15 Best Things to Do in Doswell, VA

Doswell, VA
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While it may not be Virginia's main star when it comes to attractions, the best things to do in Doswell, VA, are perfect for a quick weekend escapade.

This unincorporated community is located in Hanover County, in the heart of Virginia's Central Region.

Originally known as Hanover Junction, it stood along the Virginia Central Railroad (which became a part of the C&O).

In honor of Major Thomas Doswell, the name was changed to Doswell in the early 1890s.

Doswell, which used to be mostly farmland, now has a large population who travel to Richmond for work.

Doswell is not only known for its natural splendor but also for its broad array of companies, cultural institutions, and community gathering spots, as well as for its locally-owned enterprises, lively festivals, and the largest amusement park in the region.

For a family vacation, shopping, a romantic weekend, a historical site discovery, or a beautiful drive, the community, and its surrounding areas provide something for everyone, regardless of age, interest, personality, and wallet.

Here are the best things to do in Doswell, Virginia:

Have a Blast at Kings Dominion

Aerial view of Kings Dominion
roger4336, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Kings Dominion, Virginia's largest amusement park, is the place to go in summer with your family and friends.

The East Coast's most extensive coaster collection, Planet Snoopy, a Peanuts-themed children's section, and WaterWorks, a 20-acre water playground, are all included in your park ticket.

Kings Dominion is the only place in Virginia where you may get two parks for one payment.

Colorful rollercoaster in Kings Dominion
Coasterman1234, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Soak City, King Dominion's 20-acre waterpark, is free to park guests.

Take in the sights and sounds of the water park, which includes water slides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and cabanas.

A 45-foot multi-level play structure and a unique eating experience can be found at Coconut Shores in Soak City.

People riding the rollercoaster in Kings Dominion
BigThunderMtn, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Step Back in Time at Church Quarter

Despite being called "Church Quarter," this area was created in 1843 for residential use.

Richard Harris, a House of Burgesses member in Williamsburg, received a land grant in 1719 that included this restored 1840s log cottage, which sits on three acres of land.

According to tax documents, the first land structure had been demolished by 1840, and this one had been constructed by 1844.

In 1862, on his march to Richmond and Gordonsville, Major Stonewall Jackson stopped here for water.

On the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register.

Using this technique, turn episode 4 and "Legends and Lies" were filmed in a period-correct framework.

You may visit the site for a tour, but you must make an appointment in advance.

Admire the Architecture at Sharp's Oakland

Another historic home you may visit in Doswell is Sharp's Oakland.

During the Battle of North Anna in May 1864, the farm now Sharp's Oakland was hidden behind Union lines. J. D. Sharp from New York acquired the property some 15 years later.

The Second Empire-style home he erected now is a clever piece of architecture.

This design merges rustic stone chimneys and a mansard roof with intricately patterned wooden shingles.

In reality, the tall, narrow proportions that result are reminiscent of dollhouses rather than most Second Empire residences' average cubic solidity.

Almost all of the woodwork on the inside still has its initial false graining.

National Register of Historic Places designation was granted in 2002.

Go Trainwatching at Buckingham Branch Railroad

Headquarters of Buckingham Branch Railroad
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For more than two decades, the short line Buckingham Branch Railroad (BB) has delivered and received freight cars from CSXT, Norfolk Southern Railroad, and the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad.

BB is a family-owned railroad in Virginia. On the Richmond & Alleghany Division of BB, at 10577 Doswell Road, Doswell, Virginia, in Hanover County, lies the BB Doswell Yard Transload Site.

Six acres of the property have been cleared in preparation for future construction.

Watching trains from this location is a unique experience for rail enthusiasts.

Bring your kids or watch them with other locals and visitors.

Explore the North Anna Battlefield Park

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has named the North Anna Battlefield Park a Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.

Over six miles of well-kept and signed trails go through an oak-hickory woodland in the North Anna Battlefield Park, maintained by Hanover County Parks and Recreation.

The park's Confederate and Union earthworks and interpretative paths are among the best preserved in the country, in addition to the abundant wildlife.

Around 20 historical interpretative markers given by the Blue & Gray Education Society may be found along the path.

They provide information on rifle pits, trenches, and battles.

This action at the North Anna River was an essential component of the Overland Campaign of 1864, which included critical fights in the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and North Anna River.

Ulysses S. Grant faced up against Robert E. Lee for the first time in this campaign; it marked a shift in Union military strategy toward a battle of attrition, which resulted in more fatalities and helped end the conflict.

Gain New Insights on Fishing at Richmond Fishing Expo

Experience a weekend of fishing overload at the Richmond Fishing Expo, an annual event in Meadow Event Park.

The expo brings together the most comprehensive collection of fishing gear and the top professional talent.

More than a hundred vendors will be on hand to ensure that you have a successful start to the season.

Pre-season prices and the latest gear on the market make this a must-attend event for any fishing enthusiast.

Some of the best fishermen in the country will be on hand at the Fishing Expo to help you catch more fish.

Professional fishermen will be on hand all weekend long to sign autographs, pose for photos, and share their secrets to success.

Your entry ticket is valid throughout the event, regardless of how many days you attend.

Celebrate the State Fair of Virginia

The ferris wheel during the Virginia State Fair
Joe Benning / Shutterstock.com

In Doswell, Virginia, the Meadow Event Park hosts the Virginia State Fair at the end of September.

Richmond Raceway Complex in eastern Henrico County, a short distance from Richmond's capital city, used to host the fair.

In fact, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation is the organization that owns it.

In addition to the usual fair fare like cotton candy and funnel cakes, the fair has also served Virginian staples like barbecue chicken and peanuts.

Dessert kiosk at the Virginia State Fair
Joe Benning / Shutterstock.com

Additionally, the fair has featured exhibits and competitions in agriculture, technology, history, and animals, including pig races.

Participants in a number of the tournaments were eligible to apply for scholarships.

This year's festival has various entertainment options, such as log rolling and snake handling.

Grab some novelty-themed clothes, belt buckles, and other accessories to remind you of your visit!

Food and drinks kiosk at the Virginia State Fair
Joe Benning / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy Local Music at After Hours Concerts

With plenty of space for parking, first-class VIP viewing spaces, and a wide range of food and beverage options, you can never go wrong at the After Hours Concerts series.

Held at Meadow Event Park, After Hours Concerts features various genres, from country to rock and pop. Companion sitting is offered for those who need it, and wheelchair seating is also available.

Before moving to Doswell in the summer of 2021, EventMakers-USA produced and managed the Innsbrook After Hours concert series.

This concert series was nominated for an Academy of Country Music (ACM) award in 2020 and has been named Richmond's "Best Concert Series" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch for eight years running.

Enjoy some of Virginia's finest live music in the countryside!

Meet a Mighty Steed at the Meadow Event Park

A former family farm, the Meadow Event Park currently hosts the Virginia State Fair and other noteworthy events.

One of Virginia's most popular tourist destinations, The Meadow Event Park is just a short drive from Richmond and Fredericksburg and from Hampton Roads/Virginia Beach.

The 331-acre property has a rich history and a mix of modern and old buildings.

It was here in 1970 when Secretariat, the most remarkable thoroughbred racehorse, was born.

Then, just three years later, he became the first horse ever to win the Triple Crown.

The National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmark Register now recognize his birthplace.

Go Antique-Hunting at Squash a Penny

Exterior of Squash a Penny
DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine strolling into a classic movie setting.

Visiting Squash a Penny will make you feel like that.

This is the spot to go if you want to buy some antiques for your house.

The business is only open by appointment, but the proprietor is really hospitable, and the shopping experience is fantastic.

A no purse, no phone policy is in place since the establishment is owned and handled solely by a single lady.

In addition, the store's prices are pretty competitive.

Bring home something from the store as an addition to your home decor.

Go Winetasting at Castle Glen Winery

In Doswell, Virginia, Castle Glen produces some of the best wines in the state.

When it comes to making wines, this winery's winemaker is an artist.

If you'd want to visit, you don't need to make a reservation.

What can you anticipate when you come to our winery for the first time?

To find out more about us and our wines, get in touch with us or check out our selection.

In the rolling hills of Virginia, only eight minutes from King's Dominion, our tasting facility and vineyard is a lovely spot to spend a day with loved ones.

Aside from our weekly concerts, which take place on Saturdays, our wine bar is pet-friendly and open to anybody who enjoys fine wine.

Embark on a new, unanticipated journey to discover how your favorite wine is made from grape to glass, from vineyard to cellar.

Grab Your Horseriding Supplies at Champion Saddlery

Founded more than 40 years ago, Champion Saddlery is a family-owned business.

It features over 500 new and used saddles at reduced rates.

There is always room for trade-ins on saddles.

A member of its team will gladly assist you with your selection, style, sizing needs, and any other inquiries you may have.

Some of its employees are even professional riders and competitors in various sports.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit a Patriot's Home at Scotchtown

Exterior of the home of Patrick Henry at Scotchtown
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

In Hanover County, Virginia, you will find Scotchtown Plantation, a 13-minute drive away from Doswell.

The residence of Patrick Henry, the orator of the American Revolution, in Scotchtown is the only original one still intact and available to the public.

His most prominent revolutionary ideas, including the famous "Liberty or Death" speech, were formed when Henry stayed here from 1771 to 1778.

The restoration of Patrick Henry's hometown of Scotchtown was completed by Preservation Virginia in 1958.

Replica barns and gardens surround the home.

A Self-Guided Cell Phone Tour and a 45-minute Guided Exterior Walking Tour are the two alternatives available for exploring the area: both provide you with a map of the grounds and instruct you on how to follow the numbered paths on the map.

Bring Your Kids to Enjoy Various Activities at Ashland Berry Farm

This farm, eight minutes from Doswell, is one of the region's top destinations for gardening and landscape needs and a location to build beautiful family memories.

There are thousands of flowering hanging baskets and many other bright annuals in the spring at the greenhouses.

Beds of nursery plants and colorful perennials decorate the nursery, enhancing its curb appeal for potential customers.

Our offsite sites will be available by mid-April, allowing the farm to bring its beauty to you even more conveniently.

Ashland Berry Farm comes alive in the fall with over 30 acres of pumpkins and great fall activities for the whole family to take part in.

Terror On The Farm, Virginia's top Halloween attraction, is also available for those who prefer a more spooky experience.

Play Ball Games at Legacy Park

Formerly the Virginia Sports Complex, Legacy Park currently has three of the area's most prestigious sporting venues and a world-class training facility.

It is located 10 minutes away from Doswell.

Unlike any other facility in the region, Legacy Park offers eight baseball fields, two basketball courts convertible into four volleyball court conversions, 15 batting cages, a full weight room, and an indoor turfed space with a total square footage of 14,000 feet.

There is plenty of space to park at the indoor facility and the baseball grounds.

It's an excellent setting for outdoor baseball.

If you prefer to bring your own bag chair, a vast concrete pad is available.

Final Thoughts

By preserving artifacts, historic structures, and historic battlefields, Dowell also contributes to the preservation of American history.

Enjoy its natural beauty, historic sites, parks, and commercial attractions!