Best of the best of the best, right here in the Gorge!

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine recently combed their 10-state region for the best of the best. Searching for kitschy local gems, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, secluded vistas and lively hangouts led them right here to the New River Gorge.

Aerial view of the New River Gorge

New River Gorge

Our little slice of heaven sure did rack up the accolades. We could spend all day gushing about our achievements, but here’s a quick recap of some of the biggest winners:

1. The New River Gorge

The general New River Gorge region was praised for its towering sandstone cliffs (which are decorated in more than 3,000 sport and trad routes), winning it the Best Climbing Crag.
It also took home the prestigious title of Best Place to Play Hooky. A day in nature’s playground is a great way to call in sick on adulthood. The best part? Our spotty cellphone service makes it hard for adulthood to reach you once you’re here.

2. Gauley Fest

Every September, our raging Gauley River plays host to the largest paddling festival in the world— drawing newbies and pros from near and far. Gauley Fest was honored as the Rowdiest Fest AND noted as one of the Best Paddling Events. If that’s not a well-rounded party, we don’t know what is.

3. Secret Sandwich Society

Looks like the secret is out, because this tiny beige house off Keller Avenue in Fayetteville has gained an awful lot of attention. Secret Sandwich Society’s simple but unique president-themed menu got it on the list for Best Restaurant, Best Lunch and Best Burger.

4. ACE Adventure Resort

ACE Adventure Resort was undoubtedly a favorite among Blue Ridge readers this year. If you’re one of the lucky adventurers who call this resort your “office,” congratulations, you’re an employee of the Best Outdoor Company to Work For.
But that’s not even close to it for ACE, which was also praised in the categories of: Best Raft Guide Company, Best Kid Friendly-Outdoor Destination, Best Outdoor Hangout Spot, Best Zipline, Best Campground and Best Outfitter.
Yeah, they’re gonna need to add some acreage to display all those awards.

5. Adventures on the Gorge

Adventures on the Gorge is known for leading bold, adrenaline-fueled exploration on land, in the water and in the sky. They came in 2nd as the Best Raft Guide Company and the Best Zipline.

6. Fayetteville

In Fayetteville, kids still climb trees, catch fireflies and come in for dinner with that “outside” smell. Our whimsical and quaint town was recognized as one of the Best Places to Raise an Outdoor Family.
On a quite different note, the small town came in first for its nefarious adult shenanigans. Hey, when the sun goes down, there’s no better way to appreciate the silence and stars than a hoedown among the trees.

7. Cathedral Cafe

Fayetteville’s enchanting church-turned-cafe seems to have captured some hearts… and taste buds. Cathedral Cafe came in 2nd for Best Breakfast and was mentioned in the Best Coffee Shop category. If you haven’t checked it out, there’s no more beautiful place to gear up for the day than next to their vibrant stained glass windows.

8. Summersville Lake

Summersville Lake, our own “Little Bahamas of the East,” was voted Best Flatwater and one of the Best SUP Spots. Explore 60 miles of shoreline dressed up with boulders, jagged rock cliffs and towering overhangs.

9. Pies & Pints

Pies & Pints’ beautiful and bubbly creations earned them a spot on the Best Pizza and Best Restaurant list. I mean, have you tried their Grape and Gorgonzola pie? If you haven’t, you should probably press that escape key and get there right now.
That’s not even close to all our wins… but it’s a good place to start for a visit!
Which are your favorites?