One of the best things about our visitvbr Instagram page is that it's full of amazing pictures that other people share with us by tagging us in their posts or using one of our destination hashtags.
Our feed features people having all kinds of adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains, including taking in stunning scenic views and exploring epic trails.
Though 2020 certainly brought lots of frustration, disappointment, and changes to travel plans, we hope that the photos and experiences we were able to share on our Instagram page helped fulfill your wanderlust in some small way and inspired you to dream about future adventures.
A select handful of posts truly stood out over the past year and showcase our region in a spectacular way.
The following are the most liked posts from our Instagram page in 2020.
When applicable, we've featured the post from the original user, which we then used to repost on our page.
Instagram User: @rachelfelicity
As part of a visit to the region that included a special Instagram Takeover on our page on behalf of Merrell, Rachel visited a couple local hiking trails for the Blue Ridge 25 Fall Hiking Series. She made her way to Dragon's Tooth, an iconic location along the Appalachian Trail in our region, and also part of the Virginia Triple Crown.
Instagram User: @visitvbr
During the holiday season, we created our own version of the 12 Days of Christmas tradition with the 12 Days of Virginia's Blue Ridge, featuring unique experiences that make the region a special place to visit and live. Our final item was 1 - A Giant Star Over the City, showcasing the iconic Roanoke Star, which is located atop Mill Mountain.
It was the perfect fit, considering the Star was originally constructed in 1949 as a Christmas decoration during the holiday shopping season and was so popular that the city decided to leave it up permanently.
Instagram User: @thetrailgator
A scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of fall colors in Virginia's Blue Ridge. The Parkway, which is known as "America's Favorite Drive," has welcomed visitors from the around the world who take a road trip to enjoy the scenic vistas and overlooks.
If you're planning a future fall visit, peak fall color typically occurs from mid October through early November.
Instagram User: @visitvbr
We were thrilled to see Roanoke in Virginia's Blue Ridge be named a winner in this year's Top Adventure Towns contest by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. Virginia swept all four categories of the contest: Roanoke (Large Towns), Charlottesville (Medium Towns), Bedford (Small Towns), and Floyd (Tiny Towns).
As a way to celebrate, we collaborated with the other winning destinations to create this special Top Adventure Towns Itinerary, which would make for a perfect road trip full of fun adventures.
Instagram User: @vasilijpshelenskyphotography
This breathtaking photo helps show why the Natural Bridge is considered a sacred site for the native Monacan people, who called it "Mohomony" or "Bridge of God."
The Monacan people have passed down the story for generations that their tribal ancestors were running through the forest to escape an enemy tribe and came to a cliff as the attackers pursued them. They closed their eyes and prayed, and when they opened their eyes, the stone bridge had appeared across the chasm, allowing the women and children to escape as the warriors fought off the enemy.
Instagram User: @visitvbr
Waking up to a beautiful view of fall colors reflecting off the water at Smith Mountain Lake is an amazing way to enjoy an autumn getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lake, which is known as the "Jewel of the Blue Ridge," offers over 500 miles of shoreline and first-class opportunities for boating and fishing.
You'll find tons of great options for vacation rentals at Smith Mountain Lake that are perfect for the entire family.
Instagram User: @wheresgordo
Sunrise at McAfee Knob is a bucket list experience in Virginia's Blue Ridge. Getting up a few hours before dawn to get to the trailhead and then hiking in the dark isn't for the faint of heart, but the reward is a breathtaking view that you won't soon forget.
There's a chance you might even run into photographer @wheresgordo at the summit - who's featured tons of incredible sunrise views from McAfee Knob on his Instagram page over the years.
Instagram User: @stacig24
Sometimes, we get so focused on reaching the destination that we forget to enjoy the beauty around us along the way. The carousel of pictures in this post feature all kinds of beautiful scenes from Roaring Run in Botetourt County.
Roaring Run was one of the best spots to see fall foliage in Virginia's Blue Ridge this year, both at the waterfall and along the trail that follows the creek.
Instagram User: @hiltyy
A visit to Natural Bridge State Park is a great way to be a Trailsetter in any season, but it's especially unforgettable when you get an opportunity to see the bridge while it's surrounded by magnificent fall color.
The trails in the park are fantastic areas to explore and it's also one of our favorite pet-friendly spots in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Instagram User: @tpfmariah9999
With scenes like this, it's easy to understand why Mabry Mill is the most photographed spot along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located at Milepost 176, the original sawmill and blacksmith shop offer a glimpse into the rich history and heritage of the region.
We love that social media helps provide an opportunity to introduce people to amazing places and experiences in our region. However, we also know that exposure on platforms like our Instagram page can lead to natural sites being overwhelmed and loved to death.
We ask that you help us keep these locations enjoyable for the future by doing your part to Recreate Responsibly and follow the The 7 Principles of Leave No Trace. This includes staying on marked trail areas, respecting the surrounding wildlife and natural environment, and packing out all trash.
In the words of Chief Seattle, "take only memories, leave only footprints."