GHENT, WV (WVNS) — West Virginians love their state. They take pride in where they live. This state is built around coal and especially tourism.

If you are going to visit, you have to respect the Mountain State. The following is a list of 27 things you must know about The mountain state.

It’s West Virginia, Not Virginia

West Virginia is totally different from Virginia. They are two different states and Virginia is not a shortened version. Natives do not like it when tourists forget this says

To Root For The Mountaineers

You just have to. You are not a true West Virginian if you do not love to cheer on the ‘Ole Gold and Blue’ no matter what.

To Root For The Herd

Of course, if you are not a Mountaineer fan you have to root for the Marshall University Thundering Herd. Just make sure they are not playing WVU.

How To Eat a Hot Dog Right

There is only one way to eat a hot dog in West Virginia, and that is with slaw and chili!

How To Eat Coleslaw As a Condiment

Coleslaw is not seen as a side dish here, but in West Virginia it goes right on the dog along with the other condiments included on a slaw dog.

Don’t Ever Diss The Mountain State

Bad mistake, buddy. West Virginians can be pretty welcoming to tourists, but when you start talking badly about the good ole’ Mountain State, natives will gladly show you the door out, according to

Never Call a West Virginian a Hillbilly

Only West Virginians can call each other that. If you are an outsider, you call them Mountaineers.

Never Ask if One Leg is Not Shorter Than the Other

Yes, West Virginians walk in the mountains a lot. But the joke has gotten old and is not funny anymore according to

West Virginians Invented Being Neighborly

West Virginians know their next-door neighbors, and not just by name. These town folk are always up for eating together and will not hesitate to do each other favors such as picking up the mail when their neighbors are on vacation.

Not to Mention being Polite

Please and thank yous are required, and everyone lets other drivers merge in front of them. Just remember, if you are visiting the state, be courteous and give the car in front of you time to switch gears when the light turns green.

After All, West Virginians Always Have Each Others’ Backs

It’s one for all and all for one in this state. no exception. That is just how it is.

West Virginians Will Always Find Each Other When They are Away From Home

West Virginians will flag down a car on the highway if it has West Virginia plates just to wave and roll down the window to say hello. True natives always like to catch up with what’s going on in their neck of the woods.

Forget Virginia, West Virginia’s The Real Place for Lovers

Apparently, West Virginia is one of the most romantic places to visit in the United States. It’s become a choice honeymoon destination for newlyweds says

Work and School do not Really Matter When It is Hunting Season

Everything is a bit more empty during hunting season, which includes high schools, colleges and even offices. Hunters take vacation days, sick days or just play hooky during deer season. It is a way of life.

Pepperoni Rolls Are Food of the Gods

As every West Virginian will tell you, you are missing out if you have never tasted one. Warm or cold, there is no wrong way to eat it.

West Virginians are Crazy for Their Country

Men take off their hats when the flag passes by, and women teach their children to cover their hearts for the national anthem. Everyone stands straight up while singing it.

Wild Greens are Better than Anything from Your Garden

Ramps grow wild in West Virginia, which makes for a tasty snack. Maybe all those fresh greens are why the natives are so smart.

No Matter How Far You Go, West Virginia Never Leaves You

As any West Virginian native will explain, “You can take someone out of the mountains, but you will never take the mountains out of them. Once a Mountaineer, always a Mountaineer”.

Make Sure You Know Where To Go White Water Rafting

According to, the New River is popular for beginners. Master the Upper New River before moving on to the Upper Gauley River because it is a lot more challenging, but not as challenging as the Lower Gauley River. You will need to brush up on your skills before entering there.

Why People Jump off Bridges

If getting an adrenaline rush is how you like to have fun, West Virginia has the perfect spot for you. The New River Gorge Bridge is open for jumpers each year on Bridge Day, which is a tradition in the Mountain State.

Every Country Road In West Virginia Is The Prettiest

John Denver wrote about these roads and West Virginians know the exact reason. Every country road in the state reminds them of home. “Lined with golden colors in the fall, apple blossoms in the spring, and snow in winter. It just doesn’t get any better anywhere else”.

Only Special West Virginians Remember What A Pawpaw Is

If you are over 30 and a native of West Virginia, then you would understand. Singing about pawpaws was a pretty standard song to sing in elementary school: “Picking up pawpaws put them in your pocket.” The fruit tastes like a blend of mango, papaya, banana, and pineapple, so it is no wonder people were stashing these in their pockets, according to

West Virginia Has Its Share Of Famous Faces

Did you know that Jennifer Garner, Don Knotts, Steve Harvey, and Pearl S. Buck are all from the Mountain State. There are plenty more, but West Virginians are too humble to have bragging rights.

Catching Fireflies Is Magic

Catching Lightning Bugs are one of the most fun summer night activities in West Virginia. They twinkle like tiny stars in the mountains. Kids also love catching them. Adults love to catch them too.

A Good Porch Makes For The Best Night Of The Summer

Porches are outdoor rooms in West Virginia, and on summer nights they are the spot to be. neighbors are always welcome to come by and catch up.

The Apples Are So Delicious West Virginia Threw A Party

According to, a resolution in 1972 designated the apple as the state fruit, which meant that Clay County didn’t hesitate to celebrate. For 41 years they’ve been holding the Golden Delicious Festival to honor the beloved fruit of the Mountain State.

The New River Might be a Huge Part of History

There is still a question about the actual age of the New River. Some scientists believe it’s possibly the second oldest river in the entire world, based on the age of the Appalachian Mountains. This thought, however, has been challenged given the number of ancient fossils, which are common to newer rivers. The matter of fact still stands that the New River is a West Virginia jewel and always will be, explains

Remember, if you are not a native Mountaineer, it is important to keep these rules handy when travelling across the Mountain State.