WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — For the second year in a row, both the Big Cork Winery and the C&O canal towpath are on the USA today’s top ten best list. Recognition plays a big part in attracting visitors.

” We spend a lot of time and money promoting these attractions and when they reach that level of attention, we feel satisfied that our work is paid off as well because people are noticing people are showing up,” President of Washington county convention and visitors bureau, Dan Spedden said.

Back in 2021, the C&O canal was ranked the eleventh most visited park and now they’re number seven!

“It’s nice to know that people value the park and I think it’s nice to know that people put a lot of value in the park and the opportunities that exist here,” Charissa Hipp of the C&O canal said. “We often hope that people you know appreciate what’s here and that they become part stewards, that they come back and that they volunteer.”

Big cork winery has served the people of Washington county since 2015 and even though they are not new to winning big awards, they take ranking number nine in the USA today’s top ten tasting rooms as an opportunity to bring more guests in from different regions.

“Last year, we were extremely pleased to be nominated in the top 20 winery tasting rooms in the country, which is incredible because we’re up against so many wineries, most of them on the west coast, and here we are some little Maryland winery that pops up on this national list, co-owner of big cork winery, Dave Collins said.

According to the Washington county convention and visitor’s bureau, ranking high in these categories not only benefits the attractions but also benefits the county economically by bringing an increase in population and just under six thousand jobs.

“Someone comes to big cork and they look around the beautiful scenery, all the beautiful historical sites that come back repeatedly and then the next thing you know they want to buy a house in this area, or they want to locate their business here or start a new business here and we see that quite often,” Spedden explained.

Both attractions say they hope the ranking will influence people to visit and explore all the county has to offer.

“There’s truly something for everyone to find here that they can enjoy doing and we certainly hope that everyone will find that when they come here,” Hipp said.

“We’re really happy to see things come into fruition and really the joy that we bring to people when they come out too big cork vineyards,” Collins said.