Big Walker Lookout is the starting point for the Toland's Raid Civil War Trail that ends in Wytheville, VA. It's about 20-25 minutes from Wytheville along Rte 52. We arrived at the Lookout just in time to watch a glorious sunset behind the mountains across the valley.
The Lookout is situated on an outcropping that allows you to view one valley to the west and another, the one where the raiders entered the town, to the east. There is a Country Store there that sells all sorts of handcrafted items and the literature says there are artisan and craft demonstrations scheduled periodically. We arrived too late to shop. There is also a 100 foot tower for those not afraid of heights and stair climbing (a $5 charge, so be sure you're up to it).
On our way back to Wytheville after our stay in Raleigh, we took a little side trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway. We exited at Meadows of Dan and found a country store and a rustic restaurant. Our policy is always to choose a place that has plenty of cars in the parking lot and this lot was almost full. Inside was a bustling lunch crowd--a mixture of locals and tourists I'm sure.
We paused for a moment when we entered and looked around. A lady standing at the cash register to pay her lunch ticket smiled at us, waved a hand toward the tables and booths and said, "Y'all find yersef a place." I love Southern hospitality. We relished homemade chili and hamburgers to die for. No wonder the parking lot was full. If you're ever in that area, it's on Route 58 just off the Parkway. Y'all pull up a chair and enjoy!