W.Va. attractions sweep Best of the Blue Ridge awards

Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald file photoCrystal Vanderweit takes a walk with her dog on the Greenbrier River Trail in Caldwell. 

charleston — Fifty West Virginia destinations, businesses, people and events have been recognized as the “Best of the Blue Ridge” in Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s 2020 “Best of the Blue Ridge” readers’ choice awards.

“These awards affirm that travelers really do see West Virginia as Almost Heaven,” Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby said. “These folks love West Virginia, and it shows through the work they do each and every day. Congratulations to all of our West Virginia recipients.”

Several West Virginia attractions placed in outdoor categories, including best paddling river, best biking trail, best waterfall and best running trail.

Many West Virginia restaurants and breweries also placed, with West Virginia businesses winning titles for best ice cream, best food truck, best barbecue, best brewery and best distillery.

“Whether travelers come to West Virginia for outdoor escapes or incredible events, they will find so much more,” Ruby said. “With wonderful recreation opportunities complemented by great people, there is no doubt that West Virginia is quickly becoming a top tourism destination.”

More than 30,000 readers voted in the poll, which placed 50 West Virginia attractions at the top of their lists in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a region that includes nine states and the D.C. area.

In addition to the 50 winners, many West Virginia attractions placed as second or third runners-up.

West Virginia winners include:

l Best Paddling River - New River

l Best Biking Trail - Arrowhead Trails

l Best Pet-Friendly Adventure - Arrowhead Bike Farm

l Best Place for Outdoor Singles - Fayetteville

l Best Ice Cream - The Stache

l Best Food Truck - Riverchick Farms, Fayetteville

l Best Pizza - Pies and Pints

l Best BBQ - Firecreek BBQ & Steaks

l Best Farmers Market - Fayette County Farmers Market

l Best Beer - Devil Anse IPA from Greenbrier Valley Brewing

l Best Non-Alcoholic Beverage - Zoey Crush from Wood Iron Eatery

l Best Brewery - BridgeBrew Works

l Best Paddling Event - Captain Thurmond’s Challenge

l Best Triathlon - Captain Thurmond’s Challenge

l Best Climbing Event - New River Craggin’ Classic

l Best Retreat - Wanderlust at Snowshoe Resort

l Best Brewer - Nathan Herrold, Bridge Brew Works

l Best Food Personality - Lewis Rhinehart, Secret Sandwich Society

l Best Camp - Camp Drift-a-Bit

l Best Yoga Studio - New River Yoga

l Best Outdoors Shop - Waterstone

l Best Climbing Guide Company - New River Mountain Guides

l Best Raft Company - Adventures on the Gorge

l Best Zip Line - Adventures on the Gorge

l Best Flatwater - Summersville Lake

l Best Mud Run - Gritty Chix Mud Run, ACE

l Best Kid Friendly Adventure - ACE

l Best Fishing Spot - New River

l Best Educational Outdoor Rec Program - WVU Tech Adventure Recreation Management

l Best Swimming Hole - Glade Creek, New River Gorge

l Best Vegetarian Restaurant - The Wild Bean

l Best Spirit - Big Level from Smooth Ambler Spirits

l Best Distillery - Smooth Ambler Spirits

l Best Running Trail - Greenbrier River Trail

l Best Burrito - Burrito Bar, Lansing

l Best Waterfall - Blackwater Falls

l Best Climbing Crag - Seneca Rocks

l Best Ski Resort - Snowshoe Resort

l Best Snowboarding Park - Snowshoe Resort

l Best Ski Run - Cupp Run, Snowshoe Resort

l Best Mind Body Studio - Gaia Den

l Best Spa - Berkeley Springs Spa

l Best Running Event (Over 13.1 Miles) - Freedom’s Run, Harpers Ferry

l Best Running Event (Under 13.1 Miles) - Sticks & Stones 15K Trail Race, Babcock

l Weirdest Event - WV Roadkill Cook-Off

l Rowdiest Festival - Gauley Fest

l Best Budget Friendly Lodging - Buffalo Trails Cabins

l Best Raft Guide - Nick “Nugget” Parsons, ACE Adventure Resort

l Adventurer of the Year - Will Horton, Princeton

l Best Musician/Band - The Kind Thieves

To review a complete list of winners, visit https://www.blueridgeoutdoors.com/go-outside/best-of-the-blue-ridge-2020

Pick up a copy of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine’s winter edition for more information on this year’s recipients.

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