Charleston, WV is the largest town/city. It has a bad reputation and there are areas that are dangerous after dark, but no where near as bad as big cities in other states. It’s the capital city with a lot of history and a lot of stuff to do.
There are more areas to visit than just the downtown area, but just downtown has the Towncenter mall, the shops on Capital Street and all downtown is loaded with small privately owned shops.
If you’re going out near South Hills, or going to Kanawha State Forest park, you may want to drop by Bridge Road to check out “The Shops on Bridge Road“
If you have babies/toddlers:
If you come in the Summer, Coonskin Park and Kanawha State Forest are both great for all ages. There are plenty of hiking and walking paths in both parks with playgrounds, picnic areas, ponds and creeks.
If you have older kids
If you travel as far as Southridge, you’ll have a few choices. There is the Memorial ice rink beside Target where you can take your kids ice skating.
Marquee Cinema is the best movie theater in the area and after the movie, you can visit
If your kids want to play, Chuck E Cheese is up the street from the Walmart
There is also the Sky Zone right beside Marquee Cinema.
Outside of Southridge, there is a museum inside the capitol complex, the Civic Center has events- you just have to watch to see what they have. They have concerts, conventions and on occasion circus and on ice events for kids.
If you travel to the east end, there is the Clay Center which occasionally has
If you have teens
If you have teens, the towncenter has several trendier shops to go clothes shopping, there is Live on the Levee during the summer, the civic center and most of the other locations I mentioned for older kids work for teens as well.
If you’re traveling with adults
If the adults are over the age of 21, there is the bar district downtown. You walk around after dark on a weekend, and you’re likely to hear music and meet a lot of friendly faces standing around.
There are lots of restaurants to choose from and you can choose one of the not-so-child-friendly movies. The shops up and down Capitol Street and Bridge Road are filled with boutiques and other fun shops and the city of Charleston also has events like walks for various charities.
There are options for artists downtown, music lovers- a lot of the bars have local bands play shows on weekends, if you enjoy jogging or running there are plenty of places to go, downtown is friendly to walkers and bikers so if you’re traveling through WV, Charleston can be a destination worth visiting.