Photo: Grace Batton / The Daily Gamecock

Road Trip Towns: Meadows of Dan, VA

Situated just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, a small town is nestled under the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounded by a canopy of colorful fall leaves.

Meadows of Dan, Virginia, is a refuge of antique shops, old-fashion candy stores and classic general stores. Nearby the historic town of Mount Airy, the town where Andy Griffith was born, Meadows of Dan offers adventures for those seeking them and a quiet place for those who wish to get away from it all. Especially with exams coming up, a mountain trip may be just what you need: a deep breath and time to relax.

Most everything to do in or nearby Meadows of Dan can be accessed by one road, Route 720. If you continue traveling down this scenic drive through the mountains, you can decide where to stop as you go along, which adds the elements of adventure and novelty while sightseeing, and is one of the reasons it’s a perfect road trip destination.

Driving through Meadows of Dan down Route 720, one of your first stops should be Nancy’s Candy Co. Homemade candies, chocolates and desserts  by the hundreds are made in this old-fashioned candy store. Inside, you can even catch a glimpse of the candy being made. This is also a perfect stop to gather some unique Christmas presents for your friends and family with a sweet tooth, as the candy’s quality craftsmanship and classic recipe may just take one back to their childhood.

Another stop you can’t miss is the Poor Farmer’s Market, a large, eclectic general store with everything from fresh produce to pottery. Full of character and charm, this shop is also a wonderful place to get some Christmas shopping done, especially since you can find something for everyone. A must-try is Poor Farmer’s Old Fashioned Fried apple pies, which may be some of the best ever made. Between mountain honey, homemade jams, fresh baked pastries, hand-made pottery, kitchen tools and, of course, the store’s own cat that you can find wandering around the premises, the Poor Farmer's Market has plenty to offer.

For those who are of drinking age, there are a couple excellent Virginian vineyards that allow tours, tastings and often dinner in their own restaurants. Villa Appalaccia is one such winery that offerings tastings for just $5 a piece. It resembles an Italian vineyard, so you can look out at the mountains, enjoy a taste of savory Virginian wine and sit in an Italian-style villa all at once. This is a multi-cultural experience you can’t miss, especially if you’re a wine lover.

Grace Batton / The Daily Gamecock

Another nearby vineyard, Chateau Morrisette Winery, also offers tastings and is significantly larger than Villa Appalaccia. It features a full-service restaurant with entrees with wine pairings. An elaborate gray stone edifice greets visitors and provides the perfect atmosphere for a sophisticated wine tasting.

Get your fill of sightseeing by stopping by Mabry’s Mill, which is right off the Parkway. This historic spot is famous for being among the most photographed places in the U.S. and has been in existence since the early 1800s. You can even walk inside the old buildings, including a cabin the size of a small dorm room that a family of four lived in.

Another tidbit of history about Meadows of Dan is that it’s a part of the historical Crooked Road, a music movement that carries on through Virginia. Along this path is the history of bluegrass and its roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia.

Full of adventure, novelty and rich with history, the beautiful small town of Meadows of Dan offers a trip you won’t soon forget. So take some time away from studying and enjoy a scenic drive up the mountain to a place where worries are blown away in the chill wind and fall leaves swirl in the air like snow. Take one breath in of the crisp atmosphere, and breathe out, perhaps a little calmer and a bit more at rest, knowing that there are still wonders left to see in the world waiting for your arrival. 



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