Over 24,000 votes poured in to Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine’s thirteenth annual Top Adventure Towns contest, presented by LOWA. From 100 adventure hubs across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic, readers narrowed down nominees in four different categories: tiny town (population less than 3,000), small town (population 3,001-16,000), mid-sized town (population 16,001-75,000), and large town (population 75,001+).

This year, readers selected Blowing Rock, N.C. (tiny town), Bedford, Va. (small town), Boone, N.C. (mid-sized town), and Roanoke, Va. (large town), as their favorites. All four will be featured in Blue Ridge Outdoors’ adventure towns coverage in the magazine’s November issue, hitting stands now.

“Blowing Rock is pleased to be recognized as a top adventure destination,” says Tracy Brown, Executive Director of the Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority. “Our local adventure experience is second to none, with unique landscapes and incredible recreation providers. The fact that our neighbor Boone was also selected as a favorite really highlights the experience this region can offer to adventure enthusiasts.”

All 100 towns in the contest received tremendous support from readers across the region. The field was stacked with well-known outdoor hubs, from tiny towns to major metropolises, featuring a mix of mountain biking meccas, whitewater oases, climbing paradises, and hiking nirvanas. The runners-up in
each category in 2023 were Damascus, Va., and Floyd, Va. (tiny town), Abingdon, Va., and Lexington, Va. (small town), Charlottesville, Va., and Bristol, Tenn. (mid-sized town), and Asheville, N.C., and Lynchburg, Va. (large town).

“As we navigate a post-pandemic world, we are thrilled by the enduring fascination with the outdoors and our readers’ rekindled passion for adventure,” says Leah Woody, Publisher of Blue Ridge Outdoors. “Join us in celebrating this renewal of spirit through the Top Adventure Towns contest, where we shine a spotlight on the rich variety of outdoor destinations across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Together, let’s inspire travelers from all walks of life to experience the incredible beauty of our region and the vibrant communities that call it home.”

For more information, contact Blue Ridge Outdoors, associate publisher Katie Hartwell at katie@blueridgeoutdoors.com / 434-825-5823 or editor Jedd Ferris at jedd@blueridgeoutdoors.com.