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8 Things to Know Before Moving to Wheeling, WV

Written by Allie Gardner

Historic, charming, and rich in history, Wheeling, West Virginia, is an absolutely delightful place to spend time. Wheeling, located in the beautiful Ohio Valley, is a community that manages to combine the best of both big-city life and small-town charm. 

The biggest city in the Northern Panhandle region of West Virginia, Wheeling was founded in 1769 and is also the county seat of Ohio County. With a population of about 26,000, Wheeling is a lively town that manages to keep its small-town allure. Here are eight things you should know before making Wheeling home.

1. Wheeling’s cost of living is 24% lower than the national average

Wheeling has a 24% lower cost of living compared to the rest of the country. Wheeling is home to both affluent and low-income communities. At just over $139,000, the average property is quite affordable when compared to the $430,000 national average.

However, things like gas, electricity, and water, as well as other unforeseen expenses, will eat into your budget, but they’re still quite affordable when compared to many other places in America.

2. Live in neighborhoods like Triadelphia, Elm Grove, or East Wheeling

One of the greatest Chinese restaurants in the area is located in the tiny Wheeling suburb of Elm Grove, which is also home to West Virginia’s oldest stone bridge!

Triadelphia is a very small neighborhood in Wheeling, with a total of just 811 residents. Have fun shopping in the Highlands or relaxing by a local creek while grilling out or going rafting.

One Wheeling neighborhood, Woodsdale, has historical district status. The town’s less than 1,000 contributing residents make it an idyllic spot for raising a family. You won’t be let down by the location, being close to numerous eateries and retail locations.

One of Wheeling’s oldest neighborhoods is East Wheeling. Encompassing less than 80 acres, this historic district was established in 1834. Although there is a lot of history and character to the region, it has a reputation for violent crime, including armed robberies and several shootings.

3. You get to experience all four seasons in Wheeling

Seasons bring different weather conditions to Wheeling. While thunderstorms and sun showers are rare, summers are warm and bright overall. Starting in the middle of May, the summer heat builds to a sweltering climax by the end of June, with average highs of 80°F. After a warm start, September ushers in the crisp, chilly air of fall.

Typically, temperatures in the fall hover just around freezing, with the possibility of a snowfall on rare occasions. The leaves change color from green to a myriad of shades of orange, yellow, and red before descending from the trees. Once the stems are stripped bare, winter is upon us.

The Ohio River does not freeze completely, even in the coldest winters when it is snowiest. Plenty of sunny days will keep the water moving.

Though it’s not always the case, spring usually starts in March or even April. Everything about the weather is always changing, and each season brings its own unique beauty.

4. The crime rate is higher than the national average

The violent crime rate in Wheeling is higher than the national average. In particular, Wheeling has a violent crime rate of 48.4, which is significantly higher than the national average of 22.7. The property crime rate in Wheeling is 34.5 percent, which is only slightly lower than the national average.

This proves that Wheeling has a problem with violent and property crime and that the government should do something about it.

5. Wheeling is a stunning city in a prime location

With its idyllic setting in the Appalachian Mountain foothills, Wheeling is home to spectacular views and plenty of outdoor activities. Wheeling is already a stunning city, but the magnificent scenery, especially the Ohio River, makes it even more so.

Because of its central location, Wheeling is easily accessible from other important cities in the area, including Pittsburgh and Columbus. Numerous roadways, especially Interstate 70, provide easy access to the city. 

6. Attend festivals like the Grecian Festival, the Festival of Lights, and the Italian Festival

Since it is the biggest city in the Ohio region and can accommodate such massive events, Wheeling is where most of the famous festivals take place.

Every summer, right in the middle of Wheeling, the Grecian Festival takes place. At this gastronomic event, you may find a diverse selection of Greek dishes for sale, including gyros, kabobs, and baklava.

Driving through the Festival of Lights is like taking a guided tour of the illuminated attractions. Travel through miles upon miles of holiday lights. Indulge in a delectable buffet dinner and a sneak peek at the lights from behind the scenes by reserving a night at their lodge!

Among the most popular summer events in the Wheeling region is the Italian Festival, where merchants serve a wide variety of authentic Italian dishes, from meatballs and spaghetti to sweet treats. At this annual festival, you get to enjoy a wide range of live acts and shop for a wide selection of goods.

7. Don’t miss exploring the Palace of Gold

Among the most remarkable locations you are likely to visit is the Palace of Gold. Except for locals, no one knows about it and it’s hidden. Situated a short distance downstream near Moundsville, this majestic site has been honored as one of the thirty most picturesque locations in the United States.

Srila Prabhupada, a man renowned for his vast intellect and profound spirituality, was given the task of constructing the Palace of Gold. He wished for a tranquil place to write his works and get his thoughts straight. Over time, the palace evolved into more than just a residence; it is now the sacred space where many Krishna devotees pray.

8. Work in the healthcare, education, industry, or tourism sector

Numerous sectors, including healthcare, education, industry, and tourism, contribute significantly to Wheeling’s varied economy. Businesses in the healthcare, education, energy, and retail sectors also make up a large portion of the local workforce. Residents can find a variety of job opportunities in these industries.

Major employers in Wheeling include Ogden Newspapers, RG Steel Wheeling, WesBanco, and Ohio Valley Health Services and Education Corporation.

Final Thoughts

Wheeling, WV, presents a blend of charm and history, boasting a lower cost of living, diverse neighborhoods, distinct seasons, stunning scenery, and various festivals. However, the city grapples with higher crime rates compared to national averages, demanding attention from local authorities. Prospective residents should weigh these aspects to make an informed decision about calling Wheeling their home.

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