2017’s new top dog: the unassuming adventure destination that won “Best of the Blue Ridge”

Our beloved Mountain State earned top honors!

The most prestigious prize in “The Best of the Blue Ridge” awards for 2017— Best State for Outdoor Adventure— went to our own Wild, Wonderful West Virginia!

We’ve always been the hidden gem of the East. We’ve got world-class whitewater, rock climbing, biking, skiing and more, all within our borders. From the offbeat adventures to the once-in-a-lifetime journeys, these mountains deliver.

Some of our other “Best of the Blue Ridge” awards give a little insight into what our state has to offer (and it makes a great blueprint for exploring in 2017):


Best ski run + Best terrain park + Best overall ski resort

Distance shot of Snowshoe Mountain's ski village, covered in snow, West VirginiaSnowshoe Mountain Resort is a Skitopia, sweeping 3 top honors. It proved standout for both skiing and snowboarding, with wins for top terrain park and the top ski trail. Cupp Run was designed by an Olympic skier, and drops a whopping 1,500 feet in 1.5 miles.

It was also named best overall ski resort, because it’s an entertainment mecca. A winter waterpark, restaurants, events, shopping— it’s basically a vibrant village on the mountaintop.

Whitewater rafters on Gauley River, West VirginiaRowdiest outdoor event

In the paddling community, Gauley Fest is epic. Boaters from everywhere gather to kick off the season of this World Top 10 Whitewater River and its wild “Big 5” rapids. Off the water, browse top vendors, score discounts on gear and swap river stories around the campfire.

Best bike mechanic

Taking to the trails? We know where to tune up your wheels for the mountain terrain. Andy Forron at New River Bikes has been a gearhead since childhood. Now he’s the proud owner of one of Fayetteville’s sleekest bike shops. Riders from near and far head here for repairs, advice and the latest gear.

Dolly Sods, Monongahela National ForestMore outdoor honors

Stay (& eat!)

Best campground

Greenbrier River Campground packs plenty into 8 acres: rustic campsites, vintage “glamping” trailers, cabins and outdoor adventures by the dozen. Rent a tube or go paddling down the scenic river with a guide.

Best luxury outdoor destination

For more than 2 centuries, The Greenbrier’s extravagance has attracted presidents, celebrities and anyone looking for a lavish top-tier getaway. “America’s Resort” has its own exclusive collection of upscale shops, a natural mineral water spa, world-famous cuisine and more than 11,000 acres with golf, horseback riding, Jeep trips, falconry and more.

Best pizza

Pies and PintsAs any local knows, Pies & Pints takes casual fare to gourmet heights. Try the inventive, from-scratch pizzas with unique combinations like Grape & Gorgonzola or Chicken Gouda. Pair your pie up with a pick from the separate full menu of craft brews.

Other dining honors:

The fresh seasonal cuisine at The Station won recognition as a favorite for farm-to-table fare. (Bonus: it’s right down the street from the original Pies & Pints!) Pair your farm-to-table fare with a handcrafted grain-to-glass beverage from Smooth Ambler Spirits, which earned a mention in the distillery category.

Which “Best of the Blue Ridge” destination or business are you going to visit this year?

This post was last updated on March 16, 2022