A Mountain Getaway

A Mountain Getaway

Wytheville Mountains

A Mountain Getaway in Wytheville, Virginia

Three Day Itinerary

Discover why this charming mountain town is unique in more ways than just its name.

 

Day 1

Morning

Begin your day with a spectacular view “where only the birds see more” at Big Walker Lookout, Virginia’s oldest and highest privately-owned attraction. Perched atop Big Walker Mountain at an elevation of 3,045 feet, the beautiful panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains is only enhanced by climbing the 100-foot observation tower, where on a clear day you can see five states. Inside the Country Store, browse the creations of over 25 local artisans and sample hand-dipped ice cream, homemade fudge, jams and relishes.

Lunch

7 Dogs Brewpub is a local hot spot that not only brews up delectable craft beers but also offers a full pub-style menu in a family- friendly atmosphere. The outdoor beer garden is full of games and swings and of course, with a name like 7 Dogs, your four-legged friends are more than welcome. Evenings offer a variety of live music and trivia style contests.

Afternoon

Get back to nature at Crystal Springs Recreation Area, located just three miles from downtown. Hikers and mountain bikers can choose their own adventure in this 1800-acre preserve with trails ranging in length and difficulty. Bikers can also test their skills at the new mountain bike terrain park with more than a dozen features such as balance beams, a teeter totter and a wooden berm wall. Just over the ridge is Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, Southwest Virginia’s premiere lavender farm. Stroll 14 themed display gardens, enjoy tea on the patio or roam through Flying Flowers, the walk-through butterfly house.

Evening

Cap off your day with dinner and a show at Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre. This year- round entertainment venue serves up a delicious four-course plated meal before you sit back and enjoy a professional Broadway-style musical. A post show nightcap at the Matterhorn Restaurant, inside the theatre, is the perfect encore.

Crystal Springs Bike Wytheville
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Day 2

Morning

Discover how it all began for this charming mountain town at the Thomas J. Boyd Museum. Named for the Father of Wytheville, this museum features exhibits on the area’s natural resources, the heritage of local decorative arts and their craftsmen and “The Summer Without Children”, how the Polio epidemic of 1950 impacted this small town. Just down the block, take a trip to the White House at the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum. One of only eight sites in the country dedicated to a first lady, this museum chronicles the life of the only Appalachian-born First Lady and how she would come to be known as the first female president.

Lunch

Locals flock to Chau’s Corner Bakery, a modest storefront on the outside with the most eclectic and mouthwatering menu inside. Drawing on her heritage and different places she’s lived, at this no-frills eatery Chau single- handedly prepares authentic Vietnamese dishes as well as Cajun etouffee and Texas-style tamales with homemade baked goods available daily. 

Afternoon

Step back in time with Wytheville’s Historic Walking Tour. This self-guided experience leads you on a journey throughout the town’s interesting history. Seven “loops” include the architectural influences of historic homes, buildings and sacred places both present and absent. Interesting stories, intriguing facts and even tragic tales are woven to tell the story of what shaped Wytheville. The tour winds through beautiful neighborhoods, along historic Church Street and throughout Downtown Wytheville.

Evening

The history lesson continues with a dining experience like no other at the Log House 1776 Restaurant. Fine dining in an eighteenth-century atmosphere is on the menu at this locally owned treasure. The menu is full of must-taste experiences. Christopher’s Lounge serves craft cocktails and the multiple gift shops within the block of buildings are overflowing with unique finds. Be sure to take a stroll through the gardens before dinner and walk among the rabbits and doves.

Crystal Springs Bike Wytheville
Ebw Museum Wytheville
Wytheville Log House

Day 3

Morning

Despite its name, the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world, second only to the Nile. Like the Nile, it flows from South to North and is located adjacent to New River Trail State Park. This 57- mile rails-to-trails park weaves alongside the New River to the delight of bikers, horseback riders, canoers, kayakers and fishermen. Camping, bikes and canoe rentals are available on site. The Historic Shot Tower imparts to park goers the history of the surrounding lead mines and how its bounty was transformed into ammunition before modern technology.

Lunch

Just minutes from New River Trail is West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery, situated on a fourth- generation family farm. Sample the family crafted wines then choose your favorite to compliment a create-your-own charcuterie board made with local cheeses, Virginia peanuts and gourmet pickled veggies from the tasting room shop. The patio, surrounded by beautiful rolling hills, is the perfect spot to drink in your refreshments. The tasting room at West Wind Farm is also a shopper’s paradise, filled with an array of soaps, candles, home décor, and local artisan creations.   

Afternoon

Take a ride on the wild side at Fort Chiswell Animal Park. This safari attraction will put you up close and personal with animals from six continents. The windowless bus winds through the outback while Puff, the camel pops his head in for a treat. The wildebeests, zebras, ostriches and water buffalo don’t miss their chance for a nibble of your zoo chow either. Cody, the bison is a crowd favorite, as is Cheeto, the giraffe. See if you’re tall enough to feed him lettuce from your hand.

Evening

A trip though the outback is sure to inspire an international appetite. Choose from one of Wytheville’s many international cuisine options including Chinese, Greek, Mexican, Italian, German or Japanese. Head back downtown to relax and take in some live music and great craft beer at one of the local breweries.  

Boating and Hiking in Virginia - Wytheville Foster Falls
Wytheville Fort Chiswell Animal Park Kids
Wytheville Peking
5 Reasons Why You Need a Weekend Getaway to Wytheville, VA

5 Reasons Why You Need a Weekend Getaway to Wytheville, VA

5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A WEEKEND GETAWAY TO WYTHEVILLE, VA

by Jason Barnette, Road Trips & Coffee

Comfortable lodging, great local food, and exciting outdoor recreation make Wytheville a fantastic place for a weekend getaway.

It’s the only Wytheville in the country so I know you won’t confuse this charming town with anywhere else. By the time you finish reading this I know you won’t forget the town, either. Here are five reasons why you need a weekend getaway to Wytheville, Virginia.

Wytheville Burger
Wytheville Choc Cake
Wytheville Tray Food

From farm-to-table meals to delicious desserts this small town has it all. Clockwise from top: Dinner at Graze on Main, baked chicken lunch from Open Door Cafe, and an enormous slice of Dr. Pepper Cake from Graze on Main.

1. Local Food in Wytheville

​I’ve always thought you can learn a lot about a destination by the local food. In Wytheville I learned it was delicious in a comfortable atmosphere that I won’t soon, or ever, forget.

My first night in Wytheville I grabbed dinner at 7 Dogs Brewpub. From the same owner as Moon Dog Brick Oven, where you can get fantastic woodfired pizzas, 7 Dogs is one of the only craft breweries in town (Seven Sisters Brewery is coming soon). Their menu of appetizers, burgers, and tacos looked amazing and my burger was one of the few I’ve had lately that was cooked perfectly.

Skeeter’s Hot Dogs has been a staple of Main Street for a long time now. Located inside an old hardware store and recently under new ownership, the small eatery is known for their “Wold Famous Hotdogs” on steamed buns. Just in case that’s not exactly your thing you can also get some pretty fantastic BBQ, sandwiches, and they do a mean breakfast each morning.

Just down the street is another local icon, Wiffle Pops. I had breakfast here my last morning in Wytheville before heading out of town. If I had known the crepes were the size of plates I wouldn’t have ordered a buffalo chicken crepe and berry cheesecake crepe.

The Log House 1776 Restaurant was certainly the most interesting atmosphere for eating in Wytheville. What started out as a single lob cabin on Main Street has since grown with additions and dependencies spanning almost a block. I think my table was in the historic log cabin because I had a fireplace next to me and exposed log beams overhead. Architecture aside the baked chicken on pasta (Buttons n Bows) I ordered was simply amazing.

Graze on Main is located inside the Bolling Wilson Hotel and open to the public. The bar up front is stocked with lots of options for craft and commercial beer, wine, and liquor. A comfortable dining area in the back was the perfect place for me to enjoy a rather amazing burger with my first-over brown sugar glazed baked carrots.

Wytheville Trinkle
Wytheville Bolling Wilson
Wytheville Koa

The beautiful foyer in the Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast, comfortable bed at the Bolling Wilson Hotel, and peaceful cabin at the Wytheville KOA provides options for lodging.

2. Wytheville Lodging

It would be hard to spend a weekend in Wytheville without having a place to stay but I cannot stress enough that you need to ditch the commercial hotels by the interstate and get yourself an upgrade. That is exactly what the Johnsons did after visiting Wytheville for years and they have loved it ever since.

Did you know Kampgrounds of America has cabins at most of their properties? I discovered this during my night at the Wytheville KOA. The one-bedroom cabin was fully equipped with a full kitchen, couch and TV, dining room table, bathroom with shower, and a queen bed (but you have to bring your own linens). Along with about forty other campers that night, mostly in RVs, it was peaceful and quiet.

The Bolling Wilson Hotel, named after first lady Edith Bolling Wilson, is the crown jewel of hotel lodging in Wytheville. After enjoying dinner at Graze on Main I headed to the rooftop deck to enjoy the sunset view of the mountains surrounding the town. In my room the comfortable bed and ultra-quiet air conditioning led a great night’s sleep.

Wytheville Trinkle 2

This large bed in the high-ceiling Rosspoint Room at the Trinkle Mansion was a great place to spend a night.

The most interesting lodging in Wytheville was my night at the Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast. This historic home, built in 1912 by William Trinkle, was meticulously restored and renovated into a bed and breakfast in 2007. Owner Pattie Pizzinger warmly greeted me in the spacious foyer and gave me the grand tour of the home. My room, Rosspoint, had an enormous bed that was super comfortable and an incredible shower in the gleaming bathroom.

This is where I met the Johnsons. The older couple, who were returning from a vacation in Florida, had just finished dinner at the Log Cabin 1776 Restaurant. We sat in the Gentlemen’s Parlor beside the foyer for about half an hour exchanging travel tips and stories. That’s when they explained that fateful decision three years earlier when they decided to book a night at the B&B rather than the hotel by the interstate, and they’d been coming back every year since.

Wytheville Great Lakes Museum
Wytheville Rock House
Wytheville Boyd Museum

Old road maps at the Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum, antique microscopes at the Rock House Museum, and an exhibit about the polio outbreak at the Thomas J. Boyd Museum.

3. The Wytheville Museums

Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something to do on a rainy day the museums in Wytheville are intriguing, educational, and just downright fun.

Start with the Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum. It’s located in an old 1930s-era gas station along what used to be US Route 21. Park at the Wytheville Visitor Center, let them know you want to visit the museum, and take a short five-minute walk along a path to the old gas station. The museum has a few artifacts on display and some interpretive panels to read.

The Thomas J. Boyd Museum, named after the “father of Wytheville”, is the go-to place for all kinds of local history. Learn about the only Civil War battle to happen in this town, see an old telephone operator’s station, or discover the gruesome history of the 1950s polio outbreak.

The Haller-Gibboney Rock House Museum, locally just called the Rock House, is Wytheville’s only house museum. Built in 1823 by the town’s first physician it was home to two prominent families in Wytheville’s history. Today a 30-minute guided tour explains that history while pointing out the hundreds of original and period furnishings throughout the house.

The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum is perhaps the most intriguing in Wytheville. The museum, located in two small buildings on Main Street, is the only museum in the country dedicated to the birthplace of a first lady. The museum has a lot of artifacts, books, and information about the early childhood of Edith Wilson, her marriage to Woodrow Wilson, and her years serving as first lady of the United States.

Wytheville Map

The shaded area is a one-hour drive from Wytheville along country roads. Of course if you take the interstate you can go further and faster but where’s the fun in that?

4. Outdoor Recreation

Don’t ever let anyone tell you there’s nothing to do in Southwest Virginia. I sat down with a map and drew a circle roughly marking a one-hour drive from Wytheville. Wanna know what I found? Hiking trails, horseback riding, kayaking and canoeing, spread out across almost half a dozen state parks and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Take I-81 North an hour and you could get as far as Christiansburg and Blacksburg (do I have any fellow Hokies out there?). But before you drive that far stop at Claytor Lake State Park. This small park built on the shore of a large lake is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic with the family and teach your children how to skip stones (this is where I learned!). Go for a swim at the small beach or rent a kayak, canoe, or pontoon boat from Claytor Lake Motor Sports.

Wytheville Recreation Hungry Mother Sp

The large sandy beach at Hungry Mother State Park is an excellent place to take a summer swim.

About a half hour on I-81 South is my co-hometown of Marion, home to one of the original six state parks to open in Virginia. Hungry Mother State Park is built around a man-made lake and includes a rather nice restaurant. Go for a swim at the small beach, rent a kayak, or hop into a paddleboat with a friend for a nice tour of the lake. Go for an easy walk along the 5.7-mile Lake Trail or the more strenuous 1.9-mile Molly’s Knob Trail to an unforgettable overlook.

Galax is the southern end of New River Trail State Park and makes a good place to enjoy a day hike. The 57-mile long linear park mostly follows the course of the New River, ironically the oldest river in North America. The rail-to-trail park allows bicycling, hiking, and camping. There are also a few places along the way to rent kayaks and go tubing on the river.

Wytheville Recreation Ghsp

Gorgeous autumn view from the Massie Gap Trail in Grayson Highlands State Park.

Grayson Highlands State Park has been my favorite state park in the country pretty much since forever. Enjoy beautiful views from a couple of scenic overlooks or take a leisure walk through the Homestead Village near the picnic shelters. Go for a hike on the 1.8-mile Wilson Creek Trail to enjoy a series of cascading waterfalls and shallow pools perfect for a swim. Have you heard of the famous wild ponies of the Appalachian Trail? Go for a one-hour roundtrip hike on the Massie Gap Trail for a chance to see these beautiful animals. You never ride the wild ponies but if you enjoy horseback riding you can head out on the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is just a forty-minute drive from Wytheville to the entrance at Fancy Gap. Head north on the Parkway about an hour to the Rocky Knob Recreation Area. Hike the easy 1-mile Picnic Loop Trail or 3-mile Black Ridge Trail from the visitor center. Along the way is Mabry Mill, a great place for an easy hike around several historic buildings and the iconic mill beside a small pond.

Wytheville Recreation Mabry Mill

The iconic Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway, about an hour’s drive from Wytheville.

Head south about half an hour on the Parkway to the Cumberland Knob Recreation Area. Hike the easy 0.7-mile Cumberland Knob Trail to find a trail shelter hidden in the woods or enjoy the 2-mile Gully Creek Trail to discover a small waterfall and cascades on a creek.

READ MORE: Road Trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway from Ronaoke to Galax, VA

Stay local for the day and head out to the Crystal Springs Recreation Area, a new development just a few minutes down US Route 21 from Wytheville. The 1,800-acre property was once the town’s reservoir. Today the site offers plenty of hiking trails, backcountry camping, and an exciting new mountain biking course.

Wytheville Perch

The Perch on top of the Bolling Wilson Hotel offers a pretty spectacular view with comfortable seating and fire pit tables.

5. Relaxing Evenings

Why do so many people return home from vacation more exhausted than when they started? If you’re looking for a relaxing evening or two for a weekend getaway then Wytheville is the place to go.

Start in town with The Perch, a rooftop lounge at the Bolling Wilson Hotel. If the rooftop bar isn’t open just grab a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses from Graze on Main on the ground floor and take it up with you. Sit back in the comfortable couches surrounding fire pits and enjoy the view of sunset across the mountains.

If you enjoy great wine take a short drive out to West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery. The locally-owned vineyard has a fantastic tasting room with comfortable furniture to sit back and relax with a glass of your favorite wine.

Beagle Ridge Herb Farm is an interesting escape from the world located about twenty minutes from town. The 160-acre lavender farm includes a butterfly house, giftshop, and leisure hiking trails. Don’t feel like hiking? Let Lick Mountain Excursions take you to the top of the mountain ridge for beautiful views into the valley.

For a little more entertainment check out the latest performance at the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre. Each performance includes a four-course meal in a spacious and comfortable dinner theater and after the show you can grab a drink at Matterhorn & Bier Garten.

Wytheville Big Walker
Wytheville Big Walker 2
Wytheville Big Walker 3

Bonus: Big Walker Lookout

When in Wytheville, visit the Big Walker Lookout. This has been my own personal rule for years now since I first discovered this mountain top gem with a breathtaking view. Literally.

The drive along US Route 52 out of town takes about twenty minutes. It feels longer but I promise it’s actually a short drive. In a bend in the road along a ridge sits a 100′ tall fire tower that is now open to the public. You can climb it, if you dare, from some pretty amazing views from the wooden deck at the top.

READ MORE: Big Walker Lookout: One of the Best Hidden Gems of Southwest Virginia

If that’s maybe a little too much for you there is a rather nice view from the parking lot where you’ll find a couple of picnic tables beneath the shade of a shelter. Hop inside the gift shop to browse through touristy gifts and books and grab a scoop of ice cream.

Country Christmas

Country Christmas Wytheville 1

Country Christmas

October 29 – December 31, 2020

Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre presents “Country Christmas”

Get your fill of your favorite holiday vittles then enjoy a holiday show performed in true country fashion. All the songs you know and love by country artists both old and new.

www.wohlfahrthaus.com

888-950-3382 / 276-223-0891