Escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a visit to Wytheville, Virginia, where you’ll find yourself lost in the moments, not the crowd. You’re in for a memory-filled family vacation when you discover this small town with a big personality.
Tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains where Interstates 77 and 81 meet, Wytheville is rich in history and brimming with activities for every age and type of adventurer. From hiking, biking, and water activities to historic museums, beautiful gardens, and unique shops, family fun awaits at every turn.
Start planning your next vacation to Virginia’s hidden gem and create a custom itinerary for your family with the favorites to follow.
Wytheville, Virginia’s Outdoor Scene
Wytheville is all about experiencing the natural beauty of southern Virginia—the majestic mountains, the glimmering waters, and the endless acres of lush, rolling hills. During your stay, there are countless outdoor attractions and activities that are must-sees and dos for your family.
Crystal Springs Recreation Area
One of those can’t-miss hot spots is Crystal Springs Recreation Area, an 1,800-acre park where hiking, mountain biking, and backpacking adventures abound.
For a truly immersive experience, embark on a guided hike to see the most scenic sites and learn about the native flora and fauna. The trail system includes informational signs, and children love the interactive Kids in Parks Track Trail virtual program.
Whichever adventure you choose, don’t forget to pack a lunch so you can enjoy a hearty meal at one of the park’s picturesque picnic spots!
Big Walker Lookout
Also among the area’s top attractions is Jefferson National Forest and Big Walker Mountain. Atop this grand mountain you will find the oldest—and highest—scenic attraction in Virginia, standing at an elevation of 3,405 feet: the Big Walker Lookout.
This panoramic lookout is part of the Virginia Birding Trail and offers stunning views of surrounding mountains and nearby farmland. Take it all in from a bird’s-eye view from the 100-foot lookout tower and swinging bridge.
Don’t let your visit end without stopping by BW Country Store, a staple of Big Walker Mountain for nearly 75 years. This quaint store features handmade goods by local artisans, live music from local musicians, book signings from local authors, and historic demonstrations of lye soapmaking, apple butter cooking, and blacksmithing.
New River Trail State Park
You’ll have a hard time forgetting the memories you make at New River Trail State Park! This 1,200-acre park and 57-mile trail system is situated along an abandoned historic railroad right-of-way that runs parallel to the historic New River—the world’s second oldest river—for 39 miles and passes through four counties.
New River Trail State Park offers the full gamut of outdoor fun: hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, paddling, fishing, and camping.
Blaze the mild terrain of New River Trail, ideal for visitors of all ages for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Take your biking adventure to the next level at the Hoover Mountain Biking Area. Set sail by boat, canoe, or kayak at Foster Falls. When you’re tuckered out and ready for some R&R, set up camp at one of the primitive campsites.
Fishing Fun in Wytheville and Wythe County
Fishing is a time-honored family-bonding activity, and there’s no better destination to reel in fun and make lifelong memories than southwest Virginia’s Wytheville and Wythe County! The area’s clear, sparkling waterways make fishing one of the most popular activities for visitors and locals alike.
Wythe County is teeming with an abundance of lakes and streams perfect for casting a line, including:
- New River—a historic broad river with deep pools, beautiful bluffs, shoals, scattered islands, and rocky ledges, boasting numerous easy access points and boat launches.
- Cripple Creek—where trophy-size trout await (Note: there is a fee to fish, and reservations are required.).
- Dry Run Creek—a forked creek in Jefferson National Forest that is home to the illusive Brook trout, as well as large rainbow and brown trout.
- Venrick Run—a small mountain stream located at Crystal Springs Recreation Area that is brimming with trout.
- Rural Retreat Lake—a 90-acre lake with boating and shoreline fishing access that is filled with a wide variety of fish, including muskellunge (musky), largemouth bass, hybrid striped bass, northern pike, sunfish, channel catfish, and crappy.
- Stocked trout pond at Rural Retreat Lake—a little pond sitting adjacent to Rural Retreat Lake that is stocked seasonally with trout.
- Hale Lake—a small reservoir in the National Jefferson Forest that’s stocked seasonally with trout.
Rural Retreat Lake
Make your fishing adventure even more enriching with a full-service guide on a half-day, full-day, or overnight fishing trip!
Fort Chiswell Animal Park
Aside from the native wildlife you are sure to see while spending time outdoors, you can get up close and personal with animals from six different continents at Fort Chiswell Animal Park, the largest zoo in southwest Virginia, spanning 45 acres.
Fort Chiswell offers an all-around interactive experience. 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.
Historic Sites to Explore in Wytheville, VA
Even if you’re not a history buff, part of the fun of visiting a destination is immersing yourself in the local history and learning about the places and people that make it so special. Soak up Wytheville’s rich history at the many historic sites and museums in town.
Thomas J. Boyd Museum
A good place to start is the Thomas J. Boyd Museum, which showcases the fascinating history of Wythe County. Here, you’ll find Wytheville’s first fire truck from the 1850s, early farming equipment, Civil War displays, historic photos of the town’s earliest schools and churches, artifacts from the mining industry, and the illuminating Summer Without Children exhibit, which details the impact the 1950 Polio epidemic had on Wytheville.
Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum
Explore the birthplace and childhood home of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson, a descendant of Pocahontas and the only Appalachian-born First Lady. This unique museum is one of just eight historic sites across the country dedicated to a First Lady, and highlights the important role First Lady Wilson played during World War I.
Visit the African-American Heritage Museum to view photos, stories, and artifacts highlighting the colorful story of African-American education in Wythe County dating back to the late-1800s. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Experience a day in the life of the area’s early Native Americans with a trip to Wolf Creek Indian Village & Museum. Tour guides are on site to show you around the village and teach you about the captivating history of the Wolf Creek Indians that dates back as far as the 1500s.
Wytheville’s Historic Shot Tower
Last, but certainly not least, your Wytheville visit would be amiss if you did not stop to explore the Historic Shot Tower overlooking New River that was built more than two centuries ago to make ammunition for the firearms of the early settlers.
Fresh-Air Fun at Wytheville, VA’s Farms and Gardens
One of the best ways to experience Wytheville’s breathtakingly beautiful landscape is at local farms, gardens, orchards, vineyards, and wineries.
The whole family will have a field day at Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, a premiere lavender farm in southwest Virginia spanning more than four miles. Here you’ll find a multitude of lush display gardens filled with not only lavender but also an array of herb and flowers.
Beagle Ridge is also home to southwest VA’s only walk-through butterfly house, all aflutter with 32 butterfly species. Before leaving to embark on your next Wytheville adventure, be sure to stop by the farm’s new outdoor café, featuring pizza ovens for DIY pizzas, topped with herbs of your choosing from the gardens.
The summer months are perfect for checking out Henley Mountain Berry Farm, a go-to for u-pick blueberries and a variety of homemade, artisanal blueberry goods. The farm is part of the Mountain Crossroads Artisan Trail in Wythe County and a member of Round the Mountain Artisan Network in Southwest Virginia.
For more farm-fresh goodies, head over to Williams Orchard, a family-owned-and-operated Wytheville farm that has served visitors for more than 70 years. Here you’ll find a broad range of picks, from apples and corn to pumpkins and gourds.
Come fall, the festivities kick into high gear for the annual Pumpkin Festival, featuring u-pick pumpkins and kids’ activities every weekend in October, including a corn maze, tractor drawn hayrides, children’s mini maze, and more.
The wine connoisseur in your crew will love West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery, located on a fourth-generation homestead just minutes from New River. This hot spot not only serves up a remarkable wine selection, but also a variety of gourmet snacks, soaps, candles, home gifts, and more from local artisans.
Beagle Ridge Herb Farm – Butterfly House
West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery
Shopping, Dining, and Family Fun in Wytheville, VA
After taking in the natural beauty and vibrant history of Wytheville and Wythe County, slow things down a bit with some shopping, local food, and classic family fun.
Search for the perfect trip souvenir at Wytheville’s charming shops, from boutiques and antique shops to art galleries, jewelry stores, and farmers markets. Shop ‘til you drop, and then make a beeline for Wytheville’s eateries to savor the local flavor and fuel up for more family-filled fun.
Wytheville boasts a tasty array of dining options with something for every palate—homemade country fix’ns and world-famous hotdogs, Italian cuisine and award-winning Southern cuisine, romantic rooftop dining, and everything in between.
For dinner and a show, head over to Virginia’s only all-musical dinner theater, Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre. Indulge in a delicious, four-course meal while taking in a show-stopping, Broadway-style musical at this German-themed gem.
Don’t forget to also check out Cross Roads Social House, a family entertainment center with bowling, 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!
Lodging: Find the Perfect Place to Stay in Wytheville, VA
Ready to start planning your family getaway to Wytheville, VA? The first step is finding a place to rest your head.
Whether you’re looking for a charming B&B, a hotel with every amenity, a rustic cabin, or even a cozy, secluded Airstream, Wytheville has just the spot for you and your crew!
If you want to get closer to the stunning nature that makes Wytheville unique, consider staying at one of our campgrounds and RV parks. Take your pick of primitive campsites, deluxe cabins, RV sites.
Wytheville’s KOA Holiday is especially great for kiddos. It offers not only a full range of camping options but also mini golf, a spacious pool with slides, and an on-site Bowling and Family Fun Center featuring an indoor batting cage, arcade games, and more. Take the camping fun to the next level with a stay in the new Conestoga covered wagon!
No matter which accommodation you choose, you will be met with smiling faces and a relaxing atmosphere.
Stony Fork Campground
Vintage Airstream Inn
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