Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Group Tour magazine will continue to provide group travel inspiration. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.
Convenient and accessible, Marion County is the perfect base camp — located within a two-hour drive to West Virginia’s state capital and a half-day’s drive from several major cities. Find public parks bustling with activity, a fascinating history that spans centuries, a tasty dining scene that’s full of flavor and so much more in “The Middle of Everywhere.”
“You’ll be pleasantly surprised with all that Marion County has to offer,” said Laisha Elliot, executive director of the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Marion County. “No matter where your interests lie — whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking to experience nature, a foodie trying to find your next great meal or a history buff that’s drawn to the Civil War and coal heritage — you’re sure to enjoy your time here.”
Convention & Visitors Bureau of Marion County
Go back in time at Pricketts Fort State Park. This living history site features a recreation of an 18th-century refuge fort with costumed interpreters demonstrating colonial crafts. Take a tour — both guided and self-guided audio available — of the grounds and visit the Job Prickett House, an original 1859 farmhouse with many preserved items on display.
Enjoy a taste of Italy in Appalachia at Muriale’s Italian Kitchen. This beloved local eatery has been serving authentic family recipes since 1969. Try the spaghetti and meatballs — named one of the best pasta dishes in the country by Food Network —, Aunt Mary’s Meat Lasagna or gnocchi. Save room for a handmade cannoli!
One of the many stops along Marion County’s Civil War Trail, Woodlawn Cemetery has over 11,000 graves, including several prominent local and state figures. Francis H. Pierpont, the “Father of West Virginia” and his wife, Julia Pierpont, are buried at the cemetery. The cemetery has a rich history, also containing the graves of veterans of eight wars.
Marion County, like much of West Virginia, has a deep connection to coal. A meaningful piece of the area’s Coal Heritage Trail, the Farmington No. 9 Mine Disaster Memorial in Mannington commemorates the 78 miners who lost their lives when the No. 9 mine exploded on November 20, 1968. Also along the trail is Palatine Park, housing a life-size, hand-carved coal miner statue.