New River Outdoor Adventures, located in Galax, VA is the one stop shop for all your outdoor recreational needs! Enjoy some of their scenic floats down the beautiful New River from canoe, kayak, tandem kayak, or river tube. River floats are tailored for the beginner, family, first-time boater, or the experienced thrill-seeker. If biking is your preference, NROA provides great trail bikes for rent so you can cover all 57 miles of the New River Trail. Shuttle service is provided for boats and bikes as well. Delivery service to local vacation rental homes is provided. Many guests at River Mist Retreat have taken advantage of this service. The NROA shop also has lots of merchandise for sale to help make your adventure an enjoyable experience. They’re also a point of sale for Virginia hunting and fishing licenses. Make sure to speak with one of the owners, Tim Dixon, for expert fishing advice and assistance choosing the best bait to catch the “big one!” Tim, a lifelong resident of neighboring Fries, VA has spent his entire life fishing and navigating the New River. For additional information, please visit their website: https://www.newriveroutdooradventures.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/
HoustonFest is a music festival held yearly in Galax VA in honor of a local talented musician, Houston Caldwell, who passed away in 2010. With multiple regional and national bands that range in style from Bluegrass to Old Time playing on only three stages, Houstonfest packs a lot of entertainment into a weekend. Artisans from Galax and the surrounding area demonstrate and sell their crafts, while food vendors serve up local dishes. The festival raises money for scholarships that go to musical training and education for youth.
This year’s lineup includes a multitude of talented performers. One of my favorites, thirteen year old Presley Barker of ShadowGrass, has been playing acoustic guitar for six years and has emerged as an astonishingly gifted flat-picker. Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina and listening to Doc Watson on the radio inspired Presley to begin picking fiddle tunes and bluegrass music.
Houstonfest is being held June 8 – 9, 2018 at Felts Park in Galax, VA. Please visit https://www.houstonfestgalax.com/ for additional information. Lodging information can be found at https://www.graysoncountyva.com/vacation-homes
Chateau Morrisette is a third generation winery in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During their Wine & Chocolate Saturday being held on February 10th from 12 – 2 pm or 4 – 6 pm, you can indulge in five courses of their select wines paired with chocolates handcrafted by their culinary team and regional chocolatiers. Chateau Morrisette’s winemaker, Brian Smythe, will interpret the pairings. Course interludes of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie let you explore both sweet and savory pairings.
Advance reservations and pre-payment required. $48 per person includes wines, pairings, taxes, and gratuities. Event is held in the William Morrisette Room, above the Tasting Room. Guests should plan to check in at least 15 minutes early.
Chateau Morrisette Winery
291 Winery Road SW
Floyd, VA 24091
A luthier is someone who builds or repairs stringed musical instruments generally consisting of a neck and a sound box such as the violin or classical guitar. Wayne Henderson, a famous luthier and blue grass musician, lives in the Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia. Wayne specializes in the crafting of handmade, custom acoustic guitars. His famous clients include: Eric Clapton, Tommy Emmanuel, Doc Watson, Peter Rowan, and Gillian Welch. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; however he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. His good friend, Doc Watson says, “That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I’ve had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve picked up some good ones.”
Luthiers, keepers of tradition and innovators, also teach string-instrument making, either through apprenticeship or formal classroom instruction. Wayne is proudly passing his craft down to daughter, Jayne Henderson. Jayne didn’t plan on becoming a luthier. She earned a degree in environmental law and was facing hefty student loan debt when she saw the going rate for her Dad’s guitars secondhand on eBay. She asked him to make her a guitar that she could sell to pay off her loans, but Wayne insisted that she make it herself. After building that first guitar, she fell in love with the craft and now spends a couple of weeks every month building instruments in her Dad’s workshop and already has a four-year waiting list for her instruments.
You can check out Jayne’s interview with the Richmond Times here: https://youtu.be/OfcM9l_Bkq0
An Evening with Jayne Henderson and Wayne Henderson is being held at The Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, VA on Friday, January 26 at 7pm. It will be a delightful evening of stories and music. Jayne will give a talk on her road to becoming a luthier, learning from her father Wayne, and the innovations in eco-sustainability she is bringing to the craft. She will also present a brief demonstration showing some of the tools, woods, and techniques she uses. After the talk and demo, Wayne will give a short performance playing some of Jayne’s instruments for the audience. This program is inspired by the current special exhibit The Luthier’s Craft: Instrument Making Traditions of the Blue Ridge. Both Jayne Henderson and Wayne Henderson are featured in this exhibit.
An Evening with Jayne Henderson and Wayne Henderson is free and open to the public, though there is a suggested donation of $5. Seating is limited so it is necessary to RSVP to attend the event.
MUSEUM: 520 Birthplace of
Country Music Way
Bristol, VA 24201
If you’re a fan of craft beer and wood-fired brick-oven pizza, you must visit Creek Bottom Brewing Company. Creek Bottom produces six year round beers and multiple seasonal ales from their attached brewery in their Galax, VA location. The restaurant focuses on wood-fired brick-oven pizza, smoked wings, handcrafted sandwiches & awesome appetizers. Order up a brew from the 22 taps. Customers can also choose from plenty of craft beers from other breweries. CBB has lots of special events throughout the week, like Team Trivia, Open Mic, Bluegrass Jams & Tap Takeovers from various breweries. There is live music most every weekend featuring some fantastic talent. Creek Bottom Brewing Company has created a destination where locals and travelers alike can enjoy the local heritage through their handcrafted creations & a robust selection of events.
307 North Meadow Street
Galax, Virginia 24333
Phone: 276-236-2337 (BEER)
If you need a BBQ fix, you’ll find mouthwatering BBQ in the VA Blue Ridge Highlands at the Galax Smoke House. After the grand opening in February 2003, it quickly became wildly popular with locals hanging out for lunch and hordes of tourists streaming in to discover a little bit of Galax, Virginia’s mystique!
They feature St. Louis style ribs, Memphis style pulled pork, Texas Beef Brisket, smoked chicken and burgers–and offer 5 of their very own “secret sauces.” Choose from Sweet BBQ sauce, House, Mustard BBQ sauce, Mountain (a really unique sweet-n-spicy) BBQ sauce, or Lexington style BBQ sauce. Savory sides include BBQ beans, cole slaw, green beans, potato salad, hush puppies, corn nuggets and their famous “smokin” BBQ potato (a huge potato smoked with hickory wood, topped with their special seasoning, loaded with butter, and served with sour cream on the side). A serving of their delicious banana pudding is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
The Galax Smokehouse is located on the corner of Main and Grayson Streets in the heart of Downtown Galax, VA. Their hours are Monday – Saturday, 11 am – 9 pm and Sunday, 11 am – 3 pm. (276) 236-1000
When you plan a boating trip on the New River in the Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia, you will be floating into the past. The New River is an ancient river system, the oldest on the North American continent and second only to the Nile River in Africa as the second oldest river in the world. It begins as two streams in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, before merging into the New River four miles from the Virginia line. And therein lies another interesting fact of this ancient river — it flows northward rather than southward like most of the other major rivers along the eastern seaboard. It meanders some 160 miles through the counties of Grayson, Carroll, Wythe, Pulaski, Montgomery and Giles in Virginia before it turns into Bluestone Lake in West Virginia and emerges later as the Kanawha River at the Gauley Bridge. The New River ends its metamorphosis when it empties into the great Mississippi River.
Throughout its journey in Virginia, the New River flows through spectacular, untamed mountain scenery complete with craggy rock cliffs and magnificent gorges. Thus, the New River provides plenty of excitement for whitewater enthusiasts, with several Class II – III rapids. There is also an abundance of flat water if you prefer to kayak or canoe The New.
Created by Shannon