Welcome to day two of our discoveries in the wonderful town of Floyd! Here was our itinerary for the day:
- Sunrise on Blue Ridge Parkway
- Breakfast at Blue Ridge Diner
- Coffee at Red Rooster Coffee
- Coffee and visit with Kathy (met on JCG page!)
- Lunch at the PharmHouse
- Shopping downtown
- Dinner at Parkway Grill
- Ice Cream at Soda Fountain
SUNRISE on the BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
How blessed we are to have this beautiful parkway close by. I think it’s easy to take it for granted when there are so many overlooks that are breathtaking, areas to stop and have a picnic, and spots to just breathe and take it all in. It truly gets its name honestly because the view is so spectacular and turns the most amazing hues of blue as you look across the horizon.
On our first morning in Floyd, we hopped up early and decided to go see the sunrise on the parkway. All I can say is it was worth getting up early, carrying the hotel coffee, and just sitting…. taking it all in. I don’t need to say more about this, the pictures speak for themselves, except I say GO, just go.
BLUE RIDGE DINER
After getting up so early, we were excited to try breakfast at the Blue Ridge Diner downtown and we were not disappointed. In fact, we loved it so much, we went back the next morning! This diner is the epitome of hometown, locals who are clearly regulars, all known by name, but even as visitors, the owners and staff made us feel as welcome as if we’d been there many times. The food was out of this world and we even ordered the same meal the second day. This little gem is in the heart of downtown and is a must stop if you visit downtown Floyd. If nothing else, go for the Cheezy Eggs and home fries (like homemade chips), both are amazing!
RED ROOSTER COFFEE
After breakfast, we met up with a new friend, Kathy, at the Red Rooster Coffee shop just a couple of blocks from downtown. First of all, Kathy is a new reader on the JCG Facebook page and her first comment there was when she responded to our request for places we should visit. We chose her town first and we just had to meet her! Kathy was the epitome of hometown Floyd, even though not a native, but she loves her town and was a wealth of information for us. She WAS the reason we took the trip!
A bit about Red Rooster, it’s like a fru-fru coffee shop, with a hometown feel. They had all kinds of flavors of coffee and frappes and lattes, pastries, even cool apparel sold in the store. You could smell the coffee roasting in the back! We enjoyed our coffee there and then Kathy invited us to her home just a few miles down the road where we were able to see her beautiful view from her porch and learn so much about the wonderful life she has led and is leading even as a recent widow after a 48 year marriage. Kathy took us to see the hemp fields her son has just across the way from her home where they are experimenting on their growth as far as types of soils and light and so much more, learning how to grow the best quality hemp to help the most people. Her son, Patrick, is also the owner of the local moonshine distillery, but more about that later. It was just great to sit down on the big front porch of a new friend and realize how big and yet how small this world is. Kathy, you were a gem and a treasure and I look forward to seeing you again!
THE PHARM HOUSE
Yes, that’s right, we were eating again. I mean yes, that’s right, the Pharm House is the town pharmacy with a small restaurant in it that you wouldn’t expect to be so good. And you’d be wrong! First, the pharmacy is quaint and just as Mayberry as you can imagine with its trinkets and items for sale before you get to the register. Then, the restaurant is a walk up and order, a few booths and couple of tables, sitting next to the aisle of meds and aspirin. It is wonderful which I say with a smile! The food, oh my goodness, is amazing and the staff just as much so. I had the bacon jalapeno cheeseburger with melted provolone cheese on Texas Toast. It had two patties and I had no idea but it was so much food, we had enough for another meal. B had the brisket sandwich and he said it was awesome especially the sauce. Our meal was 5 star for sure. Next time, we’re trying them out for breakfast, because those dishes sound just as good!
After lunch, with bellies full, we decided to just stroll downtown and look and shop. To be a couple of blocks in size, almost literally, there are some of the coolest shops I’ve ever been in! The thing that struck me about Floyd and downtown is the support of all local artists and the support of one another. One store owner said if I don’t have that angel you’re looking for, I’m sure going to send you to Mary across the street. I love that! Some of the stores we loved were (and I can’t pick a favorite!):
- Troica: The most beautiful jewelry and pottery by local artists and friendly staff willing to share stories behind the art! They also had beautiful apparel and housewares. This is where I purchased the gorgeous bracelet called the Free Spirit and B got a gift for me, the beautiful patina dragonfly necklace, both by the extremely talented local artist named Anne Vaughn.
- A Little Monkey Business: owned by a quirky fun young lady who fits what you are envisioning for Floyd! She was a joy to talk to and helped us throughout the store that was full of great tees, socks, other apparel, purses and bags, and all kinds of neat little things. I started my Christmas shopping in this store!
- Floyd Country Store: I mean really, you can’t go to a quaint wonderful small town without going to the general store! It was truly the heart of the town with its front porch welcoming loiterers (there’s a sign!), a live music stage inside, right next to the dining area because yes, they have great food too. There’s everything from candy to soaps to a small bakery, tees and apparel, hats, you name it, and it all is adjoined by the old-fashioned Soda Fountain where we experienced a slice of heavenly ice cream and shakes two days in a row. Yes, we did! Their lemon crunch… oh my goodness!
- Finders Keepers: a shop full of great finds the owner has come across from outdoor metal works and bistro tables to collector’s items of furniture and glassware and so much more.
- New Mountain Mercantile: to me this was just a wonderful extension next door to the general store full of beautiful apparel and bags, jewelry, and this is where I got my new favorite pair of earrings from The Glass Act. She makes her jewelry from stained glass and mine are clear with that texture of stained glass, I love them!
This was another restaurant that came highly recommended and now we can do the same. It was just outside of downtown and has a balcony with outdoor dining. The atmosphere is eclectic and colorful and friendly and the food, well, let’s just say it was probably our favorite meal of the trip. B had the crabcakes, he said probably the best he’d ever had, and I had chicken terayaki. Delicious! Our server was fun and friendly and we learned she is about to embark on her own journey across the country just seeing the sites. Oh, to be young and adventurous and free! She made our entire meal entertaining and this was one of the many places we were so glad we got to experience.
And that pretty much sums up day two! It was a long but wonderful day. We only had one regret visiting Floyd and that was that we didn’t stay one more day. In every single store and restaurant, we were asked if we were staying for Friday night music. It is apparently the heart of the town’s week with music outdoors and dancing in the street. We just have to go back for that!