So, you’re in the midst of final exams with your sites set on heading home for the holidays. But before you and all your housemates scatter to different parts of the state, you know you want to take a study break and grab the perfect housemate/roomie/friend/couple Christmas photo to Instagram (or maybe even to plop into one of the Christmas card templates from Shutterfly or Walmart and print out)!
So recruit a friend with a decent camera to photograph you (because we all know that having someone take your picture will be better than a selfie), bundle up in your most holiday-spirited warm outfits, and pick a spot in the beautiful New River Valley to feature (along with your beautiful selves)!
We have compiled this list of the top 10 places that we recommend you try for this year’s Christmas photo. Yes, we know there’s Bisset Park or the Pylons at Virginia Tech or countless other great options, but we wanted to provide you with some creative, outside-the-box places, some of which you may not have even heard of. Because why not turn your Christmas card photo op into an adventure to explore somewhere new?
The Old House Options
Want to throw in a bit of history to your Christmas photo? Try one of these three historic homes.
1. Alexander Black House, 204 Draper Rd. SW, Blacksburg
You can’t get much more Christmas spirited than a house painted green and red. Plus it has festive garlands and wreaths on the windows and railings. An added bonus is all the history of the town of Blacksburg that this building holds – consider taking a free tour while you’re there!
2. Solitude by the Duckpond, 705 West Campus Drive, Blacksburg
Ok, we know you probably know about this place. But it’s just too good of a photo spot not to include. With its huge porch and classic white exterior, it provides a cute backdrop that keeps the focus on your happy smiles. Fun fact: it’s also the oldest structure still standing on the VT campus.
3. Ingles Castle, 13 Ingles Street, Radford
This castle was built in 1892 by the great grandson of Mary Draper Ingles. Its unique architecture would provide a vintage backdrop for your Christmas photo.
The Bridge Options
These bridges, contrasting in scale, would both showcase the charm of the NRV area in your Christmas photo!
4. Clover Hollow Covered Bridge, Newport, in GPS search: “Sinking Creek Covered Bridge, Newport”
First word that comes to mind with this one? Adorable. This 100-year-old bridge is one of Virginia’s seven remaining covered bridges. Since it’s only open to foot traffic, it makes for a great spot for a photo shoot.
5. Wilson Creek Bridge (Smart Road Bridge), 2269 Ellett Road, Christiansburg
On a bit of a grander scale as the second tallest bridge in Virginia, this bridge is actually part of the VT Smart Road and is inlaid with Hokie Stone. Take your photo far out enough to get the bridge and the vibrant red barn in the background.
The Vintage Options
If you want a unique and rustic flair to your Christmas photos, check out these places.
6. Christiansburg Train Depot, 630 Depot St NE, Christiansburg
Built in 1868, this station served as a passenger station until the early 1900s and a shipping point for goods coming into and leaving the area until the early 1950s. The building now holds Cambria Toy Station & Whistle Stop Books.
7. Old Building Ads, 1109 East Main St., Radford
This wall of old advertisements located right in the heart of downtown Radford would offer an outside-the-box backdrop for your Christmas photo.
The Classy (and Indoor!) Option
Don’t want to freeze? Try this.
8. The Inn at Virginia Tech, 901 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg
Every year, the Inn puts up a fabulous collection of trees, garland, and lights lining the hallway outside the main ballroom. Each tree has a different theme for its decorations. So, if you want to step up your Christmas photo game, this is your chance to get a little dressed up (if you want) and pick one or more trees to feature in the background of your photo.
The Christmas Tree Farm Options
Because what says, “Merry Christmas” better than a bunch of Christmas trees? (If you’re not planning to buy a tree while you’re there, you may want to call ahead and check that it’s ok to come just to get photos taken.)
9. Rifton Tree Farms and Nursery, 240 Rifton Lane, Pilot
The Christmas tree world is your oyster at Rifton. They have Frazier fir, Blue spruce, White pine, Norway spruce, and Serbian spruce trees. They even have a large decorated tree specifically designated as the photo tree.
10. Joe’s Trees, Newport, use GPS coordinates: “N37° 22.406′ W080° 22.735′ Elev: 2076 ft.”
In addition to trees, Joe’s also does hayrides on the weekends, weather permitting.
Merry Christmas from Valley Women’s Clinic!
And of course, the backdrop ultimately doesn’t matter, because it’s the people in the photo that make it great. So no matter where you decide to take your Christmas photo, whether it’s one of these spots or any number of other great locations in the NRV, we at Valley Women’s Clinic hope you have a great Christmas and holiday season, treasuring the time with family and friends!