About 45 minutes north of Mt. Airy sits a true historic gem, the Draper Mercantile. To get there you could take the interstate, but instead why not take the road less traveled -- Route 100 through Carroll, Wythe and Pulaski counties in Virginia.
The Merc, as it’s called has been around for more than 125 years and has always been a gathering place. But a few years ago when the Gardner family renovated it, they wanted it to be more of a place where people could come, unwind and sit a spell.
According to Ashlee VanMeter, a family member who worked on the renovation, “What we really want to bring people back to is the really good things in life. One of our overall goals was to create experiences that bring people together through the outdoors, through music, through art."
The Merc has a little bit of everything from shopping, things for the kids to do and a top-of-the-line restaurant with fresh bread and desserts baked daily. On Friday's, they feature wine down Friday's with local music.
It seems the Merc takes you back to a time when people weren't so rushed.
While you slow down at the Merc, you can speed up a bit next door at the Junction where an adventure on two wheels awaits you.