Floyd is a wondrous natural heartland thanks to its scenic position atop the breathtaking Blue Ridge Plateau, overlooking the surrounding green landscape. With a rich and vibrant culture and history, the town is highly spoken of for its hospitality towards visitors wishing to experiences it celebrations of food, wines, the arts, music, and more. It offers a great choice of activities and opportunities for exploration and hosts events throughout the year which allow visitors the chance to experience the true feel of this natural haven of a town. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Troika Contemporary Craft Gallery

Troika Contemporary Craft Gallery
© Troika Contemporary Craft Gallery

Opened by a trio of women, the Troika Contemporary Crafts Gallery showcases a collection of fine craftwork from local, regional artists. The products on display are all made by hand with love and incredible levels of attention to detail. They feature products made from skilled artists involved in ceramics, woodwork, blacksmithing, prints, lamps, textiles and books. Each piece is of an incredibly high standard and many of the showcased items are both beautiful and functional. The owners of the store are eager to assist in any way possible and are passionate about their town, and they are more than willing to help with guiding you around their area.

203 S Locust St, Floyd, VA 24091-2505, Phone: 540-745-8764

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2.Rocky Knob Recreation Area

Rocky Knob Recreation Area
© wildnerdpix/stock.adobe.com


Named for the mountain with which it shares a name, the 4,000-acre estate that is the Rocky Knob Recreation Area offers a chance to relax in the heart of some of Floyd’s most phenomenal natural wonders. Activities include the option of camping—with picnicking areas included—or staying in one of their own residential 1930s cabins. The center performs a number of interpretive demonstrations and talks, and maintains four historically rich trails which offer over 17 miles of beautiful, scenic views. Avid hikers have the opportunity to explore Rock Castle Gorge, a wondrous natural formation which is famous for its impressive quartz formations.

1670 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Floyd, VA 24091-3932, Phone: 828-348-3400

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3.Floyd Center for the Arts

Floyd Center for the Arts
© Floyd Center for the Arts

The year was 1995, and a group of Floyd County citizens noticed an old dairy barn that had fallen into disrepair. Together they began to think about how they could transform the barn into a building which would contribute to the society, and they settled on creating a space where the artisan community of Floyd County—a traditionally hard-to-find niche—could come together to display their creations. Nearly $600,000 was spent on making the barn into a safe public space, including the installation of handicapped facilities. The center is now known widely for its inclusiveness and passion for preserving the arts as well as for its influence in the local economy. It offers metalsmithing, blacksmithing and stained glass working classes, to name a few.

220 Parkway Lane South, Floyd, VA 24091, Phone: 540-745-2784

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4.5 Mile Mountain Distillery

5 Mile Mountain Distillery
© 5 Mile Mountain Distillery


Built just after the closing of the Second World War, the 5 Mile Mountain Distillery started its life as a water treatment plant instead, where it was used to pump water from the nearby Dodds Creek where it would be sent on, fully treated, to the water tower of the town. The drilling of wells in subsequent years to accommodate the town’s growing requirements caused the closure of the water plant in 1976. The building was then left to ruin until 2013, where it was purchased and restored into the distillery that it is today, thusly preserving this historically significant building for the town. The distillery uses traditional recipes to create their handmade whiskey and do so in small batches to guarantee consistency and quality.

489 Floyd Hwy South Floyd, VA 24091, Phone: 540-745-4495

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5.Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve

Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve
© nd3000/stock.adobe.com


Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve is an area of great heritage, set on 1,140 acres of Virginian soil. The preserve features a diverse ecosystem, with 14 different species of rare plants and three species of invertebrate animals. The preserve expands over the slopes and the summit of the Buffalo Mountain, and the absence of trees allows for the wild species of plants to thrive without heavy competition and shading. The preserve has a number of secluded and serene trails which allow for a relaxing and enjoyable hike through this truly natural landscape, with nothing but the noises, smells, and sights of nature.

890 Moles Rd SW, Floyd, VA 24380, Phone: 540-676-5673

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6.River stone Organic Farm

River stone Organic Farm
© River stone Organic Farm


Nestled away in Floyd County’s Blue Ridge Mountains, the River stone Organic Farm is built on flat river bottom land whose soils are known for their incredible fertility—a rarity in the region. This allows for sustainable and organic crop production. The farm is hence run with a passion for working alongside nature and the local community, with the intention of creating a center for the promotion of sustainable agriculture. Both Tiffany and Alex, the owners of the farm, hold master’s degrees in horticulture, making them ideal for tackling the challenges that such a project poses. They place a heavy focus on producing high-quality food for the local community and its visitors and work to reduce their energy footprint wherever possible, making the farm a destination of interest for visitors.

708 Thompson Road, Floyd, VA, 24091, Phone: 540-267-7700 or Phone: 540-230-0020

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7.Floyd County Historical Society

Floyd County Historical Society
© Floyd County Historical Society

The non-profit organization that is the Floyd County Historical Society is run with the intention of preserving and protecting the history of the county and educating visitors as to the events of days gone by. The museum offers a number of exhibits, some of which are permanent and others which are changed on a regular basis by the society. The museum hosts events approximately once a month and is open for visits from independent researchers, with thousands of pieces of historical memorabilia and accounts making for a valuable resource in regards to the history of the county. Their collection is in the process of being cataloged and uploaded onto their online collections, which will further extend the availability of these precious materials to the public.

217 North Locust Street, Floyd, Virginia, Phone: 540-745-3247

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8.The Bread Basket

The Bread Basket
© The Bread Basket

After a career in teaching, Missy Yoder made the move to Floyd in search of a different direction in which to take her life. She found her chance when a small property came up for sale, and she pulled out all the stops to buy it, after which she converted it into a small scale bakery which offered visitors homemade bread, pies, and pastries. The community’s support for the project allowed her to hire her first employee after just a fortnight of running the business. In the years that have followed, the range has expanded to offer gluten-free options. An expansion in 2013 allowed for the construction of a freshly made sandwich bar. Since then, the running of the business has been largely transferred to Ben and Kathy Yoder, who have helped to set it up for a bright future for years to come.

2167 Webbs Mill Road, North Floyd, VA 24091, Phone: 540-745-5382

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9.Old Church Gallery

Old Church Gallery
© Old Church Gallery

The Old Church Gallery is run entirely on voluntary work by individuals who are united by a common passion for protecting, preserving and sharing the cultural history of Floyd County. They provide a center for the display of local arts, crafts, history, music, and theater, and welcome classes into their space for education and discussion purposes. The Gallery offers workshops and a small, on-site shop which sells books relating to the history of the county. They also host a weekly ‘Story Center’, which they use to encourage the practice of oral history and storytelling, which has fallen out of fashion. Their archive has grown to over 100 interviews since the project’s foundation.

110 Wilson Street, Floyd, VA 24091, Phone: 540-745-2979

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9 Best Things to Do in Floyd, Virginia



More Ideas in VA: Shenandoah Valley

Located throughout western Virginia and West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle region, the Shenandoah Valley is an Appalachian valley region that serves as a popular cultural and tourist destination, offering a variety of outdoor recreation activities, scenic drives and trails, and retail and dining amenities.

History

The Shenandoah Valley region is named for its Shenandoah River, which spans across much of the valley’s length. Though the exact origin of the word shenandoah is unknown, it is assumed to have been an Anglicization of several indigenous words, including the Iroquois term for “big meadow.” Several other legends surrounding the valley and river’s naming connect the term to an indigenous expression translating to “beautiful daughter of the stars” and to Iroquois Chiefs Sherando and Skenandoa. The valley, which is bordered by the Blue Ridge Mountain range, the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachian range, the Potomac River, and the James River, was first visited by European explorers in 1671 and soon settled through the use of the indigenous Great Wagon Road, which is now roughly paralleled by Interstate 81. During the American Civil War, the valley was of strategic importance to the Confederate Army as a backdoor route into Union sites in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. It has been immortalized in a number of films, television programs, and popular music songs, including the 1965 feature film Shenandoah and John Denver’s folk hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” In the late 20th century, the valley became a popular vineyard region, and in 1982, the 2.4-million-acre Shenandoah Valley American Viticultural Area was established.

Attractions

Today, the Shenandoah Valley spans eight counties in Virginia and two in West Virginia, with its cultural region extending to an additional five Virginia counties. The cities of Roanoke, Salem, Lexington, Covington, Buena Vista, Harrisonburg, Winchester, Staunton, and Waynesboro are located within the region, as well as the Massanutten Mountain range and the Page and Fort Valleys. Throughout the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the region has become a popular cultural tourist destination, offering a variety of outdoor recreational activities, scenic drives and trails, and retail and restaurant destinations.

Outdoor recreation facilities within the valley include Shenandoah National Park, which was opened in 1935 and spans 200,000 acres near the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park is located 75 miles from Washington, D.C. and offers more than 500 acres of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the 2,181-mile-long Appalachian Trail public footpath, which is open for foot, bike, and backpacking traffic. Other National Park Service-administered sites within the region include the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, which features a historic community with museums and restored buildings, and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, which offer 1.8 million acres of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, swimming, camping, and horseback riding. Scenic drives in the region include the famous Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. Horseback riding is offered by Jordan Hollow Stables and Star B Stables, while group outdoor adventure experiences are offered by tour companies such as Front Royal Outdoors, Shenandoah River Adventures, and Wild GUYde Adventures. The region is also noted for its caverns and natural rock formations at sites such as Virginia’s Natural Bridge State Park and Grand, Luray, Skyline, and Shenandoah Caverns.

Museums and cultural attractions within the region include the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, the Strasburg Museum, the historic Belle Grove Plantation, and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. A number of historic sites connected to the Civil War are showcased throughout the region, including New Market Battlefield Historic Park and the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. Family animal experiences are offered at Dinosaur Land, the Natural Bridge Zoological Park, and the Virginia Safari Park, while theatrical and music performances are presented at the American Shakespeare Center, the Wayne Theater and Ross Performing Arts Center, and the Shenandoah Summer Music Theater.

A variety of shopping experiences are offered throughout the valley, including farmer’s markets at Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse, Shenandoah Heritage Market, and the Marker-Miller Orchards Farm Market and Bakery. Casual and fine dining is offered throughout the region’s cities, featuring traditional and international cuisines. A wide variety of award-winning breweries, wineries, and cideries are located throughout the region, including Peaks of Otter Winery, Pale Fire Brewing Company, and Old Hill Cider. Lodging options include hotels, motels, historic bed-and-breakfast facilities, and RV and campground sites.

Ongoing Programs and Events

Annual events hosted throughout the region include the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, which features more than 40 individual events including band competitions, parades, carnivals, and a 10K race. The Virginia Wine and Craft Festival offers wine tastings, live music and entertainment, and more than 100 arts and crafts vendors, while the Mountain Heritage Arts and Crafts Festival showcases the works of more than 200 local artisans. Other special events include a Wildflower Weekend and Youth Art Contest, a Shenandoah Antiques Expo, and the annual ValleyFest Beer and Wine Festival.

33229 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg, VA, 22657, Phone: 800-VISIT-SV

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More Ideas in VA: Historic Jamestowne

Jamestown Rediscovery is an excavation project turned cultural attraction in Jamestown Island, Virginia. The project is run by Preservation Virginia and concentrates on archeological digs and excavations within the Jamestown Historic Cultural Site. The site is thought to be the birthplace of the United States, when English settlers landed on the shores in 1607, thus beginning the first English settlement in North America. History shows the settlers quickly began to build defenses against the native Virginia tribes, with the remains of James Fort revealing a large amount of information about the cultures that lived in the vicinity at that time. With its rich cultural history, Jamestown was the natural place for archaeologists to explore and so the birth of Jamestown Rediscovery in Historic Jamestowne began.

The project was originally planned to be a 10-year excavation beginning in 1994, but due to the success of the excavations and the need to display these findings, purpose-built buildings were created to house the artifacts and inform the public about their significance. The site now contains a museum known as the Archaearium, a visitor center, the Dale House Cafe, a 17th-century ruin of a brick tower, the Memorial Church, and a gift shop. Live talks and excavations on site are undertaken by archeologists, who show their findings to the audience. Optional tours are offered, where park rangers take visitors on a walk around the site, highlighting significant places, people, and moments through 400 years of Jamestown history.

The Visitor Centre

The Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center displays over 1,000 artifacts, representing just a fraction of what has been discovered since 1930 by the National Park Service archaeologists. The exhibit galleries document the prehistoric origins of Jamestown from 15,000 years ago up to modern times. The exhibit pays particular attention to revealing more information about the crucial cultures of the European, Virginia Native American, and African people before their merging at Jamestown.

The Archaearium

The Nathalie P. & Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium is the site’s museum and holds over 4,000 artifacts. The 7,500-square foot space provides a vital backstory to the formative period of 1607–1624, when the settlers arrived and established themselves in Jamestown. The artifacts represent the story of the settlers and come in the form of religious objects, trade goods, arms and armor, tools, coins, personal items, and many other interesting objects. In-depth information and photographs as well as 3D reconstructions of how the artifacts were discovered enables visitors to experience the discoveries as if they were there in person. Within the museum is a reconstruction of a mud and stud building, which is an example of the architecture of early Jamestown.

Within the Archaearium is a room known as Jane’s Room, which focuses on the unfolding of the harsh winter of 1609–1610 when attacks by Native Americans as well as starvation and disease saw the colonists barely survive in treacherous conditions.

The World of Pocahontas, Unearthed

The World of Pocahontas, Unearthed is an exhibition dedicated to honoring the Virginia Native Peoples and their story alongside the English settlers. The artifacts found at James Fort over the years have shed light on the life of Chesapeake’s Native People. The artifacts on display reveal that the English and Powhatans had more interactions than first thought. Evidence from the discovery of native pots suggests that during the harsh winter, the Powhatan Chiefdom may have traded or bartered with the English for meat and corn carried within these vessels.

Jamestown Rediscovery provides educators with lesson plans concentrating on the English settlers as well as “Dig Update” videos for students, which show archaeological methods and any new discoveries found on site. Online assignments, posters, and fun activities are also accessible from the site. At Jamestown Rediscovery, students can attend pre-booked tours such as “Archaeology in Action” for third to fifth graders and “Finds and Forensics” for middle school and high school students. Educators at the site arrange custom tours for adults, but those already running are the In the Trenches Tour with Dr. William Kelso, the Director of the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeology team, and the Curator's Artifact Tour.

For younger visitors and their families, Ed Shed is a space for archeological discovery and tactile activities, where children can follow the clues from the Jamestown Adventure Booklet series and get their hands dirty trying out some of the exciting activities on offer here.

Back to: Williamsburg, VA

1368 Colonial Pkwy, Jamestown, VA 23081, Phone: 757-856-1250

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More Ideas in VA: Williamsburg Botanical Garden

Williamsburg Botanical Garden is located in James City County, Virginia. The gardens are situated within Freedom Park, which also serves as recreational grounds for the public. Freedom Park, much like other areas of Virginia, is steeped in history spanning four centuries. The park has changed use many times over the years, with its original purpose being that of a 17th-century settlement. After this, it was a site of battle in the Revolutionary War during the 18th century and even a cemetery. The park itself spans 600 acres and has hiking and biking trails through the historic terrains. The park also contains an interpretive center showcasing both contemporary and prehistoric artifacts discovered in the area. The Williamsburg Botanical Garden contains a vast collection of more than 800 examples of plant life within its beautiful grounds that are linked by pathways. Visitors can pick up a map and head through the garden, following the ascending numbered areas.

When entering the garden entrance, visitors can look at the Native Plant Garden, which shows a beautiful selection of plants indigenous to the area, whereby most of which are native to the coastal plain. Following this, there is the Heirloom Garden, which is situated on three sides of the Pavilion Patio and displays species originating from Eurasia that were grown in North America and can now often be spotted in the east of the country, too. The sweet-scented fairy rose is a popular flower to behold, as is the tall, white bridal wreath spirea.

Positioned near the wetlands is the Green Roof Pavilion, which received its name due to the water holding plants that have been planted on the roof. The species, such as Ice Plants and sedums, aid with water conservation by absorbing the rainwater and reducing storm water runoff, thus lessening the flooding in the area. A unique feature in the botanical gardens is the Therapy Garden. Children and adults can access the raised beds, pavilion, and planting boxes in the area, which is also designed for those who require wheelchair access. The scent of the herbs, sensory plants, and demonstrations performed here make the Therapy Garden an accessible and interactive experience for all.

Those visiting the gardens can stroll over the wooden bridge and take in the scenery of the man-made wetlands. The wetlands combine a swamp, a freshwater marsh, and a stream bank, creating an ecosystem which provides a habitat for not only plants but also animal species. Eye-catching plants on show here include the yellow cutleaf coneflower and the vibrant red cardinal flower. A popular place to visit is the Butterfly Garden, a short walk from the wetlands, which includes both native and non-native plants that provide a thriving habitat for butterflies, bees, and other insects. School groups often tour the garden to enjoy a bit of butterfly spotting. Frequently spotted butterflies are monarchs and pearl crescents, feeding on their favorite flowers’ nectar.

As well as Pollinator Palace, a purpose-built structure to accommodate bees and other pollen-carrying insects and to help them live and breed in a protected environment, there is the Old Pine Woods, which contain native coastal Virginian shrubs, trees, vines, and herbaceous plants, many of which are labeled. In the fall, long yellow sweet goldenrod plants light up the area and in spring red partridge berries can be seen blooming. The woods are a great place for school groups and families to sit in the sun for lunch. An alternative place is the patio around the Green Roof Pavilion, which also has public benches.

The James City County and Williamsburg Master Gardeners offer educational tours of the Williamsburg Botanical Garden for pre-booked adult groups during certain months of the year. Tour participants can learn about the range of plants and wildlife within the park and the procedures necessary for maintaining their habitats. For children, many educational programs are on offer all year round. Programs are often conducted in the Freedom Park Interpretive Center, where children use natural materials to create artwork, attend talks about caring for animals, and find out interesting and exciting facts about nature.

Due to the expanse of green space, the range of flowers, and natural beauty of the gardens, the grounds are regularly booked for private events and weddings. Visitors can check on the events calendar on the website to see the schedule.

Back to: Best Things to Do in Williamsburg, VA

5535 Centerville Rd, St, Williamsburg, VA 23188, Phone: 757-880-1893

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