CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — West Virginia has secured itself a spot on Lonely Planet’s Top 10 Regions for Travel for 2022.
The travel site named West Virginia number two on its list, placing it alongside heavy hitters like Iceland’s Westfjords, Shikoku in Japan, The Scenic Rim in Australia and Burgundy in France, among other beautiful vistas.
To determine which regions make it on their list, Lonely Planet incorporated these criteria:
1. The Survey
Each year, a survey is conducted, involving 200+ experts that “carefully predict the upcoming year’s most anticipated places and travel experiences.”
2. The Travel Hack
With “in-person brainstorm events,” they discussed topics like: “When and where should we explore?”
A shortlist is produced by a team of travel experts from thousands of ideas before exploring further revision.
4. The Panel
The shortlist is revised by a selection of experts.
5. The Final List
The revisions lead to the finalized list, which is kept top secret till it’s revealed in October.
Regarding West Virginia, Lonely Planet wrote, “a still-uncrowded region with unspoiled mountains and unmistakable heritage, where the leisurely tempo of Southern small towns converges with the adrenaline sports that attract adventurers from across the continent.”
Some of West Virginia’s top attractions, according to Lonely Planet, include: New River Gorge Bridge, Dolly Sods Wilderness, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park and Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine.
“It doesn’t help that the state can’t seem to shake its negative stereotypes. That’s too bad, because West Virginia is one of the prettiest states in the Union,” wrote Lonely Planet.