I hope by now you've looked up Wytheville, Virginia on the map and have it in your mind to visit the next time you're in the vicinity. Today I want to give you two more reasons to stop and spend time in this fascinating town.
BIG WALKER LOOKOUT
Big Walker Lookout is located at 8711 Stoney Fork Road in Wytheville and is billed as "Virginia's oldest privately-owned scenic attraction." It is one part country store, one part music venue (on weekends from May to October) and ALL parts spectacular mountain vistas.
You can look out on the changing seasons from the small picnic area in the parking lot or across the highway for free, but there's a charge to climb up the 100-foot observation deck where it is said that you can see 5 states and "only the birds see more."
The country store has a wide variety of homemade crafts, plus jams, jellies, honey, books, and souvenirs. My favorite item, though, was the ice cream from Homestead Creamery. I had heard a rumor that the lemon crunch ice cream was extra special, so that's what I chose. It was FABULOUS! I suggest you try it for yourself and plan to pose in front of their LOVE sign out front. After all, "Virginia is for Lovers," and the state has a LOVEworks campaign with over 200 such signs scattered across the state.
1776 LOG HOUSE RESTAURANT
Yes, that's right,1776. As in, George Washington, Revolutionary War, Declaration of Independence. When you walk into what is now a surprisingly large, multi-room restaurant with dining nooks scattered all over, look to your left and you'll see the original cabin that was built in 1776 by a man named Will. We don't know much more but that he left his building project to go fight in the Revolutionary War. Another section was added in 1804 and yet another in 1898.
During the Civil War, the house was owned by Joseph Chadwell who was killed in the war. Behind the original cabin was a building owned by Benjamin Steptoe, a freed slave who also fought in the war. Those men's wives tended a garden together, so today the gardens, the animals, and the gazebo in the back of the property are maintained in their memory. However you look at it, this particular spot in Wytheville has a significant history and allows your mind to imagine the conversations and events that have taken place on the property through the years.
Now, though, 1776 Log House Restaurant is one of the best places to eat in town. The loaf of bread that appears at your table to begin your meal is a scrumptious prelude to all that is coming next.
Corn fritters with honey are considered the most popular appetizer, and I recommend them highly.
Stuffed squash is a frequently-requested side, so we had it with the stuffed pork loin and broccoli casserole. So good.
Have I convinced you yet to check out Wytheville? You'll be glad. I certainly was.