Discover why this charming mountain town is unique in more ways than just its name.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Where to Stay
History abounds in Wytheville and the accommodations are no exception. The Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast offers luxurious amenities with a gourmet three-course breakfast in a beautifully restored antebellum mansion. Or the Bolling Wilson Hotel, an upscale boutique lodging experience, located in the heart of downtown, is named in honor of First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson who was born right across the street. The hotel boasts chic accommodations, a rooftop bar and an award-winning Southern fusion restaurant. A variety of other name-brand hotels, at all price points, are also available in Wytheville.
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,” describing 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.
Locals flock to Chau’s Corner Bakery, a no-frills eatery with a modest storefront on the outside and the most eclectic and mouthwatering menu inside. Drawing on her heritage and different places she’s lived, Chau single-handedly prepares authentic Vietnamese dishes as well as Cajun etouffee and Texas-style tamales with homemade baked goods available daily.
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 together to reveal Wytheville’s history. The tour winds through beautiful neighborhoods, along historic Church Street and throughout Downtown Wytheville.
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.
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.
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 enjoy 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.
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.
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. Then head back downtown to relax and take in some live music and great craft beer at one of the local breweries.