From the best raft company and climbing guides to the best brewery and slice of pizza, Southern West Virginia was recently recognized with 39 “Best of Blue Ridge” awards. Representing nine counties each with their own distinct charm and flavor, Southern West Virginia is a true four-season destination for adventurers and foodies alike.
A Mecca for Adventure
Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Southern West Virginia to experience the area’s adventures — from whitewater rafting to rock climbing to mountain biking.
The cliff-lined New River Gorge offers ideal conditions for rock climbing year-round. Below the crags, on the New River (voted “Best Paddling River”), whitewater rafters and kayakers can tackle the Class IV rapids. The mountainous terrain and cooler temperatures make for epic mountain biking, too. Be sure to check out the Arrowhead Trail — voted the “Best Biking Trail!”
Take your adventure to new heights by going on a zipline and canopy tour of the New River Gorge. With the leaves off the trees and snow covering the ground, there is no better way to see the gorge in its wintry glory than during an aerial excursion.
Southern West Virginia is home to one of the most accessible ski resorts in the Blue Ridge Mountains — Winterplace Ski Resort. Located just minutes off of I-77, Winterplace has more than 90 acres of skiable terrain. It also has the largest tubing park in West Virginia with 18 lanes!
Looking for a little less adrenaline with your outdoor adventures? Don’t worry, Southern West Virginia has something for you, too. Breathtaking mountains and forests covered in a fresh blanket of snow make the perfect backdrop for a family-friendly hike. Take in the beautiful horseshoe bend of the New River at the Grandview overlook or journey through the woods to a wondrous view of the New River Gorge Bridge on Endless Wall Trail.
With so many outdoor experiences in the area, Southern West Virginia has also become home to some popular outdoor events. The infamous Captain Thurmond’s Challenge, which takes place in the New River Gorge, was named “Best Triathlon” and “Best Paddling Event,” and Gritty Chix Mud Run was recognized as “Best Mud Run.”
A Foodie’s Paradise
Along with outdoor adventures, Southern West Virginia is also known as a “foodie” paradise. With the best pizza and ice cream and the best brewery and food truck, our area was recognized with 11 Best of Blue Ridge food-related awards.
Delight your senses with a stroll through downtown Fayetteville. The small town is full of unique restaurants and bars that will satisfy any appetite. Head to Beckley for quaint coffee shops and fine dining. Take a pitstop in Lewisburg for lunch at a unique bistro and then head over to Greenbrier Valley Brewing to taste the “Best Beer” in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Southern West Virginia is known for its craft beers and spirits. Home to a number of world-class breweries, our craft brewers focus on specialty beverages that pay homage to the area. Whether you like to kick back with a splash of bourbon, refreshing lager or glass of wine — Southern West Virginia has plenty of local options that will help you stay warm this winter. With tasting rooms and tours available, visiting a local distillery, brewery or winery is a great way to spend a cold, winter day.
Tackle the slopes, stroll along a snow-covered trail or enjoy a warm cup of coffee with friends — no matter what you’re looking for, Southern West Virginia is the perfect destination to chase away the winter blues.