Plan for an Adventurous Getaway in Galax
It’s a great time to begin planning an adventurous spring getaway for you and your family. Many people enjoy leaving the hustle-bustle of large commercial destinations behind for a relaxing and more authentic experience in a smaller community. Galax, Virginia might be just the place you are looking for.
Blue Ridge Parkway
With easy access from the heart of Galax, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a great place to begin your weekend or mini-vacation. A day’s drive on the scenic byway offers a wealth of activities that all in the family will enjoy. If you happen to be a motorcycle rider, the Parkway is an excellent way to see gorgeous scenery at a safe relaxing speed. Stunning views, abundant hiking trails, and interpretative exhibits are just some of the interesting things you will find. Just a few minutes from Galax on the Parkway, the Blue Ridge Music Center includes an outdoor amphitheater, an indoor interpretive center/theater, and a free interactive exhibition called the Roots of American Music. Open seasonally, visitors can experience the traditional music of the region performed by local and regional musicians as well as special concerts held in the amphitheater from May through September.
Rails to Recreation
Less than a mile from the center of downtown Galax, visitors can access the 57-mile New River Trail (NRT). Part of a state park by the same name, NRT follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way. A variety of recreational opportunities offer experiences for all ages from hiking and biking to horseback riding and camping. The waters of the New River provide premiere fishing and boating experiences. Contrary to its name, the New River is believed to be the second oldest river in the world and one of the few that flows north. It parallels 39 miles of NRT.
Nearby, Matthew State Forest offers recreational activities on a 566 acre area. Hiking and biking trails afford challenge and beauty. The Matthews Living History Farm showcases agricultural circa the early 1900s through demonstrations, workshops, special events and environmental education.
Southwest Virginia’s musical heritage is alive and well. There’s no better place to experience it than at the home of the grandfather of old-time music festivals. Since 1935, the Old Fiddler’s Convention has been one of the most prominent traditional music contests in the United States. Each August, thousands ascend on Felts Park to play music, learn about the heritage and enjoy the music and atmosphere. Musicians as old as the convention itself or barely old enough to hold an instrument sit side-by-side and play and sing and learn. Rain or shine, the week long event offers an experience that cannot be had anywhere else.
When it was built in the 1930s, those who designed the Rex Theater could not have imagined that almost a century later this structure would still be an important part of Galax’s downtown.
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