11 Free and Cheap Date Ideas to Try in Charleston, West Virginia

WVU State Capitol Theatre | © Richie Diesterheft / Flickr
Photo of Kristina Gaddy
13 February 2018

West Virginia’s cost of living is one of the lowest in the country, so going out can be pretty cheap and if you’re looking for a low-cost date option, there are numerous choices. Check out these 11 date ideas in Charleston that will leave you with plenty of cash for next time.

Listen to music at Live on the Levee

Friday night and the sun setting over the Kanawha River: can this be a better date? Yes! The Live on the Levee concert series at Haddad Riverfront Park is free and features great live music every Friday night from the end of May to the beginning of April. You can buy food and drink, or you can bring your own (just no glass).

Go on the Downtown ArtWalk

On the third Thursday of each month, art galleries and venues stay open late to showcase photography, paintings, sculpture, and sometimes even music and dance. With over twenty participating businesses, your date will stay fresh while you stroll through the Downtown ArtWalk.

Public Art “Art is Everywhere” | © Richie Diesterheft / Flickr

Grab a coffee

Grabbing a coffee is a classic date, and with very inexpensive espresso drinks at coffee shops such as Cafe Crema and Mea Cuppa, you can sip, chat, and laugh, without having to go too deep into your pockets.


West Virginia’s capital city has lots of wonderful places to bike. Pedal along the Kanawha River near downtown for an easy ride on an afternoon date, or you can be more adventurous with mountain biking at the Little Creek Trail or Kanawha State Forest.

Stroll through Capitol Market

Open year-round, the Capitol Market is perfect for a day-time date. During the summer, you can take in the color and smells of fresh-picked produce at the Farmers’ Market, and during the winter you can explore the food vendors inside. Special events include tasting at The Wine Shop, live music, and cooking demonstrations.

Take a sunset walk

The Kanawha River runs east to west in Charleston, crossing the whole city. Standing on the downtown side at Haddad Riverfront Park or farther west at Magic Island Park are the perfect places to view river sunsets.

Explore the Culture Center

The Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex always has free admission. You can learn about West Virginia history at the state museum or attend special events such as the West Virginia Dance Festival, Poetry Out Loud, or the Vandalia Gathering.

Browse Taylor Books

At Taylor Books, you can grab coffee, beer, or wine, and browse around to see if your date is as smart as their dating profile claimed. And if the dating game has left you wanting some alone time, the used book section offers reading material on the cheap.

Check out all of FestivALL

FestivALL is a ten-day music and arts festival held every June in Charleston, with over 100 different performances and exhibits, all free or low cost. You can also see the music, theater, art, and more that FestivALL offers during a preview in May.

Go to a free yoga class

Want to show off how sporty and centered you are? Yoga Power offers a one-week free trial for first-level classes. The studio is in the warehouse district and offers plenty of classes to choose from. Plus there’s a cafe with coffee and beer if the yoga part of the date went well and even if it didn’t, you can still get six more days of free yoga.


Take a walk

Just like the rest of the Mountain State, Charleston has some incredible places for romantic walks and hikes. The bridge at Wine Cellar Park is the perfect place for a fall selfie, but you can also check out Daniel Boone Park for a short walk along the river or Kanawha State Forest for a serious day hike.

Bridge in Dunbar Wine Cellar Park | © ForestWanderer / WikiCommons | Bridge in Dunbar Wine Cellar Park | © ForestWanderer / WikiCommons

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