If you have a list with a multitude of things that you’d like to cross off your list, Lexington Virginia may not be the first town that comes to mind. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised as there are a multitude of things to do whether you’re into history or nature, or even if you’re just looking to unwind and relax, there’s something for everyone in Lexington, Virginia.
To help you get started, we’ve curated a list of 7 things that you’ll be able to cross off your list just by visiting this gorgeous town that’s rich with history, charm, and natural wonders
Tour the historic Washington and Lee University
The Washington and Lee University is the ninth oldest institution when it comes to higher education in America, and its historic campus that’s situated in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley is a must-see. As you walk around the campus and soak in the sights, don’t forget to also head to three different museums that are housed at the University.
The Reeves Museum of Ceramics contains a variety of ceramics from all over the world from the 1500s to present while the Lee Chapel and Museum has multiple exhibitions to pique one’s interest. Meanwhile, those who enjoy art must take a look at the art collection that’s scattered around the campus. The Watson Galleries feature changing exhibits and even has a Japanese Tea Room to study the Way of Tea.
Visit the Virginia Military Institute and watch a VMI Cadet Parade
After touring the historic University, head to the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) that has buildings dating from the 19th century. The institute itself has 59 buildings over 200 acres – including the Old Barracks which is currently recognized as a national historic landmark. At the VMI there’s also a museum with over 15,000 artifacts to visit, and a 300-acre battlefield park that has preserved the core areas of the battlefield and historic farm.
During most Friday afternoons in the spring and fall, a parade takes place on the Virginia Military Institute’s school parade grounds. This parade is a much-loved tradition that’s a great spectacle and also a truly unique Lexington experience. You’ll get to see the professionalism of the cadets, and watch them march in full formation. These Corps of Cadets will march through Jackson Arch onto the Parade Ground in full dress uniform to the sound of rifles and the Regimental Band.
Head to the Stonewall Jackson House
Located in historic downtown Lexington Virginia, this is the only home that the famous Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson ever owned. The house itself has been both a museum and a historic site since 1954 but was restored in 1979 to mimic the appearance of the time of the Jacksons.
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the house itself is furnished with period pieces and some of Jackson’s possessions. There’s also a guided tour to learn more about the history and various collections. The home itself has been preserved well, and there’s plenty to learn about Jackson’s life during the decade that he lived in Lexington.
Take a carriage ride tour of Historic Lexington
Ever fancied riding on a carriage and learning more about the history of Lexington? If so, you’re in for a treat as the Carriage Company – that has been established since 1985, will take you on a narrated tour through the historic areas of Lexington and provide you with everything you need to know about the rich history of this area.
You’ll pass by a plethora of historic places of interest from the Stonewall Jackson House to the Lee House, and even the historic residential district dating from the 1820s to the 1880s. This is a fantastic way for individuals of all ages to spend the day and get to know downtown Lexington a little better.
Known as being one of the great wonders of the natural world, Virginia’s National Bridge is a huge natural limestone arch that’s been around for over thousands of years. It’s also the largest natural land bridge that exists on the North American continent. There’s plenty of history behind this 215-foot-long bridge that was sacred to the Monocan tribe.
After you’ve reveled in the beauty of the natural bridge, continue to explore the rest of the park from the rolling meadows to the hiking trails and more. There’s also The Natural Bridge Caverns – the deepest caves on the East Coast that are just a short distance away.
Explore the various hiking trails
There are plenty of gorgeous hiking trails around the area to explore. Big House Mountain is an iconic landmark situated in Rockbridge County that’s comprised of two peaks that are known as the Big House and Little House Mountains. You can choose to conquer one peak in about half a day, or hike two peaks and make it a mountain experience for the entire day. Both have their major draws and their share of spectacular views. Alternatively, you can also choose to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail. The small Virginia mountain town of Buena Vista was recently give the distinction of “Appalachian Trail town” which helped put them on the map for hikers taking on this lengthy trail. To have a little taste of what this trail is all about, feel free to hike a portion of it that crosses across Rockbridge County.
The Brierley Hill Bed and Breakfast is a gorgeous country inn that’s nestled on a hillside in the Shenandoah Valley. You’ll wake up to breath-taking views of both the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, beautifully decorated accommodations, and a hearty breakfast ranging from sweet waffles to savory egg dishes. Choose to stay in a spacious cottage fitted with a gas fireplace, a double whirlpool tub, and a comfortable king-sized bed or indulge in the Blue Ridge Cottage with your own private deck and entrance for respite from your day’s adventures. If you’re looking for an additional touch of romance, try the Romance Recipe Package that has an in-room Swedish massage, lavender milk bath with rose petals, and a lovely bottle of wine with chocolates and cheese. We’re just touching the tip of the iceberg on the number of things that you can do in Lexington, Virginia. There are plenty of other things to discover from restaurants serving delicious fresh food to amazing craft beers, other picturesque hikes and more. Planning a trip somewhere else? Trip101 has everything you need to help you get started.