Written by Joyelle Ronan
If you haven’t been getting out on the roads lately, let me fill you in. Gas prices are pretty low right now, around $2.00 per gallon, which means it’s the perfect time to take a road trip. If saving a few bucks on gas doesn’t entice you, maybe you’ll be convinced to leave the comfort of campus when you hear about some places that are within an hour of Salem that you may have never even heard of.
I’ve lived in southwest Virginia for over a decade and I’m still discovering new places to visit. A recent favorite of mine is Draper, Va. Located 55 minutes away from campus, Draper is home to Thee Draper Village where you’ll find several unique shopping and dining options. My personal recommendation is to visit The Draper Bloom’s Tea Garden and try the amazing scones or head inside The Merc Restaurant for a cup of Open Road Roastery coffee.
Also 55 minutes away, is a town that I’m pretty familiar with, it’s where I spent the majority of my childhood. Floyd, Va is the kind of small town that can only be described as unique. If you’re going to make the trip out to Floyd then you definitely have to hit up all the shops on Main St. including The Floyd Country Store, home to the Friday Night Jamboree. If it happens to be a bit warmer, the farmer’s market is also a must.
You might be surprised at how many interesting places can be found within an a short hour’s drive. With a few bucks for food, a knack for finding deals, and some great friends, you can plan a pretty fun and budget friendly Saturday road trip. You’ll still have all of Sunday to get caught up on your work, there’s really no excuse not to go exploring. So, fill up your tank, get out on the road and see what Southwest Virginia has to offer.