Tourism

Get Away for a week or a Daygraphic

Whether you prefer the arts or the outdoors, there’s sure to be something to please you in Franklin County. With options ranging from boating to music festivals, fishing tournaments to stockcar racing, you can keep busy for a day, a weekend or a week.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, a 470-mile national scenic highway connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah National Park, traverses the western boundary of Franklin County. Here, you can camp, bike, or hike along the parkway’s many trails, or simply admire the spectacular vistas.

At the eastern edge of the county, Smith Mountain Lake offers not only a host of water sports but antiquing, shopping and dining. The lake is the scene for Franklin County’s annual wine festival, an annual charity home tour, July Fourth fireworks, the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon, a fundraiser for Virginia sports, the Virginia Commonwealth Games and a Christmas boat parade.

In Central Franklin County, events include the Boone’s Mill Apple Festival, Pigg River Ramble, MW Country Mountain Bike Race, Franklin County Car Show, a national archery tournament and much more. Also, organizations such as the Franklin Guild and Crafter’s Guild hold local exhibitions, and the Blue Ridge Dinner Theater offers live performances of original and adapted plays.

graphicThe heritage of the Blue Ridge Mountains is preserved at the Blue Ridge Institute on the campus of Ferrum College. The Institute, part museum and part working farm, brings history to life with festivals, exhibits, and performances. One major attraction is the annual Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, which draws major performers who have roots in the region. And the Institute’s archives of music, documents, and photographs attract scholars from around the world.

American history also is showcased at the Booker T. Washington National Monument, a unit of the National Park Service. This historic site preserves the birthplace and childhood home of the famed educator, writer, and orator. Guided tours, living history and educational programs, exhibits, films, and special events commemorate this man who rose from slavery to become the most influential and controversial African American of his time. The annual Juneteenth Gospel Sing celebrates the emancipation of Washington and all freed slaves, while the Christmas in Old Virginia Candlelight Tour allows visitors to step back in time and "talk with people from the past."

A wide variety of housing options is available to visitors, including national chain and locally-owned hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, rental cabins, waterfront rentals, RV parks, and campgrounds.

And hungry travelers can choose restaurants ranging from diners to elegant upscale restaurants. Whether you prefer "down home" cooking or ethnic cuisine, you’ll find it in Franklin County.

 

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