Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Kingwood, WV

  • Published 2022/09/20

A city that breathes national and local history, Kingwood is not like every other town.

Kingwood is the county seat of Preston County, located atop the Allegheny Mountains.

Settled in 1807, this historic city was once a coal and timber thriving community.

Its suburban atmosphere, interspersed with natural outdoor recreation, makes it an ideal place for travel.

At the same time, it offers a comprehensive trip to the past with its abundance of museums and sites.

If you plan to include this city on your list of places to travel to in West Virginia, read on.

Below are the best things to do in Kingwood, MV, that might help you out!

Admire the Woodwork at McGrew House

Exterior of the McGrew House

Generic1139, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

McGrew House on East Main Street is a great historical spot for those wanting a taste of architectural excellence.

This house is a visual representation of residential living during the Civil War.

During the 1840s, James C. and Persis Hagans McGrew purchased the house now known as McGrew House.

Over the years, it has stood as a testament to the United States’ resilience and woodwork endeavor.

In 1993, it officially gained status on the National Register of Historic Places.

Now, you can plan a tour around this Italianate and Gothic Revival design style.

If you have more time, explore the arts and crafts up for purchase at McGrew Gift Shoppe.

Join sales, events, and other programs exclusive to McGrew House in Kingwood.

Meet Exotic Animals at Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo

When it comes to wildlife exploration and a premium safari adventure, Kingwood takes you above and beyond your wildest dreams.

Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo, also known as West Virginia Zoo, is the prime proof of this statement.

This seasonal zoo, usually open from April to October, is on Wagner Lane.

Try feeding the animals inside the zoo, including the giraffes, lemurs, and camels.

View the grizzly bears and tigers in their ideally-simulated habitats.

And there’s more than meets the eye, too!

This zoo is home to over 30 animal species you and your group can learn more about.

Hovatter’s Wildlife Zoo proves itself a staple as a family-centered destination for everyone visiting Kingwood.

Play at the Outdoor Arena at Craig Civic Center

On Tunnelton Street, amaze your guests and audience with a programmed event at Craig Civic Center.

This events center opens its facilities for those needing a venue to rent for birthday parties and wedding receptions.

Its gym and arena boast an impressive 11,000 square feet of open space.

This is an ideal place to host basketball tournaments, leagues, and other major events.

Craig Civic Center also has adjacent athlete courts and an indoor pool for those wanting a quick game or a refreshing break.

Want to add something unique to your parties?

Host a roller skating party or invite a special guest for a one-of-a-kind concert.

For all your personal and corporate events, this center can make your celebrations a little bit extra.

See the Gallery at Preston Community Arts Center

Across from the Courthouse on South Price Street, Preston Community Arts Center stands tall and proud.

This nonprofit organization is a center that effectively teaches and showcases the art of the Preston community.

Through galleries and exhibits, it helps artists grow their craft and find their audience in the locale.

Go through Preston Community Arts Center’s galleries and find locally-produced items for sale.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a show while you’re there.

Some of the programs included in this center’s monthly festivities include open mic nights, concerts, radio shows, and plays.

Feel inspired by the sense of passion for the arts within the walls of this art center.

You never know; your next big project may come to fruition after a trip around its halls.

Relax by the Docks at Camp Dawson Event Center

Do you have upcoming events you’d want to celebrate in Kingwood?

Camp Dawson Event Center can accommodate all your event needs with its multi-purpose facilities.

From an indoor swimming pool to a pavilion right outside, this site gets you excited to host large-scale events.

A quick stroll to the lobby can lead you to Liberty Restaurant & Lounge.

This dining facility serves all three meals, from morning until the dimness of night.

For your events, you can also request catering services for your guests’ best dining experience.

The best way to end the merriment is to stay for the night at the center’s suites.

Camp Dawson Event Center is on Army Road should you wish to stop by.

Enjoy Historic Lodging at Preston County Inn

Preston County Inn on West Main Street is adamant about making your stay an educational experience in history.

Built in 1857, this quaint inn offers eight guest rooms within a three-story building.

It also has three dining rooms, a screened-in porch, and conference rooms.

The best part is the number of fireplaces at the inn.

You can keep warm when the Kingwood weather gets cold or just curl up with a book and a cold beverage.

Preston County Inn can make your mornings and nights a little bit better while you go on a Kingwood escapade.

Get New Vintage Finds at Sophie’s Attic LLC.

Want a nice little souvenir to take home with you right after your trip?

Don’t forget to drop by Sophie’s Attic LLC. and get a rare find.

Right along Main Street, this gift shop offers a convenient location to other remarkable sites like McGrew House and Monroe’s.

From seasonal gifts to year-round memorabilia, this shop sells it all!

Add unique kitchenware to your already growing collection or even a charm to decorate your home with.

There are also Bella Taylor purses for sale, as well as Silver Forest jewelry.

All sorts of trinkets and gizmos are waiting for you!

So, remember Sophie’s Attic LLC when you write down your itinerary.

Relax Your Body with a Massage at Preston Aesthetics & Spa

If you need a way to wind down after all the exploring and learning, Preston Aesthetics & Spa can be your ultimate first stop!

This wellness center offers facials and massages to keep you feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Preston Aesthetics & Spa offers a variety of massage techniques, including Lymphatic Drainage and Deep Tissue.

While waiting for your session, find yourself amazed at the waiting area’s choice of furniture and motif.

But facials and massages are not the only services this center offers.

Should you want brighter and more energized skin, there are skin renewal treatments and those centered on stretch marks.

Surely, right after a visit to Kingwood, you’ll feel and look better!

You can find this spa and wellness center on Morgantown Street.

Have Your Picture Taken at Studio C Photography

Nothing is more memorable than having your special moments documented and framed.

On Price Street, Studio C Photography allows you to take premium photos for keeps.

It specializes in photographing babies, families, and high school students.

You can choose from a variety of themes to make your quality photos stand out.

Some of the most notable photoshoot themes include back to school, Bohemian decoration, and as simple as a trip to the beach.

If you’ve got a newborn with you, now’s the chance to take a portrait of their youth.

And if you traveled with a group, strike some funny poses to post on social media.

Chill at the Lounge at the Heldreth Motel

Prefer a more subtle approach to your lodgings in Kingwood?

The Heldreth Motel offers a simplistic take on temporary stays within the city.

With its 67 guest rooms and an onsite restaurant and lounge, feel right at home within the property.

Since it’s pet-friendly, you and your furry pet can have lots of bonding time and relax together.

There’s ample space for parking for all sorts of vehicles, including buses and trucks.

Located at South Preston Highway, this quaint down-to-earth motel may be just what you need for undisturbed sleep and respite.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Choosing Kingwood has its perks regarding recreational sites, both within the city and outside of it.

Here are the other activities you might take an interest in near Kingwood:

Take Pictures of the Virginia Iron Furnace

Exterior of the Virginia Iron Furnace

Tiffany Sims /

In the neighboring city of Albright, you can learn a thing or two about history.

The sensational Virginia Iron Furnace is a structure on Highway 26 that tells a gripping story of life before the Civil War.

Not only that, this landmark is a significant piece of West Virginia history.

Built in 1854, the Virginia Iron Furnace was a blast furnace used for iron smelting back in the day.

Daytime view of the Virginia Iron Furnace

Generic1139, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1933, it officially became a part of a roadside park.

Its structure has a glorious view of the sky above amid bricks stacked upon each other.

Find this one-of-a-kind historical piece in Albright, only 11 minutes away from Kingwood.

Play Putt-Putt Golf at Alpine Lake Resort

A mere 25 minutes from Kingwood, Alpine Lake Resort takes you into another world that’s separated from the hustle of city life.

Started in the 1960s for its label as a “Mountaintop Vacationland,” this resort has come a long way from its origins.

Now, it has an astounding 65 acres of property, and its accompanying lake encompasses woodland terrain within at least 2,000 acres.

Bring your family along as you sail on the lake and find peace with the serenity of the waters.

You can also sit by your boat’s railings and patiently fish to pass the time.

Inside the resort property, there’s more to do and see, too!

Play putt-putt golf or a friendly tennis match with friends and family.

Relax by the swimming pool and work on improving your diving and breath techniques.

Whatever you do at Alpine Lake Resort on West Alpine Drive in Terra Alta, you are sure in for a pleasant welcome.

Enjoy Whitewater Rafting at Cheat River Outfitters

Now for a bit of aquatic fun!

Cheat River Outfitters on North Preston Highway in Albright is a family-owned and operated rafting business.

With a guided whitewater raft, go on an adventure out at Cheat Canyon and its challenging waves.

For the more daring and passionate, a rock climbing activity might do the trick to calm your beating heart.

There’s a beginner and an intermediate course for those pursuing rock climbing, so everyone can join.

Paintball is also a great alternative activity at this site.

Cheat River Outfitters is only 8 minutes away from the historical beauty of Kingwood.

Follow a Museum Tour at Arthurdale Heritage, Inc.

Here for the history lesson and an immersive educational journey?

Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. may be the right place to indulge in your pursuit of knowledge.

This museum center allows you to explore the first undertakings of a newly established Arthurdale.

Visit remarkable buildings like the Lon Fullmer Forge, the Esso Station, and E-15.

All these and more are in store for you.

A craft shop is also within the property for those interested in bringing home a memento.

Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. on Q Road is only a 15-minute drive from Kingwood.

Take a Closer Look at the Artifacts at Preston County Historical Society History House

Only 16 minutes from Kingwood, The Preston County Historical Society History House is the best source for Terra Alta history.

This museum on East Washington Avenue preserves most of the community’s most valuable assets and information.

Find interesting artifacts and photographs of family life and stories years back.

Visit exhibits and discover more about Preston County businesses and the like.

If you’re doing genealogy research of the place, The Preston County Historical Society History House can also get you everything you need.

Final Thoughts

Kingwood, with its historical beauty and nature-filled grandeur, is a city you shouldn’t miss when traveling to West Virginia.

From wildlife to accommodations, this city never fails to surprise you.

Visit Kingwood now!

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