The best ice cream in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains can be found in a historic railroad caboose by The New River in Fries, VA. Sweet Lily’s, named in honor of the proprietor’s granddaughter, serves up classic ice cream shop items such as hot fudge sundaes and banana splits. However, their signature sundae, which consists of chocolate ice cream, brownie, nuts, waffle cone, pineapple, caramel, chocolate, blueberry, blackberry, whipped cream, and a cherry, is a customer favorite.
Special features offered by Sweet Lily’s include hosting opportunities for small birthday parties, tasting parties, and a monthly ice cream social offering all-you-can-eat sweet treats for a flat fee. Sweet Lily’s also serves regular and decaf coffee, teas, slushies, and lemonade.
Sweet Lily’s is located at 321 Firehouse Drive, Fries, VA 24330. Their hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Sunday from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
HoustonFest, a music festival that features multiple regional and national bands ranging in style from Bluegrass to Old Time, is being held June 8 & 9, 2018 at Felts Park in Galax, VA. Artisans from Galax and the surrounding area demonstrate and sell their crafts, while food vendors serve up local dishes. The festival, which honors local musician Houston Caldwell who passed away in 2010, raises money for scholarships that go to musical training and education for youth.
If you’re searching for the perfect summer camp for your child that will inspire their curiosity while they’re immersed in a beautiful nature setting, you’ll want to check out the Blue Ridge Discovery Center. Founded in 2008, BRDC, is a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring, discovering and sharing the natural history of the Blue Ridge Mountains. BRDC currently operates out of Southwest Virginia and Northwest North Carolina. Summer camps are led by highly skilled guides who focus on teaching skills through river expeditions, fly fishing, wilderness discoveries, and ornithology. Please visit their website: http://blueridgediscoverycenter.org/ for a complete list of the 2018 summer camps.
If you enjoy delicious southern comfort food, you must visit Creek Bottom Brewing Company Restaurant for their Easter Brunch this Sunday from 9 am – 2 pm. Their brunch includes a full special breakfast menu and a stocked and awesome Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar.
Creek Bottom Brewing Company
103 Country Club Lane
Galax, VA 24333
Web page: https://www.cbbrews.com/
Phone number: 276-236-2337
Winding its way through the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Blue Ridge Parkway offers visitors breathtaking views. The Blue Ridge Mountains, famous for their bluish color when seen from a distance, are a nature photographer’s paradise. Mabry Mill, located at mile 176.1, is one of the most photographed spots on the parkway.
Grayson Highlands State Park
Located in the Jefferson National Forest and near the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Grayson Highlands State Park offers stunning mountain views and many hiking trails to explore. The park’s most popular residents, a heard of wild ponies, provide plenty of photo opportunities.
The New River, which is actually an ancient river, flows generally northeastward across the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Whether you choose to bike or hike the New River Trail or spend a lazy day boating on the New, you’ll find yourself surrounded by magnificent scenery. During a float trip a few years ago, I was lucky enough to capture a photo of a black bear club splashing in the river. The historic dam in Fries, Virginia, built in 1901, provides a beautiful backdrop when the red buds are in bloom in the early spring.
The Claw of the Dragon, which loops through the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations in the south for motorcycle riders. The scenic 350 mile trail with its tight turns appeals to sport bike riders and touring enthusiasts alike. Accessible from interstates 77 and 81 as a starting point, the drive winds through parts of seven Virginia counties. From the trail’s hub, Wytheville, Virginia, it ventures over to the community of Marion to the west and Galax to the east.
Riders will want to allow adequate time to delight in the journey and stop along many interesting and authentic attractions along the way. After traveling through a heart stopping section of the ride that follows Virginia Route 16, the two-lane road which crosses three mountains between Tazewell and Marion called Back of the Dragon, riders will be ready to stretch their legs and explore the charming town of Marion. The General Francis Marion Hotel is a favorite of riders with its restaurant called The Black Rooster and a bar with 27 beer taps.
Next, continue on to the Wytheville area, where interstates 77 & 81 converge. Riders will enjoy a challenging ride up Big Walker Mountain. As the 16-mile scenic byway makes its way to the top, the rider will be in awe of the breathtaking natural beauty during any seasons. At the top, take a rest at Big Walker Lookout, climb the 100 foot tower, and enjoy a snack in the country store.
The final anchor community for The Claw of the Dragon is Galax, VA, famous for the Galax Old Fiddler’s Convention, which is held during the second week of August each year. For a “barbecue fix” riders must stop by The Galax Smokehouse, a local institution since 2003. Their barbecue is the best around and they also sponsor the annual “Smoke On The Mountain, Virginia State Barbecue Championship” which is held in downtown Galax each July.
For additional information about The Claw of the Dragon and all of the interesting things you can see and do as you ride, please visit www.ClawoftheDragon.com.
Appalachian Horseback Riding Adventures, located in Grayson County VA, offers guided horseback riding trips in Mt. Rogers, Virginia’s highest peak, as well as Pine Mountain. There are Guided 2 Hour, 1/2 Day, or All Day rides, as well as overnight camping trips available. They have horses for riders of all experience levels, from beginner to advanced. Their schedules are available throughout the year and they will tailor them for your convenience.
Experience the breathtaking scenery of Grayson County’s mountains, with 365 degree views, or the amazing Wild Ponies of the Grayson Highlands. If you have a love for horses, adventure, mountain views, peace and tranquility, you will love Appalachian Horseback Riding Adventures! Check out their website for additional information. https://ahra.webs.com/
The Six-String Soldiers band is a five-member acoustic group of Active-Duty U.S. Army Soldiers performing Americana, folk, country, bluegrass, and Irish music. Through audience interaction and story telling, the Six-String Soldiers offers one of the most personal musical experiences found in the United States Army. Come see them live June 8 & 9, 2018 at HoustonFest in Galax, VA. Event information can be found at https://www.houstonfestgalax.com/