Our Top 10 List

There are so many places and things to see and do when on vacation in our area. Here we made a list of 10 of our favorite things to see and do for both adults and children, while enjoying your vacation.

The list is in no particular order.

1. Float On The New River

Floating on the river is a great way to spend a relaxing day.  Canoes, kayaks, tandem kayaks, and river tubes can be rented from New River Outdoor Adventures.  They’ll deliver to River Mist Retreat.

2. Enjoy the Wildlife

Our area has an abundance of wildlife.  The cute bear cub was spotted splashing in the river during a float trip.  You may be treated to a show by the river otters or spot a timid deer crossing through the yard at River Mist.   During the Spring, you may even notice baby turtles hatching.

3. Spend A Day Fishing

The New River is home to many species of freshwater game fish including bass, trout, walleye, muskellunge, crappie, bluegill, carp, flathead and channel catfish.  You can schedule a guided fishing excursion with New River Trips or Elk Creek Outfitters.

4. Go For A Bike Ride

The New River Trail parallels 39 miles of the New River, the second oldest river in the world and one of the few flowing north.  Bikers will experience miles of beautiful scenery along the trail.  The trail contains two tunnels:  135 feet and 193 feet long, and three major bridges, Hiawasee-951 feet, Ivanhoe-670 feet, and Fries Junction-1,089 feet.  Visit New River Trail State Park for additional information.

5. Build A Campfire and Have Some S’mores

A campfire at River Mist Retreat is the perfect ending to a long day of adventure.  The firewood is provided.

6. Savor The Local Cuisine

Award winning barbecue can be enjoyed at The Galax Smokehouse, a local institution in Galax VA (a twenty minute drive from River Mist Retreat).  See if you can guess the secret ingredient in their delicious banana pudding.  The Smoke On The Mountain Barbecue Championship is held in July each year.

7. Shop At A Farmer’s Market

The Fries Farmers Market, 336 Firehouse Drive, Fries, VA is open on Sundays from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM  and The Galax Farmer’s Market, North Main Street, Galax, VA is open every Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM in season.

8. Take In A Show

Grayson County VA is rich in musical history and the legacy continues today.  Fries is a proud affiliate of The Crooked Road, a 330 mile driving trail through the mountains of Southwest Virginia that connects nine major venues and over 60 affiliated venues and festivals that visitors can enjoy every day of the year.  Jam sessions can be enjoyed at The Fries Community Center every Thursday night from 6:30 to 9:00 PM.  The world’s oldest and largest Old Fiddler’s Convention is held in Galax, VA the second week of August annually.  Numerous other towns and communities also have music festivals throughout the year.

9. Go For A Hike

Mount Rogers is the highest natural point in Virginia, with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet above mean sea level.  The Appalachian Trail passes within a half mile of the summit, making it especially popular with hikers.  You may come upon the residents of Mt. Rogers, a herd of more than 100 wild ponies that roam free.

10. Take A Scenic Drive

Pack a picnic and experience America’s favorite drive, The Blue Ridge Parkway, during your stay.  Access to the parkway in Galax, VA is only 1/2 hour away from River Mist Retreat.