Family Fun – Rain or Shine!

1-Day Itinerary

Treat Your Family to a Day of Fun in Smyth County!

Hungry Mother State Park

Hungry Mother State Park is a great spot for a family vacation in Virginia, offering multiple options for lodging.  Check in to one of the rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. You can also choose from multiple camping sites, including primitive camping or spots with full amenities like water and electric hookups. 

For a day of fun in Smyth County, start by fueling up with a hearty southern breakfast. The Downtown Pioneer is located just 10 minutes away from the park on Main Street in Marion, Virginia.

Museum of the Middle Appalachians

Then, head out to the fascinating little town of Saltville, Virginia, only a 30-minute drive away.  The Museum of the Middle Appalachians covers 30,000 years of history. Highlights include a life-size woolly mammoth skeleton and an interactive 3D map of the region. Little ones will love pushing the light-up buttons!

The Museum of the Middle Appalachians in Saltville, VA
Highlights of the museum include a life-size woolly mammoth skeleton and an interactive 3D map of the Virginia region.

Next you can stretch your legs on the Salt Trail, featuring a playground and interpretive walking trail. Or take a short nature walk around the Salt Ponds that gave the town its name. 

Next, follow the Virginia Civil War Trail from Saltville to Chilhowie (pronounced chill-HOW-whee!), and grab lunch on the patio at The Riverfront Restaurant.  

Or, drive a little farther down I-81 for a world-famous “dip dog” and basket of onion rings at the historic Dip Dog Stand (Exit 39). And don’t forget dessert! Ice cream and fudge at Willbeez Country Store in Downtown Marion are a must.  

Hester’s Country Store in downtown Marion is a great stop for your family vacation in Virginia.

Blue Ridge Discover Center

Travel 20 minutes from Chilhowie up towards Whitetop, Virginia’s second-highest mountain peak, to Blue Ridge Discovery Center to explore the outdoors. BRDC is non-profit organization dedicated to exploring and sharing the natural history of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers a variety of programs, including school programs, summer camps, naturalist rallies, and research projects. The center features a residential education facility, a biological field station, and plans for an interpretative visitor center. Its mission is to inspire curiosity, discovery, and stewardship through educational and engaging experiences in the natural world.

Park Place Drive-In

Finally, go back in time and catch a feature at Park Place Drive-In, an old-fashioned, family-friendly drive-in movie theater. It also offers putt-putt, an arcade, and ice cream stand. 

The Park Place Drive-In offers a drive-in movie theater, putt-putt, an arcade and, an ice cream stand.

Choose Your Smyth County Adventure!

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