As one of the oldest states in the US, Virginia’s charm is rooted in its many
quintessential small towns that are rich in culture as well as natural splendor. Of course, this makes Virginia the perfect destination for a small-town getaway in the United States. Whether you’re a history buff or an outdoor enthusiast seeking your next excursion, a small-town escape in the Old Dominion belongs at the top of your list. Much to your delight, I’ve found the perfect town that will entice the adventurous traveler in you. As Virginia’s only lakeside community, Clarksville is a must-visit haven, offering attractions for all types of vacationers. Teeming with historical sites, specialty boutiques, family-owned restaurants, as well as a plethora of outdoor activities, there are lots of things to do in Clarksville.
Nestled on the banks of the vast Lake Kerr, this small-town destination is recognized as a slice of heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. So, if you’re seeking to spend time in the great outdoors or you simply want to bask in a relaxing weekend, make Clarksville your next small-town getaway in the United States . Pack your bags, flip on your vacation mode, and let’s embark upon one unforgettable two-day weekend in this charming and oh-so-delightful Virginia small town.
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Is Clarksville Worth Visiting? As Virginia's only lakeside town, Clarksville absolutely belongs on your bucket list! Undeniably picturesque and brimming with charm, this scenic town has a lot to offer its visitors.
Featuring a walkable downtown with specialty boutiques, great restaurants, art galleries, and more, you'll find lots to explore in Clarksville. Additionally, Kerr Lake as well as Occoneechee State Park offers ample outdoor recreational opportunities. Not to mention the various festivals and events hosted in the town each year. Making this charming town a great getaway for a family vacation, a girl's trip weekend, or a couple looking to spend some time rekindling the magic. Regardless of why you're in Clarksville, it's guaranteed it will be a vacation that you won't soon forget.
Established in 1818, Clarksville became the first incorporated town in Mecklenburg County.
Originally settled by the Occoneechee Indians, the town attracted early settlers due to the mild climate as well as its rich tobacco soil. Eventually, due to its large tobacco-manufacturing operation, Clarksville became a booming town and is recognized as the oldest continuous tobacco market in the world.
After the damming of the Roanoke River in the 1950s, the town became the only one nestled along the vast 50,000-acre lake.
Kerr Lake aka Buggs Island Lake is the crown jewel of the town and is the centerpiece of many of its attractions. Today, with just under 1,500 residents, Clarksville is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts as well as for vacationers seeking a destination with laid-back vibes. With so much to offer, you might get to this charming Virginia town and not want to leave.
Take a glimpse inside this lakeside town by watching this YouTube video tour by
VIDEO How To Get To Clarksville? If you're flying into Clarksville, the closest airport, Raleigh-Durham International Airport is just 65 miles away in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Therefore, for about $30 per day, we suggest that you rent a car at the airport. You'll enjoy the scenic drive on
I-85 N to US-15 N
to your final destination. You'll also need the car as you venture out on your 2-day excursions around Clarksville, so have no worries, it will come in handy. Local travelers can take US-15 or US-58 to get to the town. You'll enjoy the scenic views from the Phillip Saint Julian Wilson Bridge and the Clarksville Bypass as well as the warm welcome sign.
Getting Around Clarksville Now that you have arrived in Clarksville, you'll be delighted to know that it's a walkable town, so no car is needed as you stroll. Also, a free shuttle service is offered on the weekends during the summer months.
Virginia Avenue, Virginia Ave, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
The downtown square is dotted with local boutiques, antique shops, restaurants, art galleries, and more. Additionally, there are adorable benches, where you can sit and people watch, or bask in all the beauty the town has to offer. Lined with stunning architecture, most of the historic buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, so history buffs will have lots to explore.
Best Time To Visit Clarksville Clarksville is great any time of year. However, the town comes alive in July during the annual Lakefest aka the Virginia Lake Festival.
Festival lovers will rejoice as this is one of the biggest events in the state, attracting over 20,000 folks every year. You'll want to plan your trip accordingly if you would like to participate in this FREE, award-winning festival. Other events are held throughout the year as well as festive holiday celebrations.
As your local tour guide, I recommend visiting during the milder seasons so that you can take full advantage of all the outdoor attractions.
During the Fall, the vibrant hues of the Autumn foliage will serve as a pretty backdrop for some stunning pictures. However, as a lakefront community, Summer and Spring will be the best time to experience the best of Clarksville's attractions.
Where To Stay In Clarksville? While there aren't many hotels in Clarksville, you'll be happy to know that there are locally owned bed and breakfasts that will warm your heart in the best possible way.
The Sunnyside Sisters Bed and Breakfast, 104 Shiney Rock Rd, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Wake up to freshly baked bread at Sunnyside Sisters Bed and Breakfast. This gorgeous, 5-bedroom 19th-century mansion is as charming as can be, and history buffs will be fascinated by the story that it has to tell. Amenities include large rooms with sitting areas, breakfast with a Dutch twist, private baths, and more. Plus, you'll be greeted with the utmost hospitality from the lovely hosts. A stay at Sunnyside will range from $150 to $210 depending on the room you select.
Breakfast at Michelle's Home Cooking is the best way to begin your day in Clarksville. This local mom-and-pop diner has been a staple in the community for years and a true hidden gem of the town.
Here you'll find locals conversing about happenings in the area, so it's the perfect place to relax and bask in the slower side of life. You could also discover fun activities in Clarksville that the locals enjoy.
Serving breakfast as well as lunch, everything on the menu is cooked to order, so enjoy a few cups of coffee while you wait for your delicious meal.
Michelle's Home Cooking, 11256 US-15, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
On the menu, you'll find breakfast favorites like sausage and gravy biscuits, country ham and eggs, bacon, pancakes, and more. We recommend getting one of the breakfast plates that comes with 2 eggs, a choice of meat, as well as sides for under $10. This is a hearty country breakfast that will get you fueled up for the day.
After enjoying a delicious country meal, it's time to head into town and explore all that downtown Clarksville has to offer.
Grandfather's Country Creations, 214 Virginia Ave, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
In addition to the stunning architecture, the walkable square on Virginia Avenue has lots of specialty stores, antique shops, clothing boutiques, and more. Perhaps one of the most charming is Grandfather's Country Creations. Overflowing with all the crafty decorative items that you could think of for your home, it's the store you didn't know you needed in your life. You could easily spend hours browsing through all the great merchandise. Truly, this rustic store is a treasure to the Clarksville community.
Once you've explored the delightful square, let's spend the rest of the morning relaxing by the lake.
John H. Kerr Reservoir, United States
As the centerpiece of the town, no trip to Clarksville is complete without exploring this vast haven. Depending on what side of the lake you're on, folks will refer to it as Kerr Lake or Buggs Island Lake.
Either way, at 50,000 acres, it's a stunning oasis that features a plethora of recreational opportunities.
John H. Kerr Reservoir, United States
Spend the morning kayaking, boating, jet skiing, fishing, or perhaps swimming at one of the sandy beaches in the area. At about $25 per hour, a kayak or paddle board can be rented at Clarksville Water Sports. Pontoon boats are also a popular water vessel used on the lake. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you will rejoice as you explore Virginia's largest lake.
Day One, Afternoon – Historical Landmarks, Museum, And Winery As you explore the town of Clarksville, you'll discover the town is dedicated to preserving its rich history.
Clarksville Regional Museum, 801 West St, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
It's quite evident with all the museums and historical landmarks throughout the town. History buffs, if you're in town on the weekday, take some time to stop by the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce. On Saturdays, the Clarksville Regional Museum is open to the public. Both venues won't cost you a thing.
Moreover, there are several points of interest in town that are worthy of visiting and can be witnessed by taking self-guided the Clarksville Historic Walking Tour.
So, be sure to plan accordingly as you'll gain a wealth of knowledge from a visit to these historic locations.
Hungry? Want a quick bite to eat? If so, drive to Los Bandidos Mexican Restaurant and savor some authentic Latin flavors.
This beloved local gem boasts the best burritos in town. Moreover, the expansive menu features tacos, quesadillas, fajitas, nachos, and everything in between.
Of course, you can't go wrong with some delicious birria tacos with a side of flavorful consome for dipping. It will be a well deserve snack after a morning of exploring the town.
Los Bandidos Mexican Restaurant, 7331 US-58, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Let's spend the rest of the afternoon at Three Sisters of Shiney Rock Winery, located about 6 miles south of the restaurant.
Three Sisters of Shiney Rock Winery, 5484 Shiney Rock Rd, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Rustic and charming, this family-owned winery is operated by...you guessed it, 3 sisters. For the best experience, we highly recommend scheduling a private wine tasting Specializing in Native American grape as well as fruit wines, wine lovers will find something for any pallet. Spend the afternoon sipping wine on the patio overlooking the vineyard on this peaceful farm and winery. If you enjoyed Three Sisters, you'll be delighted to know that the
Clarksville Wine Festival
is hosted in town during the Spring, so be sure to plan accordingly.
After this day of exploration, we'll spend a relaxing evening at one of the most charming bed and breakfast in town.
Built in 1830, Cooper's Landing Inn & Traveler's Tavern is in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, and it's the perfect way to end our day. This historic inn features a fine dining restaurant as well as the most charming little cottages in the area.
Enjoy a quiet evening feasting on the Chef's Steamed Seafood Platter for Two at Traveler’s Tavern, the onsite fine dining restaurant.
Cooper's Landing Inn & Traveler's Tavern, 801 Virginia Ave, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Featuring steamed shrimp, Alaskan crab legs, and sautéed colossal crabmeat baked in lemon dill butter, it's a favorite of the guests. Pair it with a glass of wine or a cocktail, it's one meal you won't soon forget. Since you’re downtown, you can take an evening stroll or simply relax by the pool and reminisce about the spectacular day you had. A standard room at the inn starts at about $155 per night.
Day Two, Morning – Local Gems, Exploring, And Golfing Are you ready to begin your second day of exploration? If so, let's take a 2-minute stroll to grab a quick coffee and pastry at one of the most adorable places in town.
Sugar It Up is a local bakery and a beloved gem of the town. Serving traditional baked goods that include cookies, pastries, pies, cakes, cupcakes, and more, you'll feel a true sense of community when visiting this tiny bakery.
You can enjoy a pastry with your cup of coffee or perhaps a slice of quiche or a breakfast slider.
Sugar It Up, 203 7th St, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
No matter what you choose, you'll be pleased, as folks rave about all their selections. Not to mention you'll be welcomed by some of the kindest folks in town, you'll experience hospitality at its best. Of course, you must purchase some treats to enjoy later.
If you're in Clarksville on a weekend, you'll notice there are fruits stands scattered throughout the town. Locals and visitors alike will flock to these stands to get the freshest locally grown produce in the area.
700 Virginia Ave, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
You can also find local honey as well as plants, flowers, and more. Moore's Farm Produce Stand is a favorite and we recommend taking the quick 2-minute walk to see all that this fruit stand has to offer.
Now that you've had a great start to your morning, we have a couple of suggestions for you.
Kinderton Country Club, 799 Kinderton Rd, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
If you're a golfer who loves spending time on the greens, then head to Kinderton Country Club, which is a quick 5-minute drive from the square. This semi-private country club is highly ranked amongst golfers in the region and has been featured in Virginia Golf and Triad Golf magazines.
Not a golfer? Then no worries. A visit to MacCallum More Museum & Gardens is great for all types of vacationers.
MacCallum More Museum & Gardens, 603 Hudgins St, Chase City, VA 23924, USA
Located just 16 miles outside of town in nearby Chase City, this stunning garden is a must-visit when in Clarksville. Surrounded by walking trails dotted with lovely dogwoods as well as flowing fountains, a Spanish Cloister, and so much more, you'll love marveling at all the treasures inside this picturesque sanctuary. Admission is $5 to $10 for adults and free for kids and members.
Day Two, Afternoon – Hiking, Exploring, And Brewery Of course, no trip to Clarksville is complete without visiting Occoneechee State Park.
Occoneechee State Park, 1192 Occoneechee Park Rd, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Tucked on the banks of Buggs Island Lake (Kerr Lake), this state park is packed with adventure and a haven for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, as well as the history buff. Featuring water recreation, hiking trails, living history demonstrations, a museum, a splash park, horseback riding, and more, the possibilities for fun are endless. Rent a boat or simply stroll along the lake for a peaceful day.
I assume by now, you should be quite hungry, right? Luckily, Bridgewater Bar & Grill is only a 3-minute drive from the park.
Overlooking the lake, this family-owned restaurant offers the best of both worlds - delicious food as well as spectacular views.
Offerings include pasta dishes, hand-cut steaks, seafood specialties, burgers, sandwiches, and more.
Bridgewater Bar & Grill, 201 Virginia Ave, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
The seafood items are a favorite amongst locals and visitors alike. Don't skip trying the jumbo lump crabmeat sandwich served on a buttery brioche bun with all the fixins. It's as mouthwatering as it sounds!
While Bridgewater has a great atmosphere, we recommend that you end the evening at Buggs Island Brewing Company.
Buggs Island Brewing Company, 101 2nd St, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Leave the car at the restaurant and take the 5-minute stroll to the brewery. Overlooking the serene lake, featuring outdoor patio seating, fire pit, and more, this brewery is a popular gathering spot for local folks as well as visitors. It's the best way to close out a day of exploration in Clarksville. Sit back, enjoy a cold craft beer, and bask in the lake with all its glory.
For our final evening in Clarksville, let's rest at Morton-Sizemore House, The Delicate Flower Bed and Breakfast.
The good news is, it's located just a half mile from the brewery, so depending on how your evening goes, you can easily take a stroll to the inn instead of getting back in the car.
This lovely 1885 Queen-Anne Victorian home features 3 meticulously decorated themed rooms that are delightfully named Bluebell, Sunflower, and Peony.
The Delicate Flower B&B, 617 Virginia Ave, Clarksville, VA 23927, USA
Rates range from $119 to $179, which is quite reasonable for this adorable historic B&B. Of course, you'll be served the most delicious breakfast featuring all the staples that we love. Depending on the room, you can enjoy breakfast on a cozy balcony with a view. This is a peaceful end to your getaway in this gorgeous lakefront town in Virginia.
Charming and undeniably beautiful, Clarksville is one of the best destinations for a small-town getaway in the United States. This gorgeous lakefront town with its stunning architecture, charming shops, family-owned restaurants, as well as its historical landmarks, represents a quintessential small town in Virginia. From its laid-back vibes to the abundance of outdoor excursions, this delightful town has something for every vacationer.
As a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, Clarksville is great during the warmer months, but the town is worth visiting throughout the year. So, the next time you’re searching for a getaway in Virginia, consider a day trip to Clarksville or perhaps make it a weeklong adventure. There’s no doubt that it will be one unforgettable vacation!
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More to Explore
THINGS TO DO IN CLARKSVILLE VIRGINIA & RELATED INFO
What are some more things to do in Clarksville, Virginia?
There are ample opportunities to explore in Clarksville Virginia. Whether you're seeking outdoor fun, historical sites, shopping, dining, and more, the possibilities are endless. Here are some more
things to do in Clarksville that we recommend:
Clarksville Bridge Lights & Nighttime Fishing Venue
Bluestone Wildlife Management Area
The Cottage Barn LLC - a charming ice cream shop in the heart of downtown
Urban Slide - a touring 1,000ft water slide hosted in August that will be lots of fun for the entire family
Merifield Wildlife Management Area
Longwood Park - a county park offering camping, picnic tables, water recreation, and more.
Old Soudan Wildlife Management Area
Prestwould Plantation - historical landmark and gardens
Little Lake Farmery - local farm with barnyard friends. If you're traveling with kids, this would be the perfect adventure for them.
Clarksville, VA 23927, USA