Readers of Blue Ridge Country Magazine have named Blowing Rock among their favorite towns, attractions, activities, and more in the 2023 Best of the Mountains reader poll. The town of Blowing Rock and some of its local attractions have been awarded with accolades in several categories!

  • Best Main-Street Local Shopping Town- Blowing Rock, NC (first place)
  • Best Walkable Town – Blowing Rock, NC (first place)
  • Best Arts Town – Blowing Rock, NC (second place)
  • Best Theme Park – Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock, NC (second place)
  • Best Outlet Shopping – Tanger Outlets (now Shoppes on the Parkway), Blowing Rock, NC (second place)
  • Best Holiday Festival – Blowing Rock WinterFest, Blowing Rock, NC (third place)
  • Best Paddling Lake – Price Lake, Blowing Rock, NC (third place)
  • Best Family Destination – Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock, NC (third place)

“We’re honored to know that Blowing Rock is top of mind for so many great experiences,” says Tracy Brown, Executive Director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority. “Readers of Blue Ridge Country are folks from all across our region- essentially they are our neighbors. We couldn’t ask for any better recommendation.”

The NC High Country is well-represented on the list, with neighboring towns, events, and attractions chosen as various favorites. Among nearby notables, Boone was recognized in several categories, including Best College Town (first); West Jefferson won the title of Friendliest Town (first); while Banner Elk’s Woolly Worm Festival was named the Best Quirky Festival and the Best Fall Festival (both first). The Blue Ridge Parkway, an important attraction for the region, was selected as the Best Loop Drive on a Tank of Gas (first) and Best Motorcycle Route (second).

“Our readers know the Southern Appalachian region better than anyone,” says Blue Ridge Country Editor-in-Chief Kurt Rheinheimer. “We are so pleased to present their knowledgeable picks in our 35th anniversary issue.”

Polling is conducted every five years. Blowing Rock was voted as the Best Main-Street Local Shopping Town (first) in 2018. This year’s survey features 48 categories. Readers submitted their votes online over the course of two months, resulting in over 130 first, second, and third place awards for the best cities, towns, attractions and activities from the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

“We wouldn’t be celebrating our 35th without our cherished readers and our loyal advertisers,” says Associate Publisher Cynthia Bruggeman. “Every issue highlights amazing destinations and the people, history and stories that make them unique. Our ‘Best of’ feature in the summer mag is a snapshot of winners sure to provide year-long travel ideas and inspiration.”

A complete list of winners is presented in the July/August 2023 issue of Blue Ridge Country, available on newsstands in mid-June.

A PDF of the full feature (Blue Ridge Country Magazine pages) is available for viewing here.