Book Direct & Save Money On Your Next Vacation

Book Direct & Save Money On Your Next Vacation

FIVE REASONS TO BOOK YOUR NEXT VACATION RENTAL DIRECT

Book Vacation Rentals Direct And Save the Fees

Did you know that Airbnb, VRBO, HomeAway, and TripAdvisor add hundreds of dollars of fees to your booking total?  These service fees are buried in the online quotes and do not go to the homeowners. The homeowners have already paid to list their properties.

Direct Contact With The Owner Helps Make Your Stay Better

When booking a vacation rental, peace of mind is important. Want to know if there is a grill, a hammock, a grocery store close by? Is the vacation rental pet friendly? When you book direct, you can get answers to all of your important questions before you commit to booking.

Many Of The Best Vacation Rentals Aren’t Listed On The Major Sites

Because of the cost of using the big sites, the best vacation homes with the highest demand cannot be found on the big websites. Along North Carolina’s beaches, alone, only 30 percent of the homes for rent can be found on the big websites. By limiting your search to HomeAway, VRBO, Airbnb, etc., you might be missing out on the best vacation home for your family or group.

Owners Have Intimate Knowledge About The Destination And The Home

Owners can provide important details about their home and amenities. As an expert for the destination, they can send you to the best activities, restaurants, and area service providers.

If You Have Special Needs, The Owner Can Help

Looking for help with your families special needs or help with pets? An owner can work with you directly to help with any of your individual needs and give you these assurances before you commit to booking.

HOW TO BOOK DIRECT WITH THE OWNER

  • Search for your perfect vacation rental on any of the listing sites. Identify your top choices, noting the property’s name and location. Use your search engine (i.e. Google) to search for the property name and city and possibly the owner’s name.
  • Search on Facebook for the house name and location to see if some of your favorite properties have a website or a Facebook page; most do. From there you can contact the owner/manager directly.
  • Search for property listings on state and local tourism sites such as https://www.virginia.org/  or  http://www.graysoncountyva.gov/ These steps can save you hundreds of dollars in booking fees from the listing websites (and you won’t be bombarded by their continual spam after you inquire on a property).

The following listing sites do not charge a service fee to guests:

Book directly with us and get the best prices and our local knowledge of restaurants, outfitters, things to do, and must see attractions.  Please feel free to contact us. We’re happy to share our knowledge about the New River and our beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

Valentine’s Dinner At The Twisted Fork Bistro — Galax, VA

Valentine’s Dinner At The Twisted Fork Bistro — Galax, VA

Love is in the air!  Make your dinner reservation for Valentine’s Day 2019!

The Twisted Fork Bistro
Wednesday, February 14, 5 PM – 9 PM
110 W Oldtown St, Galax, Virginia 24333
(276) 238-3313

https://twisted-fork-bistro-galax-va.business.site/

Wine & Chocolate at Chateau Morrisette Winery — Floyd, VA

Wine & Chocolate at Chateau Morrisette Winery — Floyd, VA

Chateau Morrisette is a third generation winery in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During their Wine & Chocolate event held February 16th & 17th, 2019, you can indulge in six courses of their select wines paired with chocolates handcrafted by local chocolatier Cocoa Mia.  Course interludes of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie let you explore both sweet and savory pairings.  Saturday seatings at 1p and 5p; Sunday seating at 2p.

Prepaid reservations required. $50 per person includes wines, pairings, taxes, and gratuities.  Please visit their website for additional information:  https://www.thedogs.com/Events/Calendar-of-Events

Chateau Morrisette Winery
291 Winery Road SW
Floyd, VA 24091
(540) 593-3647

Summer Camps in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Summer Camps in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

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 2019 summer camps.

Check out their 2018 New River Expedition here:  https://youtu.be/Pzlnwy4rVNM

The Top 5 Things to Do in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

The Top 5 Things to Do in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

1) Explore the New River

Flowing 160 miles through Virginia, the New River is a true recreation destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The New River is recognized as the second oldest river in the world, (the Nile in Egypt is the first). Its headwaters begin near Blowing Rock, NC and is one of the few rivers in North America that flows northerly. If you’re looking for a peaceful float trip on the water, plan a trip to the New River to venture into some of Virginia’s most beautiful waterfront acreage. The warm waters of the New River offers resourceful anglers the opportunity to catch the smallmouth bass of a lifetime. Fast water and large rock outcroppings are a feature of the New River, creating the perfect habitat for big smallmouth bass and flathead catfish. Several lazy, slow stretches also abound, where you can fish for rock bass near grass beds. The slow waters near the dams along the river will yield big flathead and channel catfish, as well as walleye and smallmouth bass.

2) Go for a Bike Ride

Biking On The New River Trail

The New River Trail parallels 39 miles of the New River. 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.  The trail is relatively flat and appropriate for all skill levels. Visit New River Trail State Park for additional information.

3) Climb a Mountain

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.

4) 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.

5) Savor the Local Cuisine

Award winning barbecue can be enjoyed at The Galax Smokehouse, a local institution in Galax VA. 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.

First Day Hike in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

First Day Hike in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Start 2019 off on a healthy track with a hike on New Year’s Day. An interpretive ranger will be your guide on the Rhododendron Trail as it meanders along the rocks and mountain meadows, or balds, of Wilburn Ridge. The views along the trail are breath taking with snowcapped mountains, and you may even see the local residents, the wild ponies, of Grayson Highlands. This moderate hike will be a total of 2 miles, so be sure to dress warmly, as the highlands experience particularly cold, windy, and sometimes snowy weather during the winter months. You may want to bring a water bottle, snacks, binoculars, a camera, your family, and/or your dog. Parking fees are waived for the day. The first 100 visitors will receive a First Day Hikes bumper sticker. As an added enticement, you can participate in the “New Year Challenge” contest. For additional information please see: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/blog/virginia-state-parks-first-day-hikes-2019

Date: 01/01/19

Time: 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Parking: Massie Gap Parking Area

About Grayson Highlands

Located near Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain, Virginia’s two highest mountains, Grayson Highlands offers scenic views of alpine-like peaks more than 5,000 feet high. Facilities include a visitor center, campgrounds, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls and overlooks. The park hosts a number of outdoor activities including hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, and backpacking. Scenic horse trails and a horse camping area with electric and water hookups, stables and parking for trailers are available. The park provides year-round access to the Appalachian Trail and the Virginia Highlands Horse Trail.

Park Hours

8 a.m. – 10 p.m

Location

The park is on U.S. 58 midway between Independence and Damascus and is reached from I-81 at Exit 45 in Marion; turn south on Route 16 and travel 24 miles to US 58 in the community of Volney. Turn right onto US 58. Travel eight miles to the park’s entrance. Latitude, 26.628322. Longitude, -81.496889.

From I-77, take Hillsville Exit 14 to U.S. 58. Travel west on U.S. 58, 40 miles to Volney. Turn left to stay on U.S. 58 and go eight miles to the park entrance.

The address of the park is 829 Grayson Highland Lane, Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363; Latitude, 36.628322. Longitude, -81.496889.

Drive time: Northern VA, 6.5 hours; Richmond, 5.5 hours; Tidewater, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, 7.5 hours; Roanoke, 2.5 hours; Winston-Salem, NC, 1.5 hours; Charlotte, 1.5 hours; Raleigh, 4 hours

Park Size

4,502 acres. Various elevation: Entrance – 3,698 feet; Visitor Center – 4,953 feet; Little Pinacle – 5,089 feet.

Grayson Landcare Rocks The River – July 29, 2018 – Fries, VA

Grayson Landcare Rocks The River – July 29, 2018 – Fries, VA

LandCare Rocks the River celebrates the New River as a part of our natural heritage and an economic driver in our community. The theme for this year’s event is “The Current That Connects Us.” LandCare Rocks the River is sponsored by:  LandCrafted Food, Skyline National Bank, Grayson County Tourism, Mountain High Chiropractic, Earth Mama Music, & Bear Tree Farm.

Grayson LandCare is a member-driven non-profit, addressing the challenges of life in a rural, agricultural community. LandCare promotes economic self-reliance, preserves local traditions, and helps landowners to protect and enhance our natural heritage by starting conversations, problem-solving, and appreciating the value of the place we call home.

Over 600 people attended last year’s event, and for 2018 we have even more fun planned with 3 bands, food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, the Fries Farmers Market, and a kids area. Rocks the River has something for everyone and admission is FREE!  Bring a blanket or chair, family and friends, and come spend the afternoon on the River with us!

About the Bands:
Superband is a collaboration between four of the hardest-working session musicians in the NC triad area. They have all played together in various groups for years, and formed Superband as a way to play dance/cover music in their own unique, virtuosic style. The members are all trained jazz musicians and accomplished in many other styles of music, but expect a continuous dance party from this ensemble.
Urban Soil is focused on creating the best possible original music. The combination of all out, electrified, jam band inspired musical explorations and the more Americana, acoustic flavors makes Urban Soil truly unique. Sarah’s powerful voice is complex and thought-provoking, while being strong and soulful at the same time. Eric and the rest of the band provide a tight, concise backdrop for her to fully explore the sonic space. Visit them at: www.urbansoilmusic.com
The Kind Thieves are a group of 8 from the heart of Appalachia, unique in the way that they are a chameleon of a musical experience. Transitioning from a bluegrass wildfire to a psychedelic experience, you never know what to expect. Many members being multi-instrumentalists, the style stays switching up and the jams stay fresh for your listening pleasure!
With John Colby Elswick dancing between the electric guitar & dobro, Drew Shinhearts plucking the bass, Annie Starshine sliding around on the fiddle, Archibald Johnson picking the acoustic and electric guitars, Andrew Brown beating the skins, Dustin Roberts on auxiliary percussion & ukulele, Gary Reynolds on Trumpet and Banjo, and Jason Lockart on the keys, this diverse group of musicians from different musical backgrounds and areas creates a distinct fusion that is hard to define with a label. Check them out online at: www.thekindthieves.bandcamp.com

Bring a Blanket or Chair & JOIN US @THE RIVER!
Sunday, July 29, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Firehouse Drive
Fries, VA

Summer Concerts at The Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, VA

Summer Concerts at The Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax, VA

Located at milepost 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Galax, Virginia, The Blue Ridge Music Center is a music venue, museum, and visitor center. The center honors the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge Mountains through concerts, exhibits, and programs that highlight the musical heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains region. The center was planned when the town of Galax donated 1,000 acres for its development. The center has a state-of-the-art amphitheater and a 17,000-square-foot museum. It was officially established by Congress in 1985. The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.

The Blue Ridge Music Center hosts concerts each summer on Saturdays at its outdoor amphitheater from May through October. The concerts include old-time, bluegrass, folk, Americana, gospel, and country blues performances. Free Midday Mountain Music acoustic sessions featuring local musicians are offered from noon to 4 p.m. daily. The 2018 summer schedule can be viewed here.  http://www.blueridgemusiccenter.org/concerts.htm

The Steep Canyon Rangers, performing on July 14th, is an American bluegrass band from Brevard, North Carolina which formed in 2000. The band has become widely popular since 2009 for collaborating with actor/banjoist Steve Martin. In 2013, the Steep Canyon Rangers’ solo album Nobody Knows You won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album.

The Roots of American Music exhibit tells the compelling story of the region’s rich music heritage. Visitors can listen to and enjoy music while learning about the development and national significance of this part of Blue Ridge Mountain cultural heritage. This is a state of the art museum exhibit and brings visitors from around the world.  Admission to the museum is free.

If you would like to stretch your legs during your visit to the Music Center, two trails are located on the property. The 1.35 mile High Meadow Trail, an easy stroll, takes you through a hayfield and a wetland with an abundance of wildflowers and birds. It also winds through a forest with a rich display of rhododendron, ferns and rock outcrops. The Fisher Peak Loop is a 2.24 moderate loop. Begin this trail at one of its junctions with the High Meadow Trail. The trail winds up the side of Fisher Peak through a variety of vegetation. At the lower elevation the trail follows a stream through mixed pine and hardwoods. Higher up, the blooms of azaleas, mountain laurel and Catawba rhododendron provide a spectacular display in May. They give way to a diverse second growth forest of oak, poplar, maple and sourwood trees. Look for abundant signs of animal life—woodpecker holes, deer tracks, and turkey dust baths.

Trailhead parking is located on Foothills Road (State Route 612). Follow signs to the Music Center, then turn right onto Foothills Road just before passing through the Music Center gates. Continue 0.5 miles to the parking area. The gates to the Music Center are locked at 5 p.m. so you’re not allowed to leave vehicles in the visitor center parking area later than 5 p.m. It is recommended that hikers park at the trailhead parking area on Foothills Road. The trails are for hiking only. Bicycles, horses and motorized vehicles are prohibited.

Please visit http://blueridgemusiccenter.org/index.htm for additional information.

 

Celebrate July 4th in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Celebrate July 4th in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Come celebrate an old-fashioned Fourth of July 2018 in beautiful Independence, VA.

8:00 am – Freedom Day 5K and downhill mile starting at Grayson County High School, 110 Blue Devil Drive.

10:00 am – Parade beginning at 171 West Main Street.

11:00 am – Come to the Town of Independence Park, 85 County Park Lane, and enjoy children’s activities, DJ Steve, food, crafts, and much more.

7:00 pm – Don’t miss Briana Atwell’s free concert at the Town Park. Food & beverage by Creek Bottom Brews. Bring a lawn chair.

Dark – The Town of Independence presents a beautiful display of fireworks!

Go With The Flow Brewfest – June 23, 2018 – On The New River in Fries, VA

Go With The Flow Brewfest – June 23, 2018 – On The New River in Fries, VA

CRAFT BEER JUST TASTES BETTER ON THE RIVER!

Creek Bottom Brewing is kicking off the summer by hosting a dozen breweries at the 1st Annual GO WITH THE FLOW BREWFEST at Fries Park on THE NEW RIVER in Fries, VA on Saturday, June 23 from 1-7 pm.

  • General Admission ONLY $15 (Includes Souvenir Pint Glass)
  • 13 Breweries with LOTS OF CRAFT BEER
  • MUSIC ALL DAY! Shelley Ruffin & Soul Revival + Radio Revolver
  • Creek Bottom Brick Oven FOOD TRUCK
  • Cornhole
  • 5K Race Starts at 10 am
  • VIP Tickets Get A Chance To WIN A KAYAK!!!

Go to gowiththeflowbrewfest.com to purchase tickets or for more information.