Morgantown, W. Va.

Baltimore Sun reporter

Go here: Morgantown, West Virginia, is a college town that gets high marks for its pleasant atmosphere and easy access to the great outdoors. The small town is home to about roughly 70,000 residents, many of whom attend West Virginia University. With lots of history and open outdoors there is plenty to do in this small town located in the northern region of the state near Pennsylvania. Kick off your driving shoes and enjoy some of the many places to go hiking, bike riding, swimming and more.

Stay here: You can rest your head and enjoy the outdoors in one of the cabins at Big Bear Lake, a popular destination with plenty to do and see. The cabins and hotels by the lake offer a fun place to stay with swimming, fishing and rafting nearby. There are also almost 25 miles of trails for hiking, cycling or mountain biking. Included is a basketball court and a golf course for those who like to practice their swing. The starting price for a cabin is around $44 per night, making it a perfect catch for the wallet and for the many activities within walking distance from your lodging.

Eat here: Enjoy a meal at the restaurant Blear Bear Burrito. The restaurant features burritos and several ethnic dishes to satisfy curious appetites. On the menu are foods from Japan, Jamaica, Latin America, and more. Vegetarians don't feel left out. They include tofu and other vegetarian options on the menu. You can even create your own burrito and build your nachos, quesadillas or salad. Free entertainment by local artists is included.

Don't miss this: Visit the town of Arthurdale, affectionately called "Eleanor's Little Village" after Eleanor Roosevelt, and capture the essence of a 1930s city and era. This was the country's first town under the New Deal Homestead legislation created by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The town was home to many displaced minors and workers. This historic landmark still has 160 of the 165 homesteads. Included is a museum that exhibits paintings that depict the town's history.

Take a historical kayak tour on the peaceful Monongahela River, or visit Cheat Lake, which offers pontoon, canoe and power boat rentals.

Get there: By car, Morgantown is about a 225-mile drive from Baltimore. Take I-695 to I-70 W via exit 16A then merge onto I-68 W.

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