With the meandering Appalachian Trail to the west and the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway to the east, there's a lot to explore in Virginia's Blue Ridge region. Go boating on beautiful Smith Mountain Lake. Take in a play at Barter Theater in Abingdon. Maybe a football game at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg (nothing gets the tailgate going like a bottle of local vino). If it's music that moves you, don't miss Floyd Fest in Floyd, or the Old Fiddler's Convention in Galax, a Virginia tradition since 1935.

Interstate 81 bisects the Blue Ridge Wine Region, which runs south of Roanoke to the North Carolina border. The windy and picturesque mountainsides of southwest Virginia are home to a number of well-established wineries thanks to loamy and gravelly soil with good drainage and stunning elevations.