CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Charleston, West Virginia is the focus of a Washington Post article.

Reporter Melanie D.G. Kaplan describes her experience in the Capital City listing all the interesting places to go, eat, shop, stay and explore.

“A city that has time for you is a win,” the first line of the article reads. “In Charleston, W.Va., you can park your car all day for $3, catch free live music almost every night and be seated right away.”

One of her favorite places was the Moses Auto Group Live on the Levee free concert series at Haddad Riverfront Park.

Alisa Bailey, president and CEO of the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, said on Thursday’s “580 Live” on MetroNews affiliate 580-WCHS in Charleston Kaplan called the CVB specifically about the event.

“She could not talk enough about Live on the Levee,” Bailey said. “We sometimes take that for granted — a free concert, street fair, it’s family oriented and in her description very “eclectic” attendees, so that was a great thing for us.”

Other local favorites Kaplan mentioned include the Sunrise Carriage Trail, the State Capitol Complex and Capitol Market.

Charleston restaurants that top her list include Mi Cocina de Amor on Charleston’s West Side — a restaurant that “feels like sitting in your Mexican grandmother’s kitchen,” Lola’s in South Hills, Ellen’s ice cream, Bluegrass Kitchen and Black Sheep Burrito & Brews.

Every time Kaplan visits Charleston, she said she spends most of her time in Taylor Books on Capitol Street because of its “welcoming coffee shop,” gallery of local art, large used-book section and more.

Among her other favorite small businesses are Kin Ship Goods, Sullivan’s Records and the Purple Moon.

The Brass Pineapple Inn on the city’s East End caught her eye. The Victorian, built in 1907, has operated as a bed and breakfast since 1989. It’s a stone’s throw away from the Capitol building and host of West Virginia’s largest one-day community yard sale.

For the best view of the city, Kaplan suggests to stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Charleston along the Kanawha Boulevard.

“You’ll have the best views, the best goings-on on your front porch and perhaps the best happy hour in town,” she wrote. “Rising above the river, the Sheraton is front row for Live on the Levee and big festivals such as Biker Bash, a motorcycle rally in June; and Rod Run Doo Wop, a classic-car show in October.”

The Elk City Historic District on the West Side has an “edgy and artsy” flavor, the article says.

Bailey said to have an outsider highlight all the things Charleston has to offer is a great way to promote the city.

“It’s the positive outsider looking in. Sometimes in the town, when you live here, things seem like they’re developing slow, but they’re not. It’s an exciting time to be in Charleston,” Bailey said.

The CVB assisted Kaplan with much of the information for her article. Bailey said the fact that she wanted to feature Charleston means they must be doing something right when it comes to tourism.

“This journalist found us on her own. We did assist her with some of the facts, but I’m telling you — Charleston is coming into its own. Our brand of being hip, historic, a town full of arts, great unique shopping — this article really nailed it,” Bailey said.

Bailey said the article will reach thousands of people including many who live big cities.

“They love the laid back, small town feel and that’s just what she conveyed,” she said. “It’s really, really nice that she picked up on some of those things because most of the readers that are going to see this article are going to be in these urban areas and they can’t wait to get the heck out of there.”

The Charleston article is part of a series that highlights towns across America.

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