20 Things To Do In Lexington VA

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Founded in 1778, Lexington, Virginia, is a delightful city with a cosy, small-town atmosphere and tons of historic charm. With a population of around 7,500 people, Lexington is much more laid back than larger urban centres and perfect for a relaxing city break away from the hustle and bustle.

Lexington is a very walkable city and you can comfortably stroll between most of the main sights and attractions, enjoying the scenic surroundings as you go. Although small, there are loads of things to do in Lexington. It has a particularly rich civil war history, with various sites linked to the conflict and local generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson.

From historic locations to modern cultural institutions, and family-friendly attractions to more mature local venues, you will have plenty to bulk out your itinerary. Lexington is just a few miles from the neighbouring towns of Buena Vista and Natural Bridge. If you’ve exhausted all of the attractions you want to visit in Lexington, there’s plenty more to explore just a short journey away. These are the best things to do in Lexington, Virginia.

Lexington, Virginia

20 Things To Do In Lexington

things to do in lexington with kids
One of the things to do in Lexington Virginia is to visit the Virginia Military Institute.

1- Start Off At The Visitor Centre of Lexington

Your first port of call in Lexington should be the Visitor Centre in the heart of the city centre.

It’s a good spot to pick up some guides and maps and to get your bearings.

The staff are knowledgeable about the local area, and you’ll be sure to find out about some well-kept local secrets or events to get involved in.

Along with copious maps and pamphlets, the visitor centre includes displays providing background information on some of Lexington’s top attractions.

Pop into the Visitor Center at 106 E Washington St, Lexington, VA 24450.

2- Appreciate The University Chapel & Galleries

things to do in lexington virginia
Exploring the gems of the Washington and Lee University Campus is one of the top things to do in Lexington VA.

The pretty, historic Lee Chapel is nestled amongst the trees at Washington and Lee University.

Built in 1868, it was granted National Historic Landmark status in the 1960s.

The chapel is named for Robert E. Lee, who commissioned it to be built and whose family is interred in the crypt below.

The chapel includes a small museum in the basement, dedicated mainly to the life and legacy of George Washington and General Robert E. Lee, as well as the university’s history.

University Chapel & Galleries is at 100 N Jefferson Street, Lexington, VA 24450.

3- Browse Jackson House Museum

lexington map
Looking for things to do in Lexington Virginia? Check out these 20.

Jackson House is the historic home of another confederate general, Thomas Jackson.

It was built in 1800 and served as both a family home and then a hospital until its conversion into a museum in 1954.

The house has been preserved in the condition it would have been in during Jackson’s residency.

Rather than just his military history, the museum focuses on Thomas Jackson’s contributions to the local community.

Themed guided tours of the house provide unique insights into Jackson’s legacy.

Jackson House Museum is at 8 E Washington St, Lexington, VA, 24450.

4- Walk Through The VMI Museum

best things to do in lexington va
The VMI barracks in Lexington, Virginia. 

The Virginia Military Institute Museum curates and displays the VMI’s extensive collection of around 15,000 artefacts and items.

The museum chronicles the history of the institute itself, as well as its various notable alumni.

Many of the items on display are personal belongings of VMI graduates, which include Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners, politicians, and actors.

Enjoy guided tours of the museum led by VMI cadets.

VMI Museum is at 415 Letcher Ave, Lexington, VA, 24450.

5- Explore The Liberty Hall Ruins

On the northern fringes of Lexington are the ruins of Liberty Hall.

Liberty Hall Academy was Lexington’s university before the founding of Washington and Lee University.

The current stone building was constructed in 1793 following the burning of the original wood structure.

The ruins of Liberty Hall were uncovered and preserved for the public in the 1970s.

All that still remains of the three-storey stone hall are the two end walls and some of the foundations.

While they’re not structurally sound enough for visitors to venture inside, you can get close to the outer walls.

The Liberty Hall Ruins are at W Denny Cir, Lexington, VA, 24450.

6- Take In Miller’s House Museum

Built in the early 19th century, Miller’s House is the oldest remaining structure in this area of Lexington.

The pretty, balconied house is now home to the local transport museum.

Local rail, road, and river travel networks and their impact on local infrastructure, industry, and development are all represented at Miller’s House.

Visitors can tour the museum by themselves.

If you want to get even deeper insights into the heritage that Miller’s House celebrates, you can also book guided tours on request.

Miller’s House Museum is at 834 Moses Mill Ct, Lexington, VA, 24450.

7- Relax In Jordan’s Point Park

Behind Miller’s House is Jordan’s Point Park, so when you’re done exploring the museum, relax and take a break in the leafy riverside park.

Jordan’s Point Park is spread over a small island in the middle of the Maury River.

With the water running on all sides, it’s a particularly scenic park whilst still being relatively close to the city centre.

Cross over to Jordan’s Point Park on Stono Ln, Lexington, VA 24450.

8- Tour Oak Grove Cemetery

At the heart of Downtown Lexington is the Oak Grove Cemetery.

The cemetery is the final resting place of many notable local residents, including politicians and artists, as well as a large number of fallen Confederate soldiers.

General Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’s statue is at the centre of the cemetery atop the gravesite of the general and various members of his family.

The Oak Grove Cemetery is at 316 S Main St, Lexington, VA, 24450.

9- Visit The Grave of Robert E. Lee

things to do in lexington
1953 US stamp shows Robert E. Lee.

The grave of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is on display in the halls of Washington and Lee University’s Lee Chapel.

A brilliantly white marble plinth marks the grave, atop which rests a statue of the general, posed as if he were merely sleeping.

Titled ‘Recumbent Statue’, the monument has lain in the chapel since 1883.

The crypt below the chapel is the resting place of many of Robert E. Lee’s family members.

10- Leave Some Apples At Traveller’s Grave

It’s not only Robert E. Lee and his family buried at the Lee Chapel.

His beloved horse, Traveller, was laid to rest on the grounds just outside the chapel, as it was not permitted to be buried with him in the crypt.

Traveller’s grave is marked with a stone plaque and an information board extolling the bond between the horse and his rider.

It’s common for visitors to leave small offerings for Traveller. Apples are a popular treat left for the beloved horse.

Traveller rests at 100 N Jefferson St, Lexington, VA 24450.

11- Go Wild At Boxerwood Nature Centre & Woodland Garden

things to do near lexington
One of the things to do near Lexington for nature lovers is to enjoy the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

For a break from inner-city sightseeing, head out to Boxerwood Nature Centre, west of Lexington.

The nature centre consists of 15 acres (6 ha) of regional and rare trees and species of plants.

The various flora is tagged so visitors can keep track of exactly what unusual plants they’re looking at.

Trails lead through the forest and wetlands, making it an excellent opportunity to exercise in the fresh air.

A play trail and fairy forest add to the fun for children, so it’s ideal for getting the whole family out and about.

Boxerwood Nature Centre is at 963 Ross Rd, Lexington, VA 24450.

12- Catch A Show At The Lime Kiln Theatre

If you’re visiting in the summer, try to catch a show at the Lime Kiln Theatre.

The open-air amphitheatre is nestled in a leafy park at the northern edge of Lexington and has a main stage that can seat up to 675 attendees.

The summer season typically runs from late May to early October, hosting concerts by a varied cast of local musicians.

Look for the Lime Kiln Theatre at 607 Borden Rd, Lexington, VA 24450.

13- Admire The Works At Reeves Museum of Ceramics

things to do in lexington this weekend a woman's hands close up, the masterful studio of ceramics works with clay on a potter's wheel.
Admiring ceramics is another thing to do in Lexington, VA.

The fourth-largest collection of ceramics in the United States is housed within one of the grand buildings of Washington and Lee University.

The museum displays works from across the world, with significant exhibits from China and Europe.

There is an extensive collection of cups decorated with coats of arms of various notable families.

Along with its vast collection of ceramics and sculptures, visitors will also spot various traditional paintings, too.

Reeves Museum Of Ceramics is at 204 W Washington St, Lexington, VA 24450.

14- Go Retro At Hull’s Drive-In

If you are travelling around Lexington by car and feel like indulging in a bit of nostalgia, spend an evening at Hull’s Drive-In.

The authentically retro cinema has been in operation since the ’50s.

Hull’s Drive-In screens a mixture of current blockbusters and vintage classics.

During the summer, a morning market takes place at the site on the first Saturday of each month.

It’s a great opportunity to chat with the locals and pick up unique souvenirs.

Hull’s Drive-In is at 2367 N Lee Hwy, Lexington, VA 24450.

15- Hike The Chessie Nature Trail

The Chessie Nature Trails runs along the Maury River from Lexington to Buena Vista.

At 6 miles (9.5 kilometres) long, winding through trees along the waterside, it’s a pleasant way to get between the neighbouring towns.

Start the Chessie Nature Trail at Lexington, VA, 24450.

16- Go Adventuring At Virginia Safari Park

A few miles south of Lexington, in the little town of Natural Bridge, is the Virginia Safari Park.

The park is home to animals from across the world, from cheetahs and rhinos to sloths.

Most of the 180-acre park is a drive-through experience, with miles of roads leading through the habitats where animals roam free.

You can enjoy animal feeding and petting encounters at the Walk Through Village.

Virginia Safari Park is at 229 Safari Ln, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.

17- Raise A Glass At Lexington Valley Vineyard

best things to do in lexington grapes on the vine
Visiting a winery is one of the fun things to do in Lexington, Virginia.

This quaint, family-owned winery is the perfect place to sample some local hospitality.

Enjoy a guided tasting session to try the range of artisan wines.

Sample the seasonal wines at your leisure, by the glass or bottle, at the tasting room.

Enjoy a relaxed drink out on the wine deck or picnic on the lawn on warmer days.

Lexington Valley Vineyard is at 80 Norton Way, Rockbridge Baths, VA, 24473.

18- Get A Round In At The Devils Backbone Brewing Company

If you’re more of a beer drinker, head out to the Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company taproom instead.

The taproom has an excellent variety of beers with a range of ales and pilsners, along with a menu of bar snacks and meals.

The brewery also hosts frequent events, including weekly quizzes and music nights.

The Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company is at 3303 50 N Wind Ln, Lexington, VA 24450.

19- Have A Drink At Halcyon Days Cider Co

things to do in lexington today Glass goblet of apple cider
Tasting apple cider is one of the fun things to do in Lexington VA.

If neither wine nor beer tickles your fancy, perhaps cider is more your style.

Halcyon Days utilises traditional techniques to create a range of small-batch ciders that you can enjoy in the surroundings of a former dairy farm.

Fancy a walk to work up a thirst? Part of the orchard has been planted as a 1.7-mile-long labyrinth.

At the centre, you’ll find a pavilion with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Halcyon Days Cider Co is at 4135 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.

20- Splash Out At Lexington Municipal Pool

Looking for somewhere to cool off on a hot summer’s day? Head over to Lexington Municipal Pool and jump in the cool water.

It’s perfect for anyone travelling with kids, giving them a chance to burn off some energy splashing about in the pool whilst you relax.

Lexington Municipal Pool is at 198 Wallace St, Lexington, VA, 24450.

For more places to visit in the Southern states, see:

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Steve Burden is an avid traveller and experienced writer. As a former pro wrestler, Steve used to travel frequently for work throughout the USA and Europe. Having spent the last decade travelling all over the world in search of new sights and experiences, he has turned his love for travel into a new career helping others decide on the best places to visit, as well as what to see when they get there.