Folks do things a little differently out west—and we like it that way. From Virginia’s gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains come a wealth of wonderful sights, sounds and sips. The hazy, blue mountain peaks in the distance; the soft twang of a fiddle; the award-winning vintages—what’s not to love?
While you’re here, take a leisurely drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway; go slow, and see all that you can see. Explore the restaurants and shops within tiny towns that make this region quite a gem. And take some time to get to know the locals—they’re right neighborly.
Floyd Is Just Like Mayberry—But With Added Vibrancy, Fun And Funk
Floyd is Virginia’s version of Mayberry, the fictional southern town in The Andy Griffin Show. That is, Mayberry after drinking a lot of coffee.
Floyd is vibrant and fun. On first glance this little place, located in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, seems like any other little mountain village.
But look again; an underlying funkiness makes Floyd a great place to take a little trip.
There are cool shops. Cool restaurants. Cool people. And a cool festival: FloydFest is a summertime, world-renowned, multi-day music and arts fete where people of all stripes come together. Also, Floyd is an integral part of The Crooked Road, Virginia’s 300-mile-long heritage music trail.
The folks at Floyd’s tourism office probably say it best: Floyd is as much a state of mind as it is a destination.
For lunch, home-style cooking seasoned with nostalgia is served at Blue Ridge Restaurant. The diner is located in the former Floyd County Bank Building, which became a restaurant in the late 1920s but retained the bank vault, which, to this day, is used as a walk-in cooler. Look for their daily specials. Monday brings hamburger steak with gravy, while pork barbecue is served on Wednesday, chicken pan pie on Thursday, and on Friday dig into a hot meatloaf sandwich served with mashed potatoes and gravy. FloydBlueRidge.com
Camping. Glamping. Bed and breakfasts. They are all here. But we like the centrally-located Hotel Floyd, an inn with 16 uniquely decorated rooms. Capturing on the creative vibe in Floyd—which stretches beyond music to include visual arts, and ranges bluegrass to progressive—each of the spaces are designed after local events, artists, places and attractions. The hotel has a green design with bamboo flooring, eco-friendly paints and sustainable fabrics.
Situated in the Blue Ridge, outdoor adventures abound. But music is always present in Floyd. Wander into County Records, an amazing offering of old-time, traditional country, gospel, bluegrass music and more. Row after row of CDs and records—reportedly more than 4,500—are in this store, established in 1965. Live music plays at The Floyd Country Store, known for its Friday Night Jamboree. The store is a great gathering of folks enjoying music, flatfoot dancing and clogging, and treating themselves with barbecue, hot dogs, penny candy and ice cream. Then of course there is FloydFest and exploring The Crooked Road.
Learn more at VisitFloydVA.com.
Short distances from Floyd are several great wineries. Chateau Morrisette offers premium wines and a restaurant with stunning views and remarkable flavors, sourcing fresh and local ingredients when possible. There are many wine varieties that we favor; one is the newly-released petit manseng. It recently became available this past spring, but this crisp, refreshing drink with honeysuckle and tropical fruit notes has already won us over. TheDogs.com
Don’t be afraid to get a little fruity with your ’shine. The distillers at Dry Fork Fruit Distillery produce a number of sweet spirits—some spiked with fruits like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and plums. They even offer a mixed fruit concoction with pineapple, mango, strawberry and peach. Want to keep things simple? Their classic moonshine—“legal with a touch of renegade thrown in”—is always a favorite. DryForkDistillery.com
Enjoy a drink down on the farm at Rising Silo, a farm brewery in nearby Blacksburg. The brewery is perched on Glade Road Growing, a small farm that produces vegetables, chickens, ducks, eggs and more. Here, you can pick up fresh veggies, dairy and meat, fill your growler or enjoy a pint on draft, then stroll along the farm to take in the unprecedented views of the New River Valley. Now that’s an experience you don’t hear about every day. Another cool thing about Rising Silo? They utilize green energy through the power of the sun through solar panels and a solar hot water system. RisingSiloBrewery.com