Have a wild summer in Blue Ridge Mountain foothills of Virginia

White gazebo surrounded by hilly terrain, trees and blue skies

Sitting in the gazebo at Brierley Hill Bed and Breakfast we’re contemplating a wild summer for our guests. Not at the inn itself; this is your place to relax and unwind in the comfort of your luxuriously appointed room or suite or the lovely common areas. But we know where you can go for fun in and around Lexington.

Wild animals

Orange Bengal tiger cleaning itself in long grass; looks like he's licking he tongue out at usFor a wild time, go on safari. The Virginia Safari Park near Natural Bridges provides rides through 180 acres of open space. Unlike a zoo, the animals roam free. See bull elk, buffalo, kangaroo, tigers and more. And if you don’t see the llama, they will come to see you. Llamas and several other animals might stick their head into your car window seeking pats and food. For additional close-up animal encounters, walk around the village and visit the petting zoo.

Outdoor concerts

Summer concerts always hype up the energy and there are multiple venues near Brierley Hill. Various lounge settings book music to soothe the savage beast. We send you to Lime Kiln Theater in the forest when the beast isn’t ready to be soothed! Another favorite option for outdoor music is Boxerwood Garden’s summer series. Take your lawn chair and blanket for Music in the Garden Picnic Concerts. Varying Fridays May through August, these evening events are free.

Boxerwood Gardens offers an opportunity for an all-day experience. As an environmental education center, a community cultural resource, and a place for all nature lovers, visitors to Lexington often stop in for the programs and a walk among the 400 types of trees and shrubs, through the wetlands, and by the pond; additionally, they’ll stumble across spectacular pieces of art.

Hiking

Nature, of course, is wild, and that’s an experience this area offers in abundance. Yes, we’re going to say it: Take a walk on the wild side! Explore the woods, the Appalachian Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway, Natural Bridges State Park, and more. Hikers love Virginia and Brierley Hill is a great stepping off point.

July 4th and 5th and 6th

Several brightly colored hot air balloons lifting off into bright blue skiesTake to the wild blue yonder at the Balloons over Rockbridge Festival July 5 and 6. It’s an awesome sight from the ground, but you can take a piloted hot air balloon ride for a bird’s eye view of the world. Held at the Virginia Horse Center Oak Hill Property, you’ll find the complete makings of a festival—activities, foods, music, and vendors. This event is free to attend but raises money for local organizations and charities.

Fireworks will be on display at the Horse Center the evening before, on Independence Day.

Food fest

Another event this week, Wednesday, July 3, also raises money for local charities primarily through sales of food from celebrity chefs, the Freedom Food Festival. Again, expect live music, vendors, and an abundance of beer and wine for sale—because of the for-charity aspect, of course.   

Wine, beer, cider

Some will admit that they’re wild for the spirits … or the spirits make them wild. In addition to the Freedom Food Festival, Lexington keeps giving. Wine tastings at Washington Street Purveyors and Haywood’s are scheduled throughout the summer.

Explore the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail for area tours of beer and cider makers. Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Great Valley Farm Brewery are big on growlers. Devils Backbone is also hosting a four-course Summer Solstice Beer Dinner on June 21.

In September, the Rockbridge Wine and Beer Festival will be held at Lime Kilm Theater.

Join us on the veranda when you return; we look forward to hearing your wild tales!

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