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The Morgantown Relocation Guide

Cityscape view of Morgantown WV

Morgantown is a bustling college town, burgeoning tech hub, and great small city with culture, entertainment, dining, and outdoor recreation. Whether you are a young professional looking for a lower cost of living, a family looking for a slower pace of life, or a retiree in search of great healthcare and other amenities, Morgantown is a great place to call home. There’s a reason that West Virginia is known as “Almost Heaven.”

If you’re considering a relocation to Morgantown in North Central West Virginia, this guide will help you navigate buying a house in Morgantown and other aspects of moving to Morgantown.

Historical Information/Landmarks/Major Attractions 

Settled in 1772, Morgantown has a rich history and a “wild and wonderful” present.

  • Woodburn Circle: Part of WVU’s downtown campus, this landmark is actually a quadrangle around an oval path. Woodburn Circle encompasses three historic and architecturally distinct buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The WVU Coliseum: Home to several WVU athletic teams include men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball and wrestling, The Coliseum is a striking landmark on the Evansdale Campus. Recently renovated in 2016, it’s one of the best places to watch college basketball in the country.
  • WVU Football: Cheer for the Mountaineers, the 20th Winningest College Football Program, on Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.
  • Downtown Morgantown and the Historic Wharf District: Enjoy dining, shopping, and entertainment in the city’s historic downtown area. This neighborhood is also home to many professional companies providing employment and various services to residences. 
  • Erickson Alumni Center: The headquarters of the WVU Alumni Association and a beautiful event space where you can have your wedding, host a baby shower, and more. 
  • The Don Knotts Statue: Born and raised in Morgantown, comedic genius Don Knotts is a Hometown Hero celebrated with this statue in front of the Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown.

Settled in 1772, Morgantown has a rich history and a wild and wonderful present - historical building on WVU campus

Parks and Recreation

West Virginia’s natural beauty is unparalleled. Experience hiking, lakes, and rivers, and more for yourself. 

  • Coopers Rock: A half hour’s drive from Morgantown, this state park offers beautiful views from canyon overlooks, hiking and biking trails, sandstone cliffs for climbing and bouldering, a lake where you can fish, and more.
  • Cheat Lake: Located just outside Morgantown, Cheat Lake offers swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities as well as dining and drinking on the lake and hiking in the forest next to the lake.
  • WVU Core Arboretum: Located near the WVU Coliseum on the Evansdale Campus, the arboretum is free to visit and offers foot trails, lawns with planted trees and shrubs, and special events such as the annual Pawpaw festival. 
  • The Morgantown Ice Arena: Offers hockey for kids and adults, a “totsicles” program for preschoolers, freestyle skate sessions, and weekday public sessions.
  • The Wiles Hill Community Center: Home to a Senior Recreation Center, community arts studio, library, and wellness room.
  • Krepps Park: 20 acres of wooded trails, outdoor swimming pool, dog park, playground, and more.
  • Marilla Park: Home to the Marilla Recreation Center, Marilla Skate Park, outdoor pool with water slides, wooded trails, two playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and more.
  • Dorsey’s Knob Park: Home to Sky Rock, trails, disc golf, and more.
  • Mylan Park Aquatic Center: The Mylan Park Aquatic Center is an impressive, state-of-the-art, and fully accessible 90,000 square foot facility featuring a 50-meter Olympic pool and diving well. Additionally, the facility houses a community pool with zero-depth entry, water slides and play features, a six-lane lap pool, an outdoor splash pad, multi-purpose rooms to rent, and a fitness room.
  • Gritstone Climbing + Fitness: With 14,500 square feet of wall space in a 20,000 square foot facility, Gritstone Climbing + Fitness is a state-of-the-art climbing gym with terrain for all levels of climbers and a full-service fitness center and yoga studio.

Enjoy the beauty of Coopers Rock Park state park overlooking Morgantown - view of state park

Arts and Entertainment 

There’s plenty of culture for adults and kids to enjoy in Morgantown!

  • Spark! Imagination and Science Center: Hands-on art and science programs and exhibits for kids.
  • Morgantown History Museum: Check out the latest exhibits to learn more about the people and landscape of Morgantown and surrounding areas.
  • Metropolitan Theater: A historic downtown venue where you can see plays, films, and other performances. 
  • WVU Canady Creative Arts Center: Experience a concert, or see a student produced play at one of their 5 theatre spaces and see visual art exhibits in the Paul and Laura Mesaros Galleries.
  • WVU Art Museum: Offers rotating exhibits and a permanent collection of more than 4,000 paintings, prints, works on paper, sculpture, and ceramics.

North Central West Virginia is an affordable place to live. The cost of living in Morgantown is 10% below the US average - row of townhomes in Morgantown

Local Food and Dining

Morgantown’s culinary claim to fame is the pepperoni roll, but the great food options don’t stop there.

  • Morgantown Farmers Market Growers Association: A variety of vendors sell fresh, local food year-round. Visit the Downtown Market at the Morgantown Market Place Pavilion during the summer. Markets are also available on select Saturdays indoors from November through April.
  • Black Bear Burritos: Puts a local spin on this Tex-Mex staple.
  • Tudor’s Biscuit World: Located right next to our First Exchange branch in Morgantown.
  • Apple Annie’s: Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Features a from-scratch bakery—try the apple dumplings! 
  • Chaang Thai Restaurant: Serving authentic Thai food. Outdoor seating and student discounts available!
  • Fresh Mint Indian Grill: Serving South, North Indian and Indo Chinese dishes, as well as Tandoori grill kebabs.
  • Mountain State Brewing Company: Taproom and restaurant
  • Morgantown Brewing Company: Brewpub and taproom.

Technology is a growing industry in North Central West Virginia with the Morgantown opening of DataRobot - human and robot shaking hands

Cost of living

Morgantown, as well as all of North Central West Virginia, is an affordable place to live. The cost of living in Morgantown is 10% lower than the U.S. average and the typical home value is $232,629, according to Zillow, which also notes that Morgantown home values have risen by 11.4% in the past year. So, Morgantown’s real estate market is hot but still affordable, especially for remote workers looking to relocate from more expensive metro areas. 

Local Economy

While West Virginia may have a national reputation for coal mining, local economies in the state are growing with new industries, companies, and types of jobs. 

Ascend West Virginia is an incentives program for attracting remote workers from out of state. Get paid $12,000 and enjoy a year of free outdoor recreation for relocating to the Mountain State.

Technology is a growing industry in North Central West Virginia with the Morgantown opening of DataRobot, a company specializing in artificial intelligence. DataRobot’s office is in Vantage Ventures, an initiative of WVU’s John Chambers College of Business and Economics focused on attracting innovative tech companies to our state. 

Additionally, the university and healthcare systems are big employers in Morgantown, as well as retail and manufacturing jobs. 

With easy access to Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C., Morgantown is well positioned to continue its economic growth and development. 

University and healthcare systems are the big employers in Morgantown - WVU building and flag

Education in Morgantown

Monongalia County Schools serve Morgantown students from elementary through high school. There are also a variety of early childhood programs including Monongalia County Pre-K, which serves children who turn four by June 30th of the current school year. Pre-K is free and open to all with no income restrictions. Transportation is also provided. 

If you’re looking for private school options for your child, here are a few options:

Higher education options in Morgantown include, of course, West Virginia University as well as West Virginia Junior College.  

J.W. Ruby memorial Hospital - The top-rated hospital in the state and part of WVU Medicine - image of a doctor and nurse

Healthcare

When you move to a university town, you can rest assured that you’ll always have good healthcare options available to you. 

  • J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital: The top-ranked hospital in the state and part of WVU Medicine.
  • Mon Health Medical Center: Offers a wide range of specialties and hospital care.
  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health: Operated by the CDC, the purpose of the NIOSH is to promote healthy workplaces through research and prevention.

Transportation

Get around Morgantown or catch a flight out of the city.

  • WVU Personal Rapid Transit (PRT): Open to the public, the PRT is the university's primary mass transit system for students, employees and visitors. Known as “the people mover,” WVU PRT connects the three campuses and Morgantown’s business district.
  • Mountain Line Transit Authority: Operates 24 bus lines in Morgantown and Monongalia County. 
  • Morgantown Municipal Airport: Offers daily flights to Pittsburgh International Airport and Washington Dulles Airport.
  •  Car services: Uber, Lyft, and local taxi companies are available in Morgantown.

City of Morgantown engraved in cement

First Exchange is your local bank in Morgantown! 

New to Morgantown? Come say hi to us! We’d love to help you get to know your neighbors, open a new checking account, or apply for a mortgage to begin your house buying journey in Morgantown. At First Exchange Bank, we remain proudly independent and dedicated to the communities we serve. Our Morgantown office supports local causes such as the Rotary Club, and Special Olympics. We are also affiliated with the North Central West Virginia Home Builders and the Morgantown Area Partnership, and we get involved with the United Way, local schools and fire departments, and the Valley District Food Pantry. Contact us today!


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