Things to Do in Wheeling, West Virginia

Wheeling is a city located in the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia. This city is a central transportation hub of the region. The city is also a center of culture, arts, and history. During the 19th century, Wheeling was a major port and shipping center. In addition, it was a center for the National Railroad, B&O Railroad, and the glass industry.

Things to Do in Wheeling, West Virginia

If you’re looking for something fun while visiting Wheeling, West Virginia, you’ll find plenty of exciting things to do. You can see the Oglebay Good Zoo, check out the Heritage Port, or spend some time at Wheeling Park.

Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold

Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold is a place of worship for devotees of the Hare Krishna movement. Members of the International Society built the palace for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

Prabhupada came to America in 1965 and stayed in this palace until he died in 1977. He was buried in Vrindavan, India. His Palace of Gold was a tribute to his memory and his teachings.

Prabhupada's Palace of Gold
Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold

It is a symbol of the spiritual movement that he started. Followers of the Hare Krishna movement still revere Prabhupada. A lot of money was invested in the construction of the palace. In all, about $600,000 was spent.

Prabhupada’s Palace was intended to be a home for him during his twilight years. When he died, the residents of New Vrindaban decided to turn the house into a memorial.

Heritage Port

Wheeling, West Virginia, has a lot of things going for it. The Ohio River framed the city in the early days and was the lifeblood of its industrial heyday. However, Wheeling was disconnected from the river by flood protection infrastructure. Now, the river is reconnected through the magic of public works.

Rib Cook-Off - Heritage Port - Wheeling, WV
Rib Cook-Off – Heritage Port – Wheeling, WV

The best way to enjoy the river is from a vantage point at Heritage Port. This waterfront park boasts some of the most striking views of the Ohio River in the state. It also features grand decor, many educational exhibits, and a boating and water sports program. Aside from its obvious waterfront appeal, the park is home to the Capitol Theatre.

While the park is a haven for tourists, it’s also home to locals looking to reconnect with the past. Several historical buildings, including the former Wheeling Stamping Company building, were transformed into offices for the international law firm Orrick, Herrington, and Sutcliffe. In addition to its role as a commercial property, the building was a catalyst for the city’s revitalization.

Oglebay Good Zoo

The Oglebay Good Zoo in Wheeling, West Virginia, has several exciting and unusual animals. In addition, they offer various programs for children and adults of all ages.

Located within the Oglebay Resort, the Good Zoo offers guests the opportunity to meet and feed animals. Aside from the indoor area, they also have some impressive outdoor exhibits.

Oglebay Good Zoo
Oglebay Good Zoo

One of the most popular exhibits is the Lorikeet Landing, where you can interact with friendly parrots. There are also small monkeys, meerkats, and reptiles to see.

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Another exciting feature is the Benedum Theater, which provides seasonal programming for kids of all ages. Kids can also help train the animals. In addition to the usual animal encounters, the Good Zoo has also incorporated an innovative raptor rehabilitation program. This program has been successful in rescuing some raptors.

Wheeling Park

Wheeling Park is a 406-acre park that offers recreation to the community. The park has an outdoor pool, miniature golf course, boathouse, playground, picnic area, and splash area for children. In addition, there are indoor tennis courts, an arcade, and a banquet hall.

Best places to visit in Wheeling, West Virginia

Known initially as Hornbrook’s Park, Wheeling Park opened its doors to the public in 1925. Before this time, the park was a private recreation center. Thomas Hornbrook owned it. He intended to divide the property into residential lots. In 1924, retailer-philanthropist W.E. Stone placed control of the park in a non-partisan commission.

In the late 1800s, Wheeling Park had a swimming pool and a casino. Two roller coasters also ran at the park. A third, a racing track, was added in the early 1990s.

Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum

The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling is a family-friendly place to spend an afternoon. The museum has many exhibits and a lovely gift shop. Touted as the West Virginia state’s first toy museum, the institution is worthy of a visit.

Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum
Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum

Although the museum is on the small side, it’s worth the drive, especially since it is a short jaunt from Pittsburgh. As the name suggests, the museum is located in a former school building, a restored one. You’ll find a plethora of toy-oriented exhibits in the museum’s main hall. On the other hand, the museum’s lesser-used basement floor houses an old-school art gallery with a nice collection of vintage artifacts.

Despite its small size, the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum has many enlightening exhibits. One of the exhibits, for example, is a scale model of downtown Wheeling. It also features an Ohio Valley room with a nifty one-of-a-kind model train set.

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