Fairmont, nicknamed the "Friendly City", is a city of 18,313 people (as of 2020) in West Virginia, and the county seat of Marion County (pop. 56,000). It was established in 1820 as Middletown, and changed in 1843 to Fairmont, short for "Fair Mountain". The city is located on the Monongahela River at it's origin at the confluence of the Tygart Valley River flowing northwest from Grafton, and the West Fork River flowing north from Clarksburg. Fairmont claims to be the origin of the Pepperoni Roll, West Virginia's official state food. Mary Lou Retton — a gold-medalist gymnast in the 1984 Olympics, who was highly popular around the country and particularly in West Virginia — came from Fairmont.
Fairmont is home to Fairmont State University, the third largest in the state, and is located 20 minutes south of Morgantown, home to the largest university in West Virginia; West Virginia University. Fairmont is the third largest metro area in the North Central West Virginia region, also known as 'Mountaineer Country' and the 'I-79 High-Technology Corridor', sitting about halfway between Clarksburg and Morgantown, the largest city in the region. This part of the state is home to companies such as Allegheny Energy, the FBI Identification Facility, and numerous software-oriented businesses.
Get in Edit
By car Edit
Fairmont sits at the intersection of US-19, between Morgantown and Clarksburg, and US-250, between Wheeling and Elkins. It's also adjacent to I-79 (exits 132 through 139), which runs largely parallel to US-19 in the region.
Get around Edit
- Nine of the seventeen covered bridges in West Virginia are within easy access of Fairmont. Kathleen Panek, owner of the Gillum House B&B in Shinnston, has route information if you want to visit all of them.
- 1 Barrackville Covered Bridge (junction of WV-21 and US-250). A 148-foot single-lane historic covered bridge.
- West Virginia Folklife Center, Squibb Wilson Blvd, ☏ , . At Fairmont State. Dedicated to the identification, preservation, and perpetuation of the region's rich cultural heritage, through academic studies, educational programs, festivals and performances, and publications.
- Downtown Fairmont, ☏ . Walking tours available for the historic section of town.
- Curtisville Lake (Curtisville Pike). WV-7 past Logansport. 695 acres and a 30-acre lake. Hiking trails, fishing.
- East Marion Park. State Street Extension. 32 acres. Tennis, basketball, softball, horseshoes, mini-golf, hiking and jogging trails, playground, wave pool and waterslide. Mini-golf open from 11AM to 8PM daily; admission $2.
- 2 Mary Lou Retton Park. Mary Lou Retton Drive and Old Monongah Road. 25 acres. Four baseball fields, one football field, tennis courts with practice wall, playgrounds, West Virginia Miner's Memorial.
- 3 Pricketts Fork State Park, ☏ . WV-3 off I-79 (exit 139). Features a recreation of the rustic log Pickett's Fort from 1774. Guides in period costume recreate late 18th-century life and demonstrate colonial crafts. The park includes Pricketts Creek and Bay, the Monongahela River, an interpretive nature trail, hiking, walking, jogging, cycling, boating, fishing, and a 400-seat amphitheatre.
- Worthington Park. US-19 in Worthington. 10 acres. Waterfall, softball, horsheshoes, fishing, West Fork River Trail.
- 4 Valley Falls State Park (WV-310 off I-79 (exit 137)), ☏ . 1,145 acres for fishing, horseshoes, whitewater rafting, 18 miles of hiking and biking trails. Foaming waterfalls and the remains of a sawmill and grist mill.
- Coal Country Miniature Golf, 22 Coal Country Ln, ☏ . Miniature golf and batting cages with a coal-mining theme. 18 holes. $5-8.
- Sunset Ellis Drive-in, south of Shinnston, +1 304-592-3909. Open Friday through Monday, May until Labor Day. $6.
- Tygart Valley Cinemas, 98 Tygart Valley Mall, White Hall, ☏ . 9 screens. $4.50-6.
- West Virginia Day and Gazing Back in Time Festival, 211 Adams Street, ☏ . Held in late June. Bake sale, Palace Restaurant fruit bowl and pecan roll luncheon, activities, games and music.
- Mountain State Juried Art Exhibit, 830 Walnut Avenue, ☏ . Held in October. Juried, fine art exhibit of paintings, photos and three-dimensional works of art.
- Rider's Cards, Gifts, and More, 303 Merchant Street, ☏ . M-F 8:30AM-8PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. Family-owned and -operated since 1967, offering floral arrangements, gift baskets, Boyds Bears, WVU souvenirs, Department 56 and other gifts.
Fairmont is the "Home of the Original Pepperoni Roll". If you want to get them fresh, rather than pre-wrapped in a convenience mart, your best bets are the traditional variety at the Country Club Bakery, or the giant variety at Colasessano's.
- Aquarium Lounge, 620 Gaston Avenue, ☏ . M-F 11AM-10PM, Sa 5PM-10PM. Salads, pasta, chicken, pork, seafood and hand-cut steaks.
- Colasessano's, 506 Pennsylvania Avenue, ☏ . Tu-Th 8AM-8PM, F Sa 8AM-9PM. A local favorite since the 1960s, serving pizzas, salads, sandwiches, chicken wings, and large pepperoni rolls for $3.50. Freshly-baked bread and cookies daily. $2.50-10.50.
- Country Club Bakery, 1211 Country Club Road, ☏ . M Tu Th F 7AM-6PM, Sa 7AM-3PM. Bakery supplying pepperoni rolls to grocery stores and convenience stores around Fairmont; try them hot and fresh for just $1. They also carry Italian breads, rolls and cookies.
- Dairy Creme Corner, 187 Homewood Avenue, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-10PM, Su 1-10PM. Self-proclaimed purveyors of "the biggest cones in town!" which, depending on your age or ego, may actually be bigger than your head. Along with their FlavorBurst ice cream (used for sundaes, shakes and malts), they offer fried appetizers, salads, sandwiches, barbecue, pepperoni rolls and funnel cakes. Try their peanut butter milkshakes. $1.37-2.59.
- DJ's 50s & 60s Diner, 1181 Airport Road, ☏ . Su-Th 7AM-10PM, F Sa 7AM-midnight. 1950s-style diner with waitresses in poodle skirts. Classic American favorites, milkshakes and ice cream floats.
- Dutchman's Daughter Restaurant, 2612 Fairmont Avenue, ☏ . Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM. Home-cooked meals.
- Mi Pueblo, 2708 White Hall Blvd, White Hall (in Middletown Mall), ☏ . Daily 11AM-midnight. Family-owned Mexican restaurant.
- Muriales Italian Family Restaurant, 1742 Fairmont Avenue, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 11AM-8PM. Fine Italian food and home-cooked meals.
- The Poky Dot, 1111 Fairmont Avenue, ☏ . A nostalgic 1950s restaurant which began as a barbecue stand in the late 1940s and turned into a sit-down diner in the 1950s. Munchies, breakfast foods, soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches, steak, chicken, cheesecake, pie, cobblers, milkshakes, malts, sundaes and ice cream floats. Try the appetizer-laden Dot Combo Platter.
- Say-Boy Steak House Restaurant, 1228 Country Club Rd #10, ☏ . Open 8AM to 9PM Monday through Saturday, and 8AM to 8:30PM on Sunday. A local favorite for 45 years. Steaks, chicken and Italian specialties.
- Wings Olé, 1486 Locust Avenue, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-midnight, F Sa 11AM-2AM, Su noon-midnight. Chicken wings, salads, side dishes, sandwiches, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, fajitas.
- Yann's Hotdogs, 300 Washington Street, ☏ . varied hours. A Fairmont tradition and proud of it. The best hotdogs in the state. No special order; comes with everything or plain only. Mr. Yann is the "hotdog Nazi" of WV but respected and loved by all.
- Wright Dawgs, 1228 Country Club Rd lat=, ☏ . Great hotdogs (mild, medium, hot) and many other wonderful menu items. Low prices for exceptional food. A second location has now opened in Belleview.
- Quality Inn, 1185 Airport Road, ☏ . 85 rooms. Fitness center, outdoor pool. Complimentary continental breakfast. $80 - 120.
- Holiday Inn Express, 2256 Landing Ln, ☏ . I-79 and 930 East Old Grafton Road, 304-366-5500. 106 rooms. Outdoor pool. On-site restaurant (Simmering Pot Family Restaurant) and bar (Franny's Lounge). Complimentary newspaper. $65 - 85.
- Red Roof Inn, 42 Spencer Dr, White Hall, ☏ , toll-free: . 108 rooms. Complimentary newspaper. $55 - 80.
- Super 8 Motel, 2208 Pleasant Valley Road, ☏ , toll-free: . 54 rooms. Whirlpool rooms available. Complimentary continental breakfast and newspaper. $77.
- Fairfield Inn and Suites, 27 Southland Drive, ☏ , toll-free: . 80 rooms. Exercise room, heated indoor pool, whirlpool. Complimentary deluxe continental breakfast. $139 - 179.
Bed and Breakfasts Edit
- Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, 35 Walnut Street, toll-free: . In Shinnston. 3 rooms. Front porch, rail trail for walking or biking. Full breakfast with muffins, fruit, juices, entrees, fresh-roasted coffee (nightly) and a selection of over 100 teas. Breakfast served 4AM-10AM Overnight stabling, off-street parking for motorcycles. Children welcome. Pet-free and smoke-free. $95 - 149.
Go next Edit
- Morgantown is about 30 minutes north on I-79.
- Clarksburg and Bridgeport are about 30 minutes south on I-79.
- Grafton is about 30 minutes southeast on I-79 and US-250.
|Routes through Fairmont|
|Washington ← Morgantown ←||N S||→ Bridgeport → Charleston|
|Wheeling ← Moundsville ←||N S||→ Grafton → Staunton|
|DuBois ← Morgantown ←||N S||→ Shinnston → Clarksburg|