If you’re looking for history, small-town charm, and plenty of natural beauty, get ready to book your next trip to Lexington, Virginia. Lexington is situated in the Shenandoah Valley, only about two hours from Richmond (and about three from the D.C. area). After a recent weekend trip, we fell in love with its beauty, charm, and abundant history. I can’t wait to share all of our recommendations from accommodations, restaurants, sights to see and more in my Lexington Virginia weekend guide!
Where to Stay in Lexington
If you want to be in the heart of downtown Lexington, steps away from the best dining options, shopping, and plenty of history, there is no better place to stay than The Georges. Travel + Leisure named The Georges the 2nd best City Hotel in the Continental US, and personally, I can attest that it is the most beautiful hotel at which I’ve ever had the pleasure to stay.
What I love about The Georges is that it is a true boutique hotel. Each of the 21 rooms are uniquely furnished and designed for an anything-but-cookie-cutter feel. Aaron and I stayed in room 21, on Lawyer’s Row. It was spacious and elegant– the very definition of luxury.
In addition to the beautiful accommodations, The Georges also has two restaurants on property, Haywood’s and TAPS. Although we didn’t have a chance to stop into Haywood’s, Aaron and I ended our evening with a post-dinner cocktail at TAPS. I highly recommend The General, which is a light, refreshing vodka cocktail. Aaron loved the Run The Block, a slightly spicy, slightly smokey tequila-based cocktail.
Where to Eat in Lexington
Although breakfast is included at The Georges, Aaron and I couldn’t miss Lexington-fav Pure Eats! They’re best known for their delicious locally-sourced food, house-made doughnuts, locally-roasted coffee, and Homestead Creamery milkshakes! And y’all, Pure Eats did not disappoint!
Aaron and I both tried their most popular breakfast, the Rockbridge Roll-Up, and a selection of their doughnuts. My favorite was the classic cinnamon sugar, but I’m truly a classic-at-heart kinda girl! Before we headed out, we ran into the owner and at her recommendation, decided we had to try one of their milkshakes! It was a little breakfast dessert of sorts. (Don’t even come for me and tell me that’s not a thing.) The peach milkshake, a seasonal option, was out-of-this-world! Highly recommend for lunch, dinner, or breakfast dessert-believers! 😉
For lunch, we went to another Lexington institution, Southern Inn. Southern Inn was actually our very first stop after arriving in town, and it was the most warm welcome! The friendliness and attentive staff made us feel like we were regulars, and the food was even better!
After deciding to try their burger (which was one of the best I’ve ever had BTW), I convinced Aaron to order the Fried Chicken. (I just had to try both, and let’s just say I have excellent taste. 😂)
And if, like Aaron, you believe every meal deserves dessert, you have to try Southern Inn’s pecan pie! It was topped with the most delicious toasted marshmallow. I’m not even a pecan pie kinda gal, and I loved it!
We started with the bruschetta, which was fresh and slightly spicy with toasted-to-perfection crostini. To follow, Aaron had the Grilled Lamb Chops while I had the New York Strip. Both were a 10 out of 10! I hate to play favorites, but this meal was so delicious that I’m still dreaming about it!
Another can’t-miss locally-owned stop is Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe! Aaron and I visited mid-afternoon while shopping the downtown area to beat the summer heat and fell in love. Sweet Things offers homemade gourmet ice cream and hand-rolled waffle cones. We had the pleasure of chatting with the owner for a few minutes. He recommended we try their most popular flavor, Oreo, and it was so crazy-delicious. I can see why it’s a top-seller! They also have a dark chocolate version which is equally as wonderful along with over 20 other flavors!
What to Do and See
From shopping to history to outdoor adventures, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy in Lexington!
For those looking for an introduction to all of the rich history Lexington has to offer (or are just looking for the most quaint way to explore downtown), you have to book a trip with Lexington Carriage Company! As a bit of a history nerd, the tour was my most-favorite activity of the trip. Our guide, Angel, a Lexington native, was so knowledgable about Lexington history, dating back to the 1700’s! Our horse team, Woody and Weepy, were also such a delight! (What can I say? I’m a real sucker for an adorable horse duo.)
Lexington boasts over 70 locally-owned shops from chic clothing boutiques to outdoor apparel to antiques to home decor and so much more! There is truly something for every interest.
One of my favorites was Clover Boutique on Washington Street. Clover carries some of my favorite brands like Agolde, Paige, and Barefoot Dreams! My fashion-loving friends will definitely find Clover a must-stop! Plus, they also carry a great selection of mens items and the cutest accessories!
A few of our other stops were Walkabout Outfitters, which carries outdoor gear and apparel, Lizzie’s of Lexington for home decor, and Just Games for the largest selection of puzzles and games for all ages! Be sure to stroll down Main Street and the surrounding cross-streets to explore what downtown Lexington has to offer!
In all my years living in Virginia, I had never been to the Natural Bridge, just minutes outside Lexington! But y’all, the Natural Bridge State Park is a must-see. Even the youngest visitors will find hiking Cedar Creek Trail a relatively easy one!
Park at the Visitor’s Center to purchase your ticket. You will have to descend (and then ascend on your way back out of the park!), a few large sets of stairs. But there are plenty of spots to rest along the way if needed! We found the stairs the most difficult part of the hike, but you are rewarded with an almost immediate view of the Natural Bridge!
Aaron and I chose to complete the entire hike, which took us only about 35 minutes up and back. Keep in mind that we were kid-free and walking at a less-than-leisurely pace. It was mostly flat and the trails were clear, making it an easy walk. And in the end, you’ll see a small waterfall! The beauty of the Natural Bridge State Park made this another trip highlight!
For those of you traveling with children, be sure to also check out the Children’s Discovery Area, which has it’s own .6 mile trail and outdoor play area! There, families can learn about the Valley’s wildlife from four self-guided brochures which teach about pollinators, birds of the Blue Ridge, animals that may be seen in the park with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains atop Jefferson Point. There are also several play and learning spaces for children to choose from to learn more about enjoying all that the outdoors has to offer. I’ll definitely be bringing my girls back to check it out!
For beer, cider, and wine aficionados, you won’t be disappointed! After our hike, Aaron and I drove just down the road to Great Valley Farm Brewery & Winery. With the most beautiful views of the property’s vineyards, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and Rockbridge County, you won’t want to leave! I tried a sampler flight of the Peach Blackberry Farmhouse Ale, Hibiscus Wit, IPA, and Pilsner. All were delicious, but the Peach Blackberry was my favorite!
For those wanting to explore even more breweries, be sure to check out the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail!
There truly is something for everyone in Lexington and Rockbridge County! What would you be most excited about? The history? The shopping? The outdoors?
Thank you so much to Shenandoah Valley Tourism Partnerships for sponsoring our trip. We will absolutely be back!
I am participating in a promotional campaign for Shenandoah Valley Travel Partnership (SVTP). I am receiving a fee for posting; however, the opinions expressed in this post are my own. I am not an employee of SVTP and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.