7 Historic Places and Landmarks Near Lexington VA | Scenic Day Trips

Historic building with white pillars near lexington vaThe Lexington, VA, area is a national treasure—as evidenced by the number of areas and buildings that are deemed National Historic Landmarks. The Commonwealth of Virginia has played an important role in America’s story even before it was a colony, and the six landmarks in Rockbridge County exemplify a part of the American experience and national history.

Additionally, the area boasts 10-plus sites on the National Register of Historic Places. These places hold significance to the area in particular, but each is a marker in time, offering studies and insight into such things as architecture, economics, war times, and race relations. Some on the list are Jordan’s Point, Lylburn Downing School, Boxerwood Nature Center, and Cedar Hill Church and Cemeteries, all in or very near Lexington. 

Patio view with hanging porch swing, two wicker chairs with table overlooking miles of countrysideBrierley Hill Bed and Breakfast guests often find themselves encountering these places by chance, but the sites are worth a purposeful detour and predetermined stop. History buffs will find tracking them down a great day trip during a weekend stay in the area. Romantics will be surprised to see how well history-driven tourism fits into a couple’s-time weekend.

National Historic Landmarks Near Lexington VA

Barracks, Virginia Military Institute—the barracks have been enlarged multiple times, but at its core is VMI’s oldest building, surviving Union attacks during the Civil War.

Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop—Equipment that led to the modernization of farming was invented here.

Lee Chapel, Washington and Lee University—Gen. Robert E. Lee is buried here.

Natural Bridge in Rockbridge Co.

Natural Bridge—An impressive rock formation once owned by Thomas Jefferson.

Virginia Military Institute Historic District—It includes the campus of the nation’s oldest state-supported military academy and the barracks. Fascinating architecturally, it’s true significance may lie in the many U.S. (and Confederate) soldiers and heroes trained here. 

Washington and Lee University Historic District—The focus of the district is the university and its architectural design—Classical Revival (top picture). U.S. and Confederate General Robert E. Lee was also president of the university before it bore his name. He is buried at the chapel on campus.

And one more—a Rockbridge County bonus: Hikers, in particular, may stumble across Rich Hole. This spot is on the National Natural Landmarks list. Located in the George Washington National Forest, it’s a well-protected “cove” containing virgin hardwood forest.

These picturesque and charming sites are the official landmarks, but we can point you to historic, modern, natural, and man-made places of high repute based on your interests. Just ask when you’re here or planning your stay with us.  

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