Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Adventure Continues in Wytheville, Virginia

by Colette Boehm, Laurie Rowe Communications

WYTHEVILLE, VA – September 2020 Just 30 minutes from the Fancy Gap entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Wytheville, VA offers parkway travelers a diversion that adds unique attractions and lodging and even more outdoor adventure to their excursion. Wytheville is located at the crossroads of Interstates 77 and 81 and has long been a convenient spot for those traveling through the region. The Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum (975 Tazewell Street, Wytheville, VA 24382) offers a look back at that era when Route 21, known as the Great Lakes to Florida Highway, was the primary route to Florida from the Midwest.

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But a stop in Wytheville goes way beyond convenience. For those who choose to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway, savor the views and experience the authentic Virginia lifestyle, it’s a treasure. There is easy access to adventure here. This is the center point of the Claw of the Dragon Motorcycle Trail. This 200-mile route is one of the most popular in the south and includes amazing views and exciting twists and turns.

One of those views is from Big Walker Mountain and the Big Walker Lookout (8711 Stoney Fork Rd, Wytheville, VA 24382). This family-owned and operated attraction sits at an elevation of 3400 feet and the 100-foot-tall tower offers a seemingly endless view. On the ground, the Country Store features local artisan crafts and homemade jams, jellies, candies and more. This is also home to Big Walker Mountain Scenic Byway, which crosses 16 miles of mountain vistas. With its historic farmsteads and beautiful forest lands, this route is also a treat for both birders and history buffs.

 

Wytheville Claw Of The Dragon View Bw

Speaking of history, the New River, the oldest river in North America, is the heart of the New River Trail, designated the New River State Park. This Rail-to-Trails treasure is almost 57 miles long and is an officially designated National Recreation Trail. The trail winds through beautiful scenery in Wythe and three other Southwest Virginia counties. It is popular for hiking and biking, as is the15.5-mile Walker Mountain Trail (8711 Stoney Fork Rd, Wytheville, VA 24382). This trail, rated difficult, is shared by hikers, equestrians and mountain bikers. It follows the mountain ridge and connects to the Crawfish Trail, about a mile from the Appalachian Trail in Crawfish Valley.

Wytheville Foster Falls Fall Color

Trails aren’t the only way to experience Wytheville. Just like the parkway, this destination offers an exceptional glimpse not only of the beautiful vistas of the region, but also of the people who make their living from the land.

A tour of Beagle Ridge Herb Farm (1934 Matney Flats Rd., Wytheville, VA 24382), Southwest Virginia’s premiere Lavender farm, showcases two acres of display gardens, amazing herb and perennial collections a butterfly house and more than four miles of trails.

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West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery (180 West Wind Dr., Max Meadows, VA, 24360) is a fourth-generation homestead in Southwest Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with roots dating back more than a century. Today the family makes small-batch, hand-tended wines and welcomes guests to enjoy the wines and the views from their cozy tasting room.

Many choose to explore the culture and spirit of Wytheville throughout its charming downtown. Classic downtown streets are lined with locally owned businesses and one-of-a-kind shops. From home-town-favorite specialty shops to local brew pubs, Wytheville is a place like no other. There are museums to explore days gone by and unique lodging options for enjoying the night to come. For a delightful diversion just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Wytheville is the perfect spot to enjoy an authentic Southwest Virginia experience.

West Wind Wytheville

WHERE TO STAY

There’s only one Wytheville. It’s true, no other town in the world shares this name. But with one visit, guests discover that its name is not the only thing making this destination special. Situated at the crossroads of two major Interstates (I-77 and I-81) this is so much more than a stopover location. A classic downtown chock-full of gems, Wytheville offers unique lodging, dining and entertainment options. Nearby, there are trails for hikers and cyclists as well as for those who love birding and byways. Add a bundle of homegrown attractions, and you’ve got a must-see destination in Wytheville. There’s only one!

ABOUT WYTHEVILLE

There’s only one Wytheville. It’s true, no other town in the world shares this name. But with one visit, guests discover that its name is not the only thing making this destination special. Situated at the crossroads of two major Interstates (I-77 and I-81) this is so much more than a stopover location. With a classic downtown chock-full of gems, Wytheville offers unique lodging, dining and entertainment options. Nearby, there are trails for hikers and cyclists as well as for those who love birding and byways. Add a bundle of homegrown attractions, and you’ve got a must-see destination in Wytheville. There’s only one!

Comers Rock Overlook

How Sweet the Sound

How Sweet The Sound Whdt Wytheville

How Sweet the Sound

September 3- October 25, 2020

Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre presents “How Sweet the Sound”

The Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre’s talented cast and musicians will give thanks and praise to the Lord through inspirational hymns, soul-lifting spirituals, and toe-tapping gospel selections.

www.wohlfahrthaus.com

888-950-3382 / 276-223-0891

Looking Back and Bouncing Back in Wytheville

Looking Back and Bouncing Back in Wytheville

Looking Back and Bouncing Back in Wytheville

Its “Summer Without Children” Helped Shape this Resilient Town

by Colette Boehm, Laurie Rowe Communications

Wytheville, VA, April 2020 – As people around the world began to face the harsh realities of coping with the threats and the limitations of a pandemic, the residents of Wytheville, Virginia needed only to look to their history for direction.

This town has always been a natural tourist destination. In the early 20th century, as northerners found their way to Florida and Interstate travel blossomed, Wytheville became a convenient stopping point for travelers. Early on, as is still true now, Wytheville offered the convenience of good food and lodging for long distance travelers along the Great Lakes to Florida Highway. Midway between Bristol and Roanoke, it was a popular stop for regional travelers, as well.

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In the summer of 1950 things changed drastically. That’s when Wythe County Virginia came to be considered ground zero for a polio outbreak that spread across the country. Here, rates of infection were dramatically higher than the rest of the nation, as was the death rate among those infected. Along with the illness, fear spread among the 5,500-resident population of Wytheville, as well.

At the center of the most concentrated number of polio cases, plaguing children of every age, race and social status, Wytheville began the 50’s version of social distancing. Children were kept inside, resulting in stories of the “summer without children.” Stores and theatres were closed and church services were cancelled, as residents were afraid to venture out. And as the news of Wytheville’s fate spread beyond its borders, so did the fear. Visitors stopped coming. Billboards were posted on the busy highways, reminding travelers “If you do not stop with us this trip, we invite you to visit us on your next vacation.”

 

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Today, the details of this dire season of Wytheville’s history, along with much more about this one-of-a-kind town, can be explored at the Thomas J. Boyd Museum (295 Tazewell Street, Wytheville, VA 24382). The Great Lakes to Florida Highway Museum (975 Tazewell Street, Wytheville, VA 24382) also offers a look back at that era when Route 21, known as the Great Lakes to Florida Highway, was the primary route to Florida from the Midwest.

While the 1950 outbreak didn’t begin to lessen until fall, the people of Wytheville persevered and, when it was safe to resume their normal lives, the town and its businesses thrived. Seventy years later, Wytheville’s resolve is strong now, just as it was in 1950. And as travelers yearn to get out and experience authentic destinations, this town, with its proven staying power, will welcome them. It stands ready again to invite travelers to “visit us on your next vacation.” From its eclectic downtown business district to its collection of popular attractions, this exciting destination has more reasons than ever for visitors to stop and enjoy the one and only Wytheville.

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IF YOU GO

There is only one Wytheville. In addition to its unique history, this Virginia destination is also known for its one-of-a-kind attractions and wide-open spaces. Hiking and biking trails and New River Water Trails offer easy access to exceptional scenic beauty and outdoor fun. In addition, there is an entire slate of homegrown attractions that can only be found in Wytheville.

ABOUT WYTHEVILLE

There’s only one Wytheville. It’s true, no other town in the world shares this name. But with one visit, guests discover that its name is not the only thing making this destination special. Situated at the crossroads of two major Interstates (I-77 and I-81) this is so much more than a stopover location. With a classic downtown chock-full of gems, Wytheville offers unique lodging, dining and entertainment options. Nearby, there are trails for hikers and cyclists as well as for those who love birding and byways. Add a bundle of homegrown attractions, and you’ve got a must-see destination in Wytheville. There’s only one!

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