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State Launches new Summer Tourism Sweepstakes

Entrants can complete summer-travel bucket list for chance to win free autumn getaway
CHARLESTON, WV — Gov. Jim Justice today unveiled the Department of Tourism’s 2024 summer bucket list. The list, which includes iconic West Virginia adventures like waterfalls and nature hikes, provides a guide to summer travel in the Mountain State. Those who complete the bucket list and share photos on their social channels will have a chance to win a free four-night fall getaway. 

Gov. Justice encouraged West Virginians, and all those who love West Virginia, to begin their adventures this week in honor of West Virginia’s birthday.

“As we celebrate West Virginia’s 161st birthday, I encourage folks to explore our great state. We are fortunate to be able to call this magnificent place home, and there’s no better time to explore it and show the world the beauty of the Mountain State,” Gov. Justice said. “Babydog and I are ready to dive into our bucket list adventures, and we’d love for you to join us. We are going to call it Babydog’s Bucket List, and we cannot wait to explore the truly amazing things West Virginia has to offer.”

The Official 2024 Summer Bucket List
The list highlights ten bucket-list-worthy activities in West Virginia and is the perfect way to kick off summer. It was carefully curated based on the most popular content on WVtourism.com and includes broad categories that allow travelers to create their own unique road trips across West Virginia. The list includes:Chase waterfallsTake a road trip Enjoy a natural wonderDine at a local restaurantPlan an overnight adventureTry a water excursionVisit a park or public landExplore a mountain townTake a picture on an Almost Heaven swingGo for a hikeTravelers can visit WVtourism.com to print out their bucket list and find trip ideas.

The power of social media
For the last six years, the Department of Tourism has invited travelers to share their favorite #AlmostHeaven places and moments on their social channels in honor of the state’s birthday. 

The results have been incredible. Tens of thousands of posts have been seen tens of millions of times, showcasing every corner of the state. Recent research shows that the number of people planning vacations based on what they see on social media is at an all-time high. The West Virginia birthday campaigns have boosted travel in West Virginia and transformed perceptions of the state. Suddenly, the state has become one of the hottest tourism spots in the world, consistently making top-destination lists such as National GeographicOutside MagazineFrommer’sLonely Planet and Condé Nast Traveler.

“It’s been phenomenal to watch as we’ve put West Virginia on an international stage over the past several years,” said West Virginia Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby. “Who could have dreamed that West Virginia’s tourism industry would be booming like this?  Not only are our numbers exploding but the world is taking note. I can’t thank Governor Justice enough for leading us to this point.”

Entering the sweepstakes is easyStep 1: Plan your adventure – Build your own unique itinerary to ensure you check off all 10 bucket list items on your adventure across West Virginia. Step 2: Explore & share – Hit those country roads, and be sure to share your updates on your social media channels using #AlmostHeaven.Step 3: Enter to win – Visit WVtourism.com and let us know you’ve completed the bucket list challenge for a chance to win.Those who complete their summer travels list by August 15, 2024, can verify their participation in the challenge and be entered to win a sweepstakes for a free four-night, five-day ultimate fall vacation. The free trip includes unique autumn experiences in the nation’s third-most forested state, including a walk under the New River Gorge Bridge, an ATV adventure, and dinner at a James Beard award-winning restaurant.  

To get started planning your bucket-list-worthy travels, visit: www.WVtourism.com/summer-bucket-list.