Great Small Towns Near DC: Floyd

Listen to toe-tapping bluegrass in this charming southwest Virginia town of 434 people.

On Friday nights in the one-stoplight town of Floyd, Virginia, bluegrass invades. Floyd’s population explodes as visitors convene outside the tidy brick storefronts on Locust Street to hear impromptu performances. The main action takes place inside the Floyd Country Store, home of the Friday Night Jamboree. Young and old, rural and urban, rhythmically gifted and challenged—all pound out the rat-a-tat percussion of traditional flatfoot dancing to a slate of live bands.

Just six miles from town is the Blue Ridge Parkway, the perfect spot for fall leaf peeping. Photograph by Stephen L. Alvarez/Getty Images.

To fuel up pre-jamboree, try Oddfella’s Cantina (110 N. Locust St.; 540-745-3463), whose small but varied menu ranges from kimchee pork tacos to Philly cheesesteaks. Historic Pine Tavern (611 Floyd Hwy. N.; 540-745-4482) serves bounteous helpings of comfort food in a 1927 knotty-pine dining room. For easy access to the Friday-night festivities, check into the newly expanded Hotel Floyd (300 Rick Lewis Way; 540-745-6080), where each room’s decor is related to a local enterprise such as honeybees or antiques.

Population: 434.

Distance from DC: 282 miles.

Nearby: A bonus for fall-color seekers—the Blue Ridge Parkway is just six miles from town.