Nestled in the woods and Blue Ridge Mountains, Pulaski County is a community of family fun, outdoor recreation, and economic opportunity. Local citizens and tourists alike enjoy eating at local restaurants and shopping at “mom-and-pop” stores. Pulaski County is known for its own baseball team, the Pulaski Yankees. Claytor Lake and the New River offer a lot for those enthusiastic about outdoor water recreation. Families can enjoy the many events in Pulaski County as well as having fun at Randolph Park and other parks in the county.
Pulaski is the county seat of Pulaski County, and the home of the historic Pulaski County Courthouse. Downtown Pulaski has a lot to offer when it comes to local shopping, dining, and lodging. The town has a lot to do. Calfee Park is where the Pulaski Yankees baseball team plays. For those who love to experience nature, hikers can stroll through Dora Trail and New River Trail State Park. You will find the region’s culture in art by touring the Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Transportation Museum, watching a show at the Pulaski Theatre, and visiting the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley.
Dublin is the other town in Pulaski County and the home of New River Community College. Several attractions are located near the town including Randolph Park, Wilderness Road Regional Museum, the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery, and the New River Valley Fairgrounds.
Fairlawn is the “sister’ community of Radford. The Pulaski County community offers several shopping and dining options for the Radford University community. It is home to several enjoyable attractions such as St. Alban’s Sanatorium, Motor Mile Speedway & Dragway, and the Pete Dye River Course of Virginia Tech.
Accessible from the New River Trail, the small community of Draper offers Appalachian dining and shopping at the Draper Mercantile. Draper Valley Golf Club and Draper Valley Overlook are near by.
Allisonia and Hiwassee are both communities near the New River. The New River Trail goes through both, and the Hiwassee River Bridge is such a sight for those hiking the trail. The quiet community of Snowville rests near the Montgomery County border. Hiwassee is home to the Blue Ridge Scout Reservation, the largest locally owned Boy Scouts of America camping property in the United States.
What to Do in Pulaski County
Parks & Recreation
The New River and Claytor Lake offers so much activity when it comes to boating, fishing, and water sports. For those who enjoy hiking, the 2 1/2 mile long Dora Trail starts from the Pulaski Train Depot (where you can purchase a bike at Pulaski Bikes) and merges into the New River Trail. Along the way, you can stop at two parks including Kiwanis Park and Heritage Park, both with activities for children and their families. The New River Trail is a 57 mile long trail that begins in Galax and ends in Pulaski. In Pulaski County, the trail has entry points in Allisonia, Hiwassee, Draper, and Pulaski. Some portions of the trail are adjacent to the New River itself. Elsewhere in the county, Draper Valley Overlook is accessible on Draper Mountain on U.S. Route 11. The overlook offers a great view from the mountain on both sides of the road.
Claytor Lake State Park offers so much for outdoor enthusiasts and families wanting to have fun. The lake is open to water sports such as boating. The park has a beach for those wishing to sun bathe, swim, and even build sandcastles. Additionally, there are hiking trails, campsites and cabins, picnic shelters, gift shops, and educational programs. Gatewood Park Campground & Reservoir, located near Pulaski is another option for camping, water activities, fishing, and hiking.
Randolph Park is a park located near Dublin intended for day use. The park includes hiking trails. One of the trails has inspirational messages along the way. One of the park’s popular features is a swimming pool (open seasonally) with a water slide. The park also has athletic facilities for most types of sports, picnic shelters, and a playground.
Arts & Entertainment
The Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley features exhibits of regional artists. The Pulaski Theatre features performances from various musicians throughout the year. Scarrette’s Plaza Cinema, located in Fairlawn shows the latest movies for moviegoers to enjoy with popcorn, snacks, and soda. Several musical concerts and events are held in Pulaski County throughout the year.
The historic St. Alban’s Sanatorium offers spooky experiences year-round with several events appropriate for a haunted atmosphere. Racing fans will feel the excitement when they watch a race at the Motor Mile Speedway. Sports fans will enjoy the seasonal games of Minor League baseball team the Pulaski Yankees. They play localley at the historic Calfee Park. Fans can meet their team mascot, Calf-E.
In the summer, the NRV Fair offers so much to people of all ages. The fair offers rides, animals, musical performances, food, and much more! The New River Community College Comic-Con will give fans the opportunity to wear costumes of their favorite characters while speaking with special guests (including authors and comic artists) and shopping for comics, movies, books, and video games.
Dining & Shopping
Pulaski County has many local favorite restaurants. In downtown Pulaski, Al’s on First serves sandwiches and burgers. There are also several options for ethnic food in the county such as Compadres Mexican Restaurant in Pulaski and Sal’s Jr. Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant in Fairlawn. For those who have a sweet tooth, you can find candy and sweets at Pulaski’s Blue Ridge Fudge Lady and donuts are served at Dublin’s Olykoek Donut Shoppe. The Draper Mercantile serves brunch and coffee at their marketplace, as well as opportunities for shopping Appalachian gifts.
Dublin provides easy access to franchise shopping and dining from Interstate 81, and Fairlawn offers the same for the Radford community. Unique local shopping can be found all over Pulaski County. Local stores sell clothing, antiques, home decorations, gifts, and more. If you are looking for something to do geared for adults, Pulaski County has several breweries and wineries.
Education & Economic Opportunity
New River Community College is a two-year institution of higher education serving students of the New River Valley. Their main college campus is located in Dublin (An additional campus is located inside the New River Valley Mall in Christiansburg.) and offers programs in various disciplines. The college has a bookstore, many student organizations, and events for the community. Volvo Trucks is one of the most prominent employers in Pulaski County. Their plant in Dublin assembles Volvo tractor-trailer trucks.
History & Heritage
Historic Pulaski County Courthouse & Museum
This is a historic Romanesque and Queen Anne style building built in the late 19th century. Located in downtown Pulaski, it currently serves as the courthouse for Pulaski County today. Visitors can look at historical exhibits inside the courthouse and even tour the building.
Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Transportation Museum
The Raymond F. Ratcliffe Museum houses exhibits all about the history of the town of Pulaski with an emphasis on how transportation has evolved. One of the highlights of the museum is a scale-sized replica of downtown Pulaski with a model railroad.
Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery
Located in Dublin, this cemetery honors those who fought in the United States armed forces. The cemetery is open to the public and special events happen at the cemetery throughout the year.
Wilderness Road Regional Museum
This is a living history museum taking visitors back in time to the days of the settlers. The museum has exhibits of artifacts relating to the area from different points in history.
Pulaski County Web Directory
Traveling on Interstate 81
This exit takes travelers to U.S. Highway 11 in Pulaski. Exit 91A leads south to Hillsville and exit 91B leads to Pulaski. Draper Mountain is near this exit. A notable attraction on the Mountain is Draper Valley Overlook. New River Sports, a store selling outdoor supplies is also close by both exits.
Takes travelers to the community of Draper. The closest gas station is a BP. The most notable attraction at this exit is the Draper Mercantile. The Draper entry point to the New River Trail is also accessible from this exit.
Going northbound, travelers have the options to take exit 94A or exit 94B. Southbound, travelers have one exit option.
Exit 94A leads to the communities of McAdam, Shiloh, and Hiwassee. The Blue Ridge Scout Reservation can be accessed from this exit, as well as the Hiwassee entry point to the New River Trail (including the Hiwassee River Bridge). Several boating rentals for boating on the New River are also near the Interstate exit including Conrad Brothers Marine. Marathon Gas is a gas station on the road to Hiwassee.
Exit 94B leads to the town of Pulaski. Exxon is the closest gas station to the exit. The town of Pulaski is conveniently located near the exit. Featured attractions at this exit include Downtown Pulaski, the Pulaski entry point to the New River Trail, Raymond F. Ratcliffe Memorial Transportation Museum, Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley, and Calfee Park. More details on attractions, dining, and shopping in Pulaski can be found elsewhere in this guide.
Takes travelers to the town of Dublin and the community of Newbern. The Pulaski County Visitors Center is easily located from the Interstate exit for those wishing to learn more about the area.
There are many options for eating, shopping, and lodging at this exit. It is not difficult to find a diverse number of options for fast food. A Walmart store is located in the area. Attractions and ares of interest accessible from this exit include the Wilderness Road Regional Museum, Randolph Park, Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery, the New River Valley Airport, and the main campus of New River Community College.
Taking this exit will lead to the town of Pearisburg and other communities in Giles County.
This exit leads to Claytor Lake State Park. Gas stations near the exit include Exxon and Shell. Near by hotels include Sleep Inn & Suites and Claytor Lake Inn.
Both exits, located in Montgomery County, take travelers to the city of Radford. The Pulaski County communities of Fairlawn and Snowville are accessible from these two exits. Fairlawn includes several fast food restaurants, gas stations, and shopping centers. Walmart and Kroger are in Fairlawn.