DescriptionAt the crossroads of early pioneer routes, Wytheville (WITH-vill) was a 19th-century transportation center. Two federal highways, I-77 and I-81, make it a modern-day junction.
Founded in 1790, Wythe County was named for Virginia's first signer of the Declaration of Independence, George Wythe. The town was the site of several Civil War skirmishes, including a July 1863 attack by Union forces under Col. John Toland. The mountain town in the Blue Ridge Highlands later became a summer resort due to its cool climate and “healing waters.” The second wife of President Woodrow Wilson, Edith Bolling, was born in Wytheville, the daughter of a local judge.
The surrounding Jefferson National Forest, Big Walker Mountain Scenic Byway and the historic New River offer vast recreational opportunities including hiking, bicycling, fishing, camping, boating and picnicking. A 100-foot observation tower on top of Big Walker Mountain offers a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. Numerous sites on Virginia's Birding Trails and Virginia's Civil War Trails can also be explored. The Claw of the Dragon Motorcycle Trail offers more than 200 miles of scenic routes to explore.
Visitor InfoWytheville Convention & Visitors Bureau 975 Tazewell St. WYTHEVILLE, VA 24382. Phone:(276)223-3355 or (877)347-8307
Self-guiding toursWalking tours of the town showcase more than 100 historic structures, beginning downtown at Wytheville's Heritage Preservation Center at 115 W. Spiller St. Tours are divided into several themed loops allowing for both short and long walks. Both printed brochures and audio versions of the tours are available from the heritage center and from the convention and visitors bureau. A mobile website also is available, as is a brochure describing a driving tour of local African-American historical sites.
ShoppingAlong East Lee Highway off I-81/I-77, three antique malls collectively feature more than 300 dealers.
Things to SeeThe Edith Bolling Wilson Birthplace Museum