There is nothing quite like the fun of taking a tour at your pace. You can stop and explore without worrying about keeping to a strict guide’s schedule.
The self-guided tours of the city let you explore the area for as long or as little as you would like. Many of these self-guided tours are done on foot, which not only gets you out to explore the mild temperatures but gets some much-needed sun at the same time.
Most Popular Self-Guided Tours of the Area
There are three self-guided tours that visitors and residents all should explore.
1.Julia-Ann Historic District Walking Tour
Enjoy a relaxing walking tour of the downtown region of Parkersburg, including the historic district known as the Julia-Ann District.
Here you will find public homes that have been preserved, but not open for tours. There are some historical sites and homes available for tours, which are indicated by signs.
The tour starts and ends at the CVB office on this history-packed tour, and takes you along sights like:
- St. Francis Xavier Church
- Civil War Hospital
- Blennerhassett Hotel
- Wood County Court House
- US Treasury Department Bureau of Public Debt
- Fort Boreman Hill
- Blennerhassett Museum
- Parkersburg Floodwall
- Point Park
- Blennerhassett Island
- Oil and Gas Museum
- Albright-Bradley Building
- Neale-Tebay House
- US Post Office
- Trinity Episcopal Church Complex
- Smoot Theater
- Ohio River Railroad Bridge
2. Four-County Historic Driving Tour
If you want to spend an afternoon driving to some of the most historic sites in the region, then you will want to enjoy one of the four county historical driving tours.
- Wirt County Historical Driving Tour – Explore everything from the West Virginia Historic Highway Marker, Wirt County Courthouse, Beauchamp-Newman Museum, and Kanawha Hotel.
- Calhoun County Historical Driving Tour – Formed in 1856 as part of Gilmer County, this route was named after the John C. Calhoun family and includes sights like Calhoun County Courthouse, Ritchie County Courthouse, Berdine’s & Dime, General Thomas M. Harris School Museum, and North Bend State Park.
- Old Turnpikes Tour – Enjoy the historic turnpikes of the area including the Pennsboro B&O Railroad Depot, North Bend Rail Trail, and Davis Studio Glass.
3. Southern Ohio River Driving Tour
Another driving tour that takes you from Parkersburg into Ravenswood. You can enjoy sights along the way like:
- Washington’s Lands Museum and the Sayre Log House
- Fort Randolph in Point Pleasant
- Tu-Endie-Wei State Park
- Mansion House
- Point Pleasant River Museum
- West Virginia State Farm Museum
- John Gee Black Historical Center
- The French Art Colony
- Our House Museum
- Bob Evans Farm
- Buffington Island State Memorial
- Ohio’s Smallest Church
- Circular Tours for Easier Guidance
What makes these walking and driving tours great is that they are circular. You start in a zone and move your way through, but always end where you started. By doing so, you do not have to worry about backtracking or missing anything along the way. Furthermore, the Greater Parkersburg Convention and Visitors Bureau arranged it this way to ensure that all historical sights are located. Parkersburg has many fine places to eat and shop as well as local businesses including accountants, bankers, real estate agents, and attorneys. A visit to Parkersburg will provide you with a full day of fun and recreation!