17 Best Things to Do in Ripley, WV

Ripley, WV
JNix / shutterstock.com

Ripley is a city you can find in Jackson County and is known for being the last place that a public hanging took place in West Virginia.

In 1832, when it got chartered by the Virginia General Assembly, the city held the name Jackson Court House before shortening to Jackson in 1893, then changing to Ripley in 1897.

If you're not into history, you can still enjoy the various places to grab a drink or meal in Ripley.

You can also scope out the city's different shops or explore natural sights in the area.

That said, here are the best things to do in Ripley, West Virginia:

Roam around Ripley Historic District

Jackson county courthouse at Ripley Historic District
Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant), CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

Check out some local history by taking a stroll around Ripley Historic District.

It is a section of the city that consists of around 110 buildings, some of them featuring architectural designs that date as far back as the late 19th century.

Shops along Ripley Historic District
Tim Kiser (w:User:Malepheasant), CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

You can find this historical section around the city's central business district and explore approximately 52 acres of land.

While it may not seem much to go exploring an old area of a city, there are plenty of sights you can discover and several structures you can photograph.

Try Moonshine at Appalachian Distillery

Have you ever tried moonshine?

If not, you should stop at Appalachian Distillery by Cedar Lakes Drive and sample their brews.

It is a local distillery that offers a variety of moonshine, whiskey, and bourbon.

If you're a fan of whiskey or bourbon, you'll mainly find sour mash corn whiskey and single barrel bourbon at this distillery.

There is a selection of moonshine you can sample in this distillery and different sizes you can purchase.

In addition to providing various drinks and samples, the distillery offers tours for guests to see their brewing process.

For those interested in alcoholic brews, Appalachian Distillery is the place for you.

Get Crafts at the WV Artisan Market

The WV Artisan Market is one of the many stores you visit in Ripley and a top option for finding gifts and crafts.

To locate this store, head to West Main Street, down North Court Street, and you should find it near a Metro Benefits building.

The store offers various items ranging from jewelry to wood crafts and more.

In addition to offering a variety of crafted items, the store has art classes and lunches during the afternoon.

If you visit the store after 4:00 p.m., you can try out their drinks selection and other treats.

You'll find plenty to discover at the WV Artisan Market.

Check out Retail and Food at Farmhouse Market Finds

There are plenty of places to find local products, and one of them is Farmhouse Market Finds.

It is a retail marketplace that offers a range of items, including artisan goods and vintage decor.

Whether you want to browse vintage pieces or get a candle, there is plenty to find at this market.

If you're interested in checking out locally made items and other crafts, you can find Farmhouse Market Finds by going to Highlawn Drive.

Browse the Antiques at Nieto Treasures

Nieto Treasures is an ideal stop for those interested in perusing vintage products and other items.

Located on North Church Street, Nieto Treasures is a reasonably new family business that offers items ranging from shoes to toys and other house products.

Whether you want to get an item at a reasonable price or check out an old product, you can explore a range of options at Nieto Treasures.

Dig into Barbeque and Steak at the Fairplain Yacht Club

Head to the Fairplain Yacht Club if you're craving steak or barbeque for a meal.

Some dishes you can enjoy at this eatery include baby back ribs and a prime rib steak.

Aside from these meaty dishes, you can enjoy the Fairplain Yacht Club's selection of burgers and other classic American dishes.

In addition to the different dishes you can dig into at this eatery, you can check out for monthly events and enjoy live entertainment.

You can find this restaurant by looking around Cedar Lakes Road.

Enjoy Mexican Treats at Las Trancas

Las Trances is the place to eat if you're looking for Mexican dishes to try in the area.

Several dishes are available at this eatery, including a range of fajitas and quesadillas.

Aside from offering various Mexican dishes, the eatery has a selection of drinks you can pair with your meal, such as margaritas and other cocktails.

If you still have room for dessert, there is a selection of Mexican desserts you can also try, such as sopapillas.

You'll find plenty to try when visiting Las Trancas at McGraw Street.

Grab a Pizza or Sub at Maka Mia Pizza Subs and Pub

On North Court Street, near the WV Artisan Market, you can treat yourself to a sub or burger at Maka Mia Pizza Subs and Pub.

It is an eatery that features a selection of snacks and meals ranging from pretzels to calzones.

Aside from savory dishes like pizzas and pasta, the eatery offers a list of sweet options, including a sweet pizza you can try.

Whether you want a pretzel or sub, there are plenty of hearty meals you can enjoy at Maka Mia Pizza Subs and Pub.

Snag a Hotdog at Pete's Hotdogs

Treat yourself to a hotdog by making a stop at Pete's Hotdogs.

You can locate this shop on South Church Street, and some of the dishes you can enjoy at this spot aside from hotdogs are sandwiches and a selection of Mexican dishes like tacos and burritos.

Aside from these different bites, you can enjoy a selection of slushie drinks.

Sample the Baked Treats at Heavenly Sweets

Heavenly Sweets is where to go if you're craving sweets during your visit.

You can find the shop at Sycamore Creek Road and choose from a range of sweets, including cakes, cookies, and more.

While the shop mainly features baked goods that cater to different events, you can still enjoy the selection of treats you can peruse in-store.

If you're looking for baked treats you can bring home or order for an event, you'll want to consider Heavenly Sweets.

Indulge in Gourmet Donuts at That Donut Place

Discover a new type of doughnut by visiting That Donut Place by South Church Street.

There are plenty of flavors you can try at this donut shop, but if you want to try something unique, you should sample the shop's mini donut creations.

These mini donut creations are a handful of mini donuts topped with different indulgent toppings.

Aside from several donut options, the shop offers a selection of drinks, including coffee brews and lemonade.

You'll find plenty of options for your sweet tooth at this shop.

Find Colorful Creations at Hallowbeans

If you're craving caffeine or something sweet, visit Hallowbeans on West Main Street.

Hallowbeans is a coffee shop that offers a selection of coffee brews and baked goods.

In addition to different coffee and pastry treats, the shop provides a list of smoothies and bubble tea options.

As the name indicates, you'll find plenty of Halloween-themed products in the shop.

There are plenty of creative creations you can try at this coffee shop.

Dig into Themed Sweets at I Scream Sundae

Try out towering milkshakes and other packed treats by checking out I Scream Sundae by Main Street.

Depending on the season and holiday, you can find all kinds of themed sweets at this shop and indulge in overflowing creations.

In addition to various colorful smoothies and ice cream creations, the shop offers a list of savory snacks, including hotdogs.

Aside from various desserts and snacks, the shop features a collection of sodas with unique flavors, such as mustard.

When it comes to unique and colorful creations, there are several options to try at I Scream Sundae.

Go Camping at the Statts Mill Campground & Cabins

Enjoy the outdoors by setting up camp at the Statts Mill Campground & Cabins.

To find this campground, you need to look around Statts Mill Road.

It is otherwise known as Statts Mills RV and Campground, and there are several amenities you can enjoy at this venue.

Some activities you can enjoy at this campground include fishing and different sports.

For those interested in the cabins available at this campground, there are seven options you can book.

To set up camp at the Statts Mill Campground & Cabin, however, you need to make a reservation.

Work Out at Ripley Leisure Centre

Ripley Leisure Centre is where you can get active in Ripley and features different facilities and classes for various activities.

Whether you want to work out at the gym or go swimming, there are several programs to help accommodate different guests.

In addition to providing classes and facilities for children and adults, the center offers a store where you can get different gear.

Aside from classes and fitness facilities, the center has to play sports.

You can find this fitness venue by looking around Derby Road.

Visit the Historic Armstrong House

Armstrong House is a featured historical structure you can find near North Street and dates back to 1848.

It is the oldest house in the city and features a Greek Revival style.

The historic building is a rectangular two-story structure that gained recognition in 1980.

The structure is relatively simple, but history enthusiasts will want to add this spot to their list when visiting Ripley.

Join the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair

If you want to participate in local events, the Mountain State Art & Craft Fair is the one to check out.

It is an artisan event that dates back to 1963 and initially served as a way for artisans to sell their wares.

Currently, the art and craft fair not only features different crafts on display, but also presents demonstrations and other activities.

The fair generally lasts for three days and occurs around July.

To join the fair, you need to head to the Cedar Lakes Conference Center.

Go Fishing at Elk Fork Lake

You can find several activities in Ripley, West Virginia, but if you want to enjoy more nature, you should check out Elk Fork Lake.

Traveling to this lake from the city center can take around 10 minutes.

It makes for an ideal fishing spot.

The lake is over 200 acres in size and features different fish species you can catch, one of the more popular ones being bass.

Aside from fish, you can find other wildlife in the nearby forest area, which spans over a thousand acres.

Some wildlife you can spot in the area includes deer and squirrels.

With plenty of areas to explore, you can immerse yourself in nature by visiting Elk Folk Lake.

Final Thoughts

Ripley is a city that offers its share of sights for history, shopping, and eating.

If you're a foodie, you'll find no shortage of options to try in this city.

In the sweets department, you can find a range of indulgent treats ranging from stacked smoothies to indulgent donuts.

As for savory meals, there are several places to grab different snacks like pizza and hotdogs.

If you're looking for a good drink, you'll find a list of moonshine to try.

As for the shopping scene available in Ripley, you'll find more than a few places that offer local crafts and vintage pieces.

Aside from the different places where you can discover treats and gifts, there are multiple locations to have fun with various activities.

Whether you want to go exploring or get active at a gym, there are many options you can check out in the city.

When it comes to the historical side of the city, there might seem like much for you to see, but there is still a good share of sights for history enthusiasts to enjoy.

By visiting Ripley, West Virginia, you can discover something new or gain a fun experience.