Written by Aaron-Michael Fox.

Welcome to downtown Huntington, West Virginia!

Whether you’re planning a trip for the first time, or you’re a regular visitor of the city, the downtown Huntington neighborhood is an everchanging place. With the rising popularity of the New River Gorge National Park two hours to the southeast, summer 2024 is already looking to be one of Huntington’s hottest tourism seasons to date.

Below is an overview of what you’ll want to see while you’re here.

Pullman Square

The hub of life in downtown Huntington is Pullman Square. Located on Third Avenue between 8th and 10thStreets, the square opened in 2005 on the formerly vacant “Superblock.” Pullman Square is an urban lifestyle center that features a multiplex movie theater as well as a number of shops and restaurants.

Pullman Square is a perfect spot to peruse the selection at Game Stop or the Inner Geek bookstore, play a game at the Old North Arcade, make a personalized plate at the Pottery Place, or grab a coffee at Starbucks. Be sure to take some time to check out the “Artisan Express” painted trains located around the square and; when hunger strikes, pick up a specialty taco from Black Sheep Burritos & Brews, some wings from Rooster’s, or a Detroit-style pizza from Square Slice.

Thursday nights feature the “Pullman Square Summer Concert Series.” On the 3rd Wednesday of each month, you can catch live stand-up comedy at Black Sheep and; on the 3rd Friday of the month, you can take in Huntington’s Downtown Art Walk between Pullman and Heritage Station.

Heritage Station

The Heritage Station shopping center is located at the corner of 11th Street and Veterans Memorial Boulevard in the old Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Depot. The depot was repurposed into a retail station in the 1970s, and it really took off as a destination when the Greater Huntington Parks & Recreation District turned it into a business incubator circa 2010.

The Huntington Area Convention & Visitor’s Bureau made Heritage Station the home of their Huntington Welcome Center and Red Caboose Gift Shop around that same time and breathed new life into the station. Be sure to check out more than a dozen locally owned artisan shops including the Nomada bakery and coffee shop, Gumbo Stop Cafe, the Taps at Heritage craft beer bar, and BDY yoga and fitness studio, among others.

Regular events at Heritage Station include concerts, outdoor movie nights, festivals, yoga retreats and more. Follow the Shops at Heritage Station for updates.

Harris Riverfront Park

Nestled along the banks of the mighty Ohio River is Harris Riverfront Park, opened in 1985. Paved trails at Riverfront Park offer serene views of the Ohio River and passing riverboat traffic. Ample benches and greenspace make the park ideal for a leisurely stroll or a family picnic. Look for the wildlife education markers and festive exercise equipment along the trails.

The park features an active skate park, a river-facing amphitheater, a boat launch ramp, and a large field that is often host to summer concerts and festivals.  Festivals currently scheduled for summer 2024 at Riverfront Park include Taco Fest on May 18, Dawg Dazzle July 3, Rails & Ales craft beer festival August 10, and Rib Fest Sept. 5-8.

The Market

The Market on Third Avenue across from the Delta by Marriott hotel is one of downtown Huntington’s newest lifestyle centers. The Market is an indoor market/food hall featuring an eclectic mix of stores, shops, and restaurants.

The Market is comprised of three separate structures: on the corner at 8th Street is the old Huntington Theatre Building that is now home to Crisppi’s Chicken, Gyro King, and The Lost Escape Room on the ground floor with offices above.

Next door is the Market itself, which is an open-concept shopping and restaurant center. The ground floor features several restaurants and shops in addition to local favorite Austin’s Ice Cream. The mezzanine features a Mexican fusion restaurant.

Outside to the east is the open-air patio area of The Market which features weekly outdoor concerts all summer on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Marshall Health Network Arena

Originally known as the Huntington Civic Arena, the Marshall Health Network Arena sits on a five-acre tract overlooking the Ohio River at the corner of 8th Street and 3rd Avenue. It features a 7,500-seat multi-purpose arena with an attached conference center.

The arena hosts numerous concerts, family shows, trade shows, and regional/state athletic competitions year-round. The Convention Center has over 15,000 square feet of flexible space for meetings. The Marshall Health Network Arena will host the 2024 Huntington Comic & Toy Convention August 10-11 in the arena and convention center.

Ritter Park

Located on a tract of land in the South Side neighborhood that was originally slated to be the site of a city incinerator, Ritter Park is the crown jewel of the Huntington Parks System and features a walking trail, rose garden, award-winning playground, amphitheater, dog park, and tennis courts.

In 2012, Ritter Park was named one of America’s “10 Great Public Spaces” by the American Planning Commission. The association singled out the park for its design, recreational and cultural amenities, and its integration into a national historic district with homes that represent some of the most popular architectural styles from 1913-1940.

Make sure to venture up the hill to the award-winning Ritter Park Rose Garden which showcases more than 3,000 rose plants!

Marshall University

No visit to Huntington is complete without a trip to the campus of Marshall University, which is changing and growing by the day. Depending on when you went to college, if you haven’t visited the MU campus for a few years, prepare to be wowed by the changes.

Visitors this summer will notice the absence of Laidley Hall, which is in the process of being replaced by a new greenspace. In addition, the College Ave Apartments on 4th Avenue at Hal Greer Boulevard have also been demolished to make room for MU’s new Cyber Security Institute.

If you’ve never been to Huntington before, it is a must that you stop by the Memorial Fountain on the Student Center Plaza to honor the lives lost in the devastating 1970 plane crash. The tragedy and rebuilding were fictionalized in the 2006 Warner Bros. motion picture “We Are Marshall” and you can spot many filming locations around campus.

Outside Downtown:

Huntington Museum of Art

The Huntington Museum of Art is a nationally accredited art museum located in the Park Hills neighborhood above Ritter Park. Housed on over 50 acres and occupying almost 60,000 square feet, it is the largest art museum in the state of West Virginia.

The museum’s campus is home to nature trails and the C. Fred Edwards Conservatory, a subtropical and tropical plant conservatory. The museum’s collection includes American and European paintings, sculptures, prints, and drawings, as well as glass pieces manufactured in West Virginia and the Ohio Valley, American folk art, Chinese and Japanese decorative objects, Haitian art, firearms, and decorative arts from the Near East.

In addition to its permanent collections, the museum hosts traveling exhibitions and houses the James D. Francis Art Research Library, the Grace Rardin Doherty Auditorium, and five art studios where artists in residence are periodically hosted and classes are held. The Huntington Museum of Art has one of the largest collections of art in the state of West Virginia.

Camden Park

Established in 1903 as a picnic spot by the Camden Interstate Railway Company, Camden Park is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world and one of only thirteen “trolley parks” that remain open in the United States today. Whereas most trolley parks were located at the end of trolley lines, Camden Park is unusual in that it was built where riders traveling between Huntington and nearby cities would stop to change trolley lines.

Now a stand-alone park that has outlived the trolley days, Camden Park is West Virginia’s only amusement park. The park is home to more than 30 rides and attractions, including a full-size traditional wooden rollercoaster—the Big Dipper—and several other vintage rides. Video game fans will recognize several scenes from the fictional version of Camden Park in “Fallout 76.” Weekends at the park open for the 2024 season on May 4.

Heritage Farm Museum & Village

Immerse yourself in Appalachia’s past at Heritage Farm Museum & Village located just to the southwest of Huntington in Wayne County. Featured on numerous national media outlets, the farm engrosses visitors in the history of Appalachian life. The complex features 15 log structures and seven award-winning open spaces.

Perfect for visitors of all ages who would like a deeper understanding of the roots of West Virginia’s culture. Kids can enjoy Heritage Farm’s outdoor playground, wagon rides, train, and petting zoo. Animals in the petting zoo include chickens, opossums, pigs, goats, turtles, and llamas. Artisans around the property also demonstrate their pioneer-era trades.

Downtown Restaurants:

Chick-Fil-A (campus)
Crisppi’s Chicken
Davis’ Place
Dunkin (campus)
East Flavor
Firehouse Subs (campus)
Fuel Counter

Rocco’s Little Italy
Rooster’s
Sip Downtown Brasserie

 

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