Travel Nurse Assignments: Live Like a Local – Morgantown, WV!
Welcome to Morgantown, WV! Located in the heart of Appalachia, Morgantown is a small town with a tight knit community, and a big personality. West Virginia University (WVU) was founded here in 1867, and has grown into one of the largest universities in the country. With an enrollment of just under 30,000 students, the city population swells when classes are in session. Morgantown is consistently ranked among the best college towns in America, due to their successful collegiate programs, and an abundance of outdoor and recreational activities. Add a vibrant downtown area, and ease access to major cities, and it’s a easy to see why Morgantown is such a great place to live like a local!
West Virginia University is the main attraction in Morgantown, and gives the town a unique flavor. Explore the three campuses using the Personal Rapid Transit System (PRT), which also connects the university to Morgantown’s downtown area.
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The Mountaineers are WVU’s mascot, and their sports teams compete in the Big 12 with other big schools like the universities of Kansas and Oklahoma. Football is the big sport in the fall, and baseball in the summer, but during the winter/spring, WVU’s Men’s and Women’s basketball dominates the university. The teams play their home games in the WVU coliseum, and the men’s team made the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2018.
If you’re an active person, grab your trail running shoes, and explore the Core Arboretum adjacent to campus. With 91 acres of trails and endemic nature, it’s a great place to get some exercise or decompress. You can walk the Caperton Trail from the arboretum, all the way to downtown Morgantown. The trail connects to other walking trails in the area, that take you through the scenic Appalachian countryside, and lead all the way to the Pennsylvania border!
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If you’re not a sporting person, don’t fret. The WVU Art Museum opened in 2015, and houses two exhibit galleries with thousands of different art pieces from both classic and contemporary artists. Or, see a star show at the WVU Tomchin Planetarium and Observatory.
Morgantown is famous for their outdoor recreation. The climate transitions between a humid subtropical and continental climate, meaning hot and humid summers, and cold snowy winters. This variable climate makes a wide variety of outdoor activities possible. There are two ski resorts within a couple hours drive of Morgantown.
In the spring, white-water rafting is very popular with locals and tourists alike. Cheat River Outfitters is about 45 min. from Morgantown, and leads river-rafting expeditions down the Cheat River and through Cheat Canyon. As the weather starts to warm up, get out and explore the numerous state parks near Morgantown. Babcock State Park is popular for it’s hiking trails, as well as the picturesque Grist Mill. Cathedral State Park is known for it’s old-growth Hemlock forest, which has been designated as a national natural landmark. Coopers Rock State Forest is just a 20 min drive from Morgantown, and offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
When you’ve had enough nature, head into town to get a taste of Morgantown’s nightlife. The Iron Horse Tavern is a Morgantown staple, known for their delicious bar food and cocktails. Or, try the swanky Tin 202 for hand crafted cocktails and American tapas. There are several great establishments near the university as well. Mario’s Fishbowl Bar and Grill on University Ave is known for their goblets of beer and eclectic pub menu. Or, try The Wine Bar and Vitner Valley, just down the street from the university hospital, for fine wine and Italian cuisine.
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Whatever tickles your fancy, Morgantown has something for everyone and it’s clear why it’s so easy to live like a local here. The cost of living is cheap with the average home price around $188,000, and it’s a great city to meet other professionals. Pittsburgh, PA, a major metropolitan center with an international airport, is only an hour away. So what are you waiting for? Experience all that Morgantown has to offer today!