Lazing and Grazing on Main in Downtown Wytheville
by Su Clauson-Wicker
You’re up for a getaway. You’d love a look at the fall colors, but really what you crave is indoor relaxation – breakfast in bed, coffee at your command, dining downstairs, and shopping nearby.
Wytheville’s four-story Bolling Wilson Hotel on Main Street is your answer. Think mountain views from each window and a panorama of unfolding foliage from the rooftop terrace, Perch, accompanied by live music on Saturday nights.
Off the Bolling Wilson’s glittering lobby — its namesake loved jewels and orchids – is a fine restaurant (Graze on Main) serving Virginia microbrews and Southern-inspired dishes such as bacon-wrapped meatloaf and fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese. Rooms come with a sumptuous breakfast basket delivered to the door each morning. And a peek into the bath reveals jeweled shower tiling.
You can entertain yourself by walking across the street. Farron and Bill Smith revived the birthplace of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson as a museum in addition to saving the National Historic Register hotel that bears her name. For shopping, just saunter under Wytheville Office Supply’s giant pencil to explore nearby Main Street antique shops, boutiques, and craft outlets.
Wytheville is also the birthplace of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson, the second wife of Virginia-born President Woodrow Wilson. The Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum (145 E. Main Street) is located in Wilson’s birthplace and childhood home. This first lady led an amazing life and was a strong and interesting character long before marrying a sitting U.S. president. This museum is one of only eight historic sites across the country dedicated to the interpretation of a first lady. It tells the story of the critical role Edith Bolling Wilson played in the White House at a pivotal moment during World War I. She has been called the “secret president” and the “first woman president” by historians.