Best Kept Secrets in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley

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With the goal to highlight the diversity of great activities in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley, Go Blue Ridge Travel has spent ten weeks picking the Best of the Best in a marketing campaign on facebook and twitter. From Best Vineyard, Best Kids Activity, Best Golf Course, Best Water Sport to Best Kept Secret, Go Blue Ridge Travel is branding this region as a great place to live, to visit, and to get married.

Romantic Getaways, Valentine Destinations, Romantic Packages, Blue Ridge Mountains, Shepherdstown, West Virginia,Wineries, DC's Backyard Playground

Naming the Best of the Blue Ridge

Adventure, Romance, and Relaxation - the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley

The Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley is many things to many people. Depending on your hobbies and interests, you can find a great trail for hiking and birding, a river for water rafting, a mountain rock to sit on and contemplate the past, present, future, or just the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can also walk down the sidewalk of one of many small towns and villages in the Blue Ridge region with the excitement of going into a unique coffee shop or gallery. One can also lay on the grass at a county fair or festival enjoying strawberry shortcake or be at a steeplechase hunt watching the speed and beauty of a steeplechase race.

There are so many things to see that Go Blue Ridge Travel decided in their first year to sponsor a photography contest highlighting what was really "The Best of the Best in the Blue Ridge." According to Nancy Craun, owner and producer of Go Blue Ridge Travel, "It is amazing how one can live in an area but not really know the area. Having grown up in the Blue Ridge mountains, I am ashamed to say that I have never been to Monticello or Mt Vernon, but I have been to the Great Wall in China, the grasslands of Mongolia, glaciers in Alaska, calmness and sunset on the Baltic Sea. As I drive down roads in the Shenandoah Valley, I realize I have much to learn about this area I call home, a region I was born, raised, and now earn my living."

With the contest wrapping up this week, here are some of the winners of the Best of the Best:

The contest began its first week looking at one of the fastest growing industries in our region - our Vineyards. Although concentrated heavily in Loudoun County, vineyards are everywhere in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley. It is difficult to drive down a country road or Interstate 81 and 66 and not see road signs for this vineyards. We congratulate Breaux Vineyards for winning first place as The Best Vineyard in the Blue Ridge.

Next we moved to another tourism draw, the Best Water Sports in the Blue Ridge. Floating down the Potomac or Shenandoah river in a canoe, kayak, or inner tube is truly epitome of a lazy afternoon With the warmth of the sun on your skin and the coolness of the water in contrast, city dwellers flock to the Blue Ridge region on a summer weekend to enjoy this popular Blue Ridge activity. However, it was Massanutten Resort that took first place for Best Water Sports with their indoor year round Water Park. Timeshares are all over the world so it was surprising to learn in Go Blue Ridge Travel's research that Massanutten Resort is the fastest growing timeshare resort in the United States.

Best Kid's Activities was another popular week. With small farms struggling to survive, it is great to see agri-tourism growing in the Blue Ridge Shenandoah Valley. Old McDonald's Farm, Ridgefield Farm, and White Oak Lavender are great examples.

Since the Blue Ridge is all about Small Towns ---- Go Blue Ridge Travel showcased Woodstock, Winchester, and Luray, Virginia. Also, the quaint German Village of Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Did you know Luray has been named "Cabin Capitol of Virginia?" But the winner was a tiny village outside of Fairfax called "The Plains, Virginia" - a must visit this weekend excursion.    

Perhaps the most fun week of the contest was "The Best Kept Secret". There was Jefferson Rock in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, or The Mecklenberg Pub in Shepherdstown, or the Delaplane Strawberry Festival in Virginia. The winner was however, the new Events Center at Lord Fairfax Community College.

Our sponsors included two historic accommodations - The George Washington Hotel in Winchester, Virginia and Historic Rosemont Manor 1811 in Berryville, Virginia. Winners also won beautiful gifts from LIve an Artful LIfe Gallery in The Plains.

If you want a great weekend trip, visit Go Blue Ridge Travel and plan your itinerary.


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Nancy Craun

Nancy Craun
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