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DETAILS: Carroll County, Va.

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Sunday, June 8, 2008

GETTING THERE: Carroll County, Va., is about five hours from the Capital Beltway. Take Interstate 66 west to I-81 south about 220 miles to Exit 81 and I-77 south. Take I-77 17 miles to Exit 14 for U.S. 58/221 north and Hillsville. (For directions through Indian Valley, enter "Dugspur, Va." as your destination in Google Maps, skip the last turn and when you get to 221, turn right to Hillsville or left to Floyd.)

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WHERE TO STAY: The Inn and Cottages at Orchard Gap (4549 Lightning Ridge Rd., Fancy Gap, 276-398-3206, http://www.innatorchardgap.com) is a fetching B&B and Colonial-style inn that serves a hearty breakfast and sublime Blue Ridge Parkway scenery. Rooms start at $105; a night in one of the inn's two cottages starts at $119. Families and pets are welcome at Doe Run Lodging (866-398-4099, http://www.doerunlodging.com), which has a nice selection of rental cabins, villas and condos, most in the vicinity of Groundhog Mountain, starting at $125. There are details on local campgrounds, as well as the free-WiFi hotel chains clustered around the Hillsville I-77 exit at U.S. 58, on the Carroll County tourism site (see below).

WHERE TO EAT: In Hillsville, the Hardware Co. (276-728-2658), open daily, adds local flavor to its casual pub atmosphere; the Court Street Coffee Co. (276-730-9948) and the Hillsville Diner (276-728-7681) are closed on Sundays. Finer dining experiences can be had just outside Galax at Bogeys (276-236-0060), on the Olde Mill golf resort campus in Laurel Fork at Niblicks (800-753-5005, http://www.oldemill.net), and at the Chateau Morrisette winery (540-593-2865), which, apparently because it's in Floyd County, fields its own series of food- and music-related festivals. Details at http://www.chateaumorrisette.com.

WHAT TO DO: For links to most outdoor activities and attractions in the county, the Carroll County Tourism site is a good start (see below). The Floyd and Galax Web sites below also contain everything you need to know about upcoming music-related events and festivals; for the record, however, this year's Galax Leaf & String Festival is June 13-15 and its Old Fiddler's Convention is Aug. 4-9, and Floyd's way-beyond-mountain-music Floydfest is July 24-28.

INFORMATION: Carroll County Tourism (276-730-3100, http://www.visittheblueridge.com), City of Galax Tourism (276-238-8130, http://www.visitgalax.com), Floyd County Chamber of Commerce (540-745-4407, http://www.visitfloyd.org) or try the independent http://www.floydvirginia.com site.

-- R.P.


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