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Fairmont (West Virginia)

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Fairmont [1], nicknamed the "Friendly City", is a city of 19,097 people (as of 2000) in West Virginia. It was established in 1820 as Middletown, and changed in 1843 to Fairmont, short for "Fair Mountain". Mary Lou Retton — a gold-medalist gymnast in the 1984 Olympics, who was highly popular around the country and particularly in West Virginia — is originally from Fairmont.

Fairmont is part of the High-Technology Corridor along I-79, home to companies such as Allegheny Energy, the FBI Identification Facility, and numerous software-oriented businesses.

Get in[edit]

Fairmont is located at the intersection of US-19, between Morgantown and Clarksburg, and US-250, between Wheeling and Elkins. It's also adjacent to I-79 (exits 132 through 139), which runs largely parallel to US-19 in the region.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

  • Downtown Fairmont, 304-368-1123. Walking tours available for the historic section of town.
  • Nine of the seventeen covered bridges in West Virginia are within easy access of Fairmont. Kathleen Panek, owner of the Gillum House B&B in Shinnston, has route information if you want to visit all of them.
  • Barrackville Covered Bridge, junction of WV-21 and US-250. A 148-foot single-lane historic covered bridge.
  • West Virginia Folklife Center, 1201 Locust Avenue at Fairmont State, 304-367-4403 or 304-367-4286, [2]. Dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of the region's rich cultural heritage, through academic studies, educational programs, festivals and performances, and publications.

Parks[edit]

  • Curtisville Lake, WV-7 (Curtisville Pike) past Logansport, [3]. 695 acres and a 30-acre lake. Hiking trails, fishing.
  • East Marion Park, State Street Extension, [4]. 32 acres. Tennis, basketball, softball, horseshoes, mini-golf, hiking and jogging trails, playground, wave pool and waterslide. Mini-golf open from 11AM to 8PM daily; admission $2.
  • Mary Lou Retton Park, Mary Lou Retton Drive and Old Monongah Road, [5]. 25 acres. Four baseball fields, one football field, tennis courts with practice wall, playgrounds, West Virginia Miner's Memorial.
  • Pricketts Fork State Park, WV-3 off I-79 (exit 139), 304-363-3030, [6]. Features a recreation of the rustic log Pickett's Fort from 1774. Guides in period costume recreate late 18th-century life and demonstrate colonial crafts. The park includes Pricketts Creek and Bay, the Monongahela River, an interpretive nature trail, hiking, walking, jogging, cycling, boating, fishing, and a 400-seat amphitheatre.
  • Valley Falls State Park, WV-310 off I-79 (exit 137), 304-367-2719. 1,145 acres for fishing, horseshoes, whitewater rafting, 18 miles of hiking and biking trails. Foaming waterfalls and the remains of a sawmill and grist mill.
  • Worthington Park, US-19 in Worthington, [7]. 10 acres. Waterfall, softball, horsheshoes, fishing, West Fork River Trail.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Coal Country Miniature Golf, 3 Hollen Circle, 304-366-9300, [8]. Miniature golf and batting cages with a coal-mining theme. 18 holes. $5 - $8.
  • Valley World of Fun, 2017 Pleasant Valley Road, 304-366-2500 or 877-366-2501, [9]. Open 10AM to 10PM Sunday through Thursday, and 10AM to 11PM Friday and Saturday. Miniature golf, 24 bowling lanes, lasertron, bumper cars, bumper boats, indoor and outdoor climbing walls, 5,000-square-foot maze, 90-foot slide, indoor midway, Himalaya mini-coaster, gyro, whirly bird, rock-n-roll cage, Twister, soft play area, arcade, snack bar and cafe. Day passes $14 - $20.

Movies[edit]

  • Fairmont (Downtown) Theatre, 416 Adams Street, [10]. Open Friday through Sunday. 2 screens. Classic theatre in the downtown area. $5. Currently Closed.
  • Sunset Ellis Drive-in, south of Shinnston, 304-592-3909. Open Friday through Monday, May until Labor Day. $6.
  • Tygart Valley Cinemas, 7 Tygart Valley Mall, 304-363-1132, [11]. 9 screens. $4.50 - $6.

Events[edit]

  • West Virginia Day and Gazing Back in Time Festival, 211 Adams Street, 304-367-5398. Held in late June. Bake sale, Palace Restaurant fruit bowl and pecan roll luncheon, activities, games and music.
  • Mountain State Juried Art Exhibit, 830 Walnut Avenue, 304-363-1769. Held in October. Juried, fine art exhibit of paintings, photos and three-dimensional works of art.
  • Feast of the Seven Fishes, Monroe and Washington Street. Held in early December. A one-day street festival with traditional foods, wine-tasting, crafts, and music and dance.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre Event (Mother She Wrote (held at Christopher's)), 216 Monroe Street, 304-657-7113, [12]. Dinner theater mystery event in Fairmont WV on Friday May 16,2008 Ticket price included appetizers, salad, deluxe buffet, dessert, beverages, gratuities and live show. (cash bar available) This hilarious show is filled with clues to keep track of! You might even be awarded the super sleuth award! Just in time to give as a gift for Mother's Day or to enjoy during the WVU commencement / graduation weekend. $38.95.  edit
  • Friendly Furniture Galleries, 205 Adams Street, 304-366-9113, [13]. Quality home furnishings in a five-story historic building in downtown Fairmont. Consultation, design, accessories, giftware, fine coffee and tea.
  • Rider Pharmacy, 303 Merchant Street, 304-366-2710, [14]. Open 8:30AM to 8PM Monday through Friday, and 9AM to 5PM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Family-owned and -operated since 1967, offering floral arrangements, gift baskets, Boyds Bears, WVU souvenirs, Department 56 and other gifts.
  • Sew Chic, Old WV-73 off I-79 (exit 39), 304-366-4135 or 877-366-4135, [15]. Open 10AM to 6PM Monday through Friday, and 10AM to 2PM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Fabrics, threads, books, repair service, heirloom supplies, cabinets, magazines, and sewing and quilting classes.
  • Squirrel Nutkin's Shoppe, 213 Morgantown Avenue, 304-363-1122. Antiques, collectibles, pottery, candles, food, and products made in West Virginia.
  • The Tin Man, 235 Locust Avenue, 304-367-0070, [16]. Open 10AM to 6PM Tuesday through Friday, and 10AM to 3PM on Saturday; closed Sundays and Mondays. Antiques, artistic, vintage and all-natural items, and fine gifts.
  • Tracy's Creations, 1547 Fairmont Avenue, 304-366-4530, [17]. Open 10AM to 5:30PM Monday through Friday, and 10AM to 3PM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Wreaths, swags, floral arrangements, flags, candles, Boyds Bears, primitives and Victorian home decor, linens, heritage lace and braided rugs.
  • Vittoria & Banks, 232 Adams Street, 304-363-6955, [18]. Open 10AM to 6PM Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10AM to 1PM Wednesday and Saturday; closed Sundays. Fingerprint jewelry, school jewelry, name bracelets and fine jewelry. Classes offered.
  • The Wright Stuff Works, 215 Pike Street in Shinnston, 304-592-1763, [19]. A family-based business of wood, glass and metal artisans. Classes offered in stained glass, pen turning and basic woodwork.


Malls[edit]

  • Middletown Mall, 2500 Fairmont Avenue, 304-363-3230. The first mall in West Virginia, opened in 1969. Over 30 shops and restaurants.

Learn[edit]

  • The local newspaper is the Times West Virginian, 304-367-2500, [20].
  • Fairmont State, 1201 Locust Avenue, 304-367-4892, [21]. Community and technical college founded in 1974, and state university founded in 1865, offering 90 baccalaureate and 50 associate degrees.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Fairmont is the "Home of the Original Pepperoni Roll". If you want to get them fresh, rather than pre-wrapped in a convenience mart, your best bets are the traditional variety at the Country Club Bakery, or the giant variety at Colasessano's.

  • Aquarium Lounge, 620 Gaston Avenue, 304-366-1500. Open 11AM to 10PM Monday through Friday, and 5PM to 10PM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Salads, pasta, chicken, pork, seafood and hand-cut steaks.
  • Backwoods Grill, 1602 Locust Avenue, 304-363-6533. Open 11AM to 10PM Monday through Thursday, 11AM to 11PM on Friday, and 4PM to 11PM on Saturday; closed Sundays. Soups, salads, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, and Cajun classics like jambalaya, gumbo, Louisiana dirty rice and lobster bisque.
  • Classics Cafe, 236 Adams Street, 304-366-3979. Open 8AM to 3PM Monday through Friday. Homemade soups and sandwiches.
  • Colasessano's, 506 Pennsylvania Avenue, 304-363-9713, [22]. Open 8AM to 8PM Tuesday through Thursday, and 8AM to 9PM Friday and Saturday; closed Sundays and Mondays. A local favorite for over 50 years, serving pizzas, salads, sandwiches, chicken wings, and large pepperoni rolls for $3.50. Freshly-baked bread and cookies daily. $2.50 - $10.50.
  • Country Club Bakery, 1211 Country Club Road, 304-363-5690. Open 7AM to 6PM Monday through Friday, except Wednesday, and 7AM to 3PM on Saturday; closed Wednesdays and Sundays. Bakery supplying pepperoni rolls to grocery stores and convenience stores around Fairmont; try them hot and fresh for just $1. They also carry Italian breads, rolls and cookies.
  • Dairy Creme Corner, 187 Homewood Avenue, 304-366-6809. Open 10AM to 10PM Monday through Saturday, and 1 to 10PM on Sunday. Self-proclaimed purveyors of "the biggest cones in town!" which, depending on your age or ego, may actually be bigger than your head. Along with their FlavorBurst ice cream (used for sundaes, shakes and malts), they offer fried appetizers, salads, sandwiches, barbecue, pepperoni rolls and funnel cakes. Try their peanut butter milkshakes. $1.37 - $2.59.
  • DJ's 50s & 60s Diner, 1181 Airport Road, 304-366-8110. Open 7AM to 10PM Sunday through Thursday, and 7AM to 12AM Friday and Saturday. Fifties-style diner with waitresses in poodle skirts. Classic American favorites, milkshakes and ice cream floats.
  • Dutchman's Daughter Restaurant, 2612 Fairmont Avenue, 304-367-1064. Open 11AM to 9PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11AM to 10PM Friday and Saturday. Home-cooked meals.
  • Jimmy's Diner, 1501 Hood Avenue in Shinnston, 304-592-0745. Open 8AM to 8PM Sunday through Thursday, and 8AM to 9PM Friday and Saturday. Italian-American food; Thursday nights are all-you-can-eat spaghetti nights for $5.
  • Mi Pueblo, 2500 Fairmont Avenue in Middletown Mall, 304-363-9355. Open daily 11AM to 12AM. Family-owned Mexican restaurant.
  • Muriales Italian Family Restaurant, 1742 Fairmont Avenue, 304-363-3190. Open 11AM to 9PM Monday through Thursday, 11AM to 10PM Friday and Saturday, and 11AM to 8PM on Sunday. Fine Italian food and home-cooked meals.
  • The Poky Dot, 1111 Fairmont Avenue, 304-366-3271. A nostalgic 1950s restaurant which began as a barbecue stand in the late 1940s and turned into a sit-down diner in the 1950s. Munchies, breakfast foods, soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, steak, chicken, cheesecake, pie, cobblers, milkshakes, malts, sundaes and ice cream floats. Try the appetizer-laden Dot Combo Platter.
  • Say-Boy Steak House Restaurant, 905 Country Club Road, 304-366-7252. Open 8AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday, and 8AM to 8:30PM on Sunday. A local favorite for 45 years. Steaks, chicken and Italian specialties.
  • TJ's Sports Garden Restaurant, 2500 Fairmont Avenue
  • USA Steak Buffet, 1017 Fairmont Avenue, 304-363-6170. Open daily. All-you-can-eat steak and chicken. Currently Closed.
  • Village Bistro at Westchester Village, 1825 Locust Avenue, 304-366-3711. Open for dinner Monday through Saturday. Gourmet dishes and an extensive wine list.
  • Wings Olé, 1486 Locust Avenue, 304-363-5264, [23]. Open 11AM to 12AM Monday through Thursday, 11AM to 2AM Friday and Saturday, and 12PM to 12AM on Sunday. Chicken wings, salads, side dishes, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas.
  • Yann's Hotdogs, 300 Washington Street, 304-366-8660. varied hours. A Fairmont tradition and proud of it. The best hotdogs in the state. No special order; comes with everything or plain only. Mr. Yann is the "hotdog Nazi" of WV but respected and loved by all.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Book-n-Bean Coffee House, [24]. Open 7AM to 10PM Monday through Wednesday, 7AM to 11PM on Thursday, 7AM to 12PM on Friday and Saturday, and 11AM to 6PM on Sunday. Coffee, tea, milkshakes, soups, sandwiches, wraps and desserts. New, used and antique books. Live music on Thursday through Saturday nights, art on display. $3 - $6.
  • Wright Dawgs, 540 East Park Avenue, 304-368-0834. Great hotdogs (mild, medium, hot) and many other wonderful menu items. Low prices for exceptional food. A second location has now opened in Belleview.  edit


Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget[edit]

  • Avenue Motel, 816 Fairmont Avenue, 304-366-4960. $31.
  • Budget Motel & Apartments, 1101 Fairmont Avenue, 304-366-1900.
  • Country Club Motor Lodge, US-19 and Country Club Road, 304-366-4141 or 800-728-0809, [25]. 30 rooms. Fitness center, health spa, jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, methol inhalation room, personal trainers, tanning, aerobics classes. $31 - $41.
  • Travelodge, 1117 Fairmont Avenue, 304-363-0100. 49 rooms. Seasonal outdoor heated pool, hot tub. On-site 50s diner. Jacuzzi suites and in-room fireplace available. Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. $35.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Comfort Inn and Suites, 1185 Airport Road, 304-367-1370. 85 rooms. Fitness center, outdoor pool. Complimentary continental breakfast. $80 - $120.
  • Days Inn, 228 Middletown Road, 304-366-5995. 46 rooms. On-site barber/beauty shop and restaurant. Free access to nearby fitness center. $74 - $90.
  • Holiday Inn, I-79 and 930 East Old Grafton Road, 304-366-5500, [26]. 106 rooms. Outdoor pool. On-site restaurant (Simmering Pot Family Restaurant) and bar (Franny's Lounge). Complimentary newspaper. $65 - $85.
  • Red Roof Inn, 50 Middletown Road, 304-366-6800 or 800-733-7663. 108 rooms. Complimentary newspaper. $55 - $80.
  • Super 8 Motel, 2208 Pleasant Valley Road, 304-363-1488 or 800-800-8000. 54 rooms. Whirlpool rooms available. Complimentary continental breakfast and newspaper. $77.

Splurge[edit]

  • Fairfield Inn and Suites, 27 Southland Drive, 304-367-9150 or 800-228-2800. 80 rooms. Exercise room, heated indoor pool, whirlpool. Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. $139 - 179.

Bed and Breakfasts[edit]

  • Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, 35 Walnut Street in Shinnston, 888-592-0177, [27]. 3 rooms. Front porch, rail trail for walking or biking. Full breakfast with muffins, fruit, juices, entrees, fresh-roasted coffee (nightly) and a selection of over 100 teas. Breakfast served between 4 A. M. - 10 A.M. Overnight stabling, off-street parking for motorcycles. Children welcome. Pet-free and smoke-free. $95 - $149.

Get out[edit]

Routes through Fairmont
WashingtonMorgantown  N noframe S  BridgeportCharleston


  • Grafton is about 30 minutes southeast on I-79 and US-250.



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