This historic small town charms visitors with an easy-going quirky side.

<p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville </p>

Courtesy Visit Wytheville

At the intersection of two major highways, I-77 and I-81, you’ll find Wytheville, a small town named after George Wythe, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and friend and mentor to Thomas Jefferson. Wytheville is rich in American history, but it’s also noted for its quirky, must-visit attractions, like one of America’s smallest churches, a rainbow-painted hot air balloon water tower, and a 100-foot-tall lookout tower that boasts wildly scenic panoramas across the mountains.

Here everything you must do on a trip to Wytheville, Virginia.

Related: Explore These Virginia Towns Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

Get to Know Wytheville’s History

<p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p><p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p>

Courtesy Visit Wytheville

Brush Up on the Life of a Former First Lady

At the Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum, visitors are captivated by the life and times of this former First Lady who was born and raised in Wytheville. In particular, you’ll learn the role she played in the White House, encouraging Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays as ways to encourage conservation efforts during World War I. Wytheville is also home to the elegant Bolling Wilson Hotel on Main Street., 145 E. Main Street, Wytheville, VA 24382

See a Show at a Historic Theatre

The historic Millwald Theatre first delighted audiences in 1928 with comical vaudeville shows and “moving pictures,” keeping the house lights on until 2005 when it closed its doors. Following a multi-million dollar renovation, the 500-seat Millwald Theatre re-opened in late 2022. Today, the original neon marquee sign welcomes a new generation with musicians, films, author conversations, comedians, and tribute bands., 205 W. Main Street, Wytheville, VA 24382

Where To Dine

<p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p><p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p>

Courtesy Visit Wytheville

Step Out for Drinks

When you want to raise a glass with friends, you’re covered in Wytheville. Stop in Petals Wine Bar, which debuted in 2023, for artisan wines from local vineyards and around the globe. At the Bolling Wilson Hotel, head up to The Perch, a stylish rooftop bar with craft cocktails, local brews, and views across the Blue Ridge Mountains. For craft beers, Seven Sisters Brewery and 7 Dogs Brewpub are also tops in Wytheville.

Enjoy Southern Cuisine

Settle in for a bite at Graze on Main, which is known for its creative takes on southern faves, like pimento cheese dip, fried green tomatoes, and shrimp etouffee. For home-cooked southern flavors, check out Grayson Restaurant, which wows with comfort foods, like country fried steak, grilled pork shops, and BBQ sliders. There are plenty of sides too, like tater tots, baked apples, and okra.

Make Stops for Iconic Eats

It’s practically mandatory to stop in Skeeter’s World Famous Hot Dogs, which has been in operation since 1925. The menu features nearly a dozen specialty dogs, including Cheese Coney, Chattahoochee, Slawdog, and the Skeeterdog topped with mustard, onions, and chili. Another long-time favorite is Log House 1776 Restaurant, which was gutted by a fire in late-2021, but rose from the ashes in 2023 to serve stuffed pork tenderloin and chicken verde pecan.

Related: 10 Best Things To Do In Charlottesville, Virginia

Outdoor Activities

<p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p><p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p>

Courtesy Visit Wytheville

Savor Mountain Views from an Observation Tower

Climb to the top of the 100-foot-tall Big Walker Lookout for mountain views for miles. The panoramas are sensational, including Jefferson National Forest to the south and lush farmlands to the east. Admission includes a swinging bridge to get from the country store to the base of the observation tower. Stop in the general store for souvenirs, local crafts, and hand-dipped ice cream. On weekends from May to October, live mountain music plays across the hills., 8711 Stoney Fork Road, Wytheville, VA 24382

Go Hiking at a Local Recreation Area

Crystal Springs Recreation Area is home to hiking and biking trails, camp sites, and picnic tables, even a small waterfall. Take the High Rock Trail to the top of High Rock for breathtaking north-facing views across to the town of Wytheville, including the town’s rainbow-painted hot air balloon water tower. This park is truly an outdoor treasure., 723 Pump Hollow Road, Wytheville, VA 24382

Explore an Herb Farm

Wander Beagle Ridge Herb Farm, which is known for more than a dozen varieties of lavender that are grown on the farm. The lavender farm hosts events like cooking classes, pizza nights, spa days, and make-and-take crafting sessions, largely from May to September. Using lavender, guests can learn to make herbal soaps and wreaths., 1934 Matney Falls Road, Wytheville, VA 24382

Go on an Animal Safari

Fort Chiswell Animal Park is a short drive east of Wytheville. It’s a fan favorite among children and adults alike. A visit starts at the petting zoo, which features pygmy goats, llamas, fallow deer, and alpacas. An open-air safari bus offers a guided tour of the animal park for views of exotic animals, like emus, zebras, bison, and the beloved Puff the Camel., 569 Red Hollow Road, Max Meadows, VA 24360

Things Not to Miss

<p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p><p>Courtesy Visit Wytheville</p>

Courtesy Visit Wytheville

Visit One of the Country’s Smallest Churches

Wytheville is home to one of the smallest churches in the United States. Since 2010, this pint-sized prayer chapel has been open 24 hours a day to serve the needs of local residents, as well as motorists cruising up and down I-81. Inside, there are four pews, bibles, and a guest register. However, there is no pastor or priest, and there are no regular church services. Outside, there is a bell tower, three crosses, and a prayer garden., 1090 Nye Road, Wytheville, VA 24382

Snap a Photo of The Big Pencil

Wytheville Office Supply is known for its staplers and copy paper. It’s also known for the super-sized pencil that’s affixed to the store sign urging passersby into the front door. The beloved 30-foot-long Big Pencil has been a landmark on Main Street since the 1960s. However, this gram-worthy writing implement has only been at its current address since 1985., 146 W. Main Street, Wytheville, VA 24382

Admire the Town’s Water Tower

Wytheville’s rainbow-colored water tower is known well beyond city limits thanks to its resemblance to a hot air balloon. The colorful tower beckons to highway travelers motoring up and down I-81 and pays homage to the town’s annual Chautauqua Festival. Each June the festival draws in visitors with balloon flights, a fun run, a car show, outdoor art exhibits, and the Miss Chautauqua Pageant.

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