Floyd, Virginia: a one-stoplight town with huge charm
STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROBIN SOSLOW Special Contributor
Published: 16 May 2014 03:36 PM
FLOYD, Va. — You know those mountain havens where you simply bask in beauty? Well, this isn’t one of them.
Floyd, a one-stoplight town in Virginia’s stretch of the Appalachians, gets bypassed by sightseers who peg it as backwoods. But a renaissance sparked by natives and back-to-the-landers has made Floyd a modern-day Shangri-La, a harmonious mountain paradise whose charms run far beyond scenic.
Two days is enough to spark thoughts about moving here.
Zen begins with the curving ramble through the Blue Ridge Mountains from Roanoke Valley’s airport. Roll down the windows — the crisp air’s a free spa treatment.
The depth of culture in Floyd, population 429, astounds. No wonder the town center — established in 1831 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places — is a top stop on Virginia’s Crooked Road heritage music trail.
The Floyd Country Store is packed with enchantments: barrels of penny candy, farm-tough overalls, crafts. Its stage draws listeners from far afield and every demographic.
The $5 Friday Night Jamboree’s Southern gospel, old-time string and bluegrass bands fill the floor with percussive flatfoot dancers and cloggers. In attendance: toddlers, teens, grad students, golden agers; cowboy hats, backward baseball caps, plaids, dresses and a few suits. There’s no alcohol, and you won’t miss it. On weekends, it’s free Americana bands and old-time jams.