Wytheville’s location in the Virginia mountains at the intersection of I-81 and I-77 makes it a convenient overnight stopping place, but there’s a lot more to enjoy in this town named for patriot George Wythe.
Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre (wohlfahrthaus.com): Virginia’s only all-musical, all the time theater attracts professional players to its stage and theater-goers to enjoy plays in the unusual German-style building. Peggy Sutphin opened the theater in 1999. There’s no scrambling for a buffet line here; diners are served a complete meal at their tables. The facility also features a separate Matterhorn Restaurant and outdoor beer garden.
Annie runs through June 20, A Country Gospel July 5-Sept. 1, Ring of Fire Sept. 5-Oct. 27, and a Christmas production Oct. 31-Dec. 31.
Beagle Ridge Herb Farm (beagleridgeherbfarm.com): Beagle Ridge has become a mecca for lavender lovers with an annual Lavender Thyme Festival, June 15-16, which includes demonstrations, mini classes and all things lavender. Beagle Ridge also includes Southwest Virginia’s only walkthrough butterfly house.
“We call it ‘Flying Flowers,’” said owner Ellen Reynolds. “It was a natural extension of the butterfly plantings we’ve had that attract native butterflies.”
Visitors can also enjoy a Lick Mountain excursion, a 2-hour trip in a 6-seat ATV from wetlands to craggy Buzzards Roost. You’ll learn the natural and Civil War history of the area and can even hike back down the mountain if you wish.
Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum (indianvillage.org): The nearby attraction takes you back to the 1500s. While artifacts had been found earlier, the 1970 construction of I-77 resulted in an important archaeology study. The study determined the site of a 15th-16th-century village with graves. Archaeologists had only 30 days to complete their work before highway construction began again. A reconstructed village opened in 1996 followed by a museum in 1998. The museum displays exhibits like clothing, arrowheads, and tools as well as a large outdoor medicine wheel.
“The ceremonial medicine wheel’s rocks represent the cardinal directions (west, north, east, and south) and the colors of man,” said the museum’s Jamie Williams.
Chautauqua Festival (wythe-arts.org): The June 15-22 music and art festival includes a parade and music on two stages, but things really get started on Friday, June 14, with a hot air balloon glow and food trucks. Balloon pilots offer rides on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.
Big Walker Lookout (scenicbeauty-va.com): Visitors enjoy valley views and fantastic bird watching for migrating hawks at Virginia’s oldest and highest private scenic attraction. Heather Kime arranges special entertainment every weekend during each summer and fall. Crafters, artists, and musicians show off the heritage of the mountains. There are all kinds of goodies at the Big Walker Country store, too.
Insider tip: Don’t miss the ice cream and fudge at the country store.
Edith Bolling Wilson (edithbollingwilson.org): Feisty First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson was born in Wytheville, became President Woodrow Wilson’s second wife, and apparently took over many of his responsibilities following his stroke in 1919. But that’s only part of her story. You can learn a lot more at the Edith Bolling Wilson Museum, housed in her family’s home on Main Street. Step next door to Skeeter’s and order one of the world famous Skeeter Dogs. Established in 1925, Skeeter’s is one of Virginia’s oldest continuously operating restaurants. Enjoy a Baby Coke with your hot dog, too!
For a town its size Wytheville has an amazing number and variety of museums. Stop at the visitor’s center for a list and directions.
Bolling Wilson Hotel (bollingwilsonhotel.com): Given its location at the intersection of two interstate highways, there’s no shortage of places to stay in Wytheville, but the Bolling Wilson Hotel on Main Street is a treat. A light continental breakfast is delivered to your door in the restored historic hotel. In good weather, venture to “The Perch” on the roof where food and beverage service is available Thursday-Saturday evenings. Enjoy a meal in Graze on Main (be sure to check out the carrot cake!).