[[Image:State capitol building.JPEG|thumb|400px|The West Virginia State Capitol]]
'''Charleston''' [http://www.cityofcharleston.org/], established in 1794, is the state
capitol of [[West Virginia]]. With a population of 53,421 (as of 2000), Charleston is the largest city in West Virginia. It's located at the junction of Interstates 77, 79, and 64, as well as the confluence of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers, the latter of which flows prominently through the city.
Charleston is accessible by three interstates - '''I-77''' goes from [[Parkersburg]] in the northwest to [[Beckley]] and [[Bluefield (West Virginia)|Bluefield]] in the south; '''I-64''' goes from [[Huntington (West Virginia)|Huntington]] in the west to [[Beckley]] and [[Lewisburg (West Virginia)|Lewisburg]] in the southeast; and '''I-79''' begins in Charleston and continues to [[Morgantown]] in the northeast.
Portions of I- 64 to the east of Charleston are toll.
You can also fly into '''[http://www.yeagerairport.com
/ Yeager Airport] ''' (CRW), which is near the junction of I-77 and I-64. Yeager Airport offers daily service to and from Atlanta (Delta), Charlotte ( USAir), Chicago (United), Cincinnati (Delta), Cleveland (Continental), Detroit (Northwest), Houston (Continental), Philadelphia ( USAir), Pittsburgh ( USAir), and both Washington-Dulles and Washington- Reagon National ( USAir).
* The '''West Virginia State Capitol''', 1900 Kanawha Boulevard E, +1 304-558-4839. 9AM-7PM M-Sa, 12PM-7PM Su. Guided tours available 9AM-3:30PM M-F. The largest state capitol dome in the country, covered in 23-karat gold leaf. The complex also contains the
Cultural Center, the Governor's Mansion and the Holly Grove Mansion, as well as many historical statues on the grounds.
* '''Avampato Discovery Museum''', 300 Leon Sullivan Way, +1 304-561-3575, [http://www.avampatodiscoverymuseum.org/]. 10AM-5PM W-Sa, 12PM-5PM Su. Two floors of interactive science exhibits, an art gallery, and giant-screen films and planetarium shows in the ElectricSky domed theater. Admission $12.50.
* '''West Virginia
Cultural Center''', 1900 Kanawha Boulevard E, +1 304-558-0220, [http://www.wvculture.org/agency/cultcenter.html]. 9AM-8PM M-Th, 9AM-6PM F-Sa, 12PM-6PM Su. Three floors of exhibition space in the West Virginia State Museum, and research materials housed in the State Archives library.
* '''West Virginia Power''', 601 Morris Street (''Suite 201''), +1 304-344-
CATS (2287), [http://www.wvpower.com/]. The local baseball team, a Class A affiliate of the [[Milwaukee]] Brewers. Games played at Appalachian Power Park from April through September. Tickets are $7 for one game, up to $490 for a season pass.
Charleston is home to '''Kanawha State Forest'''[http://www.kanawhastateforest.com/
16]. There are many scenic walking, hiking, biking, and riding trails in the state forest. There is also an outdoor pool that is open in the summer, various camp sites, a shooting range, a small lake for fishing, and stables. Hunting and fishing are allowed in-season. Picnic shelters are available throughout the park and can be rented for parties. There are led walks at various times of the year, information on which is available on the website .
:* '''Sunday Gazette-Mail''', [http://sundaygazettemail.com/]. Sunday paper jointly published by the Gazette and the Daily Mail.
The city also has one university
:* '''University of Charleston''', 2300 MacCorkle Avenue SE, +1 304-357-4750 or +1 800-995-GO-UC (4682), [http://www.ucwv.edu/]. A private, co-educational, residential university founded in 1888, offering baccalaureate degrees in 29 fields, associate degrees in 5 fields, and master's degrees in business administration and human resource management.
* '''Charleston Town Center Mall''', 3000 Charleston Town Center, +1 304-345-9525, [http://www.charlestontowncenter.com/]. 10AM-9PM M-Sa, 12:30PM-6PM Su. 130 specialty stores, three major department stores, Picnic Place and specialty restaurants, and an atrium with a three-story waterfall and extensive greenery.
Although it isn't exactly a mecca of cuisine, Charleston ''is'' the mecca of cuisine for West Virginia, with a variety of options catering to different tastes and budgets. One of the best things about eating here is that there are very few tourist traps, since major tourism in Charleston has not yet caught on. Unfortunately, the lack of tourism also means that the restaurants can
be be generic; chains like T.G.I. Friday's, Outback, Olive Garden, and Red Lobster are common. There are, however, some more unique local eateries:
* '''Chesapeake Bagel Bakery''', 240 Capitol Street, +1 304-345-1427. 6:30AM-3PM M-Fr, 7AM-2PM Sa.
* '''Deli-D-Lite''', 611 Chestnut Street, +1 304-768-5223. 5PM-11PM M-F, 4PM-11PM Sa, 5PM-10PM Su.
* '''Rice Bowl''', 121 Goff Mountain Road in Cross Lanes, +1 304-776-6888. Daily 11:30AM-10PM. Chinese.
Banana Joe's''', 201 Capitol Street, +1 304- 342- 1872. 5PM- 3AM Tu-Su. Caribbean bar and grill. * '''Rock & Eat Too''', 400 Second Avenue in the Ramada Plaza Hotel, +1 304-744-4641. Daily 11AM- 1PM and M- Th 5PM-9PM, Sa -Su 5PM-8PM.
Delish, Inc.''', 110 McFarland Street, +1 304- 346- 4177. 10AM-3PM M, 11AM-8PM Tu-Sa. Gourmet wraps. Credit not accepted.
* '''Kaifu Japanese Cuisine & Sushi Bar''' 150 Court St., +1 (304) 344-0500, located opposite of the mall, walking distance from the downtown hotels.
'''Lola's Pizza''' 1038 Bridge Rd Charleston, WV 25314 (304) 343-5652 Located in South Hills
*<sleep name="Residence Inn by Marriott Charleston" alt="" address="200 Hotel Circle
, Charleston, West Virginia 25311" directions="" phone="304-345-4200 " url="www.marriott.com/CRWRI " checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long=""> Nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, this award winning Residence Inn by Marriott Charleston hotel is conveniently located within minutes of downtown Charleston, Yeager Airport CRW, Charleston Civic Center, Clay Center for the Arts and Charleston Town Center Mall. In addition, the University of Charleston, St Francis Hospital, Charleston Area Medical Center CAMC and the State Capitol complex are all a short drive from this extended stay Charleston hotel. Plus, for fun, white water rafting is just an hour from this Charleston hotel.</sleep>
*'''Embassy Suites Charleston''', 300 Court Street, +1-304-347-8700, [http://www.embassysuitescharlestonwv.com].
*'''Super 8 Motel''', 1010 Washington St E, +1-304-345-9779, centrally and conveniently located budget option. Free wireless.
* '''Ramada Plaza Charleston''', 400 2nd Ave., ''+1'' 304-744-4641, [http://www.ramadamidatlantic.com/].
*<sleep name="Charleston Marriott Town Center" alt="" address="200 Lee Street East " directions="" phone="304-345-6500" url="http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/crwwv-charleston-marriott-town-center/" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">A hotel in downtown Charleston offering a health club, meeting and event facilities, swimming pool and Whitewater Grille. </sleep>
*<sleep name="Fairfield Inn Charleston" alt="" address="1000 Washington Street East, Charleston, West Virginia 25301" directions="" phone="304-343-4661
" url="http://www.charlestonwvhotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Discover exceptional hospitality at the Fairfield Inn Charleston, a premium West Virginia hotel that delivers comfortable guest rooms, complimentary breakfast and exciting vacation packages.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Charleston Plaza Hotel" alt="" address="1010 Washington Street East, Charleston, West Virginia 25301" directions="" phone="304-345-9779" url="http://www.charlestonplazahotel.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Treat yourself to comfortable accommodations and close proximity to a wealth of West Virginia attractions when you stay at the downtown Charleston Plaza Hotel.</sleep>
* '''[[Weston (West Virginia)|Weston]]''' is about 1.5 hours northeast on I-79.
[[WikiPedia:Charleston, West Virginia]]