A Family’s Mountain Adventure

Spring in southwest Virginia is quickly becoming my favorite time of year here in the New River Valley! It is a time when buds burst forth with tender green leaves and redbud trees appear as pops of colorful sprays in a natural bouquet.  My husband and I, “Pops'' to the grandkids, recently set out on the first camping trip of the season. Visiting all Virginia State Parks has long been on our bucket list. We spent a long weekend in Claytor Lake State Park in Dublin, Virginia which is easily accessed from I-81 via Exit 101.  The park offers a wide variety of activities including swimming, fishing, boating, camping, cabins, and nature and history programs. This park, as with most of the state parks, has kids’ programs offering fun guidance on how to identify natural elements along hiking trails of which there are several varying from easy to moderate.  This will be the perfect weekend for exploring what to do with the grandkids this summer.

Once our campsite was set, Zelda the family dog and I walked down to the visitor’s center at the historic Howe house to sign up for a dog hike the next morning. I made mental notes along the way of playgrounds, an accessible fishing pier and bike rentals. The next trip would include two more passengers who are not as tall as Pops and not as furry as Zelda. I simply could not wait to convert these trip ideas to reality with the grandkids! The next trip with them would include:

A burger! The last thing I want to do after setting up camp is to cook. Yes, we are glampers! We’ll venture out on the first night for a Buffalo Burger at Buffalo and More located 20 minutes from the park in Riner, Virginia.  Do you ever wonder why hamburgers don’t taste like they did when you were a kid? These do! The owners of Buffalo and More own their herd which is raised only a few miles down the road from the restaurant. Buffalo is a lean and healthy meat. As they say, you are what you eat!

The smell of bacon will fill the air on the first morning. The sleepy heads will roll out of bed and immediately begin asking to go swimming. First things first. Pops and I feed the kiddos and the beagle. The kids and I walk to the beach through a dense pine thicket with a well-maintained trail. Spring has brought forth all sorts of plants and wildlife to see and talk about. Better have answers ready for lots of “whats” and “whys” from the kiddos.

The kids are tuckered out that evening. The hammocks under the shade trees are very inviting for a quick lounge. A regional store, Walkabout Outfitters, is a great place to find outdoor gear. The closest location to the park is in Blacksburg, VA which is 30 minutes away. Maybe an urban exploration for another day. It is almost time to start the grill and the campfire. A fire is welcomed as the warm temperatures of the day give way to cool spring nights. The hoot owls can be heard clearly among the chorus of spring peepers. Although TV and WiFi is available, not one electronic device is being used at this moment. How could they compete with Pops tales told around the campfire?

Rain moved in on this last full day. No problem! The Wonder Universe: A Children’s Museum. This well thought out venue has hands-on exhibits and learning opportunities through play.  It is located in the Uptown Christiansburg Mall. This is the perfect place to bring the kiddos in a rainy or sunny day!


Share your #GoToMontVa experiences with us!
The Blacksburg Farmer's Market had special guests this past weekend for their Spring Market Kickoff! 😄 Did you catch these adorable alpacas on Saturday?

The market is now open Saturdays 8am-2pm and Wednesdays 2pm-6pm each week. ☀

Come out for farm-fresh goods and handmade items, as well as live music and the opportunity to meet local farmers and artisans! 🐓

#GoToMontVA #gototown #blacksburgfarmersmarket #visitblacksburg #shoplocal #alpaca #spring #virginiaisforlovers
We are excited to announce a FREE virtual workshop series led by Miles Partnership, a strategic marketing company focused exclusively on travel and tourism, to help ensure your online presence is in great shape! ⭐

There are two webinars being offered on Tuesday, April 9 and Tuesday April 16, at 10am on both dates.

The first presentation is an overview and general introduction, while the second highlights more advanced topics. Advance registration is required. (Link in bio)

#GoToMontVA #milespartnership #google #webinar #freeworkshop
Spring is in full bloom in Montgomery County! 🌸

In addition to cherry trees, redbuds, Bradford pears, and a variety of flowering bushes and bulbs can be found decorating our beautiful landscape. 😍 What’s your favorite type of spring bloom? Comment below! 💐

Photo: E. Cook // Montgomery County Regional Tourism

#gotomontva #spring #cherryblossom #virginiatech #gototown #virginiaisforoutdoorlovers
Warm weather and sunny skies are in the forecast for St. Patrick’s Day weekend! ☀️🍀 If you’re looking for an outdoor activity to enjoy, why not take a stroll or bike ride on the Huckleberry Trail? 🚴 Be sure to check out our Virtual Visitor Center for a listing of this weekend’s festivities as well! 🍻 (Link in bio)

Photo: E. Cook // Montgomery County Regional Tourism

#GoToMontVA #stpatricksday #virginiaisforoutdoorlovers
Have you seen this colorful school of fish in Downtown Christiansburg? 🐠 🌈There's plenty of public art to see in our two towns--check out the link in our bio for a full map!

#GoToMontVA #visitchristiansburgva #publicart #virginiaisforartlovers #downtownchristiansburg
A warm, sunny day + a Love Potion milkshake from @sugarmagnoliashops = perfection 💖

#gotomontva #gototown #valentinesday #springisontheway #virginiaisforlovers
Come to the Blacksburg Community Center on Monday, January 29th from 4:30-8:30pm to learn more about the NRV Passenger Rail Project and share your input!

This project will bring passenger rail service to the region for the first time since 1979! 😮

In addition, a survey will be open from January 29th-February 28th for community members to share their priorities for the project.

#gotomontva #visitnrv #passengerrail #virginiapassengerrailauthority #communityinput