Galax, located in the southwestern part of Virginia, is the seat of Grayson County. The town has a population of approximately 6,600 residents, creating a close-knit community that takes pride in its traditions and heritage. From its humble beginnings as a small farming community, Galax has evolved into a cultural hub, drawing visitors from near and far to experience its unique offerings.
The town’s rich musical legacy is deeply ingrained in its identity. Galax is renowned for its annual Old Fiddlers’ Convention, a tradition that dates back to 1935 and continues to attract talented musicians and passionate music lovers from across the globe.
This lively event showcases the region’s traditional Appalachian music, featuring spirited fiddle tunes, soulful banjo melodies, and spirited old-time dancing.
Beyond its musical heritage, Galax embraces the beauty of its natural surroundings. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic road that winds through the mountains, is a gateway to stunning vistas and outdoor adventures.
Explore the picturesque trails of the New River Trail State Park, meander along the banks of the New River, one of the oldest rivers in the world, or simply bask in the tranquility of the surrounding forests and rolling hills.
Let’s have a look together at the 8 best things you can do in Galax, VA:
1. The Blue Ridge Music Center
Immerse yourself in the rich musical heritage of the region at the Blue Ridge Music Center. Located on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, this center showcases the traditional music of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Enjoy live performances, exhibits on the history of Appalachian music, and explore the picturesque trails surrounding the center.
Galax is renowned for its annual Old Fiddlers’ Convention, which has been held since 1935 and attracts musicians and music lovers from all over the world.
2. New River Trail State Park
This 57-mile linear park follows the course of the New River and offers opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and fishing.
The New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world, and has a storied history, with Native American settlements and early European exploration along its banks.
3. Downtown Galax
Take a stroll through the charming downtown area of Galax, where you’ll find a variety of locally-owned shops, restaurants, and galleries. Discover unique crafts, local artwork, and indulge in the region’s culinary delights, including traditional Southern cuisine.
4. Rex Theater
Experience the vibrant arts scene of Galax by catching a show at the Rex Theater. The theater itself has a storied past, having been a hub for entertainment in the region since the 1940s. This beautifully restored Art Deco theater hosts a range of performances, including concerts, plays, and film screenings.
5. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts
Unleash your creativity at the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts. This community arts center offers a variety of classes and workshops, allowing visitors to explore their artistic talents in mediums such as painting, pottery, fiber arts, and more. The school aims to preserve and promote the traditional crafts of the region.
6. Felts Park
Spend a leisurely day at Felts Park, a scenic outdoor recreation area. Enjoy picnicking, walking trails, and sports fields. The park is also home to the Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention, which has been held annually since 1935 and attracts musicians and fans of traditional Appalachian music from far and wide.
7. Galax Municipal Golf Course
Tee off at the Galax Municipal Golf Course, an 18-hole course nestled in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. This course offers scenic views and a challenging layout, making it a favorite among golf enthusiasts.
The course is steeped in local history and has been a recreational destination for locals and visitors alike since its establishment in 1949.
8. Matthews Living History Farm Museum
Step back in time at the Matthews Living History Farm Museum. This open-air museum showcases rural farm life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The museum provides a glimpse into the agricultural heritage of the region and the way of life of early settlers.
Galax, Virginia, is a town deeply rooted in its Appalachian heritage. Its strong musical traditions, preserved through events like the Old Fiddlers’ Convention, celebrate the region’s cultural legacy.
The area’s natural beauty, combined with its vibrant arts scene and rich history, make Galax a destination that offers a blend of outdoor adventure, artistic expression, and a deep appreciation for the traditions of Appalachia.