s Hospital Gift Shop on the 5th floor is fantastic!

Location: Cabell Huntington Hospital – 5th Floor

13. Play Pickleball at Ritter Park

Play pickleball in Huntington

A cross between ping-pong and tennis, Pickleball was created in the Seattle area in 1965 by two men who wanted to provide a game the whole family could enjoy together. It is played with small paddles and a special whiffle ball. Over the years, the game has made it into physical education curriculum across the country and spawned a network of regional tournaments leading to a national championship.

The huge upswing in Pickleball players exists in Huntington too. The popular tennis courts on the east side of Ritter Park have been joined by official Pickleball courts, which are always packed. Players are always nice and willing to teach newbies the game. If you get a chance, swing by on a summer evening and ask to get involved. If the courts are too busy, you can also try Barboursville Park, which has three Pickleball courts.

Locations: Ritter Park, Barboursville Park, and more….

14. Walk Ritter Park

Ritter Park

Ritter Park is one of the brightest spots in Huntington. It’s a beautiful park with a great gravel walking path encircling the main section. No matter what the time of day, you will see people on it, whether running, walking, biking, or just shuffling along.

The thing many people don’t know is that the path extends beyond the park, paralleling Four Pole Creek for about a mile past the park, Memorial Arch, the Little League fields and DARCO. Along the way are a number of physical activity stations. Walk the path all the way to the end and back and see some of the most beautiful houses in the area. You will be glad you did.

Location: Ritter Park

15. Visit the Huntington Museum of Art

Wonderful art and culture

The nationally accredited Huntington Museum of Art is a special place that has been around since 1952. They have collections with American, Asian, Caribbean, European, Near Eastern, and Inuit art. My personal favorite is their weapons collection! In 2022 the Glass Gallery began a transition into a Decorative Arts Gallery, which will have displays of glass, silver and other objects from the museum’s permanent collection.

This is a legit museum with millions of dollars’ worth of artwork on the premises. The building is huge and the grounds are even bigger. The Huntington Museum of Art is one of those places that doesn’t get the kind of exposure or publicity it deserves. It is worth your time!

Location: Huntington Museum of Art

16. Attend the Gala for St. Mary’s

Annual Gala for St. Mary's Medical Center

Simply the best event you could ever attend! “Over the top” is the way I’ve always described this fundraiser for St. Mary’s Medical Center. The food is to die for, and there is more of it than you can possibly eat. Historically they’ve had a raw seafood bar and all other types of food stations, with every kind of meat and dish imaginable.

The band is always live, the bar is always open, and people dressed to the nines. While a formal affair, people are encouraged to dress for the theme too. If you don’t want to wear a tux and the theme is superheroes, wear a costume. All the money raised goes to the St. Mary’s Heart Center or other causes at St. Mary’s. The Gala takes place on the third Saturday in May. If you want to go, you need to purchase a table or get a bunch of friends together to purchase a table. Contact Jessica Payne to get your invite.

See pictures from previous Gala’s on the Foundations picture site.

Location: The location is different each year.  Find out this year’s location at the Mountain Health Foundations site.

17. Go to Picnic with the Pops

Classical music in Huntington

Summer nights, special rock music, and the Huntington Symphony Orchestra. Sometimes this event takes place at Harris Riverfront Park and at other times in the amphitheater at Barboursville Park. No matter the location, the evening is special. Bring a picnic basket, chairs, friends, and your own beverages.

In recent years, the symphony has been joined by groups like the 5th Dimension, former Supremes singer Mary Wilson, Glenn Leonard of the Temptations, Joe Coleman of the Platters, cool jazz player Bob Thompson, and a great Elvis impersonator, just to name a few. This is one of those nights that make Huntington unique. You need to go – you’ll enjoy yourself!

Location: Different for each performance.  Follow the Huntington Symphony Orchestra to get the latest.

18. Experience Lost Room Downtown

Games in Huntington

Originating with video games in Japan, Escape Rooms began working their way across the nation about a decade ago, with one landing in Huntington in 2016. Think of yourself locked in a room and given a series of puzzles to solve as the clock counts down. If you can figure out the puzzles, you move ahead in the game to another room filled with more clues to solve. But be alert: your life is at stake! It’s intense.

Bring your smart friends and family to play. This is a whole lot of fun. If your group struggles with the puzzles, the person monitoring your game from the administrative suite will give you hints. If you’ve never done this, do it. You will have a very good time!

Location: Lost Escape Room

19. Create Something at Paint and Sip or Board and Brush

start painting and have fun!

If you’re creative, you will love both of these places. Paint and Sip is in downtown Huntington; Board and Brush is in Barboursville. Both places allow you to let your inner artist run with the wind.

Paint and Sip is run by local artists Charlie Barger and Stewart Mohr. Each day/evening they have a certain design you can come in and paint. They teach you all kinds of techniques during your time. You can either listen to or ignore their suggestions. The point is to make your painting yours. Stewart encourages you to do what you like to do and what feels good. My family has gone several times in the last few years, and we love the people and the place. You can bring your own drinks and food. The place is laid back and the owners are cool.

Board and Brush allows you to create and paint wood signs using templates they supply. Friendly staff members help you along the way. The tools are readily available to sand your wood, paint it, and then stencil the message you want. This is a great way to spend time with friends or bond with work colleagues.

Location: Board and Brush AND Paint and Sip

20. Play Frisbee Golf

Frisbee Golf

Huntington has become a bit of a Frisbee (Disc) Golf paradise. Two specific parks make it a place people want to play: Rotary Park and Barboursville Park. Rotary Park is a Disc Golf lover’s paradise: difficult with all kinds of obstacles. The walk through the park is beautiful and really shows you how amazing the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District is at what they do for the community.

Barboursville Park is a little easier. Well, at least the front nine holes. The back nine get a little complicated and are really fun to play if you have a little skill. There is also a course at Beech Fork State Park, although this is more of a beginner’s course.

Location: Barboursville Park and Rotary Park

21. Steak at 21 at the Frederick

New York eating in Huntington, WV

See what I did by making this #21 on the list? Located in the historic Frederick building is one of Huntington’s finest restaurants: 21 at the Frederick, which is more affectionately called the 21 Club. Owned by longtime Huntington residents Mark and Izzy Cross, the 21 brings big city flair to our small town. The ambiance of the place reminds me of places I’ve had dinner at in downtown Portland, Oregon; and Washington, D.C. The light is low. The space is small. The food is excellent (exactly what you would get in a big city).

Here’s the deal: it ain’t cheap. This is the kind of place you visit when you want to impress someone, have a meal you will LOVE, or you want and can afford a good night on the town.

Location: 21 at the Frederick

22. See a Play

Outdoor plays in the summer

The Huntington Area Regional Theatre (HART) presents several weeks of performances each year at the Ritter Park Amphitheater. After a COVID-enforced hiatus, in June of 2022 they resumed in-person audience productions with Into the Woods. Past performances have The Wizard of Oz (with a standout performance by local Mountain Health Network Denise Gabel-Comeau as the witch), Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and Disney’s Frozen.

Go. Take your chairs, picnic basket, and whatever you want to drink. They have food available. Get there early and figure out where to sit so the sun doesn’t bother you. Good times for everyone!

Location: Ritter Park Amphitheater

23. Experience Jeff’s Bike Shop

The master of bikes

Jeff’s Bike Shop. What can you say about this place except, “How lucky are we to have Jeff”?
Now housed in a spacious, attractive building, the Bike Shop is a trip down Memory Lane. There are Schwinn bikes from the 1970s and ’80s hanging from the ceiling, new and used mountain bikes for sale, and every part and accessory a biker could want.

Then there is Jeff – usually behind the counter – actually fixing bikes. The magic of Jeff’s Bike Shop is talking with Jeff about almost anything. Ask him why Diamondback sold out to a Chinese company — he will have a thoughtful answer. Ask him why he only sells specialized bikes, and he’ll have a well-thought-out answer for that too.

Jeff is like Yoda or Buddha or some other wise sensei working in a bike shop in Huntington (but should probably be running the country). Go see him. Get your bike fixed or buy a bike from him! Jeff’s Bike Shop is about as real as it gets.

Location: Jeff’s Bike Shop

24. Get Ice Cream at the Original Austin’s Ice Cream

best ice cream in town

For years there was only one Austin’s Ice Cream. Opened in 1947, the original location is in Ceredo, just west of Huntington. This location is only open from late spring through mid-autumn, but now they also have a year-round location in The Market in downtown Huntington.

The Market shop is great if you just want really good ice cream, but the experience at the original location is what locals have loved for 75+ years. One of my fondest memories is taking our daughter there when she was about two and buying her a grape ice cream cone. We sat outside and she ate it like she had never eaten anything in her life. When she finished, her face was purple. Go, eat and enjoy!

Locations: Original Spot and Downtown

25. Walk the Trails at the Huntington Museum of Art

Hiking trails in Huntington

Yes, another reference to the Huntington Museum of Art. Why? Well, this is a place that has more to offer than just art and exhibits. There is a reason it ranks so high on TripAdvisor’s list of things to do in Huntington. Behind the main building that houses the art museum are trails that roam all over the back side of the massive hill on which the museum sits.

These trails are maintained regularly and provide visitors a walk to remember. One friend says that a “spur-of-the-moment hike after dinner behind the Museum is one of my favorite ways to end the evening with my wife and daughter.”

If you didn’t know these trails existed, you’re not the only one. Head up to the Museum and check them out. You will be surprised at what they have done to make the trails excellent for the general public.

Location: Nature Trails at the Huntington Museum of Art

26. Play Video Games at Old North Arcade

video games

While it started life as Quicksilver, one of the coolest attractions in downtown Huntington is Old North Arcade. I guess the name hearkens more to the nostalgia that fuels its popularity. Located in the heart of Pullman Square, it’s an arcade/bar/restaurant. The concept is simple: the video games are free if you buy a beer or a drink.

The games are straight out of an arcade from the Stranger Things TV series (circa 1985). If you wanna play Joust, Missile Command, Space Invaders, Dig Dug, Spy Hunter, and more for free, this is the place for you. They also have a good number of quarter-a-play pinball machines. Real pinball, not the modern too-many-points-and-jazzed-up-with-junk-and-strange-flippers variety.

The atmosphere and location are quality. The staff gets it done. This is a great place to go and have fun or to simply kill some time.

Location: Old North Arcade

27. Walk Harris Riverfront Park

Huntington park downtown

Harris Riverfront Park gets a bad reputation (probably because it sits on the opposite side of a giant flood wall), but it really is a lovely place if you go at the right time. I recommend walking the path along the riverfront on a summer evening, just as the sun is about to set. When the sun hits the water, it leaves a long shadow. The park is shaded by trees too. There really isn’t a better way to end an evening than to sit on a bench at the park or to walk the river path. Check it out. You’ll see.

Note: There is a sign in the park that references Chuck Ripper, a famous artist from Huntington who died in 2019. Make sure to stop and read that. Ripper’s paintings appeared on nearly 100 magazine covers and 80 postage stamps, and are Norman Rockwell equivalents. He was a great guy – I met him late in his life – and he made me laugh and cry with the stories he told me about everything it took to succeed in his profession.

Location: Harris Riverfront Park

28. Eat Spaghetti at Jim’s

JFK eating at Jims

Jim’s Spaghetti is on everyone’s list of places to go in Huntington. Anyone who says, “John F. Kennedy ate here” will be telling the truth. Jim’s hasn’t changed much since JFK stopped during his presidential primary visit – still feels like walking into a diner in the 1960s. The portions are just right, as you would expect them to be for a bygone era. The spaghetti is unique and different. Jim’s also has a dessert that takes the city by storm: strawberry pie. The traditional spring, one-week serving of pie that draws lines around the block was interrupted by Covid problems, but I’m sure it will be back.

On my first visit to Huntington, a native took me to Jim’s. When we met, Jim gave me a piece of gum. While I thought that strange, over the years I’ve met countless numbers of folks who had the same experience. That’s what Jim did for his customers. Though he and spouse Sally have both passed on, Jim’s family holds true to the ideals and practices he implemented way back when.

Location: Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti House

29. Devour a Paula Vega Cupcake

SWEETS - cupcakes and more

Paula is a Huntington icon! She’s a former nurse turned pastry master. Everyone in town is glad she made the change. She brought cupcakes to town before any cable TV network could think about what kind of drama they could find in the bakery business. Paula has a storybook kind of tale: she sold cupcakes out of the Third & Ninth Street Deli in 2010 and they were so popular a year later she moved around the corner to her own location.

Paula is 100 percent local. Anyone who’s eaten a cupcake, cake or other mouth-watering creation can assure she doesn’t skimp on the butter, cane sugar, whole eggs, and other ingredients. The shop opens at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, but get there early to make sure you get the best stuff.

Location: Paula Vega Cakes and Coffee Shop

30. Order Onion Rings at Cam’s Ham

best onion rings in Huntington

Cam’s Ham opened in the 1950s. Their specialty is sugar-flaked ham sandwiches, which in itself is a reason to visit. Where else do you find a main fare offered like that? Cam’s also prides itself on something else: hand-cut and battered onion rings. Just typing those words makes my tastebuds water. It should make you react in the same way.

This place is legit. It’s the kind of restaurant your parents and grandparents ate at when they were young. Cam’s is still family-owned and the money you spend here stays local. They are open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Go!

Location: Cam’s Ham

31. Spend the Day at Camden Park

Amusement Park in Huntington

How many communities still have their own amusement park? Not many. Small-town amusement parks are really a throwback to a different era, when freeways didn’t exist and long-distance travel was not that easy. Camden Park has survived the modern era, adapting and prospering when most of their competitors shut down. Now – hidden in Central Appalachia – you can visit an amusement park that isn’t wildly expensive, is locally owned and operated, and makes a good day trip. Plus, some of their rides and experiences are right out of a big city amusement park.

The great thing about Camden Park is that it is relaxing. The crowds are never so big that you must wait in lengthy lines. It is fun, especially for kids who are old enough to experience the bigger rides but not so old they’re embarrassed to be seen with their parents or grandparents. The whole experience is grand. No matter your age, go and have fun. You won’t regret it!

Location: Camden Park

32. Take in a Show at the Keith Albee

historical theatre in Huntington, WV

This majestic one-time movie house was built in 1928, part of a wave of grand theaters erected in the ‘20s and ‘30s to encourage people to go to the movies. It worked, especially during the Great Depression, when moviegoers wanted to escape the pain of daily life. Now in the midst of an ongoing restoration program, the Keith Albee is home to the Marshall Artist Series, which brings in top-flight concerts, comedians, speakers (former Cincinnati Reds’ catcher Johnny Bench was a hit in 2019), plays and films. If you can take in a program here, do it. The acoustics, presentation, and everything about the venue are worth your time and attention.

Location: Keith Albee Performing Arts Center

33. Take a Selfie at the Memorial Arch

Remembering the past

Built between 1924 and 1929, the Memorial Arch is located in a small area along the Ritter Park walking trail called Memorial Park. It was built by the Cabell County War Memorial Association to honor those who served the country in World War I (1914-1918). This is a grand memorial in Huntington that few people stop to appreciate. A flag is usually draped and hanging in the middle of the arch. If you like photography, this is a great photo opportunity. The structure is 42 feet high and 34 feet wide and is the only triumphal style arch in the state.

Notes: The arch contains a plaque with the names of each of the 91 Cabell County residents who gave their lives during the war. It is where U.S. Congresswoman Carol Miller announced her candidacy for the House of Representatives in 2015.

Location: Memorial Arch

34. Beer at Davis’ Place

Grab a beer at Davis Place

Davis’ Place Neighborhood Bar & Grill can best be described as your local bar. Now, there are a lot of bars in Huntington, but this one feels like being on the set of the legendary TV show, Cheers. Spread out over a couple rooms, it also has outdoor seating and is open late. Ordering wine is not advised (even though they have it) because beer and burgers are the specialties at Davis’ Place. They do them well.

Note: If you hit the joint between 4 and 6 p.m., you will see every facet of life in Huntington – bankers, nurses, union shop members, and more. You never know who you will run into in this place.

Location: Davis’ Place Neighbhood Bar & Grill

35. Buttered Coffee at Butter It Up

Get a buttered coffee

What in the world is buttered coffee? A health guru several years ago announced his secret recipe on the internet. The basic idea is that buttered coffee provides long-lasting energy without a blood sugar crash. There are other reasons too, and it isn’t just regular butter they add to the coffee. Stop in at Butter It Up and ask about their buttered coffee. The helpful staff will be glad to tell you about all the benefits and make you a cup. If you’ve never had it (done right), it is worth a try – especially if you get it early in the morning.

Location: Butter it Up

36. Get Donuts from Jolly Pirate and Camden Corner

Best donut in town

Everyone has an opinion about donuts. That being said, Huntington has two donut shops that seem to have lasted the test of time. Jolly Pirate Donuts on U.S. 60 has been around for as long for as I can remember. Their donuts are not light and fluffy. They are legit, cake batter, old-school donuts.

Opened in 2017, Camden Corner is the newer kid on the block. But oh, my! What donuts! Many people don’t even know about this place in Westmoreland. It is a neighborhood convenience store that makes fresh donuts — and they’re to die for. They are filled, stuffed, and covered in sugar! (Plus, they make some of the best fried chicken and sides you will ever want to take on a picnic.)

Note: If you’re going to Camden Corner, get there early or the whole supply for the day will be gone.

Location: Camden Corner and Jolly Pirate Donuts

37. Order Duck Fat Fries at the Peddler

Interesting fries in Huntington

Every restaurant needs something that puts them on the map. The Peddler is fantastic for burgers and beer. They do both of those really, really well. Their fries, however, are what you come back for time and time again. They put the potatoes in duck fat, then make them into fries. How cool is that! Duck FAT! The fries have a unique taste and are very worth trying – especially if you’ve never had them before. Owners Drew and Megan Hetzer also own Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar, located next to the Peddler. Everything they do is excellent. Have some Duck Fat Fries with your burger. Okay…. DANG! Those are good!

Location: The Peddler

38. Buy Shoes at Robert’s Running

Get your Kicks at Roberts

A locally owned shoe shop is pretty unique in most communities. If you have one, celebrate it and shop there regularly. Robert’s Running and Walking Shop has been around since 2006 and in 2010 opened a second location in Charleston. After years near Marshall, Robert’s recently relocated to a larger space on U.S. 60, just off the 29th Street exit of I-64.

Owner Robert Smith knows his running: he won the Marshall Marathon in 2022. No wonder that this place knows how to fit the right shoe on the right person. They specialize in high-end running and walking shoes and unique socks that people who run really like to wear. Go and talk with one of their trained sales reps and buy a pair of shoes that work for you. Then make it a point to sign up for one of the many races in the Tri-State Area.

Location: Robert’s Running

39. Play at Redman Bingo

Bingo in Huntington

Bingo! Yes – in West Huntington there’s a massive building that used to be home to Lowe’s. Now it’s where you can play bingo and eat and drink to your heart’s content. Visit Redman Bingo. If you win some cash, send it my way. Redman Bingo is the kind of place you generally only find in big cities – and then only if you’re lucky.

Location: Redman Bingo

40. Get a Root Beer at Frostop

Frosty Root Beer

A town full of hot dog restaurants is going to be a town with fantastic root beer! The best we’ve found is at Frostop Drive-In, which has the feel of a 1950s diner. Really. After all, it opened in 1959. The other great thing about this place is the giant root beer mug that spins on their roof; it disappeared for eight months in late 2019 to undergo a loving restoration. Make sure to get a selfie with this in the background.

Note: I personally like a root beer from Stewarts but the majority of the people I talk with really like their root beer from Frostop.

Location: Frostop

41. Have Dinner at Rocco’s

Best of Italian in the Tri-State

Located in a quiet neighborhood in neighboring Ceredo, Rocco’s Ristorante is a secret place that every local knows about and goes to time and again. This restaurant serves Italian food that is soooo good! Order a plate of pasta and you will find a little piece of Italy right here in the hills and valleys of western West Virginia.

Note: West Virginia is rich with Italian heritage. Clarksburg hosts a huge festival each year, while Huntington has a smaller version. Both celebrate families who immigrated from the old country and made West Virginia home.

Location: Rocco’s Ristorante

42. Order a Monty’s Special

Great pizza in Huntington

Monty’s Original Pizza has been a staple of the Tri-State region since 1956. This legendary downtown shop claims the title of “Cadillac of Pizza Places.” Their signature order is a Monty’s Special, which includes an 18-inch pizza, two-liter of soda, and a large bag of chips for less than $23. They cut their pizza into squares instead of slices too. The pizza is good and the owners are serious about their customer service. Note: Pick it up. Don’t have it delivered.

Location: Monty’s Pizza Downtown

43. Meet Eduardo at Tequilla Grill

Edwardo at Tequila Grill

My friend Chris Miller always says that people are what make the Huntington area a great place to live. If that is true, one of those people is Jose “Eduardo” Gonzalez, owner of Tequila Grill on U.S. 60 in Barboursville. While his restaurant serves top-notch Mexican food, what I want you to know about Eduardo is that he is kind, nice, and humble.

His success is that he’s really good at what he does. I’ve had a lot of conversations with Eduardo over the years and know he is thankful and appreciative of the opportunities the United States has provided for him and his family. If there is such a thing as the American Dream, Eduardo is my picture of what that looks like in practical terms. In my mind, Eduardo is one of the people who make the Huntington area great.

Location: Tequila Grill

44. Get Your Picture with Carlos

Casa Grande is some good Mexican food

Carlos is the owner of Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant in South Point, Ohio. One of a trio of brothers who own significant businesses in the region, Carlos is a colorful character and master advertiser and marketer.

Carlos has made delivering quality Mexican food to his customers a top priority, along with great customer service. This philosophy originated with Carlos, who makes it a point to befriend his customers. He also likes to use his face to brand his restaurants. This type of advertising is all done in a way that just makes you smile, like, and respect Carlos even more.

Location: Casa Grande Mexican Restaurant

45. Visit the Memorial Fountain

Honors players lost in crash

The fountain stands as a memorial to the Marshall University football team, coaches and supporters who perished in a tragic plane crash near Tri-State Airport on November 14, 1970 as they returned from a game at East Carolina. The fountain sits in the heart of the Marshall campus just east of downtown Huntington. It is worth seeing the giant copper creation and remembering the tragedy that continues to shape this area, even today.

Location: Marshall University – Memorial Fountain

46. See the Memorial Bell

Huntington Memorial Bell

Spring Hill Cemetery is the final resting place for a number of soldiers who fought and died in the Spanish American War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. It is also home to the Memorial Bell Tower, which houses a 600-pound bronze bell. Stop by the administrative office for a printout of the walking tour, which features notable gravesites.

Location: Spring Hill Cemetery Memorial Bell

47. Walk the Paul Ambrose Trail

Paul Ambrose Trail in Huntington

Created in honor of Huntington native Dr. Paul Ambrose – a senior clinical advisor for the Office of the Surgeon General in Washington, D.C., he was killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks – this trail is still in progress. Nearly 19 miles of the system of trails and paths had been completed by the end of 2022. See if you can figure out the whole trail and walk it from start to finish.

Location: Details on Walking the Trail

48. See the Huntington Kickball League Play

Play kickball in Huntington

Each summer, people from all walks of life come together under the banner of the Jewel City Kickball League. The group plays on Sunday afternoons from June through August at the old Olympic Pool field (large field past the Memorial Arch, DARCO, and on the other side of the Goodwill offices), with championships in early September. Watching adults play kickball is worth your time. Find a big tree, pull up a chair underneath, and spend an hour enjoying the hilarity.

Location: Olympic Pool Field

49. Watch a High School Football Game

Football in the Huntington area

Both Huntington High School (the 2022 class AAA football state champion) and Spring Valley High School have a rich tradition of winning in just about every sport. There is nothing better than watching a high school football game under the lights. Basketball games – especially when the teams are good – are a blast to watch too. Make it a point to attend a game sometime. It will remind you of how great our community really is!

Location: Huntington High Schooll and Spring Valley High School

50. Visit the Marshall Baseball Stadium

Baseball stadium coming

Okay, I’m jumping the gun here, since completion isn’t scheduled until the spring of 2024. But thanks to a recent state economic development grant of $13.8 million, this long-awaited stadium is finally nearing reality. The site is just off Second Avenue and 22nd Street next to the women’s softball stadium. As the building goes up – and even after – you need to stop and get your picture taken on the site. Think of it as a historical selfie.

Location: Details at Marshall Athletics

51. Stop for Lunch on the Patio at Mountwest

Patio at MtWest

This is a bit of a hidden gem in Huntington. Just south of I-64 off 5th Street, venture up the hill (next to Go Mart) to the campus of Mountwest Community and Technical College. The spacious building was originally the home of Ashland Coal, a division of Ashland Oil. Not only does it offer plenty of parking, behind the building on the first floor is a modern and beautiful sitting area. Most of the time this space is hardly used. Pack a lunch and take a pleasurable break. You will enjoy it. It’s beautiful!

Location: Mountwest Community and Technical College

52. Top the Bank

Now the United Bank Building

Although known for years as the Chafin Building (and a few other names), the structure at 517 9th Ninth Street is now the United Bank Building. The bank uses the first floor. While various owners have held title to the 12-story building, it is currently owned by the Hankins family, who live in the top-floor penthouse. Their patio is fabulous because of its views of the city. Because it is privately owned, securing an invite is a bit tricky. You have to get invited to a party or ask someone in the family to give you a tour of the building and their patio.

Note: The United Bank space is worth seeing too. It has one of the most beautiful lobbies in the area.

Location: United Bank Building

53. Go on an Odd Museum Tour

Great collection of medical tools

For a number of good reasons, Huntington has a list of odd museums to visit, topped by the Touma Medical Museum downtown. If you are into the history of medicine and the equipment associated with that profession, this is worth an hour or two of your time. If you have never seen it at all, you need to. It is well done.

Then there is the Radio and Technology Museum, located just off Harvey Town Road. Open from 10 to 4 on Saturdays and 1 to 4 on Sundays, this place is worth the time. Take a step back in history and marvel at how radio came to life. And, how quickly the technology has advanced in the last century.

The Charles W. and Norma C. Carroll Gallery is located at 927 3rd Avenue, inside Marshall University’s Visual Arts Center. Charlie and Norma Carroll are two of the coolest people you will ever meet. Norma recently went on to glory. I think it is fitting there is a gallery named after them; it showcases the work of MU students. While you’re at the Visual Arts Center, stop at the Birke Art Gallery. It originally opened in the fall of 1977 with an exhibit of works by Harry Bertoia, the sculptor behind the Memorial Fountain.

Locations: Touma Medical Museum, Radio and Technology Museum, Charles and Norma Carroll Gallery, and Birke Art Gallery

54. Rock Out at the Loud Club

Small club concerts

There is a small bar on the corner of 6th Avenue and 8th Street that showcases up-and-coming bands and performers. Between Thursday and Sunday nights late, you can usually see and hear all kinds of musical styles for a small cover charge. Not your thing? You should still go and get your picture taken there. Formerly known as the V Club, this place is a rite of passage for young adults living in or visiting this area.

Location: The Loud

55. See LaFontaine’s Tobacco and Wine Shop

Tabacco, wine and patio

LaFontaine’s is a quaint little place nestled on 10th Street between 4th and 5th Avenue in downtown Huntington. The shop has a little bit of jewelry and a lot of high-end wines and a humidifier with cigars. While you’re there, check out the rooftop lounge. Go there and get something to enjoy!

Location: LaFontaine’s Tabacco and Wine Shop and LaFontaine’s Rooftop Lounge 

56. Shop Kenny Queen’s Hardware

Best hardware shop in Huntington

Going to a hardware store that has a little bit of everything, as well as staff able to help you find it, has to be one of the great joys in life. Kenny Queen’s is that place in Huntington. The original location is on 5th Street Road, just south of Huntington. In recent years they have opened outlets in Kenova and Barboursville. Queen’s is a huge Ace Hardware store. Make a trip there. The experience is great!

Location: Kenny Queen’s Hardware

57. Swim at the YMCA

Natatorium is a swimming pool

The Bill Noe Natatorium at the YMCA is worth your time. If you’ve never been to the big indoor pool at the YMCA, you should at least go and dip your toes in. The pool is named after one of Huntington’s super successful citizens. A former member of Marshall University’s board of governors, Bill Noe stepped down in August of 2022 after being named the school’s chief aviation officer (Marshall initiated its professional flight training program in the fall of 2021). Bill’s story is worth a quick read, especially the one published in the spring 2012 issue of Huntington Quarterly. Plus – after visiting you can say you’ve been to a Natatorium!

Location: YMCA Huntington

58. Watch a Dutch Miller Commercial

Funny commercials

Chris Miller and Wes Thompson of Dutch Miller Automotive might be the craziest and most creative people in the region. The commercials they produce for the wide range of brands the company sells are at times enough to make you laugh hilariously … turn away in disgust or embarrassment … or prompt you to buy a car. Whatever it is, this creative team has managed to make the region laugh and cringe for more than two decades. Their history is on YouTube, and some of it is comedy gold. Watch something they have created and then maybe go buy a car from them so they can keep producing funny/annoying commercials.

Location: Dutch Miller YouTube

59. Get a Huntington Quarterly

Magazine with all the local information

Head on over to the book store in Pullman Square and pick up a Huntington Quarterly. This magazine features excellent articles and photography showcasing people, places and things in the Tri-State Area. Another syndicated paper with local ads and items is worth a read too: a small tabloid called Tidbits. You can pick up Tidbits in most shops around town. The Marshall University student paper, the Parthenon, is another local read you should pick up, just to get the inside scoop on what is going on in the minds of the students on campus. Get all three, pull up a bench at Pullman Square, and have a good read.

Location: Huntington Quarterly Facebook Page

60. Eat at G.D. Ritzy’s

Burgers and more

The Huntington outlet is one of a handful of G.D. Ritzy’s still operating. The chain started in Columbus, Ohio in the 1980s and grew to nearly 100 locations. Local businessman Sid Torlone ran the business for 36 years and owned it for 26 before giving way to a new owner in 2019. It is a local haunt for many Cabell Huntington Hospital employees, and is especially busy on Sunday afternoons after church. Get one of their salads with chicken on it.

Location: G.D. Ritzy’s

61. Visit a Local Jewelry Store

Famous downtown clock in Huntington

Huntington is home to a number of family-owned-and-operated jewelry stores. The owners are usually the main people working behind the counter. They are really nice and worth just stopping in to say “hello.” Each of these owners has a wealth of knowledge about jewelry and local history.

The majority of these jewelers can be visited in a quick walking trip through downtown Huntington. My recommendation is to start at C.F. Reuschlein Jewelers at 947 3rd Avenue before crossing the street to see T.K. Dodrill in Pullman Square. Then move on to Wellman O’Shea Jewelers at 416 10th Street. Selfie opportunity – there is a clock right outside C.F. Reuschlein’s. Make sure to get your picture with it!

Location: Selfie Clock in Front of Reuschleins

62. Find this Guy … and Say “Hi”

Art by Linda Childer

The owner of George’s Tailoring at 945 4th Avenue is a guy named Michael Saliba. He’s a GREAT guy. Besides his excellent tailoring skills, Michael makes it a point to take a number of smoke breaks throughout the day – right in front of his shop. If you see him out there, stop and say “hello.” Get your picture taken with him. He’s kinda become a Huntington landmark. The artist who painted this water color of Michael is Linda Childers. Make sure to visit her site online.

Location: George’s Tailoring

63. Use the Shooting Range at Bare Arms

Gun range

You have a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. If you’ve never shot a gun before, you need to! Familiarize yourself with the tools they have available at this unique business. They have locations just off I-64 at 5th Street in Huntington and at 3500 Winchester Avenue in Ashland. Call Bare Arms and plan a trip to use their indoor range.

Go with an empty stomach so you can try filling it up with food from Bombshell Burgers & BBQ, located under the same roof in Huntington. In Ashland, Bombshells & Ales is at a different location than Bare Arms, but the drive will be worth it. The menu at both Bombshells is chock full of appetizers, sandwiches, chicken wings, and burgers that will have you calling for seconds.

Locations: Huntington Indoor Gun Range

64. Listen to Pastor Sam Moore Preach

Huntington WV Pastor Sam Moore

Longtime public school teacher Sam Moore is a legend in Huntington. He currently serves as the senior pastor at Full Gospel Assembly, a stately brick building at 2101 10th Avenue. Meeting Sam and listening to him teach is a singularly unique experience. Make sure to do it at least once in your life (the parking lot is wheelchair accessible and so is one of the entrances). You will be blessed.

Location: Full Gospel Assembly

65. See Cool Statues

Founder of Huntington WV

There is a Collis P. Huntington statue in front of the train station on 7th Avenue. Collis P., as many folks here call him, was this city’s namesake and a leader in building our nation’s railways. Huntington brought this area to life by bringing the railroad here. Do some research so you understand his importance in American history. Once you do, get a shot of yourself with his statue and share it with the world.

African American Leader

There is a really nice statue of Carter G. Woodson, located in the city’s Fairfield neighborhood on Hal Greer Boulevard. A well-known historian and author in the early 20th century, Woodson is known as the founder of Black History Month. He was an amazing person and had direct links to West Virginia. Find out more about him and then get your picture taken with his statue.

Bronze Buffalos

Donated by billionaire philanthropist Chris Cline before he passed away, the Copper Buffalos are real heavyweights, weighing in at 6,000 pounds each. The pedestals they sit on weigh even more. These things are really cool and worthy of a quick stop for a selfie. They sit in front of the Marshall University Hall of Fame at the Chris Cline Athletic Complex. The hall is worth a quick run-through too.

Location: Marshall University Copper Buffalos

Justice John Marshall

The namesake of Marshall University is Supreme Court Judge John Marshall. His statue stands in the middle of campus. Marshall was a member of the House of Representatives, Secretary of State under President John Adams, and the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Though he has no known connection to Huntington or West Virginia, the university was named in honor of him by friends who established the school. Marshall’s life is impressive; he is the longest-serving justice in history, staying in office from 1801 to his death in 1835.

Location: John Marshall Statue at Marshall University

 

NBA and Marshall star basketball player

The statue of basketball Hall of Famer Hal Greer was recently installed just outside the Cam Henderson Basketball Center. The statue is a wonderful likeness of the man who left mark on Marshall University and the NBA. Created by sculptor and artist Frederick Hightower Sr. The statue stands 8 foot tall.

Location: Hal Greer Statue

Point Pleasant Mothman

For an honorable mention, try driving 45 minutes north of Huntington to Point Pleasant to see a fantastic statue of the Mothman. In addition to being the area’s living definition of an urban legend, a book about events in that area in 1966-67 became the inspiration for The Mothman Prophecies, a 2002 movie starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney. While it played to mixed reviews, the film still pulled in more than $55 million in worldwide box office receipts. If you haven’t been to Point Pleasant and learned about the Mothman, it’s worth the experience. After visiting this statue, you might believe …

Location: Mothman Statue

66. Attend the Gala at the Huntington Museum of Art

Huntington Museum of Art annual gala

The annual gala fundraiser at the Museum has a different theme each year. A group of volunteers put on the Gala and with limited space, tickets sell out quickly. The food is always excellent and the bar is open. Make sure to Uber there and back. The event is a formal affair – guys need to wear tuxedos and ladies evening gowns. If you like Downton Abbey or simply want a great night on the town, this is a fantastic event. Go at least once.

Location: Huntington Museum of Art

67. Pizza from Backyard Pizza

Pizza in unique atmosphere

Backyard Pizza is one of the area’s finest gourmet pizza spots. Once ensconced in a relatively cramped location downtown, since its move to a different home there is plenty of space. The wait staff is tattooed and young, the bar is open, and the pizza is wood-fired. It’s safe to say you’ll see varieties of pie here that you won’t many other places. It is worth a trip to get a slice of pizza in a cool and funky joint that highlights the new dining scene developing around the region.

Location: Backyard Pizza

68. Burger From Fat Patty’s

Burgers, burgers, and burgers

A city without a greasy burger joint isn’t really a place to brag about, is it? Luckily for Huntington, we have Fat Patty’s! What a success story too: from one spot just down the street from Marshall’s Henderson Arena to a second in Barboursville and then outlets in Ashland and Teays Valley. Plus, after being sold in 2018 to an out-of-state owner, in July of 2022 it shifted back to local ownership. Go there, order a burger (any burger), and enjoy! Have it on a pretzel bun with a Blue Moon beer.

Location: Fat Patty’s

69. Explore Artisans Express Designs

Local art around town

Over the last several years, the Cabell Huntington Hospital Foundation did a pair of colorful, attention-getting city art projects called Artisans Express. In 2015, local artists received fiberglass train engines to paint, using their own imaginations and themes. In 2019, they created tugboats to go with river-oriented themes. Although sponsors took many of the trains and boats home, some pieces still remain around town. Make it a point to find one and get your picture taken with it.

Location: They’re Everywhere – Mostly at Pullman Square

70. Learn from Chef Marty

Healthy Eating

Chef Marty wears the most quirky aprons ever, but he’s super talented and committed to teaching people how to eat healthy. Chef Marty currently operates Huntington Kitchen, located downtown on 3rd Avenue. The place came to life in 2009 as the studio kitchen for the ABC-TV series, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Filmed here, it won an Emmy award for “Best Reality Series” in 2010. Different organizations have overseen it through the years, with Cabell Huntington Hospital and Marshall University now sharing the responsibility.

The kitchen is not a place you can just walk in to visit. You must start at the website and find what classes are being offered. Many times they are free, as long as you sign up for them early. When the pandemic set in, Chef Marty took classes online too. You can catch him on YouTube or Facebook. Either way, find out more about Huntington’s Kitchen and take a class. You will appreciate it!

Location: Huntington’s Kitchen and Class Schedule

71. Walk Black Sheep Harley

Motorcyle shop

Huntington’s Harley-Davidson shop is worth a trip to visit. There is a museum connected to the store that highlights motorcycle history. Walking through and looking at the bikes available is wildly impressive. They have a ton of gear and parts too. It is easy to get lost in there while imagining yourself out on the open road.

Location: Black Sheep Harley

72. Take a Tennis Class from Laurie Mercer

tennis coach for the champs

Laurie Mercer is a local tennis legend, having coached at three universities and returning to Marshall as a volunteer coach in 2020. She and husband John are tennis directors at the Guyan Country Club and the parents of state tennis champs Cassie and J.J. Mercer. Laurie is a great coach, so give her a call to arrange some lessons. When you do, you will join a long line of local tennis players who have learned under her tutelage.

Location: Contact the Guyan Country Club

73. Listen to the My Brother, My Brother, and Me Podcast

Podcast by local guys

The McElroy family are Huntington people! Father Clint was on local radio for decades and writes a humor column for Huntington Quarterly. His sons – the stars of the show – inherited his funny and creative genes. Their podcast about life has taken off and become nationally known, including one sold-out recording that attracted people from 30 states and several other countries. Warning: The content is a bit spicy and so is the language, but it is funny and worth listening to so you’re up-to-speed on what makes Huntington unique and cool.

Location: Anywhere You Can Get Podcasts

74. Read Dr. Simon Perry’s Last Book

Marshall University History ProfessorThough he retired in 2010, Dr. Simon Perry is one of the most highly regarded academics to have taught at Marshall University, as evidenced by his name on the school’s Center for Constitutional Democracy. A student favorite, this renowned author has written eight books about American history, law and politics. His volume on Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes was released by New York-based publisher Simon & Schuster. His last book in 2013 was about Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. If you can get your hands on one of Dr. Perry’s books, do it. Let his work challenge you!

Note: Dr. Perry passed away in February of 2023. He is missed!

Location: Anywhere You Can Buy Books

75. Visit the Huntington PetSafe Dog Park

Huntington place to let your dogs run

More than a decade ago, the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District saw the need for a dog park and developed one. That is, with the help of a $100,000 prize won when the community rallied to win PetSafe’s first “Bark for Your Park” contest. The community later won another $5,000 “Park Upgrade Award,” used to add agility and play equipment to the small-dog section.

Located at the top of the hill behind Ritter Park and past the tennis courts, the Dog Park is a fenced 3.5-acre area for dogs to experience the best of life. This is a really cool space for animals to run wild and for owners to safely give their animals needed exercise. If you haven’t walked a dog there or stopped to take in how cool this all is, you should.

Location: Dog Park

76. Play Golf at Sugarwood

Beautiful course in Huntington

Located about five miles south of Huntington out 5th Street Road (Route 152), Sugarwood is a family-owned golf course that is meticulously maintained. The course is fun to play and beautiful. Even if you’re not a golfer, just driving out and seeing this course is worth the time. Playing there is a pleasure, and the green fees won’t break your wallet. Enjoy it!

Location: Sugarwoood Golf Course

77. Shave and a Haircut at Jim’s Barbershop

Get a shave and a haircut

Barbers never used to take appointments. The barbershop was a place to sit and talk and get to know other men in the community. Somehow Jim has captured that aesthetic. Tucked away on Camden Road, just off the main drag through Westmoreland, is an old school barbershop called Jim’s. Go there and get a shave and a haircut. A former law enforcement officer, Jim is well versed on every topic under the sun. Because he pays attention to detail, Jim gives a great haircut and knows how to use a straight blade. Go to Jim’s Barbershop and experience excellence!

Location: Jim’s Barber Shop

78. Volunteer at the Food Bank and the City Mission

Do some good in the community

Serving a meal at the Huntington City Mission is a humbling experience, one that will remind you of how wildly blessed you really are. The mission always needs cash and food donations.

The Facing Hunger Food Bank is the central processing center for all food pantries in the area. The Food Bank is something everyone in the community should support in one way or another. They also need donations of cash and food. Make it a point to be a regular donor to both of these organizations and offer your time and talent too.

Location: Make sure to contact the Facing Hunger Food Bank and Huntington City Mission  for volunteer opportunities.

79. Take a Class at Brown Dog Yoga

fun yoga sessions

There are a lot of places in Huntington to take a yoga class. While all of them are good, Brown Dog Yoga (now known as BDY Studios) is exceptional. If you’ve never taken a yoga class before, you need to do it just for the experience. Since opening in Huntington, BDY has opened a second location in Barboursville. Make sure to call so you can attend a beginner’s class.

Location: Brown Dog Yoga in Huntington

80. Eat an Empanda at Nomada

like a pepperoni roll

Nomada Bakery is the latest shop to fill the restaurant space at Heritage Station. Here’s what you need to know: This place does more than fill the space. It delivers a bang for those who get to experience it. Owner and operator Ariel Barcenas is a really interesting and nice guy. See if you can get a minute with him to talk or get your picture taken with him. Make sure to order an empanada when you go. These pastry shells come in a variety of meat, vegetarian and vegan options, and are delectable! This place is a gem and one of the things that makes Huntington a special place.

Location: Nomada Bakery

81. Rails & Ales Craft Beer Festival

A festival celebrating beer

The annual Rails & Ales Festival is a production like you won’t see in too many places. Craft brewers from all over the region descend on Huntington for this summer-time event. Tickets for the event almost always sell out the day they go on sale. When you go, you will see people you know, drink lots of little shots of craft beer and critique them, and generally have a great time. Make sure to bring a water bottle and hydrate during your visit.

Location: Visit the Rails and Ales Festival Site for Ticket Information

82. Shop the Hospital Gift Shops

unique gifts

If you’ve ever been to a gift shop that is perfectly curated and makes you want to buy something every time you go in, then you know why the shops at Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center have made this list. I know it sounds crazy to include hospital gift shops here, but you can’t know how great these stores are until you see them for yourself.

Owned by the respective hospital auxiliaries, the shops are managed by Huntington retail guru Kim Chambers. All income goes back into the hospitals to provide better care for patients. Make sure to visit An Added Touch Gift Shop at Cabell or Madeleine’s Boutique & Unique Gifts at St. Mary’s. You can also shop online and will be impressed at what’s available.

Location: Cabell Huntington Hospital Location AND St. Mary’s Medical Center Location

83. See Kenova’s Pumpkin House

Haloween spectacle

Imagine a house covered in 3,000 pumpkins! The Griffith Pumpkin House is the centerpiece of the Ceredo-Kenova AutumnFest and has been featured nationally on such networks as NBC (Today show) and HGTV. It has become one of the highlights of West Virginia tourism. If you haven’t seen it, you need to. Note: Another great selfie opportunity!

Location: The Griffith Pumpkin House

84. Tour the Courthouse

tourism in Huntington, WV

The Cabell County Courthouse in Huntington has some amazing architectural features. The ceilings are stunning. Fortunately, the aging interior is about to get a $6 million facelift to repair deterioration within its three domes, replace an aging heating and cooling system, and other upgrades. This may mean that self-guided tours could face restrictions during renovations, but persevere so you can check this place out.

Location: Cabell County Courthouse

85. Buy a Tie at Wright’s

Men's shop in Huntington

There are two clothing shops in downtown Huntington that are worth the trip. Go to Wright’s Men’s Shop and buy a tie. Wright’s has been a Huntington staple since 1911 and although it closed for a while, it later reopened in a new location. The current owner is Bill Moore, a class act. Stop in and get your picture taken with a Huntington legend. Buy something while you’re there.

high end Marshall University clothing

While you’re downtown, be sure to walk over to Old Main Emporium on 4th Avenue to get some stylish Marshall gear. Just about everything they sell is Kelly green. The owners do some great live advertising on Facebook. Stop in and buy something from them. They’re great entrepreneurs and should be celebrated for what they bring to Huntington.

Location: Wright’s Men’s Shop and Old Main Emporium

86. Explore the Frederick Hotel

Old school former hotel lobby in Huntington WV

The Frederick Hotel is a Huntington landmark. The building is old and yet the first floor bubbles with activity between the 21 at the Frederick, Jockey Club, and the first-floor ballroom (home to City Club). The building is worth taking a walk through to see all the history that has been collected and displayed. Lore has it that there is a second-floor ballroom that is stunning but has never been updated. See if you can find it! Walking inside the Frederick Hotel is like entering a time machine to the last century.

Location: Frederick Hotel

87. Take in a Little League Game

Little league field

Over the years, Huntington has produced some of the best Little League teams in the country. There are four leagues around the city: Huntington (next to the Memorial Arch), Hite Saunders, Vinson, and Ceredo-Kenova. Little League baseball is part of the Huntington experience. You will find the fields perfectly groomed and the play worth watching.

Location: Read About the Whole League

88. Visit the Veterans Hospital

VA Hospital

Named after war hero Hershel “Woody” Williams (who died in June of 2022), the VA Hospital is a massive facility dedicated to providing veterans with medical care. The grounds are expansive and you are allowed to hike and explore them on your own. Visiting with a veteran is a special experience. Make sure to call to see how volunteering works. Also the trails in and around the VA Hospital are great for walking.

Location: Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Hospital

89. Eat at Soul Food Twist

African American Cuisine

Over the years, the takeout style building on 12th Street between 4th and 5th avenues has hosted a variety of food options. Here’s hoping Soul Food Twist, which opened in September of 2020, stays for years. Because it is so unique, it made the list. What’s soul food? Good question! It’s food traditional to African American communities throughout the United States. Let owner Joanna Williams introduce you to foods that will make your mouth water and beckon you to come back for more.

Location: Soul Food Twist

90. Attend Gerardo’s Church

Rico Suave today

A rapper, singer and actor, Gerardo Mejía worked for years in the music industry, claiming fame in 1991 with his pop hit, Rico Suave. But more recently, he answered the call to ministry and left the wild life behind. Today he lives in Ashland, Kentucky, where he serves as the lead pastor of House of Grace. Take in one of his services. You will be glad you did.

Location: House of Grace

91. See the Rose Garden in Bloom

Summer in bloom

Huntington may not be as well-known as Pasadena, California when it comes to a national reputation as the “City of Roses,” but it does have a colorful and special rose garden in Ritter Park. Make sure to visit when the roses are in bloom, usually around the second week of June.
Catch the sight and you will be glad you made the trip.

Location: Huntington Rose Garden

92. Wild Ramp

natural food

Looking for some local produce? You should! Wild Ramp is Huntington’s local food market, a grassroots initiative that found its impetus in the healthy food initiatives that sprang up around Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. Starting with primarily volunteers at a small outlet at Heritage Station, Wild Ramp later moved to Old Central City. It has become an anchor store on West 14th Street, with a farmer’s market in its back parking lot during the spring and summer. You can find organic meat, vegetables, honey and more. It is worth a visit.

Location: Wild Ramp

93. Antique Shopping in the West End

Find great deals in Huntington

If you visit the Wild Ramp, don’t stop with one store. The West End of Huntington is an antique shopper’s dream. There are numerous shops chock full of everything imaginable. If you haven’t done a walking tour of these shops, set aside a Saturday and make it a reality. You will see things you haven’t seen in years, or things you never knew existed.

Location: West End

94. Grab a Glass of Wine at Sip

Grab a glass of wine

While many folks stayed at home in the first half of 2020, Sip Downtown Brassiere moved from a small space at Heritage Station to more spacious quarters on 9th Street just off 3rd Avenue. Owned and operated by local entrepreneur Allison White, you’ll find a lot to sip at this fully stocked location. Their wine list contains more than 40 different blends and they have more than 30 different whiskeys.

Location: Sip Downtown Brassiere

95. Tour Blenko Glass

hand made glass

Blenko Glass has been family-owned since 1893, with its British creator settling in Milton just over a century ago, determined to create stained glass. Today, Blenko Glass is the largest of a handful of glass companies that remain in a state that used to be home to 60. The glass factory is located about 25 minutes east of Huntington. Tours reopen in the spring of 2023. Go see how glass is blown … and check out their historical museum.

Location: Blenko Glass

96. Visit the Bill Campbell Room

Campbell was a famous golfer

A distinguished amateur champion, Bill Campbell (1923-2013) is one of the greatest golfers to ever call Huntington home. The Guyan Country Club has a whole room dedicated to his career, complete with trophies, clubs, and clothing. Because the club is private, call first to see if you can stop in and see the room.

Location: Guyan Country Club

97. St. Cloud’s All-Inclusive Playground

For kids with special needs

Although he retired in 2020 after nearly a decade as executive director of the Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District, Kevin Brady left a legacy that includes the All-Inclusive Playground at St. Cloud’s Commons. One of the few such playgrounds in the nation, it is suited for families with children on the spectrum or with physical disabilities. This is a great playground. Go see it and celebrate that Huntington has something so unique and special. Spread the word!

Location: St. Cloud’s All-Inclusive Playground

98. Take Your Coffee at Grindstone

special coffee

If you like coffee, you must visit Grindstone Coffeeology. Make it a point to take your drink in their metal container building just down the street from the old Huntington High School. It is really beautiful.

A tad of controversy surrounds the container, which caused city council to lose their collective minds and ban all future container buildings in the city. For that reason alone it is worth visiting and checking out the view. By the way, the coffee is pretty good too! If you’re not avoiding the Huntington Mall because of I-64 construction, they now have a shop there as well.

Location: Grindstone Coffeeology

99. Take an Interstate Walk Across the 6th Street Bridge

Ohio and WV crossing

There are few places in the world where you can walk from one state to another in a matter of minutes. Huntington is one of those places. Walk north across the 6th Street Bridge and when you reach the other side you will have walked from West Virginia to Ohio. Now that’s an experience, especially for those who remember when they used to have to pay a dime to cross the old toll bridge that used to occupy that space.

Location: 6th Street Bridge

100. Eat a Homewrecker

huge hot dog in Huntington

Hillbilly Hot Dogs did not make my Hot Dog Trail list for two reasons: 1) It is a long way out of Huntington, and 2) when it comes to hot dogs, it is its own animal. The dog you need to try at this unique location is called the Homewrecker. It has sautéed jalapeños, peppers, onions, nacho cheese, habanero, chili sauce, mustard, slaw, lettuce, tomato, and shredded cheese, piled high on a 15-inch, one-pound all beef weenie in a big ol’ bun!”

Visiting Hillbilly Hot Dogs is really something you must do when you come to Huntington. There really isn’t any place like it. Note: This place has been featured on Food Network’s ubiquitous Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives – TWICE!

Location: Hillbilly Hot Dogs

101. Milton Flea Market

Fun at the flea

West Virginia and flea markets are two things that just go together. The Milton Flea Market is the king of all of them. As such, it really requires at least one visit in your lifetime. Go and see anything and everything you can imagine for sale.

Location: Milton Flea Market

And the list can go on…

If you have ideas, drop the author an email. He would love to hear from you. Better yet, consider making a special gift to the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital in Huntington and leave him a note in the comments section.

About the Author

Funny picture of Bradley Burck

Bradley Burck is the principal fundraiser for the Mountain Health Network Foundations. Before joining Mountain Health, he started and operated Burck Communications, where his specialty was helping nonprofits craft strategic development and marketing plans to maximize their fundraising efforts. Bradley is the author of two books, Conquering Nonprofit Chaos and You Can Ask. He and his wife, Dr. Cari Burck, have two children.