Things to do in and near Rockbridge

Things to do in Rockbridge Area
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Places to spend a few hours:
Boxer Woods nature center and woodland garden (music on Friday evenings). Trails. https://boxerwood.org/
Natural Bridge State Park https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/natural-bridge
Natural Bridge Caverns https://naturalbridgecaverns.com/
Dinosaur Kingdom II https://www.dinosaurkingdomii.com/
Virginia Safari Park near Natural Bridge (29 Safari Ln, Natural Bridge, VA 24578, open 9-5) https://www.virginiasafaripark.com/
Gems of Rockbridge Geocaching Trail https://www.virginia.org/listing/gems-of-rockbridge-geocaching-trail/7628/
Glen Maury Park https://www.buenavistava.org/residents/recreation/glen-maury-park/
Hull’s Drive-In theatre https://www.hullsdrivein.com/
Lexington Carriage Company http://www.lexcarriage.com/
Righteous and Rascals Walking Tour, Lex. https://lexingtonvirginia.com/directory/attractions/righteous-and-rascals-of-rockbridge
Ghost Tour, Lexington https://lexingtonvirginia.com/directory/attractions/haunting-tales-lexington-ghost-tour
Coursey Springs State Fish Hatchery, Millboro. Tours 8am-3pm https://dwr.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/coursey-springs-state-fish-hatchery/
Middlebrook Mercantile (food, music, general store) on in Middlebrook on 252 https://middlebrookmercantile.com/
Massanutten “Lazy River” indoor water park.: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/virginia/massanutten-resort-lazy-river-va/
Raptor Hill Falconry 1810 Panorama View Dr, Stanley, VA https://www.raptorhill.com/
Factory Antique Mall & other antique shops: Verona, VA https://factoryantiquemall.com/
Duke’s antiques 30 Pinnacle Lane https://dukedukeantiques.com/
Walton’s Mountain museum near Schuyler, VA http://walton-mountain.org/
Barter Theater, Abingdon, VA https://bartertheatre.com/
Green Bank Observatory (radio telescopes) in WV https://greenbankobservatory.org/
Natural Chimneys Park in Augusta Co: https://dwr.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/natural-chimneys-regional-park/
Cass scenic railroad in WV (steam engines): https://mountainrailwv.com/tour/cassscenicrailroad/
Scenic train ride, Staunton: https://www.virginiascenicrailway.com/
Virginia Horse Center shows: horse and dog events, concerts, etc. https://vahorsecenter.org/
Humpback Bridge Wayside Park in Covington, VA (west of Lexington) https://www.virginia.org/listing/humpback-bridge/4901/
Falling Springs, on Hwy 220, 7.5 miles north of Covington — best in spring when flow is higher, but good anytime https://southeastwaterfalls.com/trail/falling-springs-falls/
Biplane rides, Wright Experience and Flying Circus: Warrenton/Fauquier airport: Brown Aviation

Historical interest:
Historic places in Rockbridge county: http://tinyurl.com/ya8fczh7
Brownsburg historical museum Saturdays 10-4 and Sundays 1-4pm https://brownsburgva.com/brownsburg-museum/
Cyrus McCormick Farm and Workshop, Steele’s Tavern: https://tinyurl.com/y3u7zgc3
VMI museum (has a great weapons exhibit) https://www.vmi.edu/museums-and-archives/vmi-museum/
Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton (near Western State Hospital) https://www.frontiermuseum.org/
Rockbridge Alum Springs Historic District, on Spring House Road off 633 http://exhibits.hsl.virginia.edu/springs/rockbridge/
Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home https://www.monticello.org/
Bedford Museum near Roanoke (historical, emphasis on genealogical and war history, particularly WW II) http://bedfordvamuseum.org/
New Market battlefield https://www.battlefields.org/visit/battlefields/new-market-battlefield
Michie Tavern (1784 pub), 10 minutes from Monticello at 683 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902 https://www.michietavern.com/
Greenbrier Resort, White Sulfur Sprs. WV (includes Cold War nuclear bunker) https://wvtourism.com/company/greenbrier/

Crafts/arts/artisan:
Farmers markets:
Lexington Weds 8-12:30 at McCrum’s parking lot (Nov. thru April indoors at Lex. Presbyterian Church)
Virginia Horse Center Fridays 9-noon
Staunton (downtown parking lot near train station) Saturday 7-noon
Mill Creek Produce in Goshen, Hwy 39 Alt, Weds (and Saturday?) 6-12
Rockbridge Baths 9-11 June thru August, at the Volunteer Fire Department
Kerr’s Creek, 2766 West Midland Trail (just west of Rt. 60 recycling center), 9-12
Season’s Yield Farm in Raphine. Weekly bread, Monthly art and craft vendors in warm weather months https://seasonsyieldfarm.com/
Reeves Museum of Ceramics, Washington and Lee University https://www.wlu.edu/arts/museums/visit/
Cabin Spring, working fiber farm: www.cabinspringfarm.com
Ridge Valley Alpacas https://www.ridgevalleyalpacas.com/
Tantivy Farm (lavender and waterfall trail) https://tantivyfarm.com/
Blueberry Hill on Still House Rd, blueberry picking in season (on FB) http://tinyurl.com/yc6e9b4a
Virginia Gold Orchard: http://www.virginiagoldorchard.com/ Open for berry picking in July, open for Asian pear picking in early August
Jump Mountain Winery https://jumpwines.com/
Lexington Valley Vineyard https://www.lexingtonvalleyvineyard.com/
Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery, Raphine: https://rockbridgevineyard.com/
12 Ridges Winery (on Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Hwy) https://12ridges.com/
Taylor and Boody Organ Builders in Hebron, Rte 703 https://taylorandboody.com/
Lewisburg, WV: fine art galleries https://visitlewisburgwv.com/category/artfine-craft-galleries/
Tamarack Marketplace in Beckley, WV https://www.tamarackwv.com/
Maple festival, every March in Highland County https://www.highlandcounty.org/maple-festival/
Museum of American Jewelry Design and Manufacturing. Museum open Thursdays https://hugokohl.com/pages/museum
Beliveau Winery (and lavender farm) 5415 Gallion Ridge Road, Blacksburg, VA, 24060 https://www.beliveauestate.com/
Appalachian Arts & crafts school Mt. Pisgah NC https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/folk-art-center.htm
John C. Campbell Folk Arts School, Brasstown, NC https://www.folkschool.org/

Sights:
Poor House Road Haunted Tunnel http://tinyurl.com/3vwvy5kp
Wade’s Mill near Raphine: https://www.wadesmill.com/
Crozet train tunnel (Waynesboro on west, Afton on east end) https://blueridgetunnel.org/
Covered bridges: http://www.virginiadot.org/info/faq-covbridge.asp
Covered bridge at Meems Bottom, west of US 11, north of Harrisonburg https://www.virginia.org/listing/historic-meems-bottom-covered-bridge/7159/
Cranberry bog in WV https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mnf/recarea/?recid=9913
Area mills: https://millpictures.com/state.php?state=Virginia&type=mills
Osceola Mill, Vesuvius: https://millpictures.com/mills.php?millid=790&mill=Osceola%20Mill
McClung Mill (not open to public) on Hays Creek Road

Hiking and outdoors:
https://lexingtonvirginia.com/outdoors/activities/hike
AllTrail maps: http://tinyurl.com/y7nb7nqm
Shenandoah Nat’l Park trail maps: https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/downloadable-guides.htm#CP_JUMP_5709037
Book: Fine Trails of Rockbridge by Steven Carroll and Mark Miller ISBN: 1976329671
Local nature spots https://lexingtonvirginia.com/directory/nature-spots
Spelunking (cave exploring): 183 wild caves;
Commercial tourist caverns: Natural Bridge, Dixie (Salem), Luray, Shenandoah, Skyline, Endless
Cave Mountain Lake Recreation Area (near Natural Bridge) https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gwj/recarea/?recid=73641
Smith Mountain Lake State Park (east of Roanoke) https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/smith-mountain-lake
Elk herd in Buchanan County: http://tinyurl.com/yapzzpp2
Back of the Dragon road (Rt. 16) in Tazewell county, runs between Marion and Tazewell: https://tinyurl.com/yylakz9m
Waterfall tour: https://tinyurl.com/yev9vzpd
Best swimming holes: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/virginia/va-swimming-holes/
Clinch River State Park: St Paul, VA https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/clinch-river
Explore Park, Roanoke playground, log cabins, brew pub, camping, mountain views https://www.roanokecountyparks.com/231/Explore-Park
New River Rail Trail: https://tinyurl.com/muzbejp9
Strasburg River Walk along the Shenandoah: https://tinyurl.com/yh4h2rhp

Performance art:
Lime Kiln theatre, 607 Borden Road, Lexington http://www.limekilntheater.org/
Boxerwood evening concerts https://boxerwood.org/events/
Great Valley Farm Brewery (near Safari Park in Natural Bridge). https://greatvalleyfarmbrewery.com/
Historic Masonic Theatre (Clifton Forge) https://historicmasonictheatre.com/
Summer Music Scene: https://lexingtonvirginia.com/articles/summer-music-scene
Garth Newel music center, Hot Springs VA: http://www.garthnewel.org/
Staunton Music Festival, 10 days, begins mid-August: http://www.stauntonmusicfestival.org mailing list: stauntonmusicfestival@gmail.com
Heifetz Institute, Staunton. Summer school and performances for young upcoming classical musicians https://heifetzinstitute.org/
Wayne Theatre, Waynesboro. Movies, concerts, plays https://www.waynetheatre.org/
Blackfriars Theatre (American Shakespeare Center), Staunton Shakespeare all summer https://americanshakespearecenter.com/blackfriars-playhouse/
ShenanArts Theatre, Staunton, Sept through June https://shenanarts.org/

Restaurants, Lexington area (many have Facebook pages; check hours there)
Rocca Bar Ristorante, 30 S. Main, Lexington: Italian
Pronto Italian, 26 S. Main, Lexington 8-5 every day 540-464-1472 https://prontogelateria.com/
RC Pizza, 1213 N. Lee Highway, in strip center near Walmart
Napa (Main St.): Thai food; closed from 2-4pm
Pure Eats (N. Main St). Burgers, etc.
Sweet Treats bakery (Washington St.)
Nico’s (Main St.): Greek
Blue Sky Cafe 125 W. Nelson St. Light lunch fare. Sky Bar downstairs
Palms (Jefferson @ Nelson)
Blue Phoenix (Washington St.)
Bistro (Main St)
Taps (Main St)
Golden Garden Asian cuisine
Seasons Yield Farm cafe in Haywood’s building (7am to 1pm)
Heliotrope (pizza, etc.)
Red Hen
Foot of the Mountain (burgers, etc. near Buchanan along I-81)
Gertie’s (lunch) Vesuvius
Muchacho Alegre Mexican food
Salerno’s (Jefferson St.) — has a “beer wall”
12 Ridges Winery (on Blue Ridge Parkway just north of Hwy) mobile food vendors, spectacular view
Bistro, Staunton
Mill Street Grill, Staunton
Indian Garden, Staunton
Yelping Dog Wine, Staunton (cheeses, sandwiches, etc.)
Devil’s Backbone brewery (two locations: Lexington: Rte. 11 north of Walmart, also in Nellysford, east of the Blue Ridge not far from Wintergreen resort)
Green Leaf Grill, Waynesboro

Restaurants outside of Lexington area:
Brisket Taco Co. (Texas-style smoked BBQ), 9am-3pm 101 State Street (corner of Coalter St.), Staunton 24401 https://www.briskettaco.co/
Gloria’s Pupuseria, Staunton https://gloriaspupuseria.com/
Mrs. Rowe’s Family Restaurant and Bakery, Staunton https://mrsrowesrestaurantandbakery.com/
Michie Tavern (1784 pub), 11am to 3pm. 10 minutes from Monticello at 683 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville https://www.michietavern.com/
Mac’s Country Store, 7023 Patrick Henry Highway, Roseland VA (Their reputation built on their chicken meals)
Various Kountry Cookin’ places, around the state: https://tinyurl.com/jep95xfe

Festivals:
Various: http://tinyurl.com/yd2omxl5
Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, Orkney Springs Late July through early September: www.musicfest.org
June: Caroline County Ag Fair www.carolinefair.com
Culpeper cruise-in at Bruster’s, www.cruisinforheroes.com
Midland “Women can Fly” www.womencanfly.com
Bustleburg Ruritan Horse show www.brownsburgruritan.org
July: Thursdays through August: Staunton Jazz in the Park, Gypsy Hill Park
Orange Cruise-in, streetrodmafia.wixsite.com/streetrodmafia
Berryville open door studio tours www.topofvirginiaartisantrail.org
Locust Grove Good Time Cruisers Car Show, www.goodtime-cruisers.webs.com
Hot Springs Wings and Wheels, Ingalls Field (July or August), discoverbath.com
Buena Vista Beach Music Festival and Classic Car Show, Glen Maury Park, www.beachmusicfestival.net
Valley Mustangs Unlimited car show (other marques invited) in Staunton, 2nd Saturday in August: http://valleymustangsunlimited.com/About-Us/Annual-Car-Show
Hot air balloon festival, Virginia Horse Center, first weekend in July (Balloons over Rockbridge)
Labor Day at Rockbridge Baths fire house
Buena Vista arts conservatory
Clifton Forge arts conservatory
Shakespeare Festival, Blackfriar’s Theatre in Staunton, July and into early August: https://americanshakespearecenter.com/calendar/
Car shows:
May: Douthat State Park 2-day show
August: Wheels and Wings, Ingalls Field near Hot Springs
August, 2nd Saturday: Valley Mustangs Unlimited all-makes show in Staunton
October, 1st Saturday: Heritage Auto & Tractor show in Buchanan; part of Mountain Magic in Fall

Hiking trail maps:
Book: Fine Trails of Rockbridge County book ISBN: 1976329671
Wildlife Management Area use permits:
https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/access-permit/
https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wp-content/uploads/wmarules.pdf
http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/document/pggoshenpass.pdf

Local guides:
Lexington Chamber of Commerce on West Nelson Ave. has materials and maps
Lexington Visitors Center
Book: Country Roads: Rockbridge County, Virginia. Self-Guided Driving Tours ISBN 0-96233572-0-0
Book: Roads of Rockbridge County, Book of road maps by Rockbridge Historical Society. Includes how the roads got their names. Spiral bound.

Historic maps:
1751 map: http://tinyurl.com/y95tb69z
1860 downloadable interactive map: http://tinyurl.com/yd6mss8e
1863 map: http://tinyurl.com/y7uuc5zh
1883 Carmichael map of Rockbridge County: https://tinyurl.com/5ceczt8t
1888 topographical map of county (click to zoom in): https://tinyurl.com/bmk7z6v5

Miscellaneous shopping:

Local grocery choices: Walmart, Kroger, Food Lion (Lex and BV), Cattleman’s, Herman’s Produce
Staunton: Martins, Aldi’s
Harrisonburg: Costco
Charlottesville: Costco, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market

Builder supplies, hardware:

Lowe’s, Spencer Home Center, Rockbridge Farmers Co-Op, Augusta Co-Op (in Fairfield), Buddy’s True Value Hardware

Antiques:
Duke’s Antiques 30 Pinnacle Lane
Used to New in Buena Vista, architectural salvage store (temporarily closed in late 2022 and early 2023)
Verona Antique Mall

Verona Antiques

Layne’s Antiques (north of Waynesboro)
Mount Sidney Antiques

Airports:
Shenandoah Valley Regional, Weyers Cave (free parking; flight price is sometimes subsidized; flight schedule may not be ideal)
Roanoke
Charlottesville
Richmond
Dulles
Charlotte, NC: 3-1/2 to 4 hours

Amtrak train:
Cardinal connects New York to Chicago and includes Staunton
Charlottesville connects to additional destinations.  Cardinal, Northeast Regional and Crescent lines:

Misc. Transportation (not yet vetted as of June. 2024):
Vernon Walker 540-319-1942
Lexington Limousine Steve Crowder (former police chief). 540-464-5466 540-461-1117

Valley Breeze bus line: https://virginiabreeze.drpt.virginia.gov/

Bonus: local area acronyms explained!

RACC Rockbridge Conservation

RACS Rockbridge Area Community Services

RAHC Rockbridge Area Health Center

RAPC Rockbridge Area Prevention Coalition

RARA Rockbridge Area Relief Association

RARO Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization

RATS Rockbridge Area Transportation System

RCHS Rockbridge County High School

RAMGA Rockbridge Area Master Gardener Association

RCSSD Rockbridge County Social Service Department

CARE Community Anti-Racism Effort

LDMS Lylburn Downing Middle School

CAN Connect And Nourish (a RATS/Carilion Rockbridge Community Hospital community dinners program)