Lexington Historic District © Cville dog
The sedate town of Lexington, 138 miles (222km) west of Richmond in the Shenandoah Valley, boasts one of the most picturesque downtown areas in America, its fine old buildings having been preserved and restored so it appears that the clock stopped here in the 1800s.
Tourists visit the town simply for its ambience, and perhaps to pay tribute to Civil War General Robert E Lee, who after the war served as president of the Washington and Lee University here and was eventually buried in Lexington along with his famous horse, Traveller.
Apart from the University, which has one of the oldest and most attractive campuses in the country, Lexington is also home to the Virginia Military Institute, one of whose graduates was General George C. Marshall, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; the Institute has a museum dedicated to his memory.
There are many fun outdoor activities and attractions to enjoy in Lexington as well. To enjoy the local scenery, visitors can drive along several scenic routes, including Appalachian Waters Scenic Byway, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Rockbridge Rides. Geocaching, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, and golf are all popular activities. Local orchards, wineries, breweries and coffee roasteries also offer tastings in the scenic greater Lexington region.