Things to Do in Gordonsville Virginia

Top 10 Things to Do in Gordonsville Virginia

Things to Do in Gordonsville Virginia: Gordonsville, Virginia, a quaint town nestled amidst the rolling hills of Orange County, offers a captivating blend of rich history, scenic beauty, and small-town charm. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply seeking a relaxing getaway, Gordonsville has something to surprise and delight you. This guide curates the top 10 experiences that will make your visit to Gordonsville unforgettable:

Top 10 Things to Do in Gordonsville Virginia

1. Immerse Yourself in History at the Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum

Step back in time at the Exchange Hotel, touted as Virginia’s “second most haunted site.” But don’t be deterred by ghost stories! This fascinating museum unveils the captivating history of the building, which served as a Civil War hospital, a railway tavern, and even a luxury hotel.

Explore the meticulously preserved exhibits showcasing medical practices, artifacts, and the stories of those who walked these halls during a pivotal period in American history.

2. Walk in the Footsteps of a Founding Father at Montpelier

Journey north of Gordonsville to Montpelier, the historic home of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Delve into the life and legacy of this influential figure through guided tours of the meticulously restored mansion and its surrounding grounds.

Explore exhibits on Madison’s political career, his personal life with Dolley Madison, and the complex role of slavery at the estate.

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3. Embark on a Civil War Driving Tour

Gordonsville played a significant role in the Civil War. Take a self-guided driving tour following the footsteps of soldiers through the surrounding countryside. Visit battlefields, historic landmarks like the Montpelier Home Guard headquarters, and poignant cemeteries, each whispering tales of the conflict.

4. Savor the Local Flavor at Gordonsville Farmers Market

Immerse yourself in the heart of the community with a visit to the Gordonsville Farmers Market. This vibrant marketplace, held every Saturday morning, overflows with fresh, locally-grown produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and handcrafted wares.

Chat with friendly vendors, sample seasonal delights, and take home a taste of Virginia’s bounty.

5. Uncork Adventure on a Virginia Wine Trail

Gordonsville is a gateway to Virginia’s renowned wine country. Embark on a scenic drive along designated wine trails, visiting charming wineries nestled amidst rolling vineyards. Sample award-winning wines, learn about the winemaking process, and savor the picturesque landscapes. Be sure to check individual winery websites for tasting room hours and reservations.

6. Unearth Hidden Gems at Local Shops

Explore the unique shops lining Gordonsville’s historic streets. Discover one-of-a-kind treasures at antique stores, browse for locally-made crafts and art pieces in charming boutiques, or find the perfect souvenir at specialty stores.

Friendly shopkeepers are often happy to share the stories behind their wares, adding a personal touch to your shopping experience.

7. Hike and Bike Through Picturesque Landscapes

Lace up your hiking boots or grab your bike and explore the natural beauty surrounding Gordonsville. Meander along scenic trails at Lake Anna State Park, offering stunning lake views and diverse wildlife.

For a more challenging adventure, hike the trails at Shenandoah National Park, just a short drive away, and be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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8. Catch a Performance at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival

Held annually in the fall, this vibrant festival celebrates the life and works of F. Scott Fitzgerald, a literary giant who spent his childhood summers in Gordonsville. The festival offers a plethora of events, including author readings, panel discussions, book signings, and theatrical performances.

9. Unwind with Live Music and Local Brews at a Craft Brewery

Gordonsville’s burgeoning craft beer scene offers a delightful way to unwind after a day of exploration. Sample locally-brewed beers at a friendly taproom, often featuring live music by talented local musicians.

Savor the unique flavors and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, perfect for an evening spent with friends or a loved one.

10. Take a Day Trip to Charlottesville or Richmond

Gordonsville’s convenient location makes it an ideal base for exploring nearby cities. Venture to Charlottesville, a haven for history buffs and home to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Alternatively, explore the vibrant capital city of Richmond, brimming with museums, art galleries, and a thriving culinary scene. Both cities offer a wealth of experiences within easy reach of Gordonsville.


Q: Is the Exchange Hotel truly haunted?

A: The Exchange Hotel’s Civil War history and past use as a hospital fuel ghost stories. While the hauntings remain unproven, unexplained phenomena have been reported. Take a tour and decide for yourself – maybe you’ll experience something spooky!

Q: Are there any quirky events in Gordonsville?

A: Besides the F. Scott Fitzgerald Festival, keep an eye out for the annual Watermelon Festival in August, celebrating the town’s agricultural heritage with watermelon-themed contests, live music, and delicious treats.

Q: What hidden gems can I find in Gordonsville?

A: Explore the James Madison Museum & Library for a deeper dive into the life of the “Father of the Constitution.” Art enthusiasts can visit the Beverley R. Butcher Jr. Art Gallery at Piedmont Virginia Community College for a showcase of local and regional talent.

Q: What are some off-the-beaten-path outdoor adventures?

A: Kayak or canoe down the peaceful Rappahannock River for a serene exploration of the surrounding nature. For a unique challenge, try geocaching, a treasure hunt utilizing GPS technology that leads you to hidden caches around town.

Q: Does Gordonsville cater to families with children?

A: Absolutely! Kids will love the interactive exhibits at the Science Center of Virginia in nearby Staunton. Gordonsville’s parks, like Willis Mountain Park, offer playgrounds, picnic areas, and plenty of space for running around.

Q: I’m interested in the paranormal. Are there any ghost tours besides the Exchange Hotel?

A: Gordonsville offers historical ghost tours that delve into the town’s spooky past, exploring supposedly haunted locations and local legends.

Q: I want to experience the local nightlife. What are some options besides breweries?

A: Live music can be found at some of Gordonsville’s restaurants, offering a lively atmosphere for an evening out. Check local listings for upcoming events.

Q: Is Gordonsville a budget-friendly destination?

A: Gordonsville offers a charming escape without breaking the bank. Many attractions, like the Farmers Market and exploring historic sites, are affordable.

Q: What’s the best time to visit Gordonsville?

A: Spring and fall offer pleasant weather, ideal for exploring outdoors. Summer brings lively festivals and outdoor activities. Winter offers a peaceful charm with fewer crowds. Consider the F. Scott Fitzgerald Festival in the fall for a unique literary experience.

Q: What if I don’t have a car?

A: While a car is ideal for exploring the surrounding areas, Gordonsville itself is walkable. Bike rentals are available, and some local businesses might provide shuttle services.

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