Located 30 minutes down the highway from Charleston and 40 minutes from Huntington, Hurricane is a strategically-located town in the heart of West Virginia.
Home to 6,500+ people and an alarming number of gas stations, Hurricane is pronounced like ‘hurr uh kinn’ – not hurricane.
Few Canadian tourists have driven through West Virginia, and fewer still have spent the night in Hurricane. I decided to change that.
Here are the must-see sights, attractions, and things to do in Hurricane, West Virginia.
1) Learn the Local History
Hurricane traces its history back over 200 years. Someone ran an inn in the Hurricane area in the early 1800s. Yes, Hurricane is older than Canada.
Hurricane later played a critical role in the American Civil War.
In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought a battle known as the Skirmish at Hurricane Bridge. Historians still debate how much the world may have changed if the battle had gone the other way.
After the Civil War, a railroad attracted tobacco farmers to the area. By 1889, Hurricane had been incorporated as a town. By the 1970s, Hurricane was a full-fledged West Virginia city.
That’s….about it for the history of Hurricane.
However, somebody did buy a winning lottery ticket at a gas station in the Hurricane area in the early 2000s, and it was such a big deal the winner got his own Wikipedia page.
2) Get Outdoors at Hurricane City Park or Meeks Mountain Trails
West Virginia is known more for its outdoor attractions than its cities. Hurricane has several outdoor attractions.
Featuring a random pond and a handful of trees, Hurricane City Park is known as the Central Park of Hurricane, West Virginia.
Like getting wet? Walk across the same parking lot to reach the aptly-named Hurricane Splash Grounds.
Want to hike? Don’t get in your car just yet! Stroll on over to Meeks Mountain Trails and explore the local hills and forests.
3) Discover the Six-Manual Hybrid Pipe Organ
Have you ever seen a six-manual hybrid pipe organ? Well, you’ve never seen one like this before.
Hurricane has a six-manual hybrid pipe organ with 456 stops. Organists from across North America visit Hurricane to play the organ. It’s a big deal in the organ community.
You can discover the organ for yourself at the Forrest Burdette Memorial United Methodist Church.
4) Sample the Local Cuisine
Gotta be honest. There isn’t much else to do in Hurricane, West Virginia.
According to TripAdvisor, the top-rated attraction in Hurricane is Books and Brews. Unfortunately, Books and Brews is permanently closed. That’s too bad, because books and beers are literally two of my favourite things.
After tiring yourself out at the outdoor attractions and the hybrid pipe organ, it’s time to grab a bite to eat.
In addition to an alarming number of fast food chains, Hurricane has plenty of local, family-run restaurants that deserve your business, including:
Fairways Bar and Grill: Locally owned and operated, Fairways opened in Hurricane 5 years ago. Today, they continue to offer daily specials, craft beer on tap, and even a tiki bar.
Whiskey Taco: Whiskey Taco is a locally-owned neighborhood taqueria that traces its roots back to Jalisco, Mexico. Despite the name, Whiskey Taco serves more than just tacos and whiskey.
HIRO Japanese Express: Located in the heart of downtown Hurricane, HIRO Japanese Express is a locally-owned Japanese restaurant offering everything from sushi to hibachi.
The Juice Box: Need fresh, cold-pressed juice in Hurricane? You can get it at The Juice Box.
Farley’s Famous Hot Dogs: Serving West Virginians since 1968, Farley’s Famous Hot Dogs sells exactly what you expect they would sell.
Bridge Café and Bistro: Bridge Café and Bistro is one of the nicest restaurants in Hurricane. They source food from small farms and producers in the area, offering a range of starters, entrees, sandwiches, salads, breakfasts, and even take-away meals.
5) Fill Up At a Local Gas Station
No matter what your favorite gas station brand is, you’ll find it in Hurricane.
I counted 9 gas stations in the city of Hurricane. I visited several of them in search of cold beer on my dark, rainy overnight stay in Hurricane.
The Marathon Gas off US-60 did not have cold beer. Instead, I drove to Sheetz. Located right next to Dunlap’s Gun & Pawn, Sheetz is the mecca for cold, late night beer in Hurricane. But maybe I’m biased because they sold Canadian beer.
6) Check Out a Local Fast Food Chain
If you like American fast food chains, then you’re in luck: Hurricane has a startling number of them.
Your possibilities are endless.
Get a pizza at Little Caesars or Pizza Hut.
Drive to Arby’s, McDonald’s, and Dairy Queen and have a pointless debate about which restaurant offers the best fries.
Feeling southern? Look for Tudor’s Biscuit World in the heart of town. They sell biscuits.
Other options include Taco Bell, Arby’s, and Dunkin’.
7) Stay at a Roadside Hotel
Hurricane and neighboring Teays Valley are home to several roadside hotels, all of which are basically the same.
For no reason in particular, we chose the Wingate by Wyndham in the heart of Hurricane. Located a stone’s throw from 17 different gas stations, a pawn and gun shop, and US-64, the Wingate by Wyndham was surprisingly nice and new inside – and they had a fantastic breakfast.
Other options include roadside hotels like the Sleep Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Red Roof Inn, and Hampton Inn, all of which will offer you a place to sleep in exchange for money.
8) Drive Down I-64, US60, or WV-34
You’ve seen the best of Hurricane. Now, it’s time to leave.
You have three options for leaving Hurricane:
- Drive down I-64 towards Charleston (to the east) or Huntington (to the west)
- Drive down US-60 and take the back road to Charleston
- Drive down WV-34 and see God knows what
Take your pick!
Final Word: Is Hurricane Worth Visiting?
Ever since reading Rocket Boys as a kid, I’ve been weirdly into small towns in West Virginia.
Maybe it’s because they remind me of my small, mountain hometown of Trail, British Columbia.
Hurricane isn’t packed with attractions.
However, if you’re driving from Louisville to Raleigh and get caught in a storm halfway, then Hurricane is certainly one place you can stop.