Introduction to Morgantown, West Virginia
The West Virginia city of Morgantown is located in Monongalia County on the banks of the Monongahela River. It is situated along the Pennsylvania border and is the largest city in North-Central West Virginia. Nearby large cities include Fairmont (19 miles to the southwest), Clarksburg and Bridgeport (35 miles to the southwest), and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (75 miles to the north). Morgantown is served by two major interstate highways (I-79 and I-68), which intersect in the city.
Named for its founder Colonel Zackquill Morgan, Morgantown became part of the newly created state of West Virginia in 1863 when slave-free counties seceded from the state of Virginia. Incorporated as a city in 1901, Morgantown is home to West Virginia University, the largest institution of higher education in the state with an annual enrollment of more than 25,000 students. Morgantown is part of one of the major growth areas in the state of West Virginia. Monongalia County was the only north central county to experience population growth in the past 20 years, and was one of the fastest growing counties in the state during the 1990s. Today Morgantown is the medical, commercial, and cultural focal point of the region.
Things to do in Morgantown
The Greater Morgantown area offers indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. From the historic downtown area to the region's many recreational sites, there’s always something to do. A few of the local points of interest are the following:
- Core Arbotoreum: Features hiking trails with a varied array of wildlife species
- Big Bear Lake (Bruceton Mills): Recreational camping and outdoor activities
- Cheat Canyon: 13 miles of world-class white water
- Metropolitan Theatre: A former vaudeville house turned movie theater
- Morgantown Fun Factory: An indoor play center for families with young kids
- Cook-Hayman Pharmacy Museum: Replica of a turn-of-the-century West Virginia pharmacy
- Easton Roller Mill
- Monongalia Arts Center (MAC)
- Comer Museum
- Morgantown Glass Museum
- Valley Falls State Park (Fairmont)
- West Virginia Botanic Garden
Fans of Division I collegiate sports can catch games played by the athletic teams of West Virginia University's Mountaineers. The school is a member of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Big East Conference. The two major sports at the university are football (played at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium) and basketball (played at the West Virginia University Coliseum). The university's baseball program is also a strong one and many of the other Mountaineer sports have large followings as well.
Major league professional sports action can be found within a 90-minute drive to the city of Pittsburgh. Fans can watch Major League Baseball's Pittsburgh Pirates. The National Football League is represented by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the city's National Hockey League entry is the Pittsburgh Penguins. Other Pittsburgh professional teams include the Riverhounds of the United Soccer League and the Pittsburgh Xplosion of the Continental Basketball Association (CBL).