15 Best Things to Do in Lexington, VA

15 Best Things to Do in Lexington, VA

Lexington is a county city situated in the state of Virginia, which represents Rockbridge County and is especially known for its rich history and historical monuments that are built here. The Maury River also passes through this beautiful city.

What also makes it favorable to visit is that the climate remains humid and subtropical throughout the year with hot summers and cold winters. It is perfect for exploring the city and its landmarks. The city is especially important from a historical and heritage point of view. There are many famous monuments honoring those that served the country and countrymen at this modern city.

Pay homage to General Robert E. Lee, at Lee chapel and museum

Lee Chapel
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The General Robert E. Lee is a very famous name in all American households. This beautiful Chapel became a national historic landmark since this was the place where Lee and his family attended church. This was during the time when he was pursuing his presidency at the Washington College, which is now called the Washington and Lee University.

Another fun fact is that the Lee family's favorite horse called traveller is also buried right here. Pay homage to this great general and his family at his burial place.
You can later follow it by visiting the museum which also looks at the history of the university and preserves Lee's office in all its grandeur.

It is also architecture marvel. And the theme of architecture is Victorian. Thus, this beautiful Chapel completed its construction during 1867 to 1868 at the request of Robert Lee himself. Another special place to visit is the centerpiece inside the sanctuary of the Chapel where a statue of Robert E Lee called the Recumbent statue, in which he is asleep on a battlefield is depicted. It showcases and honors his immense courage when at war.

Go to the Washington and Lee University

Wahington and Lee University
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

The visit to the Lee chapel is immediately followed by a visit to the Washington and Lee University. It was founded in 1749 and was called Augusta Academy during its inception. Since then, after changing names at least four times, it today stands proudly and is named as the Washington and Lee University honoring the two great men who contributed immensely to it.

It is also only one among the three colleges in the entire United States of America, which has received the distinction of being a historical landmark in 1972.
Visitors who visit the college can also look at the Lee chapel and Lee’s home located nearby. These home and structures are spread over a divine area of 325 acres and makes this university a great place to visit.

Learn about George C. Marshall at the George C. Marshall Museum and Library

The famous military person, General George C. Marshall, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his outstanding Marshall Plan lived at this place. The Marshall Plan was a big factor which helped stabilize the economic conditions of Europe after the heinous World War Two.

This wonderful museum honors his spirit and showcases various aspects of Marshall’s life and artifacts related to him. There is also a research library where students visit and can learn about the history of those times.
There are special areas where rotating exhibits are kept which focus on the ongoing military topics alongside the five exhibition areas with permanent exhibits. The museum provides a glimpse into the inspiring journey of Marshall from a VMI candidate to a great general. Some of the main features of the museum are his Nobel Peace Prize and a vintage ‘43 Jeep Willy.

Visit the Stonewall Jackson house

Stonewall Jackson House
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Yet another historically important place is the Stonewall Jackson house, which was the house of the great General Thomas Stonewall Jackson between the period of 1858 and 1861.

It is also considered an architectural beauty with its two story building and a brick laid structure. Finding the place for itself in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, after careful restoration to its original appearance, it is also one of the many historically important landmarks in Lexington. There is also a beautiful lush green garden located around the house, which is well maintained and manicured. Guided tours are available from 9 to 4 every day. You can opt for hour long tour or half hour ones depending on the time you have.

Learn about military life at the Virginia Military Institute

Virginia Military Institute
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Another one of the Military Institutes, such as Annapolis is the Virginia Military Institute. This is the first military school which is supported by the state.
Since its inception in 1839, many famous generals have walked its grounds, including the general Stonewall Jackson whose, whose house we have mentioned above. He was even a teacher at this school before the Civil War.

Today, students can pursue a degree in liberal arts while also training for service. The library houses as many as 15,000 artifacts and show pieces which show the rich history of the military. The guided tours are usually by the student cadets who are warm and provide great information. The museum is dedicated to the rich history of the students and the alumni of the VMI Institute and also provides a kaleidoscopic vision of the hardships in training that all candidates undergo.

Pay a visit to the Cyrus McCormick Farm and workshop

Cyrus McCormick Farm
Morgan Riley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The famous inventor who made the mechanical Reaper, Cyrus McCormick used to live and work at this specific place. The home became a national historic landmark, after it was donated in 1954 by the family to the Virginia polytechnic Institute.
The entire farm is spread over 532 acres of land and also houses a huge workshop alongside a blacksmith shop, a school room, a slave quarter, a carriage house and the smokehouse. The best part is that the tour is free to visit and guests do not have to pay any charges. Learn about the interesting history of farm life and how McCormick became the inventor of such an important machine.

Take a peaceful stroll at Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland garden

The woodland garden has one of the best Arboretums in the city, which showcases many exotic and endemic species of plants and trees. The 15 acre area has been constructed well, with a lot of trees and greenery, which makes for a relaxing and beautiful stroll to calm those frayed nerves. Moreover, it also showcases how people come together as a community and contribute to preserving the environment since the people at Boxerwood have carried out various restoration projects to help animals and also manage water. There is a workshop and symposium where adults can spend some time while the kids can play in the gardens in playgrounds.

Beer lovers go to Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company

Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Inspired by a trip to the Alps, Steve and Heidi Crandall established this Brewing Company to manufacture slow and well-made beers. Their breweries have the slogan - slow by nature, which emphasizes that all their beers are perfectly brewed slowly and with consistency.

For those looking for some proofs that they might have one of the best beers in the world is that they have won the World beer cup and also the great American beer festival prestige. They have some homemade beer specialties which are seasonally available. For those interested in having the complete package of fun at this brewery, we advise you to visit this place during the Oktoberfest.

Hike across the Chessie Nature Trail

A six mile long trail, the Chessie nature trail was originally a rail trail that links Buena Vista with Lexington while crossing the Maury River.
It has various quaint geographical features as you take the path, including differential water levels, fields, pastures and woods. There are railroad structures inbuilt and canals along the path too. Biking is also officially allowed since 2011 which is another enjoyable experience. This public walking trail is frequented by locals and visitors alike, for its challenging and yet fun hiking experience.

Watch a theatrical performance at the Lime Kiln Theater

A famous hotspot for the public of Lexington is the Lime Kiln Theater, since it offers a variety of theatrical performances that you can choose from including plays, concerts, and dramas. They include a variety of themes in genres such as Shakespearean, or those loved by children like Sleeping beauty and more. The bands that perform here include the local bands and also very popular bands.
Pre purchase of tickets are also available. So if you are interested, you can pre book some slots in advance. Another great aspect is that the Lime Kiln Theater is a nonprofit organization. So all the tickets bought and the money made goes to charity and to the maintenance of this beautiful outdoor theater.

Play at Kids Playce

This wonderful park was constructed in just five days by a bunch of great volunteers at Lexington. The beautiful park is a hot favorite among toddlers because it has the typical slides and rides in a children's playground, making it a fun place to visit. Some of the slides include the climbing web, the zip line, hand over hand and the shaky stairs. American Ninja obstacles are also enjoyed by the kids. Adults can relax on the benches as the kids slide around. They could also spend some quality family bonding time by having a small picnic too.

Take a tour of the Oak Grove cemetery

Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery
Andriy Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

The burial place of the great Stonewall Jackson, this cemetery was also formerly called the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. It is located just near the VMI museum mentioned above. These grounds are the resting place for a lot of famous personalities including governors and family members of Jackson. Pay your homage to this great general y visiting this well constructed cemetery. There are also various trees planted around and the lush green lawn is awesome to sit and relax for some time.

Visit the historic Stono

Stono or Jordan's point was built in 1818 and is a structural marvel due to its cruciform shaped building. It is a two story structure made with brick dwelling and has a Roman portico. Those who love architectural beauty would love to visit this place to look at the summer kitchen, the Ice House and the gallery alongside the main manor. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.
The water body flowing through the Point Park is also very pretty, and has a bridge like structure, making it for a great photography point.

This contemporary art gallery showcases beautiful pieces of artwork from Virginia, from local artists and popular artists. A variety of different types of art pieces are showcased using different types of paints such as watercolors and oil.
Showpieces and other artistic objects like clay works which are painted using acrylics and pastels are also on display.

Dine in at the Southern Inn

American Food with wine
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With an extravagant list of cuisines to choose from including American, vegan and contemporary, this is the perfect place to have lunch or dinner at.
You can order a range of options from starters to main course. Starters include lamb meatballs, and Salmon. You can also have duck and scallops during your main course, which are excellently prepared and well cooked.
For those opting for the vegan or vegetarian options, the salads and the dressing is very tasty. Pair it with one of the many local wines to have the perfect date night with your spouse or love.

Thus, the modern town of Lexington is especially known for being a historical hub. For those fascinated by the armed forces and wanting to learn more about them, it is the best vacation. There are also some fun gardens if you want to visit as a family. Hence, the eclectic mix of gardens and historical monuments makes Lexington one of the best places to visit in Virginia.