Southwest Virginia in the fall is a hidden gem that’s about as underrated as a squirrel’s ability to predict the weather. So, if you’re looking for a place that combines the charm of a small town with the excitement of a squirrel on an acorn spree, look no further. Here’s your guide to the best things to do in Southwest Virginia during the fall.
1. Leaf Peeping with a Twist
Sure, you’ve heard of leaf-peeping, but have you ever done it while riding a llama? That’s right, in Southwest Virginia, you can join a llama caravan and trek through the picturesque landscapes of the Appalachian Mountains. The trees are showing off their best reds, oranges, and yellows, and the llamas are… well, they’re llamas. What more could you want?
2. The Great Pumpkin Regatta at Claytor Lake
Picture this: giant pumpkins, carved out, turned into boats, and raced across Claytor Lake. It’s like Cinderella meets NASCAR. Get your life jackets and pumpkin-carving tools ready for the most gourd-geous race of the year!
3. Haunted Coal Mines: The Spooky Side of History
Ever wondered what it’s like to explore a haunted coal mine? The Haunted Coal Mine tour in Southwest Virginia offers a chilling journey into the past. It’s part history lesson, part ghost story, and a 100% chance of someone screaming when a bat flies by.
4. The Floyd Country Store Jamboree
Get your dancing shoes on for the Floyd Country Store’s Friday Night Jamboree. It’s a hoedown with a mix of bluegrass, folk, and a bit of banjo magic. And if you’re not a dancer, just tap your feet and enjoy the local apple cider. It’s like a barn dance, but with less hay and more harmonicas.
5. The Big Walker Lookout & Country Store
Big Walker Lookout isn’t just a scenic spot; it’s an experience. Climb the lookout tower for breathtaking views of the fall foliage, and then browse the country store for local crafts and homemade fudge. It’s the perfect place to pretend you’re a bird… if birds loved fudge.
6. Mountain Biking on the Virginia Creeper Trail
If you’ve ever wanted to yell “I’m king of the world!” while biking down a mountain, the Virginia Creeper Trail is your spot. With stunning fall scenery and a name that sounds like a horror movie villain, this trail offers a thrilling ride through nature’s artwork.
7. The Galax Smokehouse BBQ Challenge
Let’s talk about the real reason to visit Southwest Virginia in the fall: barbecue. The Galax Smokehouse BBQ Challenge is where the best grill masters in the region come to show off their skills. It’s a battle of the briskets, a duel of the drumsticks, and a chance to eat your weight in BBQ.
8. The Wytheville Witch Tours
Explore the spooky side of Wytheville with a guided witch tour. It’s part history, part folklore, and a great way to walk off that BBQ. Plus, you might just learn a spell or two. Disclaimer: Actual witchcraft not guaranteed.
So, there you have it. Southwest Virginia in the fall is not just a feast for the eyes but a banquet for the soul. And remember, if a llama can enjoy the fall foliage, so can you!