Born in Morgantown and raised in Westover, Nick Katsakis is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State.

For 15 years, he’s served as a diplomat representing the American people and our interests overseas. The job has taken him all over the world—he’s worked in U.S. embassies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Poland, Russia, and Tajikistan—but WV Living wanted to know Katsakis’ favorite spots in his hometown. (The views expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the U.S. government.)

Westover Park

Westover Park was a great place to spend much of my youth, playing Little League baseball and attending concerts. I played tenor saxophone in the Westover Junior High and Morgantown High School marching bands, so for me there was no better way to end my summers than marching in the Monongalia County Fair Parade, then going straight to Westover Park to enjoy the fair and corn on the cob. My mother served on the Westover City Council, and after she died the city placed benches in Westover Park in her honor.

Colasante’s Ristorante and Pub

Once known as Westover Pizza, no trip to the city is complete without dining at Colasante’s. It serves some of the best Italian food in the region, including the most delicious mozzarella sticks found anywhere. Colasante’s recently reopened after suffering a major fire, a testament to the hard work and determination one finds in the city of Westover.

Coopers Rock State Forest

Coopers Rock State Forest contains some of the finest natural beauty that the Mountain State has to offer. Some places in the park are also historically significant, such as the Henry Clay Furnace, the first steam-powered blast furnace in western Virginia. I always enjoyed hiking to the large hemlock grove at the end of the Virgin Hemlock Trail.

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