Virginia November 08, 2016
One Of The Most Extraordinary Towns In America Is Right Here In Virginia
Ask any Virginian and they’ll tell you that the towns in this state are among the best in the country. While this is somewhat motivated by state pride, there’s also no denying the truth in this statement. Not only are the major cities attracting worldwide attention, but even the small towns are consistently written about in travel guides.
Lexington, Virginia is no exception. This gem of the Shenandoah Valley ranks highly in history, education, activities, and, perhaps most of all, natural beauty. Here’s more on why Lexington is truly one of the most extraordinary towns in America.
When it comes to small town charm, there’s really no place more appealing than Lexington, Virginia. Whether it’s the distinguished red brick of the historic buildings, the academic spirit that pervades the streets, or the natural beauty of Rockbridge County’s mountain backdrop, the atmosphere here is unforgettable.
Named for a town in Massachusetts, the Lexington community was established in 1778. Its background is steeped in Civil War history, beginning when General David Hunter of the Union army led a raid on VMI. One of the biggest influences on the town came from another Civil War hero, although General Robert E. Lee’s ties to Lexington were largely made after the war.
General Lee transformed what was then a Latin academy into the fine university that resides there today. On the Washington and Lee campus you’ll find Lee’s home, known as the President’s Site, as well as his place of burial, the noteworthy Lee Chapel.
Just across the street lies another campus, and although starkly different in architecture, equally prominent in history. The Virginia Military Institute (VMI) is the largest state-supported military school in the country and its notable list of professors include Stonewall Jackson.
Set aside Lexington’s remarkable history, and you still have a dynamic downtown filled with local charm and lively energy. Sites that once served as stagecoach stops are now lined with red-brick, leading towards galleries, coffee shops, boutiques, and farm-to-table restaurants. A few hours spent in this eclectic scene and you’ll begin to understand why the town has been nicknamed “LexVegas.”
Another facet of life in Lexington is the appreciation of the land. The town is surrounded by the breathtaking Shenandoah Valley, whose country roads lead to some remarkable hiking trails, gardens, and farmland. But don’t expect these nature experiences to be mundane, either.
Just a quick drive from town and you’ll arrive at Natural Bridge, one of the natural wonders of the world. Surveyed by a young George Washington, this naturally-formed arch is the result of a collapsed cavern.
Another unforgettable outdoor activity is the Virginia Safari Park. This interactive area allows visitors to carefully drive through and observe incredible wildlife, including zebras, antelope, kangaroos, and camels.
It doesn’t take long before the beauty of this town casts its spell. Going for a stroll through town, learning about the fascinating history, or even taking in the views from a rural standpoint will all leave an impression that Lexington is truly unique.
Are you a resident of Lexington or have you spent much time there? We’d love to hear about your experience!