For our November issue, we decided to explore this quiet West Virginia college town, home to quirky specialty shops and artisan outposts. See the best shops to pop in, and where to take a quick break.
1. Appalachian Gallery Drive down Walnut Street to the historic SandCastle building, a Gothic structure that houses goods made from nearly 100 West Virginia artists and crafters. The gallery and frame shop sells hand-blown Blenko glassware, ceramics by potters including Brian VanNostrand, and wooden serving utensils.
2. Garcia's Latin Market Part retail space and part taqueria, this market brings Latin flair downtown. Guatemalan satchels and hand-painted Spanish plates are sold alongside Garcia's homemade Indian-corn tortilla chips, salsas, and chiles.
3. Tanner's Alley Leather Design Studio Leather craftsman Charles McEwuen stitches handsome handbags and work satchels made from alligator hides sourced from across the Southeast. You'll also find fly reel cases and belt buckles crafted by the shop's shoe-repair expert.
4. Park & Madison Boutique Head to this shop for flowy Gypsy05 dresses and AG jeans. A small but well-curated men's department offers high-end denim from Citizens of Humanity, and in the adjoining Paper Doll Boutique, you can shop for darling pieces for youngsters.
5. Antiques Walk When this building housed the Seneca Glass Company factory, skilled artisans manufactured glassware and etched lead crystal by hand for nearly a century. Today, this store carries on the factory's legacy with its selection of glass in a dazzling spectrum of colors. The shop also carries pieces by Morgantown Glass Works, as well as Depression-era Vaseline glass, vintage Fiesta dinnerware, old ice-cream parlor stools, and vintage jewelry caskets.
6. The Tea Shoppe Chock-full of more than 120 loose-leaf teas from around the globe, this specialty food store has something to suit every taste. Gift seekers can pick up locally sourced jams, honeys, and tea accessories such as cast-iron pots, porcelain cups, and kettles.
Shopping Break! Hidden in an industrial park north of downtown, Terra Cafe serves baked-from-scratch goods, such as baguettes and famous West Virginia pepperoni rolls. For dinner, sample a flight of Mountain State Brewing Co. craft beers, paired with a wood-fired pizza.