How to Spend Your Time Visiting Orange, Virginia

Whenever you find yourself in need of a delightful change of scenery and have a chance to connect with the rich history of Virginia, there’s no better place than Orange, Virginia. Thanks to this travel blog post from Southern Living,you can find the best spots within Orange and its outlying towns of Barboursville and Gordonsville; all of which are sure to satisfy your craving for southern hospitality, a rich cultural tapestry, and the comforts of home.

James Madison’s Montpelier

James Madison’s Montpelier, located in Orange, Virginia, is a must-see for history buffs and anyone interested in early American architecture. The sprawling estate was home to the fourth President of the United States and his wife, Dolley Madison. Visitors can tour the mansion, which has been restored to its 19th-century appearance, and learn about the Madisons’ lives through interactive exhibits. Outside, there are beautiful gardens to explore, as well as hiking trails that wind through the property. James Madison’s Montpelier is a fascinating glimpse into America’s past that should not be missed.


Visiting Barboursville is giving yourself a chance to learn about American history first-hand. This quaint little town is home to a number of historical sites, including the Barboursville Ruins. These ruins are all that remain of the estate of James Barbour, who served as Governor of Virginia in the early 1800s. The estate was destroyed by a fire in 1884, but the ruins are still an impressive sight. In addition to the ruins, Barboursville is also home to a number of other historical sites. The Orange County Courthouse is one of the most notable, as this courthouse was built in 1734 and served as the site of several important trials in early American history, including the trial of Aaron Burr for treason. Succinctly, if you’re looking for something to do in Barboursville, be sure to check out these historical sites, as they’re sure to give you a glimpse into the past and provide some insight into America’s early history.

The Market at Grelen

The Market at Grelen is a must-see for any visitor to Orange, Virginia. This open-air market features local vendors selling fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other food items. In addition to the food, there are also arts and crafts for sale, as well as live music on some days. The market is open from April through October, so be sure to check it out when you’re in town!

Museum of Orange County Heritage

The James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage is a great place to learn about the history of Orange, Virginia. The museum is located within a restored 19th-century home. The museum features exhibits on the history of the town, the Civil War, and James Madison. The museum also has a gift shop and a research library, both of which are favorites among visiting patrons.

Laurie Holladay Shop

Laurie Holladay is a local artist in Orange, Virginia who specializes in hand-painted furniture and home decor. Her shop is located in the historic downtown area, so if you’re looking for a unique piece of furniture or home decor, Laurie Holladay is the artist for you. Her shop offers a wide variety of hand-painted furniture and home decor, and Laurie Holladay also offers custom design services. If you have an idea for a piece of furniture or home decor but don’t know how to make it a reality, she can help! Whether you need help with the design itself or with the execution of the project, she can work with you to create the perfect piece for your home!

Coopers Cookin and Catering

If you’re in the mood for some good ol’ fashioned Southern cooking, then you need to head on over to Coopers Cookin and Catering. This local restaurant is known for its down-home comfort food, and it definitely doesn’t disappoint. The menu features all of your favorite Southern staples, like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. And if you’re looking for something a little sweeter, be sure to try the restaurant’s famous peach cobbler. Trust that it’s worth the calories!

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Outdoor Getaways to Take in the Fall

The fall season will soon be upon us and that means it’s time to get out into the world and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.  Thankfully, this handy article from Southern Living details the best, family-friendly vacation spots to plan for this upcoming fall season. As the summer starts to wind down, it’s nearly time to step up, grab your gear, and get outside, because before you know it the leaves will be changing, the days will shorten, and the nights will become cooler. So, you better start planning for that fall vacation now and check out the exciting options that the South has to offer.

Blue Ridge, Georgia

If you’re looking for a fun way to enjoy the beautiful weather without having to bundle up too much, consider visiting this gem of Northern Georgia this fall. With its quaint towns, beautiful hiking trails, and unforgettable waterfalls, there’s no better place to enjoy the crisp air and beautiful views than Blue Ridge.

Hands-down, one of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the scenery of Blue Ridge is by engaging in a trip to Lake Blue Ridge. Supplied with gorgeous, crystal-clear waters, Lake Blue Ridge is one of Georgia’s most picturesque mountain lakes that’s complete with a full-service marina, available campsites, and several picnic areas and boat ramps for your enjoyment. Blue Ridge is also home to some truly treasured hiking trails that you should explore, as areas such as Long Creek Falls or the Toccoa River Swinging Bridge offer some of the best trails and sights in the entire state, and the hiking trails are complete with a diversity of options for all skill levels. Whether you’re looking for a quick walk through the woods or a challenging hike that will take you higher up into the mountains, Blue Ridge has something for everyone!

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia is a city that offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for the whole family, because whether you’re looking for a quiet weekend getaway that’s filled with history to explore or an adventurous week-long vacation with a wide array of outdoor activities, Williamsburg has something for everyone. From hiking and biking to kayakingand horseback riding, there are plenty of ways to explore the outdoors in Williamsburg. Consider taking advantage of Virginia’s temperate climate by heading outside to explore one of the many scenic walking trails around town or if you prefer not to get your feet wet, you can try taking a tour through one of the many historical sites located about.

Williamsburg is part of Virginia’s “Historic Triangle,” a title that it shares with the towns of Jamestown and Yorktown, as they are the focal points of American history. In order to learn more about colonial America, consider spending your time at the historic district and living museum that is Colonial Williamsburg, as there’s truly no better way to learn all there is to know about colonial living than from actors who are dressed in period-accurate costumes completing daily tasks of colonial life. Outside of the historical features of Williamsburg, you visit the highly-popular Busch Gardens theme park where everyone on your vacation can enjoy exhilarating roller coasters, virtual reality rides, and much more.

Boone, North Carolina

If you’re ready to take advantage of the autumn season of beautiful weather before winter sets in, then look no further than Boone, North Carolina, as this small town is full of things to do and sights to see, making it a perfect destination for your next fall vacation. This western North Carolina town is perfect for those seeking wonderful sights and the scent of  sensational, fresh mountain air. Once in Boone, you’ll want to head out to Grandfather Mountain State Park, as this national park offers hiking and walking trail opportunities as well as panoramic views of surrounding mountains. Other excellent hiking trails can be found in Price Lake, and Elk Knob State Park, so you have plenty of options, depending on your level of skill.

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Uncrowded Southern Mountain Destinations

As winter’s coldest days begin to be behind us, more and more travelers are looking towards the solitary peace that can be found in nature’s most majestic environment, the mountains. Though, if you’re looking for a mountainside retreat or escape wherein you’re not likely to run into swarths of tourists or buzzing crowds, then this list of the mountain destinations from Southern Living is sure to set you up for success.

Time to yourself is a commodity that cannot be taken for granted in our fast-paced, technology-driven world. That’s why surrounding yourself in the Southern United States’ mountain towns that have an immense amount of small-town charm, southern hospitality, and ample supply of fresh mountain air is the perfect way to spend your time away from home this year.

As a reminder, no matter where you’re traveling to in these uncertain times, it’s always a responsible move and a good idea to check local travel advisories, city ordinances, and state mandates that may have been implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Travel safely and rest assured that you’ve done your due diligence by referring to CDC travel guidelines.

Galax, Virginia

Located at the foothills of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains is the small town of Galax, Virginia, this mountain destination is a location that’s incredibly rich in history, tradition, opportunities for recreation, and unforgettable natural beauty. Once you find yourself in this town that has its southern roots so deeply buried in country music history, you’ll find yourself wanting to spend more and more time outdoors. After a day of shopping in Galax’s quiet downtown district, consider embarking on a tubing expedition down New River, a hike along the New River Trail, or a visit to the must-see waterfalls like Foster Falls and Chestnut Creek Falls. Other outdoor pit stops that you simply shouldn’t miss out on are found along the Blue Ridge Parkway, since (after all) the town of Galax is known as the scenic gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Along the Parkway is Mabry Mill, a water mill run by the National Park Service and complete with its own crafting center, a handful of self-guided trails, and restaurant, as well as Grayson Highlands State Park, the state park located adjacent to Virginia’s two highest mountains, Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain.

Jasper, Arkansas

Located along the Little Buffalo River in Northwestern Arkansas is the celebrated city of Jasper, Arkansas.  Consistently associated with words like “quaint” and “scenic,” the town of Jasper is surrounded by the beauty generated by America’s first national river, the Buffalo National River, and where it begins to flow. Offering ample outdoor activities such as canoeing, fishing, hiking, caving, rock climbing, hunting, horseback riding, and mountain biking, Jasper’s setting of the Ozark Mountains makes it the ideal outdoor adventurer’s paradise. Located only about 60 miles southeast of Eureka Springs, Jasper offers its visitors the most bountiful expanse imaginable in the 1.2 million-acre Ozark National Forest and the Buffalo River Corridor, making Jasper the Elk Capital of Arkansas. Because these majestic animals have a proclivity of roaming Erbie, Ozark, Pruitt, Newton County, Boxley Valley, and Steel Creek in herds of 450 elk, you would benefit from stopping into the ​​Hilary Jones Wildlife Museum & Elk Information Center or Ponca Nature Center to learn more about these creatures.

Other key mountain destinations locations, indicated by the full article as being the best mountain towns that are “under the radar” are Morganton, North Carolina; Mentone, Alabama; Frostburg, Maryland;  Dillard, Georgia; Alpine, Texas; Arcadia, Missouri; and Mountain Home, Arkansas.

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A Guide to Staying in Pleasant Virginia Beach

An important occasion such as the turning of a new year calls for many changes, and for some that time specifically calls for a change in scenery. So, if you’re looking for a fantastic location in which you can set your sights on something familiar, new, profound, and simple, then look no further than Virginia Beach, Virginia’s largest coastal city, as outlined in this travel guide from the state’s own travel blog.

As the state of Virginia is one of the original Thirteen Colonies, there lies a lot of history, sentiment, and spectacle in the state, its wilderness, waters, and cities. Specifically, the town of Virginia Beach, which is the most populous city in the state, is located on the Atlantic Ocean right at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, and it’s known as a resort city with miles of beaches, hotels, oceanfront restaurants, shops, and much more, thus making it the perfect location for your next trip. As collected from Virginia’s Travel Blog’s suggested Weekend Vacation Guide to Virginia Beach, the following suggestions all come well-reviewed and in good faith.

Though, it should be noted that recent COVID-19 surges may have caused new government restrictions, rules, and safety measures to have been set. Because of this, it’s always suggested that those who wish to travel check local guidelines, consult CDC recommendations, and take personal health conditions into account before traveling. This way you’re more prepared to enjoy your trip while remaining as safe and responsible as possible in these unprecedented times.

Where to Stay

Many, many of Virginia Beach’s hotels and rental properties are oceanside or located directly on the beach itself, but one of the most astounding and luxurious places that you can book is the award-winning Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel. The hotel itself offers many deluxe rooms and suites to its patrons who often like to partake in the many amenities offered on behalf of the hotel. One such amenity is the rooftop infinity pool that guests can swim in, making their experience all the more spectacular. Located literally next door to Neptune’s Park, beside the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, ten minutes away from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and less than four miles away from Ocean Breeze Waterpark, this hotel can stand proudly as the perfect epicenter of your vacation.

What to Experience

One of the best experiences you can have in Virginia Beach is to find yourself in nature. Thus, one of the best spots for admiring the foliage, wildlife, and majesty of one of America’s oldest wonders is by visiting First Landing State Park. This park is named for the very first colonial settlers that stepped on the shores of Virginia hundreds of years ago, and after walking its over 20 miles of walking trails (such as the Cape Henry Trail), it’ll be easy to see why they planned to stay in the area. Furthermore, First Landing State Park borders the Chesapeake Bay, so there are over 200 beachfront campsites and fully furnished cabins that are available to be booked, giving you a unique perspective on a scenic destination.

As visiting a State Park is typically an all-day event, set aside some leisure time on your other days to visit the astounding ViBe Creative District to inundate yourself with the cultural and artistic scene of Virginia Beach. There are many art shops, storefronts, and the like in this neighborhood to check out such as Prosperity Kitchen & Pantry, North End Bag Company, Igor’s Custom, and Commune. Each of these shops located in the ViBe Creative District will give you specific insight into the sustainable arts scene of Virginia Beach and (of course) will serve as a nice change of pace to those recovering from a day of hiking.

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