Outdoor adventure magazine presents its stars for 2016
By David Esteppe
For almost 20 years, Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine has established itself as a definitive monthly guide to outdoor sports, health and adventure travel for the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic areas of the country. In its 2016 Best-of-the-Blue-Ridge edition, southern West Virginia’s businesses were recognized with the accolade by the readership of the magazine (from Maryland to Georgia) in a big way.
The 78 mile Greenbrier River Trail was chosen as the best hiking trail and the best running trail.
Snowshoe Mountain took best ski resort and two of its runs, Cupp Run and Lower Shay’s Revenge, were runner-up and honorable mention respectively.
The Cranberry Wilderness got an honorable mention as best wilderness area to visit.
The Greenbrier resort was voted best luxury destination over the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.
Foodies paid great attention to restaurants in our area. The Secret Sandwich Society in Fayetteville was noted as the best restaurant and as the best lunch to the voters. Stardust Cafe in Lewisburg was the runner-up best restaurant and won best farm-to-table eatery.
Shannon Kelly of Bethany Beach, DE, came to West Virginia by way of Daytripper magazine. She found herself hiking the southern West Virginia and spending a night in Beckley. After asking to be guided to someplace neat to eat, she was referred to the Secret Sandwich Society. “I just loved it. It was obvious that plenty of planning went into the theme and the execution of it. Homemade locally produced fresh foods named after presidents on the menu, and the homemade mayo and ketchup, really impressed us,” said Kelly. She and her family intend to come back to the restaurant on all of their future trips to southern West Virginia. The trips are already scheduled, Kelly added.
The Burrito Bar in Lansing has the best burrito, and Del Sol Cantina in Lewisburg took runner-up honors in this category. Lewisburg’s Jim’s Drive-in, a perennial powerhouse in the burger world, won best burger.
Best brew house or pub went to the Irish Pub in Lewisburg and the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company’s Mothman IPA was runner-up best Blue Ridge brew. The Wild Bean in Lewisburg won best coffee shop.
At the time of voting, Hill and Holler in Lewisburg housed both a restaurant and a bicycle shop, winning runner-up best pizza and honorable mention best bike shop.
At press time, the Hill and Holler restaurant thrives with its gourmet brick-oven pizzas and other delectable fare. Stu Schwab, Certified Bicycle Technician via United Bicycle Institute in Ashland, OR, is grateful for the acknowledgement for the bike shop. “It recognizes our small town for its tasty eats and endless adventure,” says Schwab.
Schwab is currently relocating the bike shop from the Hill and Holler venue, to a very-soon-tobe-announced location of his new Appalachian Bicycle Company in Lewisburg. “I will continue in the vein of a community-oriented bike shop in downtown Lewisburg with detailed professional service and sales,” added Schwab. Stay tuned.