NRV Destinations and Businesses Win Best of Virginia 2024 Awards

New River Valley, VAVirginia Living magazine recently recognized sixty-nine destinations and businesses in the New River Valley with Best of Virginia 2024 awards for Southwest Virginia. This annual contest invites the magazine’s readers to vote for the top destinations and businesses across the five regions of Virginia. The impressive number of winners from the New River Valley highlights how the NRV is a natural fit for anyone looking to live like a local.

The Best of Virginia 2024 award winners from Virginia’s New River Valley are listed below in their respective categories.

BEST FOOD & DRINK

  • Best Barbecue Restaurant – Bluegrass BBQ, Pembroke
  • Best Breakfast/Bruch Restaurant – Palisades, Eggleston
  • Best Burger Joint – Dude’s Drive In, Christiansburg
  • Best Coffee shop or Roaster – Sugar and Flour, Pearisburg
  • Best Fine Dining – The Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston
  • Best Food Truck – Cabo Fish Taco, multiple Locations
  • Best Ice Cream Shop – Scoops Arcade, Pembroke
  • Best Indian Restaurant – Indian Garden Restaurant, Blacksburg
  • Best Italian Restaurant – Sal’s Italian Restaurant, Radford
  • Best Mexican Restaurant – LaBarranca Mexican Grill, Pearisburg
  • Best Outdoor Dining – The Farmhouse, Christiansburg
  • Best Pizzeria – Sal’s Italian Restaurant, Radford
  • Best Sandwich Shop – Macado’s, multiple locations
  • Best Steakhouse – The Farmhouse, Christiansburg
  • Best Vegan, Vegetarian or Gluten Free – Gillies, Blacksburg
  • Best Chocolatier – Sugar Magnolia, Blacksburg
  • Best Community Supported Agriculture – Glade Road Growing, Blacksburg
  • Best Farmers Market – Blacksburg Farmers Market, Blacksburg
  • Best Specialty Gourmet Food Shop – The Bread Basket, Floyd
  • Best Wine Shop – Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg
  • Best Brewery – Eastern Divide Brewing Company, Blacksburg
  • Best Cocktails – Lush Lounge, Floyd
  • Best Distillery – Salty Stash Distillery, Dublin
  • Best Winery – Iron Heart Winery, Allisonia

BEST LIVING AND RECREATION

  • Best Annual Charity Event – Cancer, Kids, and Christmas, Narrows
  • Best Art Event – Steppin’ Out, Blacksburg
  • Best Art Gallery – Moss Arts Center, Blacksburg
  • Best Entertainment Center for Adults – McClain’s at First and Main, Blacksburg
  • Best Festival – Steppin’ Out, Blacksburg
  • Best Love Sign – LOVEwork in Pearisburg, Pearisburg
  • Best Movie Theater – The Lyric, Blacksburg
  • Best Music Venue – The Floyd Country Store, Floyd
  • Best Special Event Venue – Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke
  • Best Dog Groomer – M & J Pet Grooming, Pearisburg
  • Best Veterinary Hospital – Town and Country Veterinary Clinic, Christiansburg
  • Best K-12 Independent School – Blacksburg New School, Blacksburg
  • Best Bed & Breakfast – Lily Valley Inn, Pearisburg
  • Best Historic Site – Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Best Resort – Mountain Lake Lodge, Pembroke
  • Best State Park – Claytor Lake State Park, Dublin
  • Best Tourist Attraction – Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Best Golf Course – Castle Rock Golf Course and Recreation, Pembroke

BEST SERVICES:

  • Best Counseling or Therapy Practice – New River Valley Community Services, multiple locations
  • Best Dental Practice – Radford Family Dental, Radford
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Practice – NRV Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Blacksburg, and Radford
  • Best Pediatric Practice – New River Valley Pediatrics, multiple locations
  • Best Cosmetic Surgery Practice – New River Dermatology, Blacksburg
  • Best Dermatology Practice – New River Dermatology, multiple locations
  • Best Hair Salon – The Hair Loft, Radford
  • Best Spa – Allure Spa and Skin Health Boutique, Blacksburg
  • Best Greenhouse and Nursery – Crow’s Nest Greenhouses, Blacksburg
  • Best Kitchen and Bath Design Firm – Dublin Home Store, Dublin
  • Best Landscape Design – Back to Nature Landscaping & Construction, Blacksburg
  • Best Retirement Community – Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg
  • Best Accounting Firm – Darryl Gillespie P.C, CPA Christiansburg
  • Best Auction Company – Linkous Auctioneers, Blacksburg
  • Best Bank – Truist, multiple locations
  • Best Car Dealer – Shelor Motor Mile, Christiansburg
  • Best Financial Planning Firm – Plott & French Financial Advisors, Radford
  • Best Funeral Home – Kendall Funeral Home, Pembroke
  • Best Law Firm – Patrick K. Moore, Blacksburg and Radford

BEST SHOPPING

  • Best Bookstore – Blacksburg Books, Blacksburg
  • Best Consignment Shop – Treasure Trove Thrift Store, Christiansburg
  • Best Fine Jewelry Store – P.R. Sturgill Fine Jewely, Radford
  • Best Florist Shop – Northside Flower Shop. Radford
  • Best Flower Farm – Stonecrop Farmers, Newport
  • Best Men’s Clothing – Tractor Supply, Pearisburg
  • Best Sporting Goods or Outdoor Outfitter – Tangent Outfitters, Pembroke
  • Best Women’s Clothing Store – Fringe Benefit, Blacksburg

In addition to these winners, eighty-three destinations and businesses from the NRV were recognized with second or third place awards. Read more about Virginia Living’s Best of Virginia 2024 awards here.Learn more about the lifestyle amenities available in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Floyd and Giles Locations Win 2024 Best of Blue Ridge Awards

New River Valley, VA – Seven locations around the NRV recently won Best of the Blue Ridge 2024 Awards from the Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. Another four locations were highlighted as runners up in a variety of categories.

The Best of the Blue Ridge Outdoors Awards winners were voted on by readers from around the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic region of the US. Readers voted on their favorite trails, “amazing adventures, exciting races, and local businesses”.

Winners:

Runners Up:

See all the Best of the Blue Ridge 2023 award winners here.

Explore the best of the outdoors in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Oransi Listed in Rolling Stone’s Best Air Purifiers List

Radford, VA – Rolling Stone Magazine recently listed Oransi’s Mod Air Purifier as one of the best HEPA air purifiers. Oransi’s air purifier was ranked number 3 on their list as the most powerful.

According to the Rolling Stone article “Oransi says the Mod has been lab tested to remove 99.4% of the tiniest particles” and that “its filter also helps to remove allergens, mold, pet dander, and smoke”.

Oransi is a veteran-owned air purification company, that began operating in the City of Radford in 2021. The project brought significant investment and over 100 new jobs to the region. Oransi has established itself as a leading air purification company and is reshoring the manufacturing of its purifiers to the New River Valley. Oransi’s purifiers will serve a wide range of people, from general consumers to health professionals.

Read Rolling Stone’s full article here.

Learn more about why Virginia’s New River Valley is a natural fit for Advanced Manufacturers here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV 2023 Top 50 Metro Area for Economic Growth in the US

New River Valley, VA – The New River Valley is one of the top 50 places in America for metro areas that are “hotspots for economic growth”, according to Area Development. The magazine recently released its rankings of the 2023 leading metro locations that are hotspots for economic growth.

The Blacksburg-Christiansburg metropolitan statistical area (MSA), also known as the New River Valley, ranked No. 49 overall and No. 21 among mid-sized metros with populations between 160,000 to 600,000. The New River Valley is the only location from Virginia that made the top 50.

According to Area Development, they ranked “384 MSAs across 24 economic and workforce indicators pulled from eight (8) data sets — each set containing a five-year change, a three-year change, and a one-year change indicator — originating from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census, and JobsEQ® by Chmura Economics & Analytics.” The “Overall Ranking” was created by totaling the score across all data sets, with the five-year change indicators carrying the most weight and the one-year indicators carrying the least weight. The four primary indicators used to compile the rankings included Prime Workforce, Economic Strength, Year-Over-Year Growth, Three-Year Growth, and Five-Year Growth.

The “overall ranking” isn’t a product of just one indicator, but all the factors combined. This shows the New River Valley’s strength in a variety of different indicators that make it ‘a natural fit’ across the board. The region benefits from its emerging tech hub, high-tech advanced manufacturing, access to talent, great cost of living and many other key factors that make the NRV a great place to live and do business.

Read the full list of rankings here.

Read the methodology behind the report here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Virginia Business Features NRV Leaders in ‘Top 100 People to Meet in 2024’

New River Valley, VA – Several leaders from across the New River Valley were listed in the 5th annual list from Virginia Business of “Top 100 People to Meet in 2024”. According to the article, this list includes a wide range of professions from novelists and podcasters to up-and-coming entrepreneurs, influential attorneys, nonprofit leaders, educators, go-getters and innovators.

The top leaders from the NRV to meet in 2024 are:

Educators:
  • Enric Ruiz-Geli | Montgomery County | Professor of practice, Virginia Tech Honors College; principal and founding architect, Cloud 9
  • Bevlee A. Watford | Montgomery County | Associate dean of equity and engagement; executive director, Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, Virginia Tech

Go-Getters:
  • Peter Mann | City of Radford | Founder and CEO, Oransi

Innovators:
  • Nanci Hardwick | Montgomery County | Aeroprobe and MELD Manufacturing
  • Yuhao Zhang | Montgomery County | Assistant professor, Virgnia Tech

The New River Valley is at once organic and innovative. Technical and agricultural. Artistic and scientific. Step into a place filled with creativity, culture, and community, a place where you are surrounded with profound beauty, an eclectic mix of small-town life, and world-class universities. Discover how the New River Valley is “A Natural Fit” here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Accolades and Awards for 2023

New River Valley, VA – The New River Valley is proudly celebrating a year of triumphs and accolades that showcases how the region is filled with thriving communities and innovation. Below are just a few of the accomplishments and awards won this past year by the NRV’s counties, city, towns, schools, businesses, and universities.

Regional Awards:

Higher Education Rankings:

Business Accolades:

The Virginia Commonwealth Placements:

Explore more NRV accolades and awards here.

Photo by Anna-Louise

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Radford University and Virginia Tech Among Best Student Cost of Living in VA

New River Valley, VARadford University and Virginia Tech are among the top 10 best colleges for student cost of living in Virginia according to SmartAsset.com Radford University is ranked #6 for 2023 and Virginia Tech is ranked #7 for 2023.

According to SmartAsset’s methodology, the company “compares schools based on a variety of financial factors and data sets, including starting salary, tuition, living expenses, student retention rate, and scholarships awarded”.

See SmartAsset’s Best Student Cost of Living in Virginia rankings list and the methodology for their placements here.

Learn more about higher education in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

Photo: Radford University on the right and Virginia Tech on the left

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

NRV Leaders Listed in 4th Annual Virginia 500 By Virginia Business

New River Valley, VA – Four leaders across the New River Valley were recently listed in the 4th annual “Virginia 500 – The 2023-24 Power List” published by Virginia Business Magazine. With a long tradition of leadership in the Commonwealth, Virginia Business Magazine created the Power List “to be an insightful and helpful resource on leaders in Virginia”. Read more about how Virginia Business created the list here.

The NRV leaders that made the Virginia 500 are:

  • Brent Pry | Sports | Football Head Coach, Virginia Tech
  • Tim Sands | Education | President, Virginia Tech
  • Koen Knippenberg | Manufacturing | Executive Vice President and General Manager, Volvo Group Trucks Operations North America
  • Elizabeth McClanahan | Nonprofits | Chief Executive Officer, Virginia Tech Foundation

Learn more about the leaders, industries, and communities in Virginia’s New River Valley here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

2 NRV Locations Featured in Southern Living for Best Fall Foliage in Virginia

New River Valley, VA Southern Living recently highlighted two locations in the New River Valley on their “15 Virginia Parks Where You Can Catch the Best Fall Foliage” list.

Claytor Lake State Park in Pulaski County was #4 on the fall foliage list. The article said, “enjoy a day on the water at the 4,500-acre Virginia lake, and be sure to take in the scenic shoreline with its seasonal hues too.”

Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County was #9. The article encourages people to “pull out your camera for snapshots of the original Mabry family mill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop in full fall color.”

The Appalachian Trail, which runs through Giles County, also received an honorable mention as “offering unparalleled access to the most dramatic fall sights”.

Read the full article here.

Fall is a beautiful time to be in Virginia’s New River Valley. The mountains and valleys offer a bountiful selection of opportunities for “leaf peeping.” Discover some of the NRV’s fall activities here.

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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.”

Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.

Radford University Ranks #2 on Forbes VA’s Best Online Colleges 2023

Radford, VA Forbes recently ranked Radford University’s online programs as some of the best in Virginia. Forbes stated that “Virginia is a state to watch as its technology sector becomes one of the most diverse and fast-paced in the nation.” They ranked online colleges in Virginia that can provide hands-on learning for people to build their ideal profession. Radford University was second on the Best Virginia Online Colleges of 2023 list. Forbes picked Radford University because students can “choose from standard bachelor’s degrees, bachelor’s completion programs, and accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s degrees. Some are available in a hybrid format for learners who prefer in-person instruction.” Forbes’ rankings were based on learning, affordability, and student outcomes. Learn more about their methodology here. Read the full article here. Discover more about the City of Radford and Radford University here.
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Virginia’s New River Valley: Virginia’s New River Valley is an eclectic mix of interconnected small towns that each offer their own unique vibe and appeal. The region provides an abundance of cultural and social offerings due to the presence of three world-class universities, while retaining the charm and benefits of small town living. The NRV is home to a diverse and innovative business community with companies that range from high-tech startups to foreign-based corporations to specialty agribusiness. These organizations benefit from the collaborative spirit of our region and a loyal, highly-skilled, and educated workforce. The scenic beauty of the region also fosters a deep connection to nature, which is deepened by access to outdoor recreation and the preservation of our natural environment. It’s clear why Virginia’s New River Valley is “A Natural Fit.” Onward NRV: Onward NRV is a public/private, regional economic development organization whose mission is to attract and retain world class jobs, investment, and talent in Virginia’s New River Valley. It’s also a movement where leaders from business, government, and higher education work together to promote the economic vitality of the region.