Huntington (West Virginia)
Huntington is the second-largest city in West Virginia and the self-proclaimed "Weenie Capital of the East." Situated along the banks of the Ohio River, Huntington is home to Marshall University, a state-supported public university, and the world's largest root beer mug. In 2008, Huntington earned the dubious distinction of being named the "fattest and most unhealthy" city in the United States. . Nevertheless, Huntington is a walkable city that offers the intrepid traveler several unique cultural diversions, including an excellent music and restaurant scene.
- Cabell Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau is an excellent source for local information. +1-800-635-6329
Huntington is just off I-64. Primary exits for downtown are 8 (5th St. Rd.) and 11 (Hal Greer Blvd.). U.S. Route 60 and U.S. Route 52 also run through town.
Huntington/Tri-State (IATA: HTS), 1449 Airport Rd., +1 304 453-6165. . Downtown shuttle service is available to The Pullman Plaza Hotel and the Holiday Inn Hotel. The next closest airport is in Charleston, about an hour east in I-64. American Airlines has nonstop service to Charlotte. Allegiant Air has nonstop service to Fort Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach, Orlando-Sanford, and St. Petersburg/Clearwater.
Huntington is served by Amtrak's Cardinal Line. Trains to and from New York City and Chicago arrive and depart on Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday. The station is located at 1050 8th Ave.
- Greyhound has a station at the TTA Transit Center, 1251 4th Ave.
- Intelligent Transit, a regional bus service, offers daily service between Huntington and Charleston ($3 one-way).
- Tri-River Transit runs from Logan to the Huntington Mall in Barbousville; there, riders can transfer to a TTA bus for a ride to Downtown.
Despite its reputation as America's unhealthiest city, downtown Huntington is surprisingly walkable; both bus and train stations are downtown, along with two hotels and several services and attractions.
Motorists should understand that Huntington is bisected by railroad tracks. To go north-south or south-north, drivers must use underpasses or bridges. These are located at 1st, 8th, 10th, 16th, 20th, 29th, and 31st. Sts. Additionally, U.S. Route 60 splits into two east-to-west one-way streets (3rd and 5th Ave.)
- The Transit Authority, Phone: +1 304-529-RIDE. Buses generally run on the hour between 6AM and 6PM, though there is limited service available in the evening. TTA also runs along U.S. Route 60 to Barboursville and Milton.
- Yellow Cab, +1 304-529-7131. Fair warning: taxi service in Huntington is terrible. Rides dialed frequently take over an hour to arrive, especially late at night. Sometimes the drivers don't even show up. Keep this in mind while planning any travel in town.
- Downtown Huntington is reasonably flat and bicycle friendly. As part of their Old Main Corridor project, the city recently added bike lanes that run from 4th Ave. & 16th St. to Pullman Square. State law requires all riders wear helmets.
- With its several pubs, restaurants, and shops, the downtown area between Marshall University and the Civic Arena/Riverfront is ideal for walking. A walking tour map is available from the Herald-Dispatch.
- Downtown Huntington. Most of the Huntington's best shops, restaurants, and bars are located in the area north of the railroad tracks between the campus of Marshall University and the Civic Arena.
- Marshall University. Marshall University is a regionally-ranked public university. Founded in 1837, this institution takes its name from former Supreme Court Justice John Marshall. In 1970, Marshall University lost most of its football team in a tragic plane crash w:Southern Airways Flight 932.|The 2006 film We Are Marshall dramatizes this story and includes footage of areas around campus.
- Old Central City is the self-proclaimed "antiques capital of West Virginia." About ten antique stores line 14th St. West. There's also a farmers market, locally-owned cafe, and a gazebo that hosts occasional outdoor performances.
- Pullman Square is a redeveloped retail area designed to pay homage to Huntington's railroad past. With its benches, fountain, and nice landscaping, this area functions as Huntington's de-facto town square.
- The Keith Albee Theatre When it opened in 1928, the Keith Albee was the second-largest theater in the United States. It currently hosts off-Broadway shows and various performers, most notably those associated with the Marshall Artist Series.
- Huntington Museum of Art, 2033 McCoy Rd, ☎ +1 304 529-2701. Open from 10AM-9PM on Tuesday, 10AM-5PM Wednesday through Saturday, and 12PM-5PM on Sunday; closed Mondays. A 52-acre site featuring exhibits on glass, Appalachian folk art, 19th and 20th century American and European paintings, Middle Eastern art and Islamic prayer rugs, sculptures, and a large collection of flint firearms and carved powder horns.
- Heritage Farm Museum & Village,, 3300 Harvey Rd, ☎ +1 304 522-1244. 10AM-3PM, closed Sunday. A tour of this quirky, anachronistic attraction includes a guided tour through the Progress Museum and Transportation Museum (the latter of which includes a 1908 electric truck and a miniature steam engine exhibit) as well as a visit to the country store museum.
- The Museum of Radio & Technology,, 1640 Florence Ave, ☎ +1 304 525-8890. 10AM-4PM Sa, 1-4PM Su. 10AM-4PM F (summer only). This museum houses the largest collection of vintage radios in the U.S.A. Admission is free.
- J. Taylor's Auto Collection,, 1404 Washington Ave, ☎ +1 304 522-2864. Th 5-9PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. Housing several early Fords and Chevrolets, this car museum is a must for the vintage auto enthusiast. Admission is free.
- Gallery 842, 842 4th Ave. Tu-Sa, 12-7PM. Marshall University's Art Department operates this small commercial gallery.
- Touma Medical Museum, 9th St. This private museum houses fascinating and somewhat creepy medical artifacts, including a display case full of extracted teeth and a tonsil guillotine.
Parks and Gardens
- Harris Riverfront Park, off Veterans Memorial Boulevard and across from Pullman Square, is a pleasant city park that overlooks the Ohio River and offers a view of Huntington's signature suspension bridge.
- Ritter Park Located on Huntington's South Side, Ritter park has a walking track, short hiking trail, tennis courts, picnic tables, and an excellent playground. In the summer, the amphitheater hosts outdoor dramas. Ritter Park's rose garden boasts over a thousand roses.
- Rotary Park This 132-acre city park offers several miles of hiking trails as well as a challenging 36-hole disc golf course. There's also an observation tower, though the best views are found when the leaves fall from the trees.
- Memorial Park The highlight of this park is the Veterans Memorial Arch. The arch is illuminated by floodlights at night.
- Marshall Thundering Herd., toll-free: +1-800-THE-HERD (843-4373). The sports teams of Marshall University, competing in Conference USA, are a huge part of Huntington culture. Seeing the movie We Are Marshall before your trip may help you get an idea of the Herd's importance; the film, named after Marshall's signature cheer, is a slightly embellished retelling of the aftermath of the 1970 plane crash that killed the entire football team. A memorial fountain to the crash victims is located on the Marshall campus; every November 14 at 7:35PM, the time and date of the crash, the fountain is turned off and not restarted until spring. Most venues are on campus, with the most prominent being Joan C. Edwards Stadium (football) and the Cam Henderson Center (basketball), although the baseball team plays most of its home games 50 miles away in Charleston.\
- Skydive. +1 304 733-1240. WV Skydivers, located at Robert Newlon Airport about 10 miles from Huntington, offers the IAD 1st Jump Course w/ 1 jump for $200. Tandem skydives are also available for $240.
- Boat. Boaters can put in on the Ohio River in both Guyandotte and Harris Riverfront Park. Nearby Beech Fork State Park has a 700+ acre lake that is great for smaller craft; their marina offers rentals. +1 304 522-9374
- Bike.. Jeff's Bike Shop arranges and leads several rides throughout the week.
- Ride a Train. The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society organizes several train trips every year. Their most popular is the annual New River Gorge Scenic Train.
- Paint Pottery The Pottery Place lets you express yourself by painting your own design on one of their bisques. They fire the pottery and you pick it up several days later. +1 304 525-8777
Local musicians perform all over town several nights a week, though as of now there's no central database of shows. There are some regular performances.
- Pullman Square Summer Concert Series. Every Thursday evening during the summer, several hundred people descend on Pullman Square to enjoy live music, hot dogs, and beer.
- Live Bluegrass. Most Saturday nights, the Mountaineer Opry House in nearby Milton, WV hosts excellent local and national bluegrass acts in a smoke-and-alcohol-free venue.
- String Thing Thing Thursdays. Black Sheep Burritos and Brews hosts bluegrass, old-time, and acoustic every Thursday night from 9PM until late.
- Open Mic Night. Monday: Black Sheep Burritos and Brews. Tuesday: Shamrock's Pub. Wednesday: The V-Club.
Annual Events and Fairs
Huntington is home to numerous unique events and fairs held throughout the year.
|St. George Greek Festival||St. George Greek Orthodox Church 701 11th Ave. Huntington, WV 25701||September 24–26, 2010||A festival with Greek food, music, and dancing.|
|Chilifest||Downtown district – 4th Avenue and Plaza||September 15–17||State championship is held every year, with chili cooks coming from West Virginia and other states to compete for a berth in the national competition.|
|Tsubasacon||Big Sandy Superstore Arena||first full weekend in October; 2011 dates are October 7–9||An anime convention featuring guests, a game room, a vendor room, panels, and special events.|
|Guyandotte Civil War Days||Guyandotte, WV||Early-November||This festival features arts and crafts, food, and entertainment.|
|Guyandotte Heritage Days||November||This historic-themed festival features reenactment of the Confederate raid and the Union reprisal. It features period music, museums, 'living histories', and craft displays.|
|Hilltop Festival||Huntington Museum of Art||2nd weekend in September||This event offers entertainment, children's activities, a petting zoo, book fair, arts and crafts, and concessions.|
|X-Fest||Harris Riverfront Park||Within the first 3 weeks of September||Rock/alternative music concert that allows local bands to play with bigger bands.|
|Huntington Music & Arts Festival||Ritter Park Amphitheater||Last Saturday in August||Festival centered around local and regional music and visual artists|
|Huntington Dogwood Arts and Crafts Festival||Big Sandy Superstore Arena||April||This features the demonstration and sale of traditional arts and crafts plus specialty ethnic foods.|
|Jazz-MU-Tazz||Marshall University||June||A summer jazz festival, it is a weekend of music that features jazz cabarets, outdoor concerts, and numerous activities.|
|Lions Tri-State Arts & Crafts Festival||Big Sandy Superstore Arena||1st weekend in December||An old-fashioned arts and crafts fair that includes over 200 exhibitors featuring a variety of arts and crafts and homemade foods and sweets.|
|Old Central City Days||Central City district in West Huntington||3rd weekend in June||This event offers numerous entertainment and shopping options in addition to the existing stock of storefronts, historic tours, and various food vendors at the new farmers market "depot."|
|Pilot Club of Huntington's Antique Show and Sale||Big Sandy Superstore Arena||Last complete weekend in September.||An antique show and sale that features more than 40 dealers representing more than 10 states and West Virginia.|
|Ritter Park Days||Ritter Park||Weekends in July and August.||Features children-based activities and programs.|
|West Virginia Day Celebration||Downtown district – 9th Street Plaza||June 20||This features live entertainment, jugglers, food, crafts, and more.|
|St. Patrick's Day Celebration||Downtown Huntington||March 14||This features live entertainment by musical and dance groups appropriate for St. Patrick's Day.|
|West Virginia Hot Dog Festival||Pullman Square district – 3rd Avenue, downtown Huntington||Last Saturday in July||The WV Hot Dog Festival celebrates the unique hot dog variations of local/regional hot dogs|
- Old Central City on 14th St. West is home to several antique stores.
- Heritage Village,, 210 11th St. Is home to several locally owned shops, including the Red Caboose, a shop that specializes in goods made and developed by West Virginia artisans. A steam engine stands sentinel at the entrance.
- Pullman Square has an excellent shoe store called simply Heels. Chico's and Runway Couture also have stores here.
- Empire Books and News at Pullman Square has new and used books, along with an excellent selection of local-interest books.
- Huntington Mall, I-64 and Mall Rd (Exits 20A and 20B), ☎ +1 304-733-0492. in Barboursville. The largest mall in the state, the Huntington Mall features roughly 150 stores; anchors are Elder-Beerman, Dick's Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Macy's, Sears, and a Cinemark multiplex. The immediate area includes many other major "big box" stores, as well as the usual selection of fast food and chain restaurants.
- Scent from Heaven 3rd avenue above the Java Joint A hippie-inspired store that offers everything from clothing, handmade purses, and handmade incense to teas. A wide variety of homemade jewelry from not only the store's owner but also local artists. Paintings from local artists are also on display. Also some stuffed animals from the owner's childhood are on sale there.
- Happy Camper, 1323 4th Ave. Another hippie-inspired store that offers clothing, purses, jewelry, incense, candles, and "tobacco" smoking supplies.
- Farmers Markets are held everyday in late summer and fall at Old Central City and Wednesdays at Pullman Square.
- Blenko Glass, ☎ +1 304-743-9081, toll-free: +1-877-4BLENKO (253656). Fairground Road in Milton. Open 8AM-5PM Monday through Friday, 9AM-5PM on Saturday, and 12PM-5PM on Sunday; observation deck open 8AM-3:15PM Tuesday through Friday. Making handmade glass since 1921. The visitors' center features a factory outlet, a designers' corner, a museum and an observation deck from which visitors can observe the various steps in handcrafting glass.
- The Milton Flea Market WV's largest flea market is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, though Fridays can be a little quiet. Unique goods include ironware and crockery, livestock, leather products, Amish goods, local produce, and a primitives.
Huntington's food scene has improved significantly, with local chef-entrepreneurs opening several highly-rated restaurants. That said, hot dogs remain perennially popular.
- Hillbilly Hot Dogs, 6951 Ohio River Rd., Lesage; 1501 3rd Ave., Huntington. This quirky restaurant serves hotdogs topped with things like bacon, ground beef, sauteed onions, and more. Hillbilly Hot Dogs was recently featured on the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. If you have a choice, visit the original location in Lesage. Learn the weenie song for free ice cream.
- Frost Top Drive-In, 1449 Hal Greer Blvd. This hot dog drive-in is topped by the purported largest root beer mug in the world.
- Stewart's Hot Dogs, 2445 5th Av. Drive-in style hot dog restaurant in downtown Huntington.
- Rocco's Little Italy, 1345 4th Av, ☎ +1 304-529-2400. Very close to the University. Cheap little hole in the wall place with good food in a casual atmosphere.
- G.D. Ritzy's, 1335 Hal Greer Blvd, ☎ +1 304-523-7019. A greasy but wonderful burger place right on Hal Greer Blvd. in Downtown Huntington. Try the milkshakes.
- Taste of Asia' 821 3rd Ave. Upscale Chinese, Japanese, and Thai food. Hibachi and sushi bar seating is available here.
- The Thai House, 912 3rd Ave, ☎ +1 304 522-8898. Authentic Thai food served in one of the cleanest restaurants in town.
- Marshall Hall of Fame Cafe, 857 3rd Ave. Overpriced pub grub with a great selection of Marshall memorabilia.
- Jewel City Seafood, 1317 4th Av, ☎ +1 304-529-7961. An incredible selection of southern style seafood. Good service, quaint, nice.
- Fat Patty's, 1935 3rd Ave. Burgers with a wide variety of toppings.
- Carolina Barbecue, 833 6th Ave, ☎ +1 304 781-0009. Great smoked pork barbecue.
- Jim's Spaghetti House, 920 5th Ave, ☎ +1 304-696-9788. Jim's is an excellent choice for a nice family meal. Try to make it for strawberry pie week.
- Nawab Indian Cuisine, 600 4th Av, ☎ +1 304 525-8500. The lunch buffet is excellent.
- Buddy's All American BBQ, 3rd Ave. A wonderful place for bbq sandwiches, ribs and wings. Also a good selection of mixed drinks and beer. Thursday night is bike night.
- Huntington Prime, 910 4th Ave, ☎ +1 304 697-1113. This swank restaurant serves lunch and dinner in a 14th floor penthouse.
- Savannah's Restaurant and Bistro, 1208 6th Ave, ☎ +1 304 529-0919.
As a college town, Huntington has more than its share of bars and pubs, but this list only includes the more reputable establishments. As of 2010, all drinking establishments are smoke-free, though many offer outdoor areas for smokers. Most of the bars are located along 4th Ave.
- V-Club, 761 4th Ave. Arguably one of the best small-to-mid size live music venues in town, the V-Club has pool tables, booths, and good drink specials. Rock posters line the walls, and the party frequently spills over onto the outdoor patio.
- The Union, 1125 4th Ave. This pub and grill is a favorite student (and frat) hangout. Wednesday night is trivia night.
- Black Sheep Burritos and Brews,, 1555 3rd Ave. Has one of the best selections of draft beers in town.
- Shamrock's Pub,, 2050 3rd Ave. This rough-around-the-edges dive hosts lots of local music.
- Shoop's, 1205 4th Ave. This clean, wood-walled bar has several beers on tap, a small patio, and a decent selection of pub grub.
- Whiskey Rocks, 809 3rd Ave. Here be rednecks.
- St. Mark's, 932 4th Ave. Situated across from the Kieth Albee Theater, this quiet two-level dive has darts and vintage Pac Man.
- Davis' Place., 803 8th St. Recently remodeled, this cozy neighborhood pub serves beer and excellent hamburgers.
- Pullman Plaza Hotel Located at 1001 3rd Ave, the Pullman Plaza's guest rooms and suites boast 4 star quality and convenience. The upper floors offer a magnificent view of Huntington and the Ohio River. http://pullmanplaza.com/
- Day's Inn, 5196 US Route 60, ☎ +1 304-733-4477, fax: +1 304-733-4493. Clean, basic room for 2 (2 beds) for $56+ tax. Free, but SLOW, "High Speed Internet."
- Ramada Limited Huntington, 3140 16th Rd, ☎ +1 304 523-8308.
- Comfort Suites, US 52 South Point, Ohio. (Right across bridge from downtown Huntington. Exit 6 from 64.), ☎ +1 740-894-1700. Check-in: 3, check-out: 11. Brand new hotel, just across bridge from downtown Huntington! Located in South Point Ohio, will all suites, indoor pool, and full hot breakfast every morning. WIFI.
- Best Western. +1 304 736-9772 For the coupon rate of $62/night, you can get a clean room, high speed internet, and a continental breakfast.
- Beech Fork State Park. Only twenty minutes from Huntington, this fine state park offers plenty of tent and RV camping as well as cabins.
- Both the Coaches Inn and Huntington Inn are seedy and should be avoided.
Huntington has a moderate crime level, so general street smarts are advised. Dance club shootings are not uncommon, so avoid confrontations in those places. Harris Riverfront Park and Rotary Park should be avoided at night, unless you're with a large group.
Many homeless people can be found in Huntington and will often beg or panhandle. A common scam is a man asking for money for gas, with his family stuck at the station. Simply say no, even if they're persistent, they'll eventually leave you alone. Incidents of homeless people becoming aggressive or robbing people are rare.
- Point Pleasant, 45 minutes north on State Route 2, is home to an excellent River Museum, the WV State Farm Museum, the Mothman Museum, and hosts the annual Mothman Festival.
- World-class white water rafting, zip lining, and rock climbing are only two hours away in the New River Gorge area.
- Carter Caves is about half an hour away in Kentucky. Here spelunkers can explore the extensive cave systems.
- Hatfield and McCoy Trail System Over 500 miles of trails comprise the east's highest-rated ATV trail system.
|Routes through Huntington|
|Cincinnati ← Ashland ←||W E||→ Charleston → Washington, D.C.|
|Lexington ← Catlettsburg ←||W E||→ Hurricane → Charleston|
|Cincinnati ← Portsmouth ←||W S||→ Williamson → Bluefield|
|Lexington ← Catlettsburg ←||W E||→ Hurricane → Charleston|