Activities & Attractions
The area surrounding the Shenandoah Valley and Lexington, Virginia provides countless opportunities for both adventure and relaxation. Whether you are interested in outdoor activities like hiking or cycling, visiting historic attractions, shopping for antiques, or dining at stellar restaurants, we have all that plus more! You will never run out of things to do during your trip. Make Brierley Hill Bed & Breakfast your home base as you explore all that the area has to offer.
Free Shenandoah Valley Activities
Saunter through VMI and W&L
With ancient oaks and grand historic buildings, the campuses of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) and Washington & Lee University (W&L) are lovely places to enjoy an antebellum stroll. The VMI campus also offers The VMI Museum, which chronicles the creation and development of VMI and the amazing contributions of its alumni to American history.
Experience the Virginia Horse Center
One of the finest equestrian centers in the United States, the 600-acre Virginia Horse Center is a beautiful facility for state, national, and international horse competitions and events. Visitors can tour the stables and show rings, and view steeplechase, timber, and carriage courses. Note: Entrance is free, but some events may have a minimal charge. (540) 464-2950
Watch the Cadet Parade
Most Friday afternoons in the spring and fall, the cadets at the Virginia Military Institute march in full dress uniform on the school’s parade grounds. This much-loved tradition of patriotic pomp and circumstance is a great spectacle and a truly unique Lexington experience.
Visit the George Marshall Museum
Located adjacent to the to the Virginia Military Institute, the fascinating George C. Marshall Museum chronicles the life and achievements of George C. Marshall, organizer of victory in World War II and author of the Marshall Plan. Note: The museum does ask for a donation. (540) 463-7103
Visit Lee Chapel & Museum
The great Confederate general, much of his family, and even his trusted horse, Traveler, are all buried here in this lovely little chapel on the Washington & Lee campus. The chapel museum houses many items that belonged to Lee and his family, as well as the famous Edward Valentine statue portraying General Lee resting on the battlefield. (540) 458-8768
Tour Rockbridge Vineyard
Just 20 minutes north of town is beautiful Rockbridge Vineyard, home to many fine, award-winning Virginia wines. Open May through October, the vineyard’s tour takes you through the fermenting area, barrel cellar, and, of course, the tasting room. (888) 511-9463
The Route 151 Wine Trail**
With 6 wineries, 3 breweries, and 2 cideries, this has become a popular venture.
Devils Backbone Brewery**
Just outside Lexington, this is a beer lover’s dream.
See the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery
Buried in this historic cemetery on the south side of town are Stonewall Jackson, 144 Confederate veterans, two Virginia governors, and Margaret Junkin Preston, the Confederate’s Poet Laureate.
Hike the Chessie Nature Trail
Six miles of wildlife and wildflowers await you along this former railroad bed of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. Glorious limestone formations mark the path along the scenic Maury river.
Tour Wade’s Mill
Just a quick drive down the highway, this historic site is well worth a visit. Wade’s Mill, a historical 1750s grist mill, still produces flour today and offers a truly unusual outing. You can see the behind-the-scenes workings of a mill and shop for gifts all in one spot. (800) 290-1400
Stroll Downtown Lexington, VA
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lexington is a small yet bustling city full of history and commerce. With period architecture, historical buildings, and exceptional shops, it is a great place to stroll the day away. Don’t miss the many wonderful antique shops and Cocoa Mill Chocolate Co., our award-winning chocolate shop.
Shenandoah Valley Activities for a Fee
Take a Lexington Carriage Ride
A fascinating foray back in time, the Lexington carriage ride is 40 minutes of Civil War history and heartbreak. Learn of Stonewall Jackson’s many life tragedies and the struggles and triumphs of Robert E. Lee as you journey through town behind two trusty steeds. (540) 463-5647
Tour the Stonewall Jackson House and Museum
Up the hill from the visitor’s center is the only home ever owned by Stonewall Jackson in his short 39-year life. The Stonewall Jackson House and Museum is furnished with many of Jackson’s own possessions, as well as appropriate period pieces, and offers informative guided tours on the hour and on the half hour. (540) 463-2552
Roam the Blue Ridge on a Gentle Mount
New Meadow Farm offers guided horseback riding, riding lessons, and cross-country jumping. September – May: (610) 825-9838 / June – August: (540) 377-9474
Visit the Natural Bridge State Park
This 90-foot-long bridge of rock is one of Virginia’s most cherished natural wonders and quite something to behold. The Natural Bridge contains 450,000 cubic feet of rock and is estimated to weigh approximately 36,000 tons. A bit of trivia: Rockbridge County is named for this formidable formation. The Natural Bridge area also offers a zoo and a drag-strip speedway. (540) 291-1326
Visit Virginia Safari Park
229 Safari Ln; Natural Bridge, VA 24578
Fun-filled drive through safari with exotic fauna, elk, zebras, gazelles, etc., plus a petting zoo. Fun for all ages.
Paddle the James or Maury Rivers
Whether you want the thrill of fast water or the relaxation of slow, lazy paddling, the James River Basin Canoe Livery offers options to fit your needs. All prices include instruction, a detailed trip map, and shuttle service to and from the trip of your choice. (540) 261-7334
Attend an Event at the Lenfest Center
The Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts, located on the Washington & Lee University campus, presents artistic events and performances throughout the year, including university theater productions, operas, professional theatrical plays, and musical concerts. (540) 458-8000
Lime Kiln Theater
Take in a show at Lime Kiln, located just ¾ of a mile from Brierley Hill Bed & Breakfast.
Drive East to Charlottesville, VA
Enjoy lovely, historical Charlottesville and the homesteads of two early-American presidents: Monticello (Thomas Jefferson) and Ash Lawn-Highland (James Monroe). Charlottesville features terrific Revolutionary War-era architecture and is home to the University of Virginia.
Drive East to Appomattox, VA
Located in the middle of an 1,800-acre national park, the village of Appomattox Court House is the site of the McLean House where General Lee surrendered to General Grant to end the Civil War.
Visit New Market Battlefield Military Museum
Housing the largest collection of antique military memorabilia on display anywhere, the New Market Battlefield Military Museum serves as a repository for more than 2,500 military artifacts arranged in 125 displays. A section of the museum (and the surrounding battlefields) tell the story of the Civil War’s Battle of New Market, which took place in May 1864.
Cruise Skyline Drive
Stretching from one end of the Shenandoah National Park to the other, the Skyline Drive portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most scenic drives in the country. No matter what the season, the surrounding vistas are magnificent as the 105-mile road winds you along the crest of the mountains.
Take a scenic drive through Goshen Pass. Along the way, stop to swim in the Maury River, stroll across the swinging bridge, hike Jump Back mountain, fish for some fresh water trout, or just relax while taking in all the beauty.
See a Cave or Cavern
Luray Caverns (60 minutes north on I-81) provides tours of underground wonders, such as enormous stalactites and stalagmites, and natural spring-water pools. Organ Cave (just over the border in West Virginia) is the second longest cave on the East Coast with more than 40 miles of mapped passageways.
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For its small size, Lexington has quite a few great restaurants. Here are the innkeepers’ picks:
*Bistro on Main: 8 North Main St. | (540) 464-4888 | www.bistro-lexington.com
A local favorite offering brunch on Sundays, and lunch and dinner Tuesday-Saturday. Casual to fine dining, the Bistro on Main supports many local farms, providing customers with the best local fresh foods available.
*Southern Inn: 37 South Main St. | (540) 463-3612 | www.southerninn.com
Offering casual, upscale dining, the Southern Inn has one of Lexington’s most expansive fine wine lists. The restaurant features locally raised and grown products prepared from scratch daily. Open Mon-Sat 11:30am-10pm; Sun 11:30am-9pm.
Palms: 101 West Nelson St., Lexington, VA 24450 | (540) 463-7911
Casual dining with American fare. A local favorite.
Napa Thai: 240 North Main St., Lexington, VA 24450 | (540) 461-8133
Niko’s Grill: 167 South Main St., Lexington, VA 24450 | (540) 464-9499
Authentic Greek cuisine.
Pure Eats: 107 North 8th St. | (540) 462-6000 | www.pure-eats.com
Great burgers, shakes, and fries.
*Reservations recommended.Need more options for fun and food? Click here for the Lexington Visitor’s Center website.
Local Hikes in the Shenandoah Valley of Lexington, VA
Mount Pleasant: Moderate hike with fantastic views. Loop hike of 5.2 miles.
Woods Creek Trail: Moderate hike within Lexington city limits. Goes through W&L as well as VMI.
Either loop (4 mi.) or one-way (2 mi.).
Chessie Nature Trail: Easy hike along railbed of Chesapeake & Railroad. You can determine the distance hiked by using the provided mile markers. One-way.
House Mountain: Easy – difficult hike depending upon which options you choose.
Brushy Hills Trails: Several trails ranging from .7 mi. to 1.3 mi.
Appalachian Trail Section Day Hikes
Wayside to Irish Creek: A moderate one-way hike if you travel north to south. Several scenic
footbridges across Brown Mountain Creek; rest or snack at the Brown Mountain Shelter. 6 mi.
Hog Camp to Cold Mountain
A moderate 3.5 mi. round trip hike to the summit of Cold Mountain and some spectacular views.
Hog Camp to Tar Jacket Ridge
A moderate hike with a total distance of 3 mi. round trip. Excellent views.