ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — After coming in third place in USA TODAY’s contest for best urban kayaking spot in 2021, the Roanoke River made enough of a splash to take the top spot this year!

The Roanoke River was one of 20 nominees for the “10Best Reader’s Choice 2022” travel award contest for best urban kayaking spot.

“Roanoke sits in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, making it an excellent base for outdoor recreation,” the 10Best website states. “The 45-mile Roanoke River Blueway offers easy paddling for much of its length, with the exception of some Class II rapids near the gorge.”

“We’d like to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who voted and helped the Roanoke River earn this awesome designation,” Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge wrote on Facebook on Friday, April 22.

Besides the Roanoke River, USA TODAY named the following outdoor locations as the rest of the top 10 urban kayaking venues in North America:

  • Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio
  • James River in Richmond, Va.
  • Milwaukee River in Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Boston Harbor Islands in Boston, Mass.
  • St. Augustine Harbor in St. Augustine, Fla.
  • Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas
  • Clark Fork River in Missoula, Mont.