WanderLove: A Road Trip through Southwest Virginia

first_imgGeneral Francis Marion Hotel—Historic boutique hotel remodeled with modern amenities. The Martha Hotel & Spa—Upscale hotel in downtown Abingdon that was originally built in 1832. Creeper’s End Lodging—Colonial-style cottages at the base of the Virginia Creeper Trail.Hungry Mother State Park Cabins, Yurts, & Campsites—Cabins, yurts and campsites available for rent. And while travel may look a little different these days, you can still explore Virginia’s endless beauty from the comfort of your own car – with plenty of fresh-air stops along the way. Restaurants, Breweries, Wineries, & More **Know before you go! Please wear a mask or face covering when indoors and observe Virginia’s current safety guidelines when you travel. Before visiting, be sure to contact individual businesses for the most up-to-date hours and info. Wanderlust is defined as a strong desire to travel, but here in Virginia, we call that feeling WanderLove. Claytor Lake State Park, photo by Sam Dean Begin your trip in Roanoke with a bike ride along the Roanoke Valley Greenway, which has over 30 miles of paved trails; rent bikes through Roanoke Mountain Adventures. Or head to the trails of Mill Mountain Park where a hike or ride to the top leads to spectacular views from the Roanoke Star, one of the most iconic sites in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.  The Virginia Creeper Trail, photo by Sam Dean Return to Abingdon for your overnight stay and catch a play at the Barter Theatre Moonlight Drive-In, a drive-in live theater opened in response to COVID-19.  Restaurants, Breweries, Wineries, & More Thrill-seekers will love the zipline tour at Hungry Mother Adventures, the longest, highest and fastest zipline in Virginia that provides a bird’s eye view of the Park. Another worthwhile detour off Route 11 is a stop at Draper Mercantile & Trading Co., a dining/shopping village that also offersbike rentals and is conveniently located beside New River Trail State Park. Continue south on Route 11, driving to the Big Walker Lookout Tower & Country Store. Climb the 100-foot tower for breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and spend some time perusing the country store. Hotels, Resorts, & Other Lodging For more road trip ideas, check out Virginia’s WanderLove getaways! ROUTE 11: FROM WYTHEVILLE TO ABINGDON For waterfront outdoor adventure, detour off Route 11 to Claytor Lake State Park. Rent paddleboards or kayaks through Mountain2Island Paddleboard Company and head out on the water. Looking to soak up some sun on the shoreline? The park also has a beach area with a snack bar and bathhouse.  Next, stop by Iron Heart Winery, located about twelve miles south of Draper. While the tasting room is currently closed due to COVID-19, you can enjoy a private cabana rental, which includes a bottle of wine, a tent, two chairs and a table, and a cooler with ice, all set up before your arrival.  Hotels, Resorts, & Other Lodging The River & Rail Restaurant—Southern bistro featuring locally-sourced, seasonal cuisine.Farmburguesa—Roanoke farm-to-table burgers.Al’s on First—Casual full-service restaurant serving Southern homestyle dishes. Skeeter’s Hot Dogs—Historic diner known for its “Skeeter Dogs”.7 Dogs Brew Pub—Brewery/restaurant serving burgers, sandwiches and a wide range of light bar fare. Graze on Main—Southern food with a twist in the historic Bolling Wilson Hotel.West Wind Farm Vineyard—Pet-friendly winery on a fourth-generation homestead. Follow Route 11 to Abingdon and rent bikes from the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop. The shop will shuttle you and your bikes further down the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 34-mile trail that runs between Abingdon and Whitetop Station. If biking the entire trail, stop through Damascus, an enchanting mountain town, to peruse outdoor-centric shops and grab a bite to eat.  Wolfe’s BBQ—Classic smoked cuts and delicious sides in Marion. Abingdon Vineyards—Pet-friendly winery on the South Holston River.White Birch Food & Juice—Health-centric juice/smoothie bar in downtown Abingdon.The Pakalachian—Abingdon-based food truck that blends Southwest Virginia cuisine with South Asian flavors.Wolf Hills Brewing Co.—Craft brewery that often hosts live music acts and trivia nights.  Before heading home, stop by the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace to peruse goods made from local artisans. Don’t miss the stunning LOVEwork, a prime spot for a photo opp.  Depart Wytheville, continuing along Route 11 to Hungry Mother State Park. With a 108-acre lake and picturesque woodland surroundings, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy the water – whether unwinding on the lake’s sandy beach area or renting a boat to head off-shore. ROUTE 11: FROM ROANOKE TO WYTHEVILLE Follow along through the mountains of Southwest Virginia, as we turn a simple road trip into an unforgettable outdoor escape!  A can’t-miss destination in the Wytheville area, the 45-acre Fort Chiswell Animal Park, offers a petting zoo and a Safari Bus ride that lets you get close to exotic animals such as zebras, antelopes and ostriches.  For another cycling opportunity, head to Christiansburg on Route 11. Reserve bikes from the ROAM New River Valley hubs and pick them up from their Christiansburg Recreation Center to bike the paved Huckleberry Trail that runs from Christiansburg to Blacksburg. Bolling Wilson Hotel—Pet-friendly boutique hotel with a rooftop bar and outdoor dining. New River Retreat—Cabin and cottage rentals on the New River, Claytor Lake, the New River Trail, and in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Trinkle Mansion Bed & Breakfast—Renovated historic bed and breakfast. last_img

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