Floyd, Virginia: Old-Time Music and New-Time Hippies

My story on a weekend escape to Floyd is in the latest issue of Distinction. The online version is at:
Handmade Music.

What’s surprising about Floyd is that the vibe is energetic, more eclectic than you’d expect. It’s not only good ol’ boys in camouflage. Four decades ago, hippies began moving into this area to found communes next to working farms. Now, their children have grown, gone away and, in many cases, returned. North Carolinians favor Floyd as a spot for a second home in the mountains. All that contributes to a thriving community of artisans, old and new.

At first blush, old-time music and new-time hippies seem an unlikely pairing. But they’re both about community and craft. The stickers given to Friday patrons at the Country Store read “handmade music,” but Floyd is about more than just music crafted lovingly by hand.

You can still get good moonshine if you know someone who knows someone. But belly up to a table at any restaurant in town and you’ll be handed a list of craft brews on tap and in bottles that rival any big-city offering. You’ll find an old-fashioned biscuit so fluffy only the rich sausage gravy anchors it to your plate at the homey Blue Ridge Restaurant and a seared Muscovy duck breast that Tom Colicchio would love at the sophisticated Natasha’s Market Cafe. Need a handmade mountain banjo? There’s a luthier nearby. Looking for pottery, wood sculpture or paper artistry of the quality you’d expect down the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville or in urban galleries? Wander Troika, The Floyd Artists’ Association, and other galleries along Locust. The Hotel Floyd, a block off the main drag, is a stylish, eco-friendly lodge with rooms built by a local woodworker that feature local art.

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