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22 Virginia Small Towns You’re Going to LOVE

by Casey | Posted on February 27th, 2014

Virginia’s small towns are treasure troves of great food, warm hospitality, immense history, and Southern charm. Antiquers and outdoor enthusiasts equally will be at home in these 22 destinations promising all of the above and more. Map out a weekend and see what you’re missing.

The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, Virginia

The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, Virginia

Abingdon is surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, making it the perfect destination for outdoor activities. The Virginia Creeper Trail begins in downtown Abingdon and is great for biking, walking, jogging or horseback riding. The historic downtown district begs for a walk along the cobblestone sidewalks, and delicious finds aren’t far away. Get pampered with a spa treatment at The Martha Hotel & Spa, dine at a tasty restaurant serving locally-grown menu items, catch a play at the famous Barter Theatre, or grab a craft brew and listen to live music at Wolf Hills Brewing Co.

Bristol, Virginia. Image by Malcolm Wilson.

Bristol, Virginia. Image by Malcolm Wilson.

With its wonderful music heritage — as the site of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, recognized as the “Big Bang of country music” — and its historic charm, Bristol is the perfect destination for music lovers and history buffs. And it will only get better with the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in August 2014. Bristol’s downtown offers live music every night in a variety of venues, along with many music events throughout the year. As a designated Arts & Entertainment District, Bristol is home to art galleries featuring local artists, live dance and theatrical performances, and numerous arts events. You can also find wonderful local dining spots that you won’t find anywhere else. From the Burger Bar, Brooklyn Grill and Eatz to Alfredo’s and Shang Hai, there’s something for every taste.

Downtown Culpeper, Virginia at Dusk

Downtown Culpeper, Virginia at Dusk

Culpeper, a National Trust 2012 Great American Main Street, is home to some great wineries and Virginia’s only legal moonshine distillery, Belmont Farm Distillery. Along with great dining options (It’s About Thyme Markets’ brick oven pizza or Foti’s uniquely inspired farm to fork creations),  shop for one-of-a-kind items (global treasures, earth friendly gifts, antiques, original art, and handcrafted-in-the-USA items). Just a short drive out of town, find Culpeper’s well-preserved Civil War battlefields at Cedar Mountain, Kelly’s Ford and Brandy Station for a self-guided or guided tour.

Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia

Trail Days in Damascus, Virginia

Damascus is known as Trail Town USA thanks to the seven trails that intersect there, namely the Appalachian Trail and  the Virginia Creeper Trail, which connects to Abingdon. Damascus is a gateway to the 191,000-acre Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and Virginia’s highest peak. The Damascus Old Mill is a historic staple in the center of town. Located on the banks of Laurel Creek, the mill overlooks the grist mill waterfall, while ducks and geese float peacefully on the mill pond. It serves as an inn, restaurant and local watering hole. Damascus is for vacationers who are tired of sitting in traffic, waiting in long lines, and spending lots of money in crowded, hectic conditions.

Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat in Farmville, Virginia

Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat in Farmville, Virginia

In Farmville there are  plenty of family fun activities. High Bridge Trail State Park offers hiking and biking while the Appomattox River offers a historical story and a relaxing float. There are outfitters to assist with your recreational needs. Just a few minutes outside of town is the Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat, a high ropes course with zip lines, perfect for adventure seekers looking for a challenge. Main Street offers antiques, accessories and furniture shopping at the renowned Green Front Furniture, as well as a Belgium bakery, sweet shop, fabrics, bridal stores and more. When it’s time to eat, head to Charlie’s Waterfont Cafe on the river.

Historic Fincastle boasts southern charm and is deeply rooted in historical significance. Fincastle is a designated Lewis and Clark community, having ties to both Andrew Lewis and William Clark prior to and after their western expedition. There is a self-guided walking tour that leads visitors to many of the town homes and buildings, some dating back to the late 1700s and early to mid 1800s. Stay in one of the two bed and breakfast’s in the historic district, perfect places to sit back, relax and enjoy the simple comforts of home and southern conversation. Stop in to the Heritage Family Market for fresh deli meats and cheeses, the perfect take-home taste of Fincastle.

The Exchange Hotel, Gordonsville, Virginia

Civil War Museum at The Exchange Hotel, Gordonsville, Virginia

When in Gordonsville, spend time walking in the steps of extraordinary history, and then take a stroll down Main Street to enjoy timeless charm and great food traditions. During the Civil War the elegant Exchange Hotel became a receiving hospital for more than 70,000 troops. Today it has been restored to its grandeur. Downtown, find quaint shops and galleries that combine modern styles with antiques and country sensibilities. Don’t miss contemporary gems like Pomme, where acclaimed French Chef Gerard Gasparini has brought a taste of Paris to the heart of Virginia. Looking for a taste of traditional country cooking? Don’t miss the annual Gordonsville Famous Fried Chicken Festival! Gordonsville is recognized as “the chicken-leg center of the universe” because of how the history of the southern staple traces its roots to women serving the treat to 19th century train passengers.

Kilmarnock is a quaint, pedestrian friendly, small town close to the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. Boutique shopping, a variety of restaurants and signature events make it a relaxing, weekend destination and a great jumping off point for enjoying the history of the area, like the Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library, the Steamboat Era Museum or the Kilmarnock Museum. After a day of relaxing or touring, grab an ice cream at Stevie’s – a tiny location but with a large variety of offerings.

Downtown Lexington, Virginia

Downtown Lexington, Virginia

Lexington has an exceptional concentration of museums, historic sites, art galleries, music, theaters, and other cultural and outdoor offerings. With strong connections to Civil War and military history, visitors often enjoy carriage rides through historic downtown. Don’t miss a stop at Lee Chapel where General Robert E. Lee is buried. Steps away, museums and historical sites such as Virginia Military Institute, George C. Marshall Museum, Stonewall Jackson House and Memorial Cemetery—where General “Stonewall” Jackson is buried—chronicle stories of the U.S. military. Lexington also features attractive shops, hotels, businesses and top-rated restaurants.

Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia

Luray Caverns in Luray, Virginia

Luray, is a charming small town with BIG prospects for all varieties of travelers. “Choose your Level” is the mantra, referring to the mountains, river valley and underground topography. Home to Luray Caverns, Shenandoah National Park and the Shenandoah River, the area has become a hub of outdoor recreation. Lodging options include a restored Jazz Age-era hotel, a number of B&Bs and hundreds of vacation cabins and country homes, making it the “Cabin Capital” of Virginia. Many dining choices ensure every palate finds its complement. Visitors may relax at the local winery, enjoy live music or theater, or browse Main Street, where shop owners offer locally-made artisan goods, outdoor equipment or bargain-priced estate sale finds.

Dining in Old Town Manassas, Virginia

Dining in Old Town Manassas, Virginia

Known for Civil War history, Manassas originated in 1852 at the junction of two railroads which linked Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. with the Shenandoah Valley and Richmond. It features a wonderful museum system and charming Old Town historic district, perfect for a day trip. Explore Old Town Manassas where family owned shops and restaurants line picturesque streets. Have lunch at Okra’s Louisiana Bistro for Creole and Cajun with a patio setting. Open year round, the farmers’ market sells seasonal produce, breads and more. Stroll down to Opera House Gourmet and pick up a bottle of wine or visit Creative Brush Studio where you can buy a painting right from the artist.

View of the Occoquan River in Occoquan, Virginia

View of the Occoquan River in Occoquan, Virginia

Home to America’s first automated grist mill, the quaint town of Occoquan is situated on the banks of the Occoquan River. Rich in history, it is just 11 miles from our nation’s capitol and is home to more than 60 boutiques and restaurants. The streets are filled with unique shops from jewelry, art, a Scandinavian spa, to gourmet treats, it offers something for every visitor. Have a Virginia wine tasting at the Olde Dominion Wine Shoppe, then enjoy lunch on the water at Madigan’s. Take the kids to the Pink Bicycle Tea Room to enjoy an afternoon tea-tasting. For Dinner, sip on Belgium brews at Cock & Bowl and hear live music while dining on European fare.

Kayaking from Onancock, Virginia

Kayaking from Onancock, Virginia

Captain John Smith called the area of Onancock “the Gem of the Eastern Shore” in the 1600s. Budget Travel called it “The Coolest Town in the South.” Others have said its “a town with heart.” Who can disagree? Onancock has a live theater, world class award-winning restaurants, and an old time movie theater that hosts an International Movie Festival. The art scene is unparalleled with renowned artists, craftsmen, sculptors, actors, dancers, musicians, glass blowers … you name it. The natural beauty and wildlife is astounding. Take a kayak trip to a local winery or to the site of an old Indian village to experience the serenity of the shore. Even in a state as rich in history as Virginia, Onancock stands out.

Historic Orange Train Station in Orange, Virginia

Historic Orange Train Station in Orange, Virginia

The Town of Orange is a true old-fashioned small town experience, with a few special twists. The Historic Orange Train Station on Main Street is surrounded by an eclectic and historic downtown commercial district with local shops, homes, the 19th century County Courthouse, historic churches and sites, and local restaurants with affordable to fine dining options. Don’t miss the James Madison Museum, the first to commemorate our fourth president, called the Father of the Constitution. Modern amenities mix with home-spun style at places like the stately federal-style Holladay House. Year-round you will find unique experiences in Orange, but whenever you visit, you are sure to be welcomed like a local, fed like a farmer, and sleep like baby in comfort and style.

Scottsville is situated on America’s founding River – the James – and is a town with deep historical roots and an ever encompassing vision for the future. In a return to its agricultural roots, Scottsville offers Thistle Gate Vineyard and James River Brewing, which is located in the downtown district.

Smithfield Station Waterfront Inn Restaurant in Smithfield, Virginia

Smithfield Station Waterfront Inn Restaurant in Smithfield, Virginia

Smithfield is perpetually stuck in the weekend. It has a slower pace, there is always something going on, and it constantly smells of bacon. There are plenty of towns that have historic buildings, kooky museums, and unique eateries, but, when it comes to the best of all of them, one needs to look no further. Waterfront dining complete with sunset? Smithfield Station. Regional, national, and international musical acts and performances? Smithfield Little Theatre. Locally grown fresh produce? The farmers’ market on Saturday. Unwind and have a few ham biscuits at the Smithfield Inn, there’s no rush.

Staunton Trolley in Staunton, Virginia

Staunton Trolley in Staunton, Virginia

Staunton boasts arts, history and fantastic dining.  The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse offers four of five shows each week and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum includes Wilson’s Pierce-Arrow limousine. If you love Victorian homes, there are quite a few to admire up and down the streets of Staunton. Many restaurants and coffee shops give you plenty of dining options while a bakery and chocolate shop satisfy your sweet tooth.

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Troutville is the only designated Appalachian Trail Community in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Troutville’s location along Route 11 makes it an ideal choice for thru-hikers on the trail, as well as day hikers. With access to a town park that includes restrooms and shelters, hikers are able to camp within the park grounds. If camping is not a preferred choice, there are more than five hotel properties within a short walk. The Town of Troutville is also home to Botetourt County’s fine dining restaurant, Pomegranate Restaurant and Gathering Place. Offering a wide variety of menu items, from steaks and seafood, to wine, beer and spirits, Pomegranate hosts bands on the weekend to provide entertainment to the entire area.

Warrenton is in the middle of everything you could possibly want. Old Town Warrenton is filled to the brim with local artisans, shopping and restaurants. Not far from town are mountains to hike, caves to explore, Civil War battlefields, wineries, and polo matches. Truly, there is something for everyone. Whether you’re 100 or 10, you’ll feel at home.

The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia. Image by Cameron Davidson.

The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, Virginia. Image by Cameron Davidson.

The very first Washington is a sweet place indeed, and you may have heard it called Little Washington. There’s no doubt you’ll fall in love with the world-renowned restaurant, superb bed and breakfasts, and a wealth of artisans to delight your eyes and ears. Take in a show at The Theatre at Washington, Virginia or sip fine wines at Gadino Cellars or Little Washington Winery and Vineyards; the countryside and all its awaiting treasures are yours.

Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Woodstock has a charming downtown with interesting shops and good restaurants, and a brewery on the way. Woodstock is the fourth oldest town in Virginia, home to Revolutionary Peter Muehlenberg, and boasts many historic homes and churches, not to mention the County courthouse designed by Thomas Jefferson.

Located at the intersection of  Interstates 77 and 81, Wytheville provides the best in small town living and natural beauty. Known as the crossroads of Virginia, Wytheville is home to a regionally known dinner theatre, wineries, scenic drives, a butterfly house, historic B&Bs, museums, and First Lady Edith Bolling Wilson, wife of President Woodrow Wilson. The New River and the Big Survey provide countless outdoor opportunities for nature enthusiasts.

Which Virginia small town is your favorite? We asked that question of our “locals,” who contributed content to compile this list. Feel free to comment with your pick below!

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Locals, Travel Ideas | 42 Comments

5 Heartwarming Holiday Getaways for Dining and Shopping

by Casey | Posted on November 13th, 2013

Last week we offered you Five Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays and this week we continue with five more for you to ponder. If you love the idea of taking a break to get some shopping done or to just break away and enjoy the moment, you might like these.

Christmas in Orange

Christmas in Orange

Getting away to the country is quite relaxing, especially during the Christmas season. Sparkling storefronts and lamp poles induce memories of simpler times. Find such places when you spend a few days in Orange County.

  • Stay: The Inn at Willow Grove, Holladay House Bed and Breakfast, Inn at Westwood Farm
  • Dine: Elmwood at Sparks, Pomme, Stonefire Kitchen, Palladio Restaurant
  • Visit: James Madison’s Montpelier, The Market at Grelen, Four County Players, Barboursville Vineyards
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

Locally-owned shops reign supreme in Richmond, but if you’re seeking big-name stores, those are nearby, too! You’re going to love the cobblestones, the unique shops and vintage boutiques, and an amazing flare for food that only Richmond can offer.

  • Stay: The Jefferson Hotel, The One Bed and Breakfast, The Berkeley Hotel
  • Dine: Fresca on Addison, Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant, Tobacco Company, Pasture, Comfort, Can Can Brasserie
  • Visit: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Maymont, Segway of Richmond, Children’s Museum of Richmond, Ice Skating, Carytown
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Ice Skating in Fairfax County

Ice Skating in Fairfax County

Bring on the glitz and add the cheer when you take in a little shopping and a little history in Fairfax County.

  • Stay: a wide choice of top hotel brands are available
  • Dine: Clyde’s, Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, Härth
  • Visit: Reston Town Center, Wolf Trap, Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, Woodlawn Plantation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, Workhouse Arts Center, Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Galleria, Fairfax Square
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Winter in Rappahannock County

Winter in Rappahannock County

If you love the nostalgic feel of Currier & Ives, Little Washington is your destination. A thriving arts community and the world renowned Inn at Little Washington are the claim to fame in this little slice of heaven in Rappahannock County.

  • Stay: Gay Street Inn, Heritage House Bed & Breakfast, Middleton Inn Bed and Breakfast
  • Dine: The Inn at Little Washington, The Blue Rock Inn Restaurant
  • Visit: Geneva Welch Gallery, The Theatre at Washington, Virginia, the five Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg is the quintessential holiday destination in Virginia for so many reasons. The shops, the Colonial decor, and a simple but tangible cheer that can’t help but emanate.

 

This is the second post in our Heartwarming Getaways series. Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

Virginia is for Lovers.



48 Hours, Family, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

Antiquing in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on August 26th, 2013

Looking for something old, sweet and pretty? Antique and trash-to-treasure shops are havens for DIYers and collectors alike.

Northern Virginia

ManassasSouthern Living issued The Ultimate Antiquing Tour in their November 2011 edition and those gems are still shining brightly in Virginia. Writer Paula Disbrowe plotted her way from Maryland into Virginia, even including suggested places to eat.

Highlights:

Also See:

Shenandoah Valley

Cabin Creekwood in Lyndhurst offers local shopping suggestions to their guests just as any good cabin owner would. I came across their blog and an entry entitled Antiquing in Virginia: 4 Shops Worth Visiting caught my attention. Who knows best? Locals know best. If you’re in the Staunton area, check out Valley of Virginia Antiques in Fairfield, the Stuarts Draft Antique Mall, The Factory Antique Mall in Verona, or Memory Makers in downtown Staunton.

Also See:

Coastal Virginia

Take your hunt for antiques to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. That’s just what writer Krys Stefansky of The Virginian-Pilot did in her article Road Trip: Find Antique Heaven on the Eastern Shore. Her recommended stops include Blue Crow Antique Mall in Keller, Exmore’s Antique Emporium, and two dining destinations as well: Big’s Place – The Gaskill Family Restaurant in Painter and Yellow Duck Bakery Cafe in Exmore. Read her article to see why she ends it, “We’re coming back.”

Petersburg Pickers

Petersburg Pickers

More to Consider:

Where will you find your next treasure? Leave a comment to share your favorite antique picking place.



Destinations | Comments Off

22 Great Breakfast Spots in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on July 18th, 2013

You’re traveling through or vacationing in Virginia and you’re looking for the best breakfast in town. Who might know where to find it? The Locals. When we decided to create a list of the best breakfasts in Virginia we asked none other than … the locals. With that, we present to you 22 favorite breakfast hangouts across Virginia.

 

Shenandoah Valley

Little Grill Collective is a 1940s Harrisonburg mainstay that has been worker-owned since 2003. Their menu is diverse with the usual breakfast options plus vegan and vegetarian delights, too. Little Grill has been voted the best breakfast in Harrisonburg six times over. One local suggests, “Try their breakfast burrito or their made from scratch pancakes. They have a new seasonal pancake flavor every month!” Another local said, “Best pancakes – especially the chai.”

The Roanoker Restaurant's famed biscuits.

The Roanoker Restaurant’s famed biscuits.

How well-known is Roanoke’s The Roanoker Restaurant? Both Southern Living and The Today Show have recognized The Roanoker for making some of the best biscuits in America. Our insider said, “The ham biscuits and biscuits & gravy are two very popular dishes among locals.”

We’re creatures of habit and like to hold onto our great finds. This is true for a Front Royal local who loves L’Dee’s Pancake House. He wrote, “I have tried their omelets, pancakes and waffles (both w/pecans) and have become a regular visitor. Since 1988 L’Dee’s has been a staple in the community and they treat their patrons like an extended family.”

Stauntonians love Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery - a certified gluten-free restaurant that uses locally-sourced ingredients. Of note on the menu is the waffle delight, which one local described as “topped with fresh fruit and real whipped cream, it is delicious and nutritious!”

Additional Recommendations:

Harvest Table Restaurant, Meadowview, VA

Harvest Table Restaurant

 

Blue Ridge Highlands

Some of our local insiders refuse to dance around the subject of favorite breakfast destination. Rather, they come right out and challenge you to challenge them. An example is the local who suggested Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview. Of this restaurant he said, “The Harvest Table has the most fresh brunch menu in Southwest Virginia. They have a small menu, but everything is great! One of their best creations is the Quiche of the Day, usually featuring mushrooms, sweet onions, goat cheese and meat from a local farm.”

The Blue Ridge Restaurant in Floyd offers a traditional country breakfast with homemade biscuits and gravy.  The biscuits are so phenomenal, in fact, that one local insists The Blue Ridge Restaurant has “the best biscuits in the state!”

Abingdon’s Babycakes Cupcakery and Dunk and Deli received nods for their breakfast wares. The waffles at Babycakes are made with cupcake batter and you can choose whichever flavor you like. Donuts are an art and well made homemade donuts simply can’t be overlooked. Head to Dunk and Deli where one local says their donuts “are the best around!”

Mabry Mill Restaurant's buckwheat pancakes.

Mabry Mill Restaurant’s buckwheat pancakes.

If you’ve ever traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway (and probably, even if you haven’t), you’ve heard of Mabry Mill. It is, after all, the most photographed site on the Parkway. That aside, the Mabry Mill Restaurant has an appeal all its own, and one local shared her favorite breakfast: “Buckwheat pancakes with maple syrup, country ham and all the fixings.”

Additional Recommendations:

 

Central Virginia

Millie’s Diner is a locally owned restaurant in Richmond. One dedicate patron gave us a great commercial for Millie’s stating, “It has built a long-standing reputation on the goodness and variety of its menu.” So what’s good to eat at Millie’s? “What’s not?” might be the better question. Their brunch is renowned. Go for an open-face omelet smothered with goodness. They call it Devil’s Mess and you can even get it veggie style.

Another diner Richmonders flock to is Perly’s. Plain and simple, our local said, “Awesome breakfast. From Grandma’s hearty oatmeal with raisins, nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar to create-your-own three-egg omelet, you can’t go wrong.”

Additional recommemdations:

 

Coastal Virginia

If you love breakfast all day, any time of the day, d’Egg Diner in Norfolk is for you. The local we heard from weighed her favorite menu items, stating, “As far as a favorite dish, there are just too many to choose from. The traditional eggs cooked to order with all the sides or a grand omelet” are her picks.

 

Northern Virginia

Baby Jim’s Snack Bar in Culpeper has been serving breakfast and lunch since 1947, and they’re well known for their breakfast sandwiches. A cool addition to the food is the original red, white and blue steel neon sign that points the way.

Let YOUR voice be heard. Leave a comment to tell us (and the world!) about your favorite Virginia breakfast hangout.

Upcoming: Great Virginia B&B breakfasts!



Food, Locals | 25 Comments

A.T. Hikers Find Warm Welcome in Virginia Communities

by Casey | Posted on June 25th, 2013

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is a bucket list item for many people, but it’s a long journey that tests stamina and perseverance. With a literal uphill challenge like the A.T., communities that embrace hikers are a welcome and much-needed resource. To recognize those communities that promote and protect the A.T., the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has established the Appalachian Trail Community™ designation program.

An Appalachian Trail Community™ promises to meet certain criteria, which may include hosting an annual Trail event or celebration, providing a Trail education or service-learning project, or incorporating language that will protect the Trail in land-use plans and ordinances, etc. Communities are asked why they should be selected and how the town embraces and supports the Trail. An opportunity to recognize hiker-friendly services is provided as well. With the knowledge that each community has been properly vetted by the Conservancy, hikers can rest assured they will be warmly received and the community serves as an active steward of the Trail.

Get to Know Each Virginia Appalachian Trail Community™

 Appalachian Trail Community logoFront Royal / Warren County

  • 30 miles of Trail runs through the county.
  • Front Royal is three miles west of the Trail crossing at Route 522.
  • Free showers available at the 4-H Center.
  • Free internet at Samuels Public Library and Daily Grind.
  • Limited hiking supplies at The Apple House and Stokes General Store.
  • Various hotels, a B&B, laundromat and Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. State Park offer additional lodging and service.

Harrisonburg / Rockingham County

  • 18 miles west of the Trail.
  • Hailed as a top spot for families to “beat nature deficit disorder” by Backpacker Magazine.
  • Hikers are invited to participate in the Valley Fourth parade each year.

Waynesboro / Augusta County

  • Two miles west of the Trail.
  • Grocery, library and post office are easily accessible from the Trail.
  • Shower and overnight camping at the YMCA.
  • Free internet at the Waynesboro Area Learning Tree.
  • Rockfish Gap Visitors Center offers maps and local information.
  • Community volunteers available to shuttle hikers around town.
  • The Waynesboro Circulator (bus service) welcomes A.T. hikers for 50 cents each way.
  • Download “Out and About in Waynesboro,” a guide created specifically for A.T. visitors.

Nelson County

  • 40 miles of the Trail follow the Blue Ridge Parkway through Nelson County.
  • Access Nelson County from three points – Afton (BRP MP 0), Reeds Gap (BRP MP 13.5) and Route 56 (BRP MP 27.5)
  • Post office access at Montebello.
  • Supplies and groceries available at Montebello Country Store.
  • Laundry service at Dutch Haus Bed and Breakfast in Montebello (plus the owners are Trail Angels [community volunteers])
  • Three craft breweries are a good side trip between Afton and Reeds Gap.

Buena Vista / Rockbridge County

  • Nine miles west of the Trail crossing at Route 60.
  • Trail Angels available for shuttling to/from the Trail.
  • Find a hiker’s box in the lobby of the post office where community members leave bags of food, free for your taking.
  • Free showers and heavily discounted rates available at Glen Maury Park.
  • Computer access at Maury River Senior Center.
  • Mountain Day, the second Saturday of each October, celebrates the mountain heritage of the area, including the Trail.

Glasgow / Rockbridge County

  • Hiker’s shelter was built in 2010 by a local Eagle Scout.
    • A fire pit, wood, hot shower and port-a-johns are free to hikers.
    • New in 2013: electrical receptacles for cell phone charging, etc.
  • Bathroom and concessions available at Knick Field spring through fall.
  • Laundromat near the hiker shelter.
  • Free computer usage, book exchange and cheap books available at the library.

Troutville / Botetourt County

  • Free showers and laundry at the Troutville Fire Department.
  • Free camping and large restroom facilities available at Town Park.
  • Troutville Trail Days is a major annual event held the second Friday and Saturday of June.
  • Post office nearby.
  • Good midway point for hikers with major thoroughfares like Interstate 81, Route 11 and Route 220.
Woods Hole Hostel

Woods Hole Hostel

Pearisburg / Giles County

  • More than 50 miles of A.T. runs through Giles County.
  • Two hiker hostels available – Woods Hole Hostel and Holy Family Hostel.
  • Download the Local Hikers Guide for a list of hiker-friendly services, food and lodging.

Bland County

  • 56 miles of the Trail winds through the county.
  • Trail Angels available for shuttling hikers to/from the Trail.
  • Two major annual festivals incorporate the importance of the Trail to the community: Festival of Trails and Festival of Leaves.

Damascus / Washington County

  • Widely known as “Trail Town USA,” the A.T. courses right through downtown Damascus.
  • Trail Days is a major annual event that celebrates the A.T., as well as the Virginia Creeper Trail, Trans-America National Bicycle Trail and several others, with workshops, gear vendors, entertainment and more.
  • A kiosk is located in Town Park to direct hikers to services. Download the printable version.

Abingdon / Washington County

  • 12 miles west of the Trail.
  • Take the Virginia Creeper Trail – #1 rated Rail Trail (Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine) – into Abingdon.
  • Shuttle services provided by local outfitters.

Explore and enjoy Virginia’s portion of the Appalachian Trail soon!

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*Updated 6/27/13 to include Nelson County, the newest A.T. Community. -ch



Outdoors | 1 Comment