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The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail Named a Distinctive Destination

The Crooked Road

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail one of its 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations. The Crooked Road was selected for blending eco-tourism and small town charm with the Appalachian region's musical heritage, providing visitors with a unique cultural experience that spans 300 miles across 19 towns. In the month of February, The Crooked Road will be participating in the first-ever public online voting contest for the 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations Fan Favorite.

For 10 years the National Trust for Historic Preservation has annually selected communities across America that offer cultural and recreational experiences different from those found at the typical vacation destination. From dynamic downtowns and stunning architecture to cultural diversity and a commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization, the selected destinations boast a richness of character and exude an authentic sense of place.

"The Crooked Road pays homage to a rich Appalachian heritage," said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "The trail weaves together unique historic districts that share a past steeped in a rare and uniquely American music culture."

Celebrating and preserving the Appalachian region's cultural heritage, The Crooked Road encourages visitors to experience authentic mountain music in the region where it was born. The trail highlights eight music venues, including the Ralph Stanley Museum & Traditional Music Center, Carter Family Fold, Norton Country Cabin, Bristol, the Rex Theater & Old Fiddler's Convention and the Blue Ridge Music Center. The Floyd Country Store is home to the world-famous Friday Night Jamboree, a long-running music series featuring local Old Time, Bluegrass and Gospel music. Nineteen towns dot the 300-mile route and offer historic and cultural programs, artisan crafts, museums and outdoor recreational activities.

Other highlights include:

  • Along the trail, wayside kiosks provide information and FM radio broadcasts featuring musical excerpts and narration about the scenic attractions and cultural offerings
  • Often called the Grand Canyon of the South, Breaks Interstate Park is a 4,600-acre park that borders Kentucky and Virginia and features campsites, hiking, a lodge and spectacular views
  • Chateau Morrisette in Patrick County is a family-run winery featuring an award-winning chef, a jazz festival and popular wine tastings
  • "Farm to fork" cuisine can be enjoyed at The Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, which celebrates local produce on menus that change weekly based on harvest
  • Downtown historic districts in Abingdon and Bristol offer eclectic shopping experiences

The title of Distinctive Destination is presented to cities and towns that offer an authentic visitor experience by combining dynamic downtowns, cultural diversity, attractive architecture, cultural landscapes and a strong commitment to historic preservation, sustainability and revitalization. In each community, residents have taken forceful action to protect their town’s character and sense of place.

The Crooked Road joins Lexington, Charlottesville and Staunton as Virginia destinations to have received this honor.

For more information on The Crooked Road and for trip planning resources, visit or call 1-800-VISITVA to request a free, Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.

photo by and  ©copyright The National Trust for Historic Preservation

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