By: Jessica Bello
Trying to experience everything Morgantown has to offer in a weekend is like trying to backpack Asia in three days. When people think of West Virginia University, they think of the “Imshmacked videos” of people jumping off buildings and smashing beer cans on their heads. While there is a lot of that, there is so much more.
Our party reputation stands true, but what those videos don’t show is the amazing look out from the top of High Street or all the unique shops downtown has to offer. Here at WVU, our weekends start on Thursdays and don’t end until Sunday night.
After driving through the mountains and hills of West Virginia, you’ll arrive at the hidden gem of WVU in Morgantown, a little town placed in the Appalachian Mountains. On arrival, you can grab food at the Mountainlair, which is filled with students, or you can head downtown to Morgantown favorites like Tailpipes or Lotsa Motza.
After eating is when the drinking begins. Every fridge in Morgantown is stocked with Natty Lite—we crack them open, sit on our porches, watch the sunset and talk to anyone who walks by. When the sun goes down and you’re warm inside from all the beer is when the night begins.
Thursdays nights are dedicated mainly to clubs and are full of drink specials. My favorite club, Lux, is usually rented out by some fraternity, so I head there to get cheap drinks and dance to classics. Other popular clubs are Whisper, Annex and Bent Willeys. Around 1:30 a.m., people stumble out of the club with all the new friends they made that night, and they head to a hot dog stand for a $2 hotdog or to Sandwich U before passing out.
Friday mornings may be rough, but it is necessary to get up and make it to class. After class, all the hungover students head to the library to knock out all the work for the weekend so we can keep the fun going until Sunday with no worries.
After the work is done, it’s time to head downtown to check out all the cool shops Morgantown has to offer. There is such a wide variety of places, from classic antique shops to classy boutiques. There are lots of healthy options downtown if you want to get away from the greasy dorm or Mountainlair food.
On Pleasant Street, there is Black Bear, a Mexican restaurant that offers all-farm fresh meat. There is also co-op, which is an organic market with tons of clean eating options. If shopping at the boutique isn’t your style, there’s a Salvation Army store with used clothes or the Morgantown Mall on the other side of town.
After a day of shopping, eating and restoring our bodies, the night starts all over. Friday nights in Morgantown are filled with any types of parties you can imagine, such as house parties, frat parties, apartment parties, small parties and big parties—everyone opens their doors and welcomes all. If parties aren’t your scene, you can head downtown to bars like Jo Mamas or Fat Daddy’s, which are always offering live bands and drink specials. If you’re 18, you can head to Annex, one of many 18+ clubs, and dance to a live DJ. If you are 21, Annex offers $5 pitchers every Friday night.
If you thought Thursday and Friday were draining, Saturdays are the days that will drain your battery. As soon as you wake up Saturday morning, you can hear all of Frat Row blaring their music and jumping on their porches to begin a day of drinking.
During football season, the music will start as early as 8 a.m., and everyone will stumble to the PRT (Personal Rapid Transport) and travel to the stadium to start the tailgates. During the offseason, the fraternities usually throw massive “day drinks”—everyone joins together by standing on the porches of frats or houses overlooking Morgantown and sings “Country Roads” as one big family. There is no other time where you’ll see the love we as WVU students have for one another like on a Saturday tailgate, whether for a football game or a day drink.
All of High Street will be covered with people going from fraternity to fraternity, drinking whatever the frats have to offer that day. Day drinks start at noon and don’t end until 7 p.m. Afterwards, it’s like Friday night all over again, with a wide range of parties pouring from every house and fraternity. There are also places like Mainstage or 123 Club, which host live bands and DJs if you’re into the music scene.
Sunday mornings are a little more relaxed than Saturday mornings, but they still have just as much potential. On warm days, you can head over to Coopers Rock and hike to an unimaginable view that really gives you an idea of how beautiful West Virginia is, or you can head to Arden Falls and enjoy day drinks and swimming. When there is snowfall in the winter, you can expect to see streets packed with people drinking and sledding down steep hills. Once Sunday comes around, you’ll be glad that you have a three-day break before the next weekend begins.
Morgantown is a place with an unimaginable community of people that are so much more than just students who attend the university—it is our home, and our fellow students are our family.