“You possibly can’t change any of the toppings and nonetheless name it a West Virginia Scorching Canine,” she warned.
It was the very first thing I’d realized about Huntington. I used to be sitting in my automobile on the Frostop drive-in, attempting to order lunch. I hesitated. The prerequisite toppings weren’t my favourite on a sizzling canine. The hesitation lingered too lengthy. Lastly, I gave the exceedingly affected person woman my order.
West Virginia’s second-largest metropolis has issues to do this you’d count on in a metropolis – a museum of artwork, city parks, a college, and a historic metropolis with ties to a nineteenth railroad mogul. However greater than the rest, Huntington is a foodie vacation spot.
And by the point I left town on my northbound street journey, I found loads of foodie surprises within the river city.
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Transient Historical past
Simply because the American Revolution began, a everlasting settlement referred to as Holderby’s Touchdown was established on the congruence of the Ohio and Guyandotte Rivers. Virginia grew to become a state in 1788 and included all of present-day Kentucky and West Virginia. Halfway by way of the Civil Battle in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that West Virginia may very well be acknowledged as its personal state.
Just a few years later, Collis P. Huntington established the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway on the James River in Richmond, Virginia. The thought was to attach Virginia to the affluent Ohio River Valley. By 1873, the railroad by way of the rugged West Virginia mountains was accomplished with a terminus in Holderby’s Touchdown.
Did You Know?
The route of the C&O Railroad handed throughout the Alleghany Mountains by way of Clifton Forge. The C&O Railway Heritage Heart options a number of locomotives and prepare vehicles to discover. An unlimited miniature railroad diorama and museum is contained in the historic prepare depot.
When town was included in 1871, it was renamed Huntington in honor of the railroad tycoon. Huntington grew to become a central commerce hub because the railroad was prolonged to Hampton Roads to the east and Cincinnati, Toledo, and Chicago to the west. A increase interval lasted till the Nice Flood of 1937 destroyed a lot of the city, turning almost 60% of town’s inhabitants into homeless refugees.
All through the twentieth century, Huntington declined like many different railroad cities. However the metropolis discovered methods to thrive with a diversified financial system – immediately, Huntington is the second-largest metropolis within the state, behind solely Charleston.
Attending to Huntington by Automobile
Huntington isn’t strictly off the overwhelmed path, however it’s an out-of-the-way vacation spot in a northwest nook of the state alongside the Ohio River.
The simplest solution to get to Huntington is alongside Interstate 64. From Charleston, it’s a simple one-hour drive. From Lexington, Kentucky, it’s an equally straightforward two-hour drive.
However essentially the most scenic and adventurous route into Huntington is alongside US Freeway 23. From Kingsport, Tennessee, it’s a 4-hour drive alongside the four-lane freeway by way of former coal cities, stunning mountain ranges, and charming small cities like Norton, Virginia, and Pikeville, Kentucky.
From Columbus, Ohio, it’s a better three-hour drive on sections of US Freeway 23 with interstate pace limits. The route bypasses Chillicothe and passes by way of Portsmouth earlier than crossing the Ohio River.
Attending to Huntington by Amtrak
An fascinating solution to go to Huntington could be an journey on Amtrak. The passenger rail service’s Cardinal Line connects New York Metropolis and Chicago with an out-of-the-way southerly route in West Virginia. The Cardinal Line follows the identical route as the unique C&O Railroad throughout Virginia’s Alleghany Highlands.
Amtrak’s cease in Huntington is situated simply 5 blocks from Pullman Sq.. Inns, eating places, purchasing, and sights are a few twenty-minute stroll from the general public sq..
The Cardinal Line connects to Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, from New York Metropolis. The prepare sometimes leaves New York Metropolis at 7 a.m. three days per week and arrives in Huntington round 10 p.m. For this route, I recommend a coach seat for the 15-hour journey – however spend more often than not within the statement automobile.
From Chicago, the Cardinal Line connects to Indianapolis and Cincinnati. The prepare sometimes leaves Chicago at 6 p.m. and arrives in Huntington at about 7 a.m. the next day. For this route, I like to recommend a roomette within the viewliner automobile.
Get Craft Espresso at Grindstone Coffeeology
Begin the day exploring Huntington at Grindstone Coffeeology. Baristas grind beans contemporary for each espresso served – the menu consists of all the everyday staples like drip, espresso, and iced. Their all-day brunch menu consists of croissant sandwiches, quiche, and breakfast burritos.
Seize a seat at a snug desk contained in the small espresso store. Or, head to the rooftop sitting space with tables and chairs beneath shade sails.
Search for New and Used Books at Cicada Books & Espresso
What’s higher than an area espresso store? An area espresso store inside a used bookstore! When house owners Daybreak Hylbert and Katie Norman opened Cicada Books & Espresso, they named it after the cicada – an insect recognized for rebirth.
Used books are stacked on cabinets from the ground to the ceiling. However the retail store has rather more – native paintings, home crops, and distinctive present concepts. Order a contemporary floor espresso on the entrance, browse the used books, after which snag a desk to benefit from the espresso and flip by way of the books earlier than taking them dwelling.
In 1887, Collis Huntington established the Huntington and Huge Sandy Railroad, extending his treasured C&O Railroad, and constructed a two-story passenger terminal. Over the subsequent forty years, the brick construction was expanded a number of instances to incorporate rising freight. However by the early 1900s, the constructing was deserted. Except for a brief tenure because the Greyhound Bus Station, the constructing was unused for many years.
After renovations and restorations, the previous passenger and freight depot reopened as Heritage Station. An unique steam locomotive and coal automobile are put in in entrance of the depot. Inside, restored hardwood flooring and vintage freight scales greet guests to the historic constructing.
The Huntington Customer Heart is situated contained in the outdated transportation hub. Guests can decide up the native tourism information, browse brochures on issues to do, and get ideas from the pleasant workers. At The Crimson Caboose, guests can browse cabinets of arts and crafts from native artisans, clothes, souvenirs, and Blenko glassware.
Heritage Farm Museum & Village
Gravels crunched beneath my ft on the trail between a dozen log buildings and rustic wood buildings. The village pulsed with exercise – a blacksmith hammering in a store, youngsters laughing on a ropes course, and a goat grunting from an enclosure. What sort of place had I found?
When Mike and Henriella Perry purchased an outdated farmhouse in 1976, they found a ardour for his or her Appalachian heritage. After twenty years of gathering, constructing, and planning, they opened the Heritage Farm Museum & Village, they opened the farm to the general public within the spring. By 2006, they’d established common enterprise hours for guests to discover their creations.
Seven museums cowl matters like early frontier life, transportation, and expertise. The MakerSpace options native arts and crafts. The Blacksmith Store is often staffed by somebody busy making one thing with cast metallic and muscle. The Treehouse Trek presents pleasure, and Critter Nook is a good place to hang around with the animals.
Ritter Park is Huntington’s hottest place for outside recreation. The park is on the base of a brief mountain ridge the place town’s grid of straight straights begins curvy climbs. It’s a peaceable escape from metropolis noises and an incredible place for guests to stretch their legs.
A 0.6-mile gravel path winds by way of the park, connecting the varied sights. The Rose Backyard options manicured gardens surrounded by brick pavers. Almost a dozen tennis courts await the arrival of keen gamers. The amphitheater is surrounded by the shade of towering bushes.
After which there’s the award-winning playground. What precisely makes it award-winning? In 2012, the American Planning Affiliation named Ritter Park one of many “10 Nice Public Areas” within the nation.
Harris Riverfront Park
The one solution to get to Harris Riverfront Park is to drive by way of the towering concrete wall defending Huntington from the Ohio River. After 19 days of consecutive rain in 1937, the Ohio River broke over the banks and swept by way of town. By 1943, the U.S. Military Corps of Engineers had accomplished an 11-mile-long floodwall to forestall the pure catastrophe sooner or later.
On the opposite facet of the floodwall, the riverfront park is a powerful introduction to Huntington. An amphitheater with grassy ranges faces the river. Strolling paths meander beneath the shade of bushes. On the finish of the park, a concrete platform is a frequent vacation spot for fishing on the river.
Within the distance, the Robert C. Byrd Bridge crosses the Ohio River, connecting West Virginia and Ohio.
Huntington Museum of Artwork
Opened in 1952, the Huntington Museum of Artwork options a powerful assortment. However the monumental constructing and 52 acres on a hilltop are much more spectacular.
Discover the ten exhibit areas, together with The Glass Assortment, Portrait Gallery, and the historical past of firearms. Attend an occasion within the 287-seat auditorium. Take a stroll by way of the one tropical conservatory in West Virginia. Plan to spend about 2-3 hours exploring the 16,000-object museum.
Probably the most fascinating issues to do on the museum is to discover the outside. The 52-acre property options two miles of mountain climbing trails and two outside sculpture gardens.
Museum of Radio & Expertise
The Museum of Radio & Expertise is essentially the most fascinating museum in Huntington. In 1991, a gaggle of radio fanatics bought an old-fashioned and slowly accrued a set of vintage radios, army communications tools, and radio broadcast gear.
As an alternative of desks, former school rooms are full of Victrola console radios. As an alternative of chalkboards, the partitions are lined with circuit boards. As an alternative of books, cabinets are full of radio communications tools.
Radio gear was stacked from the ground to the ceiling, hallways lined with wood console radios, and tables lined with each type of radio expertise ever used. It was a captivating stroll by way of the historical past of radio communications in an informal setting.
Touma Museum of Medication
In 2017, Dr. Joseph B. Touma and his spouse, Dr. Omayma Touma, donated their assortment of medical devices and artifacts to Marshall College’s Joan C. Edwards Faculty of Medication. The college opened a 4,000-square-foot Touma Museum of Medication within the coronary heart of downtown Huntington, that includes the gathering all through dozens of shows.
Strolling by way of the museum is like moving into the pages of a medical historical past textbook. Bygone medical devices, aged books, and vintage instruments reveal how far drugs has are available in a short while.
The museum is open by appointment solely, and it’s the one appointment everybody ought to make whereas visiting Huntington.
Pullman Sq. opened in 2004, capping off many years of downtown revitalization. The 2-story, open-air shopping center options fascinating shops like The Inside Geek bookstore, Outdated North Arcade the place you possibly can get pleasure from beer and meals with retro arcade video games, and catch a film at Marquee Cinemas.
The grassy sq. is the location of annual particular occasions like dwell music live shows. In the course of the day, it’s the right place to get pleasure from a break from the hustle of exploring town.
When an enclosed house for retail retailers opened in 2017, it was an on the spot hit with the locals. The Market shortly grew to become the hangout place with nice meals and dwell music. It’s one of many issues everybody ought to do with a go to to Huntington – morning or night.
Butter It Up is the perfect place within the metropolis for breakfast, serving scrumptious free-range eggs of their farm-to-table menu. Wildflower Reward Store presents quite a lot of dwelling décor and collectible gadgets that can beg to go dwelling with you.
Austin’s Ice Cream began in close by Ceredo, however when The Market opened, they jumped on the probability to maneuver downtown. All of their ice cream is home made and options savory flavors. Order one or two scoops in a cone or bowl and discover a place to sit down earlier than it melts!
We Are Marshall Self-Guided Strolling Tour
In 1970, the collegiate sports activities world and the whole metropolis of Huntington had been shocked when a aircraft crash killed 75 Marshall College soccer group members, workers, and crew members. When director McG approached the delicate matter of filming a dramatization of the incident in 2005, he determined to movie the film in Huntington.
The Huntington Customer Heart has copies of a self-guided tour of the filming places all through town. Some scenes had been filmed at non-public companies and houses, however most had been filmed on the Marshall College campus.
Take a stroll by way of the campus – open to the general public, however be aware of the place you park – and discover the filming places on the Memorial Fountain, Buskirk Subject, Hodges Corridor, and Morrow Library.
Get Dinner on the Quirky Bombshells, Burgers & BBQ
Shortly after Billy Naked, a retired police officer, constructed an indoor gun vary in Huntington, his spouse, Christy, constructed a restaurant subsequent door. While you eat at Bombshell, Burgers & BBQ, examine your receipt for a reduction to a spherical at Naked Arms Indoor Vary. Opened in 2018, it’s one of many metropolis’s quirkiest locations for an incredible meal.
The restaurant is modeled after traditional dinners from the Forties. The WWII-inspired seating space is harking back to traditional diners with crimson and white cubicles, painted pinup women hanging on the partitions, and rock music – albeit from the 50s – blaring from audio system.
The menu is an array of American meals like wings, pizza, barbecue, and sandwiches, however their burgers are the perfect. It begins with the All American – a 1/3-pound Angus Beef patty served together with your alternative of toppings. However the Flamethrower Burger was the winner – topped with pepper jack cheese, jalapenos, and “atomic bomb sauce.” The burger was named after Hershel “Woody” Williams, a Marine who obtained the Medal of Honor in WWII for his responsibility as a flamethrower.
Get an Genuine West Virginia Scorching Canine
You most likely don’t know concerning the West Virginia Scorching Canine when you’re not from West Virginia. The recipe is straightforward, however ironclad: bun, wiener, chili, slaw, onions, and mustard. No substitutions are allowed. Luckily, Huntington has two nice locations to get a passable meal.
In 1932, husband and spouse John Louis and Gertrude Mandt purchased a tiny orange constructing on fifth Avenue and opened Huntington’s first drive-in eatery. They’d two gadgets on the menu: Stewart’s Root Beer, invented in Ohio only a few years earlier, and popcorn. In following years, the menu grew to incorporate sizzling canines with Gertrude’s secret chili sauce – the identical sauce made immediately.
In 2005, John Jr., the fourth era of the household to run Stewart’s Unique Scorching Canine, based the West Virginia Scorching Canine Competition. The pageant is held in Huntington the final weekend of July and options carnival rides, dwell music, and lots of distributors crafting the enduring sizzling canine.
In 1926, L.S. Harvey opened the primary Frostop Root Beer in Springfield, Ohio. Over the subsequent three many years, the franchise unfold throughout the nation. Individuals grew to become acquainted with the savory burgers and contemporary root beer.
The Huntington location was in-built 1959. The enduring mug – first put in at a Frostop in Louisiana in 1954 – has been on the roof of this location because it opened.
The burgers, grilled cheese, sandwiches, and fries are cooked to order. It’s one of many tastiest meals in Huntington. However the West Virginia Scorching Canine is the star of their menu. The waitress famous, “You possibly can’t change any of the toppings and nonetheless name it a West Virginia Scorching Canine.” Because it seems, the new canine goes nice with crunchy onion rings and a contemporary root beer.
Get a Downtown Dinner
Huntington is a foodie vacation spot. With a weekend go to, you couldn’t eat at each kind of restaurant within the metropolis. You’ll discover all the things from a steak home to a uncooked bar. However you can begin with dinner at considered one of these downtown eating places.
Calamity J Grill & Bar is a “mix of southwest and soul.” Entrées embrace hen, pasta, and burritos with a spicy twist. The house owners at Huntington Ale Home take meat critically, with burgers so stacked you’ll want a fork and knife to eat them – a complete part of the menu is devoted to mac & cheese. Jim’s Steak and Spaghetti Home has been an area favourite since 1938. The unique proprietor’s daughter runs the restaurant now, the place you discover large parts of each meal.
21 on the Frederick is a date evening. Opened in 2015 on the historic however defunct Frederick Resort, the tables are lined in white linens, and the detailed structure will make you’re feeling prefer it’s the Nineteen Thirties. You’ll discover filet mignon and Colorado lamb chops on the menu and an evolving wine listing.
Le Bistro incorporates a farm-to-table menu with contemporary native components for Huntington’s most inventive culinary expertise. Since 2012, Yard Pizza and Uncooked Bar has cooked up varied connoisseur wood-fired pizzas, however you too can order contemporary seafood from their uncooked bar. The Peddler combines craft beer from their ten-barrel system with buttermilk fried hen sandwiches and thick burgers.
The place to Keep
Hampton Inn is ten minutes from downtown. The lodge options an indoor swimming pool, suites with a sleeper couch, and the perfect complimentary breakfast of any lodge chain. E-book with Reserving.com or Expedia.com
DoubleTree by Hilton is considered one of two downtown motels inside strolling distance of eating places and purchasing. The lodge options an outside swimming pool beneath a pedestrian bridge connecting the lodge to a parking storage – parking is an extra charge. E-book with Reserving.com or Expedia.com