Wise, Virginia, a charming town nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, offers a wealth of activities and attractions for locals and visitors alike. From its rich history to its natural beauty, Wise has something for everyone. In this article, we will take you on a journey through Wise, VA, and explore the top things to do in this picturesque town.
1. Discovering Wise’s Historical Gems
Wise, VA boasts a rich history that is waiting to be explored. Here are some historical attractions you won’t want to miss:
Exploring the Wise County Courthouse
The Wise County Courthouse, an architectural masterpiece, is a must-visit. This historic building, constructed in 1896, is not only a center of justice but also a symbol of the town’s enduring heritage.
Journeying through the J.J. Kelly Memorial Library
For book lovers and history enthusiasts, a visit to the J.J. Kelly Memorial Library is a must. This library is a treasure trove of knowledge, housing rare books and documents that shed light on Wise’s past.
Step Back in Time at the Wise County Historical Society Museum
To delve deeper into the town’s history, make your way to the Wise County Historical Society Museum. Here, you’ll find captivating exhibits showcasing the region’s journey from its early days to the present.
2. Embracing the Great Outdoors
Wise, VA is surrounded by natural beauty, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Here are some outdoor activities to add to your itinerary:
Hiking Adventures in the Jefferson National Forest
The Jefferson National Forest offers miles of scenic hiking trails. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced hiker, you’ll find a trail that suits your skill level, allowing you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of nature.
Fishing and Boating on High Knob Lake
If fishing and boating are your passions, High Knob Lake is the place to be. The serene waters and picturesque surroundings create the perfect backdrop for a day of relaxation and angling.
Picnicking at the Flag Rock Recreation Area
For a leisurely day outdoors, head to the Flag Rock Recreation Area. Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal in the midst of lush greenery, with the iconic Flag Rock as your backdrop.
3. Cultural Delights in Wise
Wise, VA isn’t just about nature; it’s also a hub for cultural experiences. Here are some cultural attractions to explore:
Attend a Performance at the UVa-Wise Convocation Center
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise hosts a variety of cultural events at the Convocation Center. From concerts to theatrical performances, there’s always something entertaining happening on campus.
Visit the Appalachian School of Law
The Appalachian School of Law is an integral part of Wise’s academic and cultural landscape. Take a tour to learn more about legal education in this scenic setting.
Art Appreciation at the Glencoe Mansion, Museum, and Gallery
Art enthusiasts will appreciate the Glencoe Mansion, Museum, and Gallery. Explore local and regional art, and gain insights into the area’s artistic heritage.
4. Mouthwatering Dining Experiences
A visit to Wise, VA wouldn’t be complete without savoring its culinary delights. Here are some restaurants to satisfy your taste buds:
Savor Local Flavors at the Tavern Restaurant
The Tavern Restaurant offers a delightful menu of Southern-inspired cuisine. Try their signature dishes and savor the flavors of Wise.
Enjoy a Slice at Roma’s Pizza
If you’re in the mood for pizza, Roma’s Pizza is the go-to spot. Their delectable pizzas are a hit with locals and visitors alike.
Coffee and Sweets at Sugar Hill Cakes
Start your day right with a visit to Sugar Hill Cakes. Enjoy a cup of coffee and indulge in their scrumptious pastries and cakes.
5. Retail Therapy and Unique Finds
Shopaholics will find plenty to explore in Wise, VA. Here are some shopping destinations to add to your list:
Shopping at the Wise County Shopping Center
The Wise County Shopping Center is a one-stop destination for all your shopping needs. Explore a range of stores offering everything from fashion to electronics.
Explore the Farmer’s Daughter Boutique
For unique fashion finds and trendy accessories, visit the Farmer’s Daughter Boutique. Discover one-of-a-kind pieces that will elevate your style.
Antique Treasures at the Inn on Main Street
If antiques and collectibles are your passion, a visit to the Inn on Main Street is a must. Browse through a curated collection of vintage items and uncover hidden gems.
6. Community Festivals and Events
Wise, VA hosts a variety of community events and festivals throughout the year. Here are some highlights:
Wise County Famous Fall Fling
The Wise County Famous Fall Fling is a beloved event that brings the community together. Enjoy live music, delicious food, and a festive atmosphere.
UVa-Wise’s Homecoming Celebrations
Join in the excitement of homecoming celebrations at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with alumni and celebrate school spirit.
Wise County Fair and Carnival
The Wise County Fair and Carnival is a family-friendly event that promises fun for all ages. Enjoy thrilling rides, games, and delicious fair food.
7. Getting Active in Wise
For those who love staying active, Wise, VA offers numerous opportunities to keep fit and have fun:
Work Up a Sweat at the L.F. Addington Fitness Center
The L.F. Addington Fitness Center is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with everything you need for a great workout. Stay active and healthy during your visit to Wise.
Tee Off at the Lonesome Pine Country Club
Golf enthusiasts will appreciate the Lonesome Pine Country Club’s beautiful course. Enjoy a round of golf with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Disc Golf at the Wise County Disc Golf Course
Try your hand at disc golf at the Wise County Disc Golf Course. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors while having a friendly competition with friends and family.
8. Scenic Drives and Views
Wise, VA offers some of the most scenic drives and viewpoints in the region. Don’t miss these picturesque spots:
Drive Along the Scenic Powell Valley Overlook
Take a drive along the Scenic Powell Valley Overlook for breathtaking vistas of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s a photographer’s dream come true.
Witness the Beauty of Little Stone Mountain
Little Stone Mountain offers stunning panoramic views of the area. Hike to the summit and be rewarded with a mesmerizing sight.
Sunset Views from High Knob Tower
For a romantic evening, head to High Knob Tower to witness a stunning sunset over Wise, VA. It’s a perfect spot for couples and photographers.
9. Educational Adventures
Wise, VA is a place of learning and discovery. Here are some educational experiences to enjoy:
Tour the Lonesome Pine Office on Youth
The Lonesome Pine Office on Youth provides valuable resources and programs for young people. Learn about their initiatives and how they contribute to the community.
Learn About Local Flora at the High Knob Naturalist Station
The High Knob Naturalist Station is a hub for nature enthusiasts. Discover the region’s diverse flora and fauna through interactive exhibits and educational programs.
Stargazing at the UVA-Wise Davis Planetarium
Experience the wonders of the cosmos at the UVA-Wise Davis Planetarium. Attend stargazing sessions and explore the mysteries of the universe.
10. Family-Friendly Fun
Wise, VA is a family-friendly destination with activities that everyone can enjoy. Here are some family favorites:
Spend a Day at the Wise County Water Park
Cool off on a hot summer day at the Wise County Water Park. Enjoy water slides, lazy rivers, and fun-filled activities for all ages.
Bowling at the Mountain Empire Lanes
Challenge your family to a friendly game of bowling at Mountain Empire Lanes. It’s a great way to bond and create lasting memories.
Movie Nights at the Central Drive-In
Experience the nostalgia of a drive-in movie night at the Central Drive-In. Pack some popcorn and enjoy a film under the stars.
11. Relaxation and Wellness
Find your inner peace and relaxation in Wise, VA with these wellness activities:
Spa Day at the Inn on Main Street
Indulge in a spa day at the Inn on Main Street. Treat yourself to massages, facials, and other rejuvenating treatments.
Yoga Classes at the Wellness Center
Join yoga classes at the Wellness Center to improve your physical and mental well-being. It’s a great way to de-stress and stay balanced during your visit.
Meditation in the Serene Jefferson National Forest
Connect with nature and your inner self through meditation in the peaceful Jefferson National Forest. Find serenity among the trees and flowing streams.
12. Preserving Nature
Wise, VA takes pride in its commitment to preserving the environment. Get involved in these conservation efforts:
Volunteering with the High Knob Landform
Contribute to the preservation of the High Knob Landform by volunteering. Help maintain hiking trails and protect this natural wonder.
Wise County Litter Control Program
Join the Wise County Litter Control Program to keep the town and its surroundings clean and beautiful. Make a positive impact on the community.
Support the Adopt-a-Trail initiatives in Wise, VA. Help maintain and beautify the town’s hiking trails for everyone to enjoy.
13. Local History and Legends
Delve into the fascinating history and legends of Wise, VA:
Tales of the Wise County Chupacabra
Explore the intriguing tales of the Wise County Chupacabra, a mythical creature said to roam the Appalachian wilderness.
Wise Ghost Stories and Haunted Locations
Discover the spine-tingling Wise ghost stories and explore haunted locations rumored to be inhabited by restless spirits.
Oral Traditions of the Cherokee Heritage
Learn about the rich oral traditions of the Cherokee heritage in Wise, VA. Dive into the cultural legacy of the indigenous people who once called this region home.
14. Community Engagement
Become an active part of Wise’s vibrant community:
Joining the Wise County Chamber of Commerce
Consider joining the Wise County Chamber of Commerce to connect with local businesses and contribute to the town’s economic growth.
Support Local Nonprofits
Support local nonprofits that work tirelessly to improve the lives of residents in Wise, VA. Your assistance can make a meaningful difference.
Attend Town Hall Meetings and Events
Stay engaged by attending town hall meetings and community events. Your voice matters, and your presence can help shape the future of Wise.
15. Conclusion: A Gem in the Appalachians
In conclusion, Wise, VA is a hidden gem nestled in the Appalachian Mountains, offering a diverse range of experiences for all who visit. From its rich history and cultural attractions to its outdoor adventures and community spirit, Wise has something to offer every traveler.
So, when you plan your next getaway, consider Wise, VA, and immerse yourself in the beauty and warmth of this charming town. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a deeper connection with nature and history, Wise has it all.
Don’t miss the chance to explore Wise, VA, and create lasting memories in this extraordinary destination.
5 Unique FAQs
- Q: Are there any annual events in Wise, VA, that I should plan my visit around?
- A: Yes, Wise County hosts the Famous Fall Fling, homecoming celebrations at UVa-Wise, and the Wise County Fair and Carnival, among other exciting events.
- Q: Can I find accommodations in Wise, VA, that cater to different budgets?
- A: Absolutely! Wise offers a range of lodging options, from budget-friendly motels to cozy bed-and-breakfast inns.
- Q: What are the best hiking trails for beginners in the Jefferson National Forest?
- A: Beginners can enjoy the Guest River Gorge Trail and the Bark Camp Lake Loop, both offering scenic views and manageable terrain.
- Q: Is Wise County Water Park suitable for children of all ages?
- A: Yes, the Wise County Water Park has attractions and pools suitable for children of all ages, making it a great family-friendly destination.
- Q: Are there any guided tours available to learn more about Wise’s history and culture?
- A: Yes, you can often find guided tours of historical sites and cultural attractions in Wise, providing in-depth insights into the town’s heritage.