Galax, Virginia, is a captivating city in the heart of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. The city has a rich history and a vibrant cultural heritage. Thousands of visitors are drawn to this charming destination each year, eager to experience its unique blend of outdoor adventure, musical traditions, and small-town charm.
Galax’s history is deeply rooted in its Appalachian heritage and proudly carries the title of the “World’s Capital of Old Time Mountain Music.” This designation stems from its historic Old Fiddlers’ Convention, an annual event celebrating traditional Appalachian music for over eight decades.
The city was officially chartered in 1906 by the Virginia General Assembly. The population of the city, according to the census of 2020, is around 6,700. Galax attracts approximately 100,000 visitors annually, thanks to its stunning natural surroundings and the allure of its cultural events.
The city’s location near the Blue Ridge Parkway and New River Trail State Park provides outdoor enthusiasts with endless opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring the great outdoors.
The best time to visit Galax largely depends on your preferences. Spring and summer offer pleasant weather for outdoor activities, while fall brings a breathtaking display of foliage.
Conversely, winter provides a cozy atmosphere perfect for enjoying indoor cultural events and local cuisine. Regardless of the season, Galax promises a warm welcome and a memorable experience for all who venture into its embrace.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Galax has something to offer everyone. In this article, we’ll explore the 11 most fun things to do in Galax, VA.
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1. Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway, often called “America’s Favorite Drive,” is a scenic highway stretching 469 miles through the Appalachian Highlands. It’s a road cherished by millions for its stunning mountain views and natural beauty.
Construction began in 1935 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal efforts. The parkway was designed to provide employment during the Great Depression while preserving the region’s scenic landscapes.
The Blue Ridge Parkway winds its way through the states of Virginia and North Carolina, offering visitors access to numerous hiking trails, overlooks, and recreational opportunities.
One interesting fact is that there are no commercial vehicles or billboards allowed on the parkway. It’s all about preserving the natural beauty and experiencing new things to do in Galax.
You can also find the highest peak in the eastern United States, Mount Mitchell, along the parkway. It’s a staggering 6,684 feet tall.
Whether you’re driving for miles or just stopping by for a picnic, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a journey through nature that captivates the hearts of all who travel its winding path.
206694 Blue Ridge Parkway, Galax, VA 24333, United States
2. MT Vale Vineyards
Mount Vale Vineyards is a delightful winery in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It offers visitors a taste of the region’s rich winemaking history and an opportunity to savor award-winning wines.
Mount Vale Vineyards was established in 1998 and has become a beloved destination for wine enthusiasts. It’s located in the scenic town of Galax, known for its musical heritage and natural beauty.
One interesting fact about this winery is its commitment to sustainable farming practices. They prioritize environmental responsibility and produce high-quality wines using eco-friendly methods.
Visitors to Mount Vale Vineyards can enjoy tastings in a serene and picturesque setting. The winery also hosts events, making it a popular spot for weddings and gatherings.
The winery produces a range of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. Each wine captures the essence of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with flavors influenced by the region’s unique terroir.
With its history, commitment to sustainability and exceptional wines, Mount Vale Vineyards is a must-visit for anyone exploring the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the pleasures of Virginia’s wine country.
3222 Meadow Creek Rd, Galax, VA 24333, United States
3. Rex Theater
The Rex Theater is a historic venue steeped in cultural significance. It was established in 1939 and has been a cornerstone of entertainment in the region for generations.
Originally constructed as a movie theater during the golden age of cinema, the Rex Theater has evolved into a versatile space. It now hosts a wide range of events, including live music performances, community gatherings, and even classic movie screenings.
The Rex Theater is its dedication to preserving its Art Deco architectural style. This commitment adds a touch of nostalgia to every visit, transporting patrons to a bygone era of glamour and elegance.
With a seating capacity of approximately 500, the Rex Theater offers an intimate and welcoming atmosphere for all its events. It has become a hub for both local talent and nationally recognized artists, making it a cultural gem to explore unique things to do in Galax.
Whether you’re enjoying a live concert or relishing a classic film, the Rex Theater continues to be a cherished institution that brings people together for the shared love of the arts.
113 E Grayson St, Galax, VA 24333, United States
4. Old Fiddlers’ Convention
The Old Fiddlers’ Convention is a celebrated event that holds a special place in the hearts of music enthusiasts. Founded in 1935, this annual gathering is one of the oldest and most prestigious fiddlers’ conventions in the United States.
The convention was established to preserve and celebrate the rich heritage of Appalachian folk music, and it has remained true to this mission over the years. It has grown into a lively competition where musicians from all around showcase their skills in traditional bluegrass and old-time music.
Interestingly, the Old Fiddlers’ Convention attracts not only fiddlers but also banjo players, guitarists, and other traditional musicians. Participants compete in various categories, and the event draws thousands of attendees.
Over the years, the convention has hosted some legendary musicians, including Doc Watson, who got his start here. It’s a place where both seasoned performers and aspiring artists come to share their love for Appalachian music.
The Old Fiddlers’ Convention is a beloved cultural event that continues to inspire and entertain audiences year after year and offer them charming things to do in Galax.
114 E Stuart Dr, Galax, VA 24333, United States
5. New River Outdoor Adventures
New River Outdoor Adventures is a renowned outdoor recreation company that offers thrilling experiences. Established in the early 1980s, it has a long history of providing memorable adventures in the great outdoors.
This adventure company specializes in tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and camping along the New River, one of North America’s oldest rivers. The New River Valley provides a picturesque backdrop for these activities.
One interesting fact is that the New River is not actually new; it’s estimated to be around 10 to 360 million years old, making it one of the world’s oldest rivers.
New River Outdoor Adventures is known for its commitment to safety, ensuring that visitors of all skill levels can enjoy their trips down the river. The guided excursions and rentals they offer make it easy for anyone to explore this natural wonder.
New River Outdoor Adventures is a fantastic choice for those seeking an exhilarating and immersive experience and new things to do in Galax.
5785 Fries Rd, Galax, VA 24333, United States
6. Creek Bottom Brewing Company
Creek Bottom Brewing Company is a popular craft brewery with a unique history and some fascinating facts. Established in 2012, this brewery has quickly become a beloved gathering spot for locals and visitors alike.
One interesting fact is that Creek Bottom Brewing Company is housed in a historic building that was once a motor company in the early 1900s. The brewery has preserved the original structure’s character, creating a rustic and inviting atmosphere.
This brewery is known for its commitment to crafting high-quality, small-batch beers. They offer a wide range of brews, from traditional ales to experimental creations, ensuring there’s something to satisfy every beer lover’s palate.
Creek Bottom Brewing Company adds unique things to do in Galax, while also hosting live music events, trivia nights, and food trucks. This makes it a vibrant hub for the community. The brewery’s dedication to supporting local artists and businesses adds to its charm.
With its historic setting, dedication to craft brewing, and lively events, Creek Bottom Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for those looking to savor excellent beer and a warm, welcoming atmosphere in the heart of Galax.
307 N Meadow St, Galax, VA 24333, United States
7. Historic Downtown Galax
Historic Downtown Galax is a vibrant and culturally rich area with a storied history and captivating facts. Established in the late 19th century, it has been the heart of Galax’s community for generations.
One interesting fact is that the town’s name, Galax, is derived from a plant native to the region known as “galax urceolata,” and you can still find this plant growing in the area.
Downtown Galax is a treasure trove of unique shops, boutiques, and antique stores. It’s the perfect place to explore and discover one-of-a-kind treasures.
The town is also renowned for its musical heritage, particularly bluegrass and old-time mountain music. You can often catch live performances of these traditional genres in the downtown area.
Historic Downtown Galax hosts various events throughout the year, such as the Galax Leaf & String Festival, which celebrates the region’s cultural roots. It’s a lively and welcoming place where history, culture, and community converge.
With its rich history, cultural significance, and thriving local businesses, Historic Downtown Galax offers a memorable experience that immerses visitors in the heart and soul of this charming Blue Ridge Mountain town.
115 E Grayson St, Galax, VA 24333, United States
8. Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention Heritage Center
The Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention Heritage Center is a cultural institution with a deep history and intriguing facts. It showcase the town’s dedication to preserving its rich musical heritage. Established as a non-profit organization in 2005, it serves as a hub for celebrating Appalachian music.
One fascinating fact is that the center is closely connected to the renowned Old Fiddlers’ Convention, which has been a musical staple in Galax for over eight decades. The convention brings musicians and fans of traditional Appalachian music together to compete and celebrate their passion for the genre.
The Heritage Center features exhibits and artifacts related to the convention’s history and the local music scene, offering visitors a glimpse into the vibrant musical traditions of the region. It’s a treasure trove for those interested in the roots of bluegrass and old-time mountain music.
The center also hosts events and educational programs to promote the understanding and appreciation of Appalachian music, ensuring that this cultural heritage continues to thrive for generations to come.
The Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention Heritage Center is a must-visit destination for those looking to explore the roots of Appalachian music and want to experience new things to do in Galax.
601 South Main Street Galax, VA 24333, United States
9. Jeff Matthews Memorial Museum
The Jeff Matthews Memorial Museum is a cultural institution with a compelling history and intriguing features that showcase the town’s commitment to preserving its heritage. Established in 1994, the museum was named in honor of Jeff Matthews, a local historian and writer.
Interestingly, the museum is housed in a historic 1901 former church building, which adds to its charm and character. It provides a unique backdrop for the exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of Galax and the surrounding region.
The museum features many exhibits, including displays on the area’s musical heritage, local history, and cultural traditions. Visitors can explore the evolution of Galax from its early days to the vibrant community it is today.
The Jeff Matthews Memorial Museum serves as a hub for preserving and celebrating the cultural, artistic, and historical aspects of Galax and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It hosts events and educational programs, ensuring the town’s rich heritage remains accessible to future generations.
The Jeff Matthews Memorial Museum is a fascinating destination for those interested in the town’s past and the enduring traditions of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
606 W Stuart Dr, Galax, VA 24333, United States
10. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) is an artistic institution with a captivating history and unique features that highlight the town’s commitment to fostering creativity. Established in 2005, CCSA has quickly become a hub for arts education and cultural enrichment.
One interesting fact is that CCSA is housed in a beautifully restored historic building, the former First Baptist Church. This transformation preserves architectural charm while providing a creative space for artistic endeavors.
The school offers a wide range of art classes and workshops, including painting, pottery, music, dance, and more. It welcomes students of all ages and skill levels, making it a vibrant center to experience unique things to do in Galax.
CCSA also hosts exhibitions, performances, and events, showcasing the talents of local artists and providing a platform for cultural enrichment. It’s a place where creativity thrives and artistic passions are nurtured.
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is a must-visit destination for those looking to explore their creative side and immerse themselves in the vibrant artistic community of Galax.
100 N Main St, Galax, VA 24333, United States
11. Felts Park
Felts Park is a beloved recreational space with a rich history and intriguing features that make it a popular destination for both locals and visitors. Established in 1935, the park has served as a gathering place for the community for decades.
One interesting fact is that Felts Park was named in honor of W.L. Felts, a prominent local businessman who donated the land to the city. His generous gift has allowed generations to enjoy the park’s amenities.
The park covers 62 acres and offers a wide range of recreational activities, including picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails. It’s a perfect spot for families to spend quality time outdoors and try new things to do in Galax.
Felts Park is also known for hosting various events throughout the year, including the annual Galax Leaf & String Festival and the Galax Fire Department’s Old Fiddlers’ Convention. These events draw crowds from near and far, adding to the park’s vibrant atmosphere.
With its rich history and commitment to providing a welcoming space for the community, Felts Park remains a cherished destination where people of all ages can enjoy the great outdoors and celebrate the spirit of Galax.
601 S Main St, Galax, VA 24333, United States
Galax, VA, is a hidden gem in the Blue Ridge Mountains that offers a wide range of fun and exciting activities for visitors of all ages and interests.
Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors or simply relaxing in its charming atmosphere, Galax is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories of your trip. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a memorable adventure to try new things to do in Galax!