16 Homegrown Attractions in Wytheville, VA

16 Homegrown Attractions in Wytheville, VA

16 Homegrown Attractions in Wytheville, VA

During your travels through the Southeast, you’ll want to spend a few days here in our charming small town tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Take in the scenic views and get inspired by visiting one (or many) of the unique attractions in Wytheville.

Big Walker Lookout

Virginia’s oldest private scenic attraction, Big Walker Lookout is definitely worth a stop. They’ve been here since 1947 and attract visitors from all over the country each year. You’ll find the Lookout Tower and Country Store surrounded by hiking, motorcycle, and biking trails. Climb the observation tower for excellent views of the mountains and valleys of western Virginia. Enjoy live music, hand-dipped ice cream and country fresh fudge while you relax. 

a mountain view in wytheville va
Wytheville Cobb Hill Alpaca

Cobb Hill Alpacas 

The beautiful sight of rolling mountain pastures is enough reason to stop here, but this locally owned and operated farm also offers the opportunity to interact with alpacas! Some lucky visitors are also able to collect eggs from their free-range chickens or observe honey bees busy at work. Shop their boutique for plenty of alpaca-themed merchandise, including a variety of yarn choices from their very own herd. Due to the ever-changing nature of farming, you’ll need to book an appointment in advance to experience the fun at this family farm. 

African American Heritage Museum

This non-profit community organization was established in 2000 to preserve the historic Wytheville Training School. The building itself was constructed in 1882 for African American children and was in operation until 1952. You’ll find a children’s library showcasing achievements, photos, stories, and memorabilia telling the history of education of African Americans in Wythe County. Admission is free and it’s a great education opportunity for the entire family. 

a mountain view in wytheville va
Wytheville Beagle Ridge Butterfly

Beagle Ridge Herb Farm

Known for their lavender, herbs, and butterflies – you’ll be glad you took a break to stop at this beautiful nature education center. They offer classes for crafts, gardening, cooking and more. You’ll also find a beautiful butterfly house and 16 varieties of lavender while you’re there! This is truly a great spot for nature-lovers looking to learn ways to conserve all aspects of the outdoors.

 

West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery

This fourth-generation homestead in the Blue Ridge Mountains welcomes motorists, hikers, picnic lovers and wine connoisseurs year-round. Make sure to try their small batch, family-crafted wine while you’re there. They planted their grapes in 2003 but their family roots date back more than a century! Their winery and tasting room are easily accessible from I-81 and I-77.

West Wind Wytheville
Wytheville Cross Roads Social House

Crossroads Social House

This entertainment center welcomes people of all ages to gather for family fun. They offer 14 lanes for bowling, an arcade arena, jump zone, and a great menu! Your family road-trip deserves the excitement found at the Crossroads Social House.

 

Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum

As First Lady in the White House during World War I, Edith Bolling had an often overlooked, yet vital role in history during the Woodrow Wilson presidency. Visit this museum to tour the historic Bolling Family Home to learn how her early life in Wytheville, Virginia prepared her for life as First Lady. You’ll also learn how she became known as “The Secret President” and “The First Woman President.” 

West Wind Wytheville
Wytheville Fort Chiswell Animal Park Kids

Fort Chiswell Animal Park

This exciting zoo has it all! As you enter, you’ll walk through a petting zoo full of smaller animals ready to welcome you to the area. As you continue, the adventure gets even better with the Safari Bus. It is a true reversal of the zoo concept – you’re the one in the cage and the animals roam freely. Make friends with a camel or ostrich while making memories that will last a lifetime. You can purchase admission tickets at arrival and no reservations are required to enjoy the fun at the most interactive zoo in Virginia.

 

Crystal Springs Recreation Area

If you’re a fan of hiking, you’ll love the trails  at Crystal Springs Recreation Area! Discover Mother Nature at her best while exploring the terrain of the Blue Ridge Mountains full of wildlife and scenic views. Bring your bikes for a mountain bike adventure or plan a picnic and relax while you’re in Wytheville.

Wytheville Crystal Springs Hike Dog
Millwald Wytheville 2

Millwald Theatre

Built in 1928, the Millwald Theatre recently underwent a complete historic renovation and is a must-see for history lovers. The theatre, located in the heart of downtown Wytheville, offers movies and live music year-round for all age groups to enjoy. Check out their website for showtimes and plan a night you won’t forget. 

 

Take Your Wytheville Family Vacation To New Heights: Printable Scavenger Hunt For Kids

Take Your Wytheville Family Vacation To New Heights: Printable Scavenger Hunt For Kids

Take Your Wytheville Family Vacation To New Heights:

Printable Scavenger Hunt For Kids

by Kimberly Stroh

Wytheville is full of great family attractions that the kids will love. The rich history, diverse outdoor adventures, and entertainment options make Wytheville an unforgettable destination for families.

There’s no shortage of family fun in Wytheville, but there’s a way to take your trip to new heights – with this Printable Scavenger Hunt For Kids.

Print this PDF document below while you’re visiting downtown Wytheville. It’s a walking scavenger hunt that young kids can complete with the assistance of a parent.

Wytheville Kids Skeeter Dog

How To Play The Wytheville Scavenger Hunt

The best way to play the Wytheville Scavenger Hunt is to print a copy so kids can mark the items as they locate them. Start anywhere in downtown Wytheville, as all of the items can be located within a few blocks of each other.

The idea of the scavenger hunt is to keep kids engaged and it’s a way for them to be actively curious. They’ll notice murals, historical signs, and even a giant pencil (that’s probably the most obvious item to locate).

As a parent, scavenger hunts are a great opportunity to connect on vacation. You’ll notice the kids get excited as they locate items and it’s a great way to discuss how the items have meaning to the city of Wytheville.

Discuss Edith Bolling Wilson’s connection to Wytheville – that it’s her birthplace. Or even the art representation in the LOVEworks sign!

I promise that the kids will have so much fun with this scavenger hunt that they may not even realize they’re learning too!

Your Next Family Destination is Wytheville, Virginia

Your Next Family Destination is Wytheville, Virginia

Your Next Family Destination
is Wytheville, Virginia

by Hannah Lusk

There’s no place quite like Wytheville, Virginia. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains where Interstates 77 and 81 meet, Wytheville is rich in history and teeming with activities for every type of adventurer.

If your family enjoys nature, you’ll be in paradise when you visit Wytheville. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and discover a town that we’re sure you’ve seen in passing. From hiking, biking, and water activities to historic museums, gardens, and unique shops, there is no shortage of family fun, in Wytheville… There’s Only One!

Crystal Springs View Wytheville

Lodging

When planning your escape to Wytheville, book a stay at one of our charming lodging options.

We have multiple nationwide chains, one-of-a-kind boutique hotels like The Bolling Wilson Hotel, or bed and breakfasts like Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast. No matter which accommodation you choose, you will be met with a relaxing atmosphere and wonderful amenities the whole family will enjoy.

If you want to get closer to the beautiful nature that makes Wytheville stand out, consider staying at one of our multiple campgrounds and RV parks. Wytheville’s KOA Holiday is perfect for adults and children alike. Nestled in the Blue Ridge mountains, the KOA campground is unlike any other in the country. Fishing, mini-golf, bowling, water slides, and updated campsites are just a few of the dozens of amenities this campground has to offer. A new Conestoga covered wagon experience will delight even the youngest in the family. 

Wytheville Koa Wagon
BollingWilson1058x705
Wytheville Airstream Inn

Outdoor Activities

Wytheville is all about experiencing the unique and incredible features of southern Virginia. During your stay, there are several outdoor attractions that are must-sees for your family.

Crystal Springs Recreation Area is one of those attractions. The park is located on 1,800 acres of Wytheville property where you can enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, mountain biking, primitive camping, and more. Don’t forget to pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic at one of the area’s picnic spots. There are informational signs and a Kids in Parks Track Trail virtual program if your family is new to hiking or would like to learn about the area while you take in the beauty of the native flora and fauna.

Among the area’s top attractions is the Jefferson National Forest. Atop Big Walker Mountain, you will find the oldest and highest private scenic attraction in Virginia standing at an elevation of 3,405 feet – the Big Walker Lookout. The lookout features an observation tower, swinging bridge, a Country store, and is a Virginia Birding trail site. Not to mention the panoramic views you will experience of surrounding mountains and nearby farmland.

Wytheville Crystal Springs Hike Dog
a mountain getaway in wytheville va

Another one-of-a-kind attraction is the New River Trail State Park. This is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way, as part of the area’s “rails to trails” initiative. The park parallels the historic New River – the world’s second oldest river – for 39 miles and passes through three counties.

New River Trail has a gentle slope, which makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback. Within the park you will find boat launches, gift shops, a horse arena, and Foster Falls which offers canoe and bike rentals. The newly opened Inn at Foster Falls features ten luxurious guest rooms, wrap around porches complete with rocking chairs, which makes this the only State Park in Virginia to offer an Inn. This historic property has played many roles throughout its life but has been lovingly revived to its former glory as a beautiful hotel overlooking the New River.

Biking and Hiking in Virginia - New River Trail Bike in Wytheville
Wytheville Inn Foster Falls

Fishing is popular at the park and throughout the entire region. With the abundance of creeks, lakes, and rivers, Wytheville is the perfect area for the favored activity of fly fishing. Cast a line from the bank of New River or on waterways like Rural Retreat Lake or Cripple Creek.

Aside from the native wildlife you are sure to see while spending time outdoors, there are other locations where you can enjoy animals. Fort Chiswell Animal Park is the largest zoo in Southwest Virginia at 45 acres. This park is home to animals from six continents. Visit the petting zoo to feed goats, llamas, and deer. Board the Safari Bus for a guided ride through the Outback, getting an up-close view of camels, zebra, ostrich, antelope, buffalo, and more.

Edith Bolling Museum - Things to do in Wytheville VA
Wytheville Fort Chiswell Animal Park Kids

Historic Sites

For the history buffs in your group, you must see the numerous historic sites and museums that make Wytheville a one-of-a-kind destination.

You can’t miss the birthplace and childhood home of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson, President Woodrow Wilson’s wife. Born and raised in Wytheville, Edith is a descendant of Pocahontas and the only Appalachian-born First Lady. The museum tells the story of her life and the important role she played during World War I.

The Thomas J. Boyd Museum is the place to go if you want to learn all about the history of the people and places of Wythe County. Their collection includes Wytheville’s first fire truck, early farming equipment, Civil War displays, artifacts from the mining industry, as well as the Summer Without Children exhibit, showcasing the impact the 1950 Polio epidemic had on Wytheville.

Edith Bolling Museum - Things to do in Wytheville VA
Wytheville Fort Chiswell Animal Park Kids

The African-American Heritage Museum showcases photos, stories, and artifacts which tell the story of African American education in Wythe County.  Located in the historic Wytheville Training School, this non-profit organization was established in 2000 to preserve the building and its history dating back to 1882 when it was constructed.

Experience Native American life when you visit Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum. This reconstructed Native American village has tour guides available that can walk you through the area and educate you on the fascinating history of Wolf Creek Indian life from the 1500’s.

The latest addition to Wytheville’s collection of museums is the Jackson-Umberger Homestead Museum. This nine-acre complex is home to multiple structures dating to the 1700s, the Wythe County Decorative Arts Museum as well as a restored gas station that houses the Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum.

You can discover many more historic sites on our website.

Edith Bolling Museum - Things to do in Wytheville VA
Wytheville Fort Chiswell Animal Park Kids

Gardens & Farms

While the area’s history helps Wytheville stand out, the area’s agriculture is another feature that is unlike any other place you’ve visited. Experience herb farms, berry farms, orchards, vineyards and wineries throughout the area.

Beagle Ridge Herb Farm is a premiere lavender farm in Southwest Virginia, but also showcases many other herb and flower gardens. Visit the farm and take a peaceful stroll through the scenic gardens or enjoy tea on the patio while butterflies and birds dance across the sky. The new outdoor café will feature pizza ovens for DIY pizzas topped with herbs of your choosing from the gardens.

Henley Mountain Berry Farm is a popular attraction in the summer months. The farm offers u-pick blueberries, as well as a variety of homemade blueberry products.

West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery is located on a fourth generation homestead only minutes from the New River. They offer an array of gourmet snacks, soaps, candles, home gifts, and wine, of course!

Edith Bolling Museum - Things to do in Wytheville VA
West Wind Wytheville

Shopping, Dining & Family Fun

After a day filled with outdoor adventure and history, enjoy some quality family time with a visit to Wytheville’s eclectic shops, a bite to eat at one of the delicious dining options, a craft beer at a brewery, a show at one of the theaters, or a round of bowling.

Located in the heart of Wytheville is the historic Millwald Theatre. Built in 1928, this venue has recently been restored to its original splendor and has reopened its doors for a new generation of entertainment seeking audiences. A lineup that includes concerts, comedians and classic movies is sure to delight the entire family.

Virginia’s only all-musical dinner theater, Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre also calls Wytheville home. Experience a four-course meal before seeing a Broadway-style, show-stopping musical.

Don’t forget to also check out Cross Roads Social House, a family entertainment center with 14 bowling lanes, laser tag, an arcade, billiards, darts, a trampoline jump zone, party rooms, a restaurant and bar, and an outdoor patio. Everyone in the family is sure to stay entertained here!

Whether you’re in the market for antiques, furniture, apparel, jewelry, or art – or you just like to browse – you can find everything you’re looking for in Wytheville with the variety of shops.

Antique Shopping in Wytheville, VA
Wytheville Peking - restaurants in wytheville va

You won’t go hungry while in Wytheville. The town has an abundance of dining options from locally owned restaurants to chain spots. Grab breakfast before you head out on a hike, pick up a to-go lunch to enjoy by the lake, or stop for dinner after a day full of adventure with the family.

No matter what time of year you visit Wytheville, there is always something to do. Other than the pristine nature that surrounds our area, we have an abundance of events throughout the year to keep you entertained. When you visit during the Summer, plan your trip around one of these events, like the Chautauqua Festival in June. You can find details and additional events on our website.

We know that you’ve seen us in passing and now we invite you to explore beyond the exits and get to know us better. We guarantee you’ll love Wytheville… There’s Only One!

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay in the know with all things Wytheville when planning your getaway! We can’t wait to have you.

Wytheville Downtown View

New River State Park Adds to Outdoor and Lodging Options

New River State Park Adds to Outdoor and Lodging Options

New River Trail State Park Adds to Outdoor and Lodging Options

by Colette Boehm

Park adds to unique recreational and lodging options in Wytheville

Long known as an easily accessible destination, Wytheville, Virginia, is one-of-a-kind. There’s no other place named Wytheville and there is no place with such a unique collection of attractions that celebrate the arts and the culture of the region.

Located at the intersection of Interstates I-77 and I-81, Wytheville gained fame long ago as a convenient stop for travelers. Now it is a favorite destination for those who enjoy both the hometown atmosphere of its classic downtown and homegrown attractions as well as the easy access to outdoor adventure. The unique lodging options here round out the reasons to visit Wytheville for a one-of-a-kind getaway. This year, new facilities are adding to the options.

Wytheville Inn Foster Falls Room
Wytheville Inn Foster Falls Sitting

New River Trail State Park (116 Orphanage Drive, Max Meadows, Virginia 24360; 276-699-6778) is a shining star of the region’s outdoor amenities. This exceptional linear park encompasses more than 1,200 acres and is home to 31 bridges and two tunnels. Its 57-mile stretch follows the former Norfolk and Western rail corridor along the New River. One of the most popular locations in the park, Foster Falls, is near Wytheville in an area known for its natural beauty.

After more than 50 years, a 19th century hotel in the park is coming back to life. It has been completely renovated and reopened as a 10-bedroom boutique hotel. The Inn at Foster Falls has the distinction of being the only inn in the Virginia State Park system.

Wraparound porches will provide uninterrupted views of the New River and state park below. The restoration has been painstakingly undertaken to bring the long-abandoned structure to new life, preserving a sense of place that celebrates the region and the park’s character. The design team used vintage photographs of the hotel and orphanage to capture the appearance of the roofline and porch.

Many of the park’s bridges are also getting upgrades this year, ensuring the longevity of its signature New River Trail, popular for hiking, biking and horseback riding. There are amenities for equestrians as well as a boat and bike livery at Foster Falls. The livery provides rental bicycles, kayaks, canoes and float tubes, as well as shuttle services. A boat ramp allows river access for anglers, as well, and the fishing here is legendary. Target species include walleye, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, muskellunge, panfish and more.

Wytheville Inn Foster Falls
Wytheville Inn Foster Falls Porch
Wytheville Inn Foster Falls Food

The Discovery Center at Foster Falls has an indoor theater, aquariums, terrariums and mounted wildlife displays. Educational programs and activities, including crafts, touch tables, critters in the creek, film viewing and more, are held here throughout the year.

Nearby, the Shot Tower, one of the park’s most significant attractions, overlooks the New River. The tower was built more than 200 years ago to make ammunition for the firearms of the early settlers. Lead from nearby mines was melted in a kettle atop the 75-foot tower and poured through a sieve, falling through the tower and into the water below. Guests may ascend the tower, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Note that many of the park’s amenities close seasonally, opening on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April to Memorial Day, seven days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day and Fridays and again on weekends from Labor Day through October.

More outdoor adventure can be found at Crystal Springs Recreational Area (723 Pump Hollow Lane, Wytheville, Virginia 24382; 276-223-3378), which comprises 1,800 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Its trail system includes two loops and a connector trail. Hikers enjoy views of Sand Mountain on a seven-mile trail, or a shorter option, along a creek and reservoir. This is also a popular mountain biking spot. A Terrain Park includes launch ramps, balance beams, domes and rain drops as well as more advanced features. The design makes a minimal impact on the environment by using natural features like boulders and inclines.

There is a full slate of trails to explore in the region, from easy morning hikes to quite challenging treks for those looking for excitement. For guided trips, White Blaze Outdoors (276-356-7068) offers guided nature hikes and overnight hikes on some of the region’s beautiful trails, and also provides hiker/biker shuttles.

Unique Lodging Options

When the Inn at Foster Falls opens, it will join an eclectic list of unique lodging options in Wytheville, including:

The Bolling Wilson Hotel (170 E. Main Street, Wytheville, Virginia 24382; 276-223-2333), part of the Ascend Hotel Collection, features 30 luxurious guest rooms and is located in the heart of Wytheville. The hotel pays homage to first lady and native daughter Edith Bolling Wilson with themed floors and impeccable service.

BolingWilsonFront-small
Trinkle1058x705

Trinkle Mansion Bed and Breakfast (525 West Main Street, Wytheville, Virginia 24382; 276-625-0625) has been named in the top 10 in the country in Trip Advisor reviews. This beautiful historic home features four guest rooms and a garden cottage.

The Airstream Inn (245 Queens Knob Road, Wytheville, Virginia 24382; 276-284-0017) is a vintage 1971 27-foot Airstream Excella nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a nostalgic experience with panoramic views.

Wytheville Airstream Inn

For a more rustic stay, one of the many nearby cabin and cottage rentals will offer the perfect solution and Wytheville’s full range of hotel properties in every price range rounds out the options.