Top Things to Do in Lexington VA

There are so many unique things to do during a visit to Lexington, Virginia covering history, outdoor adventure, scenic views, and more.

I’m sharing more about the top things to do in Lexington and the surrounding area.

women shopping in Lexington VA

Thanks again to Geiger PR for hosting my visit. All opinions are my own. This article may contain affiliate links.

love sign at Natural Bridge State Park

Where is Lexington, Virginia?

Lexington is located in the Shenandoah Valley, in Rockbridge County.

Driving Distance to Lexington, VA

  • Roanoke, VA to Lexington – 55 minutes
  • Charlottesville, VA to Lexington – 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Beckley, WV to Lexington – 1 hr 56 minutes
  • Richmond, VA to Lexington – 2+ hrs

Virginia has 50 places on the National Register of Historic Places in Rockbridge County. (16 places with Statewide significance and 2 of those places have National significance.)

natural bridge state park

Admire Natural Bridge at Natural Bridge State Park

6477 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, VA

natural bridge state park

I knew there was a Natural Bridge in Kentucky but growing up I didn’t realize that Virginia had its own Natural Bridge.

Natural Bridge in Virginia  Natural Bridge State Park

Natural Bridge in Virginia is 215 feet tall with a natural arch span of 90 feet making it taller than Natural Bridge in Kentucky.

sign at Natural Bridge State Park in Virginia

Fun Fact: Thomas Jefferson viewed the Natural Bridge while passing through the area on August 23, 1767.

hiking trail at Natural Bridge State Park in Virginia

Natural Bridge State Park has miles of hiking trails to explore.

Lace Falls waterfall at Natural Bridge State Park Virginia

During your visit to the state park check out Lace Falls waterfall via Cedar Creek Trail. The 2+ mile hike is an out-and-back.

Natural Bridge State Park in Virginia

The visitor center at the park has restroom facilities and a large gift shop.

If you want to visit the park after dark, make sure that you sign up for a ranger-led hike or stargazing program.

Natural Bridge is an International Dark Sky Park making it a great place for stargazing.

If you have additional time, visit the Caverns at Natural Bridge. The seasonal attraction takes you 34 floors beneath the surface showcasing stalactites and stalagmites.

horse drawn carriage tour Lexington Carriage Company

Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour of Downtown Lexington, VA

106 E Washington St #2329, Lexington, VA

(Seasonal Attraction – April 1- October 31)

Narrated carriage tours of downtown Lexington are available from the Lexington Carriage Company.

horse drawn carriage tour Lexington Carriage Company

The carriage tour takes you past several historic sites including:

  • The Stonewall Jackson House
  • Lee’s Tomb and the University Chapel
  • Washington and Lee University
  • Virginia Military Institute
  • The Lee house 
  • Historic residential district dating from the 1820s to the 1880s
  • Stonewall Jackson’s Tomb at Oak Grove Cemetery
horse drawn carriage tour Lexington Carriage Company

Virginia was the largest state in population to join the Confederacy which explains why there are so many sites from that period of history in Lexington.

horse drawn carriage tour Lexington Carriage Company

The horse carriage tours are approximately 50 minutes, available Wednesday-Sunday, including holidays (Weather permitting).

shops in downtown Lexington VA

Check Out the Local Shops in Downtown Lexington

Lexington, VA has lots of local shops to explore during your visit.

shop in Lexington VA

The majority of shops are within walking distance on Main Street and the streets that intersect it. (W. Washington and W. Nelson)

Top Things to Do in Lexington VA

Check out the full list of local shops in downtown Lexington here.

funny non historical marker in Lexington VA

While walking downtown, the non-historic marker pictured above caught my eye. I love and appreciate it when people have a sense of humor, especially in a historic town.

Artists in Cahoots in Lexington VA

Find One-of-a-Kind Items From Artists in Cahoots

21 W Washington Street, Lexington, VA 

Artists in Cahoots is a cooperative gallery owned and operated by local artists. You’ll find fine art and crafts available for purchase in a variety of styles and mediums.

jewelry at Artists in Cahoots in Lexington VA

My favorite pieces were inspired by the Lexington brick patterns.

Brick pattern in Lexington VA

The brick pattern dates back to the 1800s and you can still spot it in areas downtown.

Virginia Military Institute

Take a Guided Tour of Virginia Military Institute

319 Letcher Ave, Lexington, VA 

VMI is the oldest and first state-run military college in the Nation, founded in 1839.

historic sign at VMI in Lexington VA

VMI’s alumni include many notable people, among them are a Secretary of State, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, seven Medal of Honor recipients, 13 Rhodes Scholars, a Secretary of Defence, a Secretary of the Army, An Emmy and Golden Globe winner, many Senators and Representatives, a Supreme Court Justice, state Governors and a martyr recognized by the Episcopal Church.

Cadet Chapel in Jackson Memorial Hall at VMI in Lexington VA

Cadet Guided Tours are a 40-50 minute historic walking tour of the campus that gathers in the lobby of the VMI Museum at 12:15.

No reservations are needed unless you’re traveling with a large group.

Little Sorrel horse at VMI in Lexington VA

VMI Museum was the first public museum in the Commonwealth and now has over 15,000 artifacts. The museum was started by Superintendent Smith with the acceptance of a Revolutionary War musket in 1856.

exhibit on women at Virginia Military Institute

My favorite section of the museum talked about women who paved the way for other women to attend college there.

Women started attending VMI in 1997 and the first women graduated in 2001.

There are no women’s barracks and the women attending VMI have their own rooms.

George Patton Memorabilia at VMI in Lexington VA

View the Henry Stewart Collection at VMI

You can view a rare firearms collection that consists of over 800 pieces.

The Collection is named in honor of Henry M. Stewart, Jr., a VMI Graduate of the Class of 1935, who assembled one of the world’s great antique firearm collections over 50 years.

Henry Stewart Collection at VMI

Gun collectors and history buffs will appreciate the one-of-a-kind pieces that include several models that are the only surviving examples of their kind.

Henry Stewart Collection at VMI

Highlights of the collection include:

  • The air rifle carried by Lewis and Clark during their 1803 Northwest Expedition
  • Artemus Wheeler Revolving Carbine (one of four purchased by the US Navy in 1821)
  • Several cased Colt Patterson firearms
  • A fully engraved Porter Rifle.
Washington and Lee University in Lexington VA

Visit Washington & Lee University

204 W Washington St, Lexington, VA

Washington & Lee University, originally Washington College has a lot of history as the 9th oldest college in the United States founded in 1749.

The university was named after George Washington and Robert E. Lee for their pivotal roles in the University’s history.

Fun Fact – the college is older than the U.S. Constitution.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Take a Scenic Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway consists of 469 scenic miles that weave through Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park in Central Virginia and continues to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

I’ve traveled on different sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway over the years and it’s always stunning at every turn.

Chimney Rock Mountain Overlook Blue Ridge Parkway

If you want to experience The Blue Ridge Mountains from other vantage points there are stopping points along the drive that you can use as a picnic area. You can even explore and hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

Punch Bowl trail on the Appalachian Trail

We met hikers (not pictured) who were on their epic journey to complete all or large portions of the trail.

Punch Bowl Shelter on AT

I enjoyed listening to their stories about their WHY for hiking the trail while they rested at the shelter stop along the trail.

Drive-Thru Safari at Virginia Safari Park

Feed Animals on the Drive-Thru Safari at Virginia Safari Park

229 Safari Ln, Natural Bridge, VA

(Seasonal Attraction)

Virginia Safari Park is the perfect place to visit if you love animals.

animals at Drive-Thru Safari at Virginia Safari Park

This seasonal attraction is open from the spring through late November and admission covers both the 180-acre Safari Drive-Thru and the 10-acre Safari Village Walk-thru.

*Keep your ticket handy if you want to leave and return on the same day because it covers unlimited visits for the entire day.

Each vehicle also receives a full-color Safari Guidebook included with admission to help identify the wildlife in the park.

zebra at Drive-Thru Safari at Virginia Safari Park

One of the best things about the drive-thru safari is that it is non-stop smiles and laughs. You never know what animal you’ll encounter next along the way.

animal at Drive-Thru Safari at Virginia Safari Park

You can purchase buckets of animal feed for the Safari Drive-Thru portion of your visit.

Guests must remain inside their vehicle the whole time and you’ll want to hold on to the feed bucket with two hands.

Trust me on this one! I speak as someone who had a bison spill my feed bucket while he was eating from it… and I was even using two hands!

This is especially important if you have younger kids who could spill their animal feed bucket during their first animal encounter.

Outside food is not permitted to feed the animals and no pets are allowed on the premises. You can purchase animal feed from inside the gift shop or with admission.

Safari Village at Virginia Safari Park

Safari Village at Virginia Safari Park

If you want to feed animals inside the Safari Village, feed sticks are available for the Budgie Aviary.

birds at Safari Village at Virginia Safari Park

I loved feeding the birds inside the Aviary.

bird at Safari Village at Virginia Safari Park

Romaine lettuce cups for the Giraffe Feeding Station are available for purchase. There is a wheelchair-accessible ramp that leads to a covered platform that’s eye-level with the giraffe.

camel at Virginia Safari Park

Look for Bengal tigers, a King Cheetah, a petting area, kangaroos, and penguins.

There is a playground if kids need to burn off extra energy and a cafe if you want to grab something to eat or drink while you’re there.

Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm in VA

Scents And Scenic Views at Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm

1350 Decatur Rd, Fairfield, VA 

(Seasonal Attraction)

Tantiviy Farm is a 54-acre lavender farm that offers guests a variety of activities who visit.

Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm in VA

You can pick your own lavender from the end of May- early July.

Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm in VA

This property invites you to stay a while and enjoy the views. You’ll find intentional seating sprinkled throughout the property.

woman at Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm

The lavender farm is also a wonderful place to take photos or bring a picnic. If you want to spend some additional time out in nature check out the Forest Trail that leads to a waterfall.

lavender plants at Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm

You’ll find English, French, and Spanish lavender at the farm. During our visit, I learned that lavender needs 8 hours of sun and excellent drainage.

gift shop at Lavender Fields at Tantivy Farm

Their lavender oil is made in a still and they have an assortment of lavender-based products in the gift shop including lavender ice cream.

 white wine at Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Virginia

Wine Tasting at Ecco Adesso Vineyards

340 Ecco Adesso Ln, Fairfield, VA

If you’re looking for a gorgeous winery with scenic views, Ecco Adesso Vineyards has you covered.

Ecco Adesso Vineyards

Ecco Adesso is Italian for “here now” which captures the essence of this family-owned farm winery beautifully.

lounge area at Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Virginia

The winery is family-friendly and dog-friendly with hiking trails, orchards, springs, and waterfalls for guests to explore.

 Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Virginia

You’ll find Reds, Whites, Rose, and Sparkling wines to choose from that are made on the farm and also offerings through intentional collaborations with another winery in Virginia and one in Italy.

charcuterie at Ecco Adesso Vineyards

Guests can enjoy local fare that’s paired with a vast selection of Virginia wines and ciders.

wine cellar at Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Virginia

You can make reservations for a private wine tasting in the Cellar Reserve, the location of their 6,000-bottle wine cellar.

wine cellar at Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Virginia

The experience includes a sommelier who guides you through 6 wines paired with artisan cheeses and concludes with a gourmet chocolate.

red wine at Ecco Adesso Vineyards

The cellar doors can open to showcase the magnificent views of the vineyard with the mountains in the background.

Ecco Adesso Vineyards in Virginia

Make sure that you check out their special events calendar for events throughout the year.

You Can Book a Stay Near the Vineyard Here
Glen Maury Park Buena Vista VA

Hike and Play at Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista

100 Glen Maury Park Rd, Buena Vista, VA

The 315-acre park has miles of biking and hiking trails, two campgrounds, an Olympic-sized pool, and a 2.5-mile river walk along the Maury River.

hiking trail at Glen Maury Park Buena Vista VA

Families will want to check out the family-friendly brochures at the hiking trail entrance to help kids engage more with their surroundings.

Glen Maury Park Buena Vista VA

There is a disc golf course, a large pavilion, and special events at the park from the spring through the fall.

View from balcony at The Georges Lexington VA

Enjoy A Wonderful Stay at The Georges

11 North Main Street, Lexington, VA

The Georges consists of five unique historic buildings. Each building has its own curated personality with modern touches and stories to tell as their purposes have evolved over 200+ years.

The Livery Building at The Georges in Lexington VA

The buildings are conveniently located on each side of Main Street in downtown Lexington where local restaurants and shops are located.

Washington Building The Georges Lexington VA

There are 33 rooms and suites at The Georges between The Washington Building (1789),
The Marshall Building (1809), Lawyers Row (1846), and The Livery Building (1887).

Many of these buildings were built before the Civil War.

Old photograph of The Sheridan Livery in Lexington VA

During my visit, I stayed in The Livery Building, which formerly housed horses, that dates back to 1887.

guest room in The Livery Building at The Georges

I appreciated the intricate details in my room including the detailed wallpaper that’s different in each suite.

Other nice touches were the original artwork, sound machine, Frette bed linens, and complimentary breakfast.

bathroom in room in The Livery Building at The Georges

My bathroom had heated floors, towel warmers, a large double sink, Gilchrist & Soames amenities, a soaking tub, and a large walk-in shower.

entry in The Livery Building at The Georges
Book Your Stay at The Georges Here

The Patton event space at The Georges Lexington VA

The Patton at The Georges is a popular 1700 sq ft upscale venue for conferences, weddings, and social events.

outdoor patio at The Georges Lexington VA

Check with staff if there is live music scheduled during your stay too.

TAPS restaurant at Lexington VA

There are two dining options at The Georges, Haywood’s is a piano bar and grill serving southern bistro- style cuisine, and TAPS is a lobby lounge serving pub fare, in the main building.

 Lexington Visitor Center

Stop By the Visitor Center of Lexington

106 E Washington St, Lexington, VA

The Visitor Center of Lexington is located downtown and staff are a great resource for questions that you may have about the area.

Ruby Trout at The Red Hen Lexington VA

Looking For Great Places to Eat Around Lexington, VA?

A few of my favorites include The Red Hen for an intimate dinner and Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe for a sweet treat.

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