Scrolling through the posts on the @visitvbr Instagram account is a great way to learn more about Virginia’s Blue Ridge and why it’s a special region to visit.
However, we can’t take credit for it. The credit goes to all the locals and visitors who regularly tag us in their fantastic photos and videos of the region and use our #BlueRidgeDay and #Trailsetter hashtags.
It provides us the opportunity to present the variety of metro mountain adventures in our area from the perspective of those who are having the experiences.
From catching an incredible sunrise on top of a mountain to spending a great day at a local festival, we’re so appreciative of everyone who has shared those moments with us over the past year.
Without further ado, here are the most liked photos from the @visitvbr Instagram page for 2019.
1. McAfee Knob - @matthines_
This picture from Matt Hines illustrates why McAfee Knob is one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail and provides a stunning view from any perspective.
Learn More: Hiking to McAfee Knob >
2. First Day of Spring - @visitvbr
Happy first day of #spring! 🌼 We always love seeing spring #blooms in Virginia's Blue Ridge! * * * * #blueridgeday #trailsetter #visitvbr #vbr #blueridgemountains #blueridgemoments #blueridgeparkway #findyourpark #virginia #loveva #vaoutdoors #getoutside #optoutside #nationalpark #roadtrip #visit #travel #wander #explore #adventure #wanderlust #flowers #bloom #nature #scenic #springinva
We celebrated the first day of spring with a photo that was taken a few years ago at the Iron Mine Hollow Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Seeing the spring blooms on the Parkway makes for an amazing scenic drive in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
Learn More: Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway >
3. Blue Ridge Mountains - @masudal_noodle
And that's why they're called the blue ridge mountains. ❤️ . . . . . #visitvirginia #LoveVA #exploreVA #virginiaisbeautiful #naturalvirginia #blueridgeday #blueridgemoments #TrektheAT #eastcoastcreatives #theblueridgers #optoutside #sonyalpha #sonya6000 #idratherbeinnature #outdoorsusa #trailsyall #gooutsideandplay
There’s something mesmerizing about the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which Rochelle Masudal captured perfectly in this image that includes the Peaks of Otter on the horizon.
Learn More: Blue Ridge Mountains >
4. Kelvin-Hermholtz Clouds at Smith Mountain Lake - @achunter78
(Photo is available for purchase in bio.) It is copyrighted. Like giant breakers in the ocean surf, magical cloud-waves in the sky crested and crashed above Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake . This magical and mesmerizing cloud rolled across the ridge of Smith Mountain creating a wave in the sky! It was short-lived and only lasted a few seconds. I was only able to snap off 3 shots before it dissipated. A capture like this is considered a once-in-a-lifetime photo! I was watching storm clouds roll by and fortunately had my #iphonex close at hand. The clouds are called Kelvin-Helmholtz clouds and develop due to differing wind speeds in the atmosphere. Because the air is saturated at this level of the atmosphere, a cloud can form. At the top of the wave, the air is moving faster than the air at the bottom of the wave. The differing wind speed and density of the air from top to bottom is what allows the cloud to billow over like an ocean wave. They typically form either around sunrise or sunset, as the bottom layer of the cloud is cooler (more dense) than the top layer.
Amy Hunter caught a view of these incredible, wave-like, Kelvin-Hermholtz clouds over Smith Mountain Lake with this photo that went viral around the world, being featured by outlets like ABC, USA TODAY, CNN, and the UK’s Daily Mail. If you’re a fan, the photo is available for purchase >
Learn More: Smith Mountain Lake >
5. Roanoke River Overlook - @devanport
I wasn't sure I would be able to see the moon with the increasing cloud cover from some afternoon thunderstorms, but the clouds rolled away just in time for the moon to rise up over the Roanoke River. #moon #fullmoon #river #nature #landscape #view #explore #adventure #blueridgemonents #blueridgeoutdoors #blueridgelarkway #RoanokeVA #cityofroanoke #VisitVA #blueridgemountains #blueridgeday @visitvbr @blueridgenps @blueridgemoments @blueridgeoutdoors @roanokevirginia #yourshotphotographer
The view of the Roanoke River Gorge from the Blue Ridge Parkway bridge near Milepost 115 is one of our favorite spots on the Parkway, and you can see why with this photo from Evan Davenport that includes an amazing moonlit sky.
Learn More: 7 Iconic Overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway >
6. LOVE Sign at the Beaver Dam Sunflower Festival - @kt_thephotolady
The Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival in Botetourt County has quickly become one of our most popular annual events in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Visitors walk through over 20 acres of black oil sunflowers and enjoy all kinds of opportunities for great photos, including in front of the farm-themed LOVE sign seen in this great pic by Katie Hoeft.
Learn More: Beaver Dam Farm Sunflower Festival >
7. Sunrise View from McAfee Knob - @devanport
The sun rise illuminating Sharp Top and Round top mountains at Peaks of Otter viewed from McAfee knob a few weeks ago. #mcafeeknob #roanokeva #cityofroanoke #sunrise #peaksofotter #appalachiantrail #view #explore #nature #landscape #blueridgemountains #blueridgemoments #appalachian_explorers #visitvbr #visitVA #southwestVA
Evan Davenport earned a second spot in our list of 10 most liked Instagram photos of the year with this breathtaking view of sunrise from McAfee Knob. As you can probably tell, our Instagram followers are big fans of scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Learn More: Hiking the Virginia Triple Crown >
8. The Natural Bridge of Virginia - @jct.and.seb
“But soon the fore part of him slowly rose from the water; for an instant his whole marbleized body formed a high arch, like Virginia’s Natural Bridge…” - Herman Melville, "Moby Dick" . . . #naturalbridgeva #va #mobydick #marbleized #attractive #optoutside #literature #allthelimestone #paleozoic #LOVEva
Standing at 215 feet tall, the Natural Bridge is a towering limestone arch that is one of our most incredible natural wonders in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Herman Melville even referenced the bridge in his description of the white whale in the classic tale of Moby Dick, and Jess & Sean deserve extra kudos for quoting the piece as the caption of their Natural Bridge post.
Learn More: Visit Natural Bridge State Park >
9. Dragon’s Tooth - @joe.the.eskimo
If we had a Hall of Fame of images & Instagram posts, this shot of Dragon’s Tooth by Joseph Mesite would definitely earn a spot! It beautifully captures the adventurous spirit of what it means to be a Trailsetter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. It was also featured in a Men’s Journal article earlier this year about Epic Views Every Hiker Should See >
Learn More: Hiking to Dragon’s Tooth >
10. Sharp Top Shadow - @scenic_va
Amazing shadow of Sharp Top from the summit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . #blueridgeparkway #virginia #blueridgenps #blueridgemoments #blueridgeday #blueridgeoutdoors #loveva #virginiaoutdoors #virginiaisbeautiful #naturalva #bedfordva #fallblueridgeparkway #exploreva #explore_countryside #explore_landscapes #ipulledoverforthis #mysouthernliving #optoutside #appalachian_explorers #hikeditlikedit #hikeva #blueridgemountains #peaksofotter #sharptop #vamountains @scenicvirginia @blueridgenps @virginiaisbeautiful @commonwealth_nature @visitvbr
We’re always excited when people tag us in pictures of Sharp Top Mountain at the Peaks of Otter, but we’ve never seen one quite as unique as this perspective from the @scenic_va account. Instead of the traditional view of Sharp Top Mountain, or the scene from the summit, which are both amazing, this image showcases the distinct shadow of the mountain on the surrounding ridges as seen from Sharp Top’s summit.
Learn More: Peaks of Otter in Virginia’s Blue Ridge >
Respect Your Surroundings
We hope this list has inspired you to be a Trailsetter and find your own adventures in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. As you go, please remember to respect your surroundings and help preserve the natural beauty of our amazing region and its public lands so that they can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.
As the quote says, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”
If you aren't already doing so, give us a follow on Instagram - @visitvbr - and be sure to tag us in your posts and use our hashtags: #Trailsetter | #BlueRidgeDay | #VBRCheers
We look forward to seeing your pictures in 2020!