This north-central West Virginia community offers ample opportunity to eat, play, and shop in style.
Bridgeport got its name by mistake. A settlement named Bridge Fort served as a refuge in the region from the elements and from hostile natives. Fur traders hunting on the frontier often used forts such as Bridge Fort during their brief stays in an unforgiving land. But early mapmakers labeled the community as Bridgeport instead of Bridge Fort, and the rest is history. Mistakes aside, the Bridgeport from those early frontier days gave way to a bustling community that is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. You’ll find a diverse local economy here, enviable recreation facilities, and a plethora of activities.
Tempt your tastebuds in Bridgeport. For a plateful of homemade pasta, head to Oliverio’s Ristorante, a Bridgeport fine-dining institution. For authentic, coal-fired pizza made from scratch the way Italian immigrants have done for generations, visit Mia Margharita Coal Fired Pizzeria. If a quick bite is in order, head to Winnie’s cafe on Main Street for a salad or sandwich, Maple Valley Meat Market for a pepperoni roll, and pop into Almost Heaven Desserts & Coffee Shop for a sweet treat and an afternoon pick-me-up. Order a properly poured pint at Meagher’s Irish Pub and feast on traditional dishes like fish and chips or bangers and mash.
Grab your gear and head to Bridgeport for practically any sport that interests you. The Bridgeport Recreation Complex is home to four baseball fields, two multi-use fields, basketball courts, a walking trail, and playgrounds. Adjacent to the complex, you’ll find the brand new Bridge Sports Complex with six courts, two pools, an indoor track, and a fitness center. The facilities are quickly becoming the home of youth sports in the region. The fun doesn’t stop there—take your clubs for a round of golf at the award-winning Pete Dye Golf Club, named one of America’s greatest courses by Golf Digest. Or load up your shotgun and shells for an afternoon of clay shooting at A Mountain Clays.
The holiday season is the perfect time to explore shopping opportunities in Bridgeport. Stop in at Artworks for an assortment of locally crafted gifts, or, for the knitting nut on your holiday list this year, check out Knits & Needles Yarn Boutique. No shopping trip to Bridgeport is complete without a visit to Benny’s Boot Hill, especially for die-hard Mountaineer fans. And be sure to visit West Virginia Fruit and Berry’s The Berry Patch Gift Shop, open by appointment only.
READ MORE ARTICLES FROM WV LIVING’S WINTER 2021 ISSUE
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