Local Attractions and Guest Opportunities
We have not arranged a formal guest program, but list here a number of local excursions that attendees or guests may wish to take advantage of, including those in the immediate Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford area and at greater distances up to an hour's drive. These include natural and cultural attractions, museums, historical sites and wineries. We will have supplies of printed descriptive brochures for many of these available at the meeting at the Registration Table.
Museums and Historical Sites
Armory Art Gallery. Located on Virginia Tech campus, this gallery is operated by the School of Visual Arts and is located at 203 Draper Rd., Blacksburg. Open noon–4 p.m., Monday–Friday. (www.gallery.vt.edu/about).
New River Heritage Coalition. An association of 12 local regional museums and historical sites. Current membership includes history museums, house museums, art centers, a geoscience museum, and several museums that are not yet open to the public. Information on member sites at http://www.newriverheritage.org/members-wildernessroad.htm.
Taubman Museum of Art. Housed in a stunning new architecturally adventurous building and located at 110 Salem Avenue in downtown Roanoke, the Taubman Museum of Art is a non-profit educational institution established for the benefit of the citizens of Virginia's Blue Ridge. Permanent collections contain works of notable 19th-century American artists as well as important southeastern US artists. (45 minute drive from Conference Center) (http://www.taubmanmuseum.org/main/exhibitions/current).
Natural and Cultural Sites of Interest
Floyd County. Floyd County has a land area of 383 square miles located in the Blue Ridge province of the southwest part of Virginia. The county seat, the town of Floyd, is 40 miles southwest of Roanoke on US 221. Buffalo Mountain, at 3,971 feet, is the highest point in the county. In Floyd you'll find and experience the unique and interesting. Floyd is home to world-famous live music, many artists and craftsmen, wineries, friendly people, and is a popular stop along the Blue Ridge parkway. (http://www.floydvirginia.com/visitors-guide/).
Pandapas Pond Day Use Area, Jefferson National Forest. Pandapas Pond is a pastoral, 8 acre pond located just outside the town of Blacksburg. It sits on the Eastern Continental Divide and is surrounded by a forest of hardwoods and rhododendron. Visitors will enjoy strolling the one-mile wheelchair accessible trail that encircles the pond. A wooden boardwalk separates the pond from a small wetland area that is abundant with dragonflies, turtles, songbirds, and waterfowl. Horses and bicycles are not permitted on the trail around the pond; however they may use the 17-mile Poverty Creek Trail system that can be accessed from the upper parking lot. (http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gwj/null/recarea/?recid=73877&actid=63).
Cascades Recreation Area, Jefferson National Forest. Located in Giles County, west of Blacksburg along US 460, the Cascades is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia and possibly on the entire East Coast. Little Stony Creek falls over a vertical cliff in several different streams. Several streams cascade a couple times on the way down while others fall the whole distance of the falls. The falls are fairly easy to view, with wooden stairs and platforms on one side of the pool allowing a visitor to get very close to the falls as well as allowing a photographer many different angles for photographs. There are both Upper and Lower Trails that go about a mile from the parking area to the falls. Both offer nice views. This National Forest fee area ($3) is about 27 miles west of Blacksburg (35 minutes) (http://gilescounty.org/cascades.html).
Mountain Lake. Located at about 3900 feet elevation at the top of Salt Pond Mountain about 20 minutes drive west of Blacksburg in Giles County, Mountain Lake is one of only two natural lakes in Virginia. Formed by a seismically induced landslide that dammed a small stream about 6000 years ago, Mountain Lake has filled and drained numerous times over the years and is currently refilling as a result of engineering geology interventions. The restaurant at the Mountain Lake Hotel provides lunches and dinners. (http://www.mtnlakeconservancy.org/about.html).
Wineries and Cideries>
Villa Appalaccia. The Italian-inspired Villa is in Floyd County just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. They predominantly grow Italian grape varieties and make award-winning Virginia Wine from Sangiovese, Primitivo, Pinot Grigio, Malvasia wines as well as extraordinary Cabernet Franc and Aglianico. Tasting room open Fri-Sun in April. (About 45 minutes drive from Conference Center) (http://www.villaappalaccia.com/).
Chateau Morrissette. Situated in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, Chateau Morrisette Winery is located at Milepost 171.5 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, at 3500 feet above sea level and offers spectacular vistas of the New River Valley and Buffalo Mountain. Tasting room and the Chateau Restaurant. (About 45 minutes drive from Conference Center) (http://thedogs.com/).
Amrhein Winery. Located at 9243 Patterson Drive, Bent Mountain VA, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway a few miles south of Roanoke. Numerous vinifera wines produced. (About an hour drive from the Conference Center). (http://www.amrheinwine.com/Welcome.html).
Attimo Winery. Located in Christiansburg VA, about 25 minutes from the Conference Center, at 4025 Childress Rd. (http://www.attimowinery.com/attimo-wine-club-christiansburg-virginia.html).
Foggy Ridge Cider. Located at 1328 Pineview Rd. in Dugspur VA, off the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Floyd County-Carroll County line. (About an hour drive from the Conference Center) (http://www.foggyridgecider.com/).
Blacksnake Meadery. The only mead-producing winery in southwestern Virginia. Located on Buffalo Rd. in Carroll County. (About an hour drive from the Conference Center and very near Foggy Ridge Cider) (http://www.blacksnakemead.com/).