About the Mid-Ohio Valley
About 20 minutes south of Marietta sits the city of Parkersburg, West Virginia, which along with Marietta and Vienna WV make up the Mid-Ohio Valley. Whether you want to do some shopping or take in a movie at the Grand Central Mall, enjoy find food and listen to live Jazz at the Blennerhasset Hotel, or go hiking, biking and camping at North Bend State Park, there are a plethora of things to do in Parkersburg and the surrounding area.
The MOV also has it's own regional airport located just outside of Williamstown, with daily non-stop service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
According to archaeologists, people have lived in the fertile Mid-Ohio Valley for 11,000 years or more. Here, beside the wide, life-giving Ohio River, passionate human dramas have run their courses.
Among the most fascinating of true tales is the saga of Harman and Margaret Blennerhassett. The couple—uncle and niece—created a scandal in Ireland, then fled to the "wilds" of America in 1796, eventually settling on the island that now bears their name. From Parkersburg, the hub of this region, you can take a scenic riverboat ride to the island, tour the couple’s mansion and learn their story of romance, treason and tragedy at Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park.
America’s first oil boom, beginning in 1859, made Parkersburg a bustling commercial center and created oil and gas tycoons who influenced America’s history. The city’s Oil and Gas Museum will introduce you to them. The rich barons often gathered at Blennerhassett Hotel, where the carefully renovated décor preserves an aura of turn-of-the-century grandeur, and that feeling is further enhanced by the recent addition of extensive, plush new amenities. Linger in that gracious era by strolling through Parkersburg’s Julia-Ann Historic Square District. Parkersburg prizes its cultural life, supporting a fine visual arts center, handicraft galleries, a theater company, a symphony orchestra and a restored 1926 vaudeville house.
Lovers of crafts and antiques will find plenty to see between Parkersburg and its neighbor, Williamstown, the home of Fenton Art Glass. In Vienna, between the two towns, Holl’s Swiss Chocolatier creates fresh confections in small batches daily. Near the town of Ripley, the venerable multi-day Mountain State Art and Craft Fair takes place each Fourth of July holiday at Cedar Lakes Conference Center. The center is also the setting for a seasonal schedule of craft classes, including popular quilting retreats. Small towns dot the entire region, each with its own enticements. You can relax in a rocking chair and sip sarsaparilla at century-old R.C. Marshall Hardware in Cairo, or spend your whole allowance on penny candy at Berdine’s 5 and Dime in Harrisville. Visit glass outlets in Ellenboro, tour an 1840 log house in Ravenswood and whoop it up for walnuts at Spencer’s annual Black Walnut Festival.
The goodness of this place is outdoors, too. The North Bend Rail Trail, which begins near Parkersburg, stretches 72 miles, almost to Clarksburg. You can hike, bike or ride your horse. Along the way, North Bend State Park offers a comfortable lodge and cozy cabins. The Little Kanawha Parkway, a West Virginia Byway, follows the Little Kanawha River through farmland and forest—and offers excellent access to fishing, hunting and hiking venues. Dozens of other streams, lakes and wildlife management areas make the Mid-Ohio Valley a land of bounty for hunters and anglers. Watchers of wildlife can explore the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Golfers can enjoy a number of fine public courses here, and motorsports enthusiasts will want to visit one of several speedways in the region.
Festivals in the Mid-Ohio Valley celebrate cultural diversity, crafts and food. Join in. Come bask in the warmth of this good and graceful place.
Ever have the urge to make a quilt, a stained-glass window or a basket? Try your hand at these and other traditional and contemporary crafts during weeklong and weekend workshops at Cedar Lakes Conference Center near Ripley. The center also hosts craft workshops for some 300 Elderhostel students each year. And Fenton Art Glass in Williamstown is one of the world’s foremost producers of handmade art glass, and its factory tour has been ranked among the country’s Top 10 by USA Today.
-- from WVTourism.com