The majority of Rural Roots members reside in Orange County, Virginia. This Central Virginia County is rich with history, beautiful landscape & interesting activities that there is something for everyone! Nestled within the County are the adorable towns of Gordonsville, Orange & Barboursville. If you are coming in town for vacation, or visiting Woodberry Forest School, University of Virginia, or nearby Charlottesville, be sure to make some time to check out our Rural Roots members located in the area.
The Town of Orange, in Orange County, Virginia, is where history meets hospitality. It’s a true old-fashioned small town experience, with a few special twists.
Visitors to the town will find a visitor center housed in the Historic Orange Train station on Main Street. That iconic building is surrounded by a quaint, 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.
Be sure you don’t miss the James Madison Museum, the first to commemorate our fourth president, called the Father of the Constitution. After all, this was his home town.
And the Town of Orange includes some of the B&B’s and historic inns recognized for hospitality and historic significance that have put Orange County on the map nationally. Modern amenities mix with home-spun style at places like the renovated 1860 Chestnut Hill and the stately federal-style Holladay House.
Year-round you will find unique experiences in Orange, from the Harley Davidson Museum at Waugh Enterprises, to the farmer’s market at Taylor Memorial Park, to the festivals and fairs that appeal to a wide range of visitors. Take a garden tour in the Spring. For a taste of what Orange is all about, why not come in the Summer for the “Trashy Ribs and Blues Festival” and get your mouth rocking with flavor and song. For the country creative in you, there’s the Orange Street Festival in the Fall, with family fun and crafts for everyone. And for small-town traditions, be there for the annual Holiday Parade and Christmas Tree Lighting in early December.
Whenever you visit, you are sure to be welcomed like a local, fed like a farmer, and sleep like baby in comfort and style.
Just a short drive from the hustle and bustle of both Richmond and our nation’s capital, The Town of Orange offers unique experiences year-round, blending old-fashioned style with new-fashioned sensibilities.
When you visit Gordonsville, Virginia, you can spend time walking in the steps of extraordinary history, and then take a stroll down Main Street through a quaint small town to enjoy timeless charm and great food traditions of the past, present and future.
Here history is all around. But it is centered at the stately Exchange Hotel, home of a remarkable legacy and the Civil War Museum that commemorates it. It was 150 years ago, during that time of great conflict, when the elegant Exchange Hotel became a receiving hospital for more than 70,000 troops. Today the hotel has been restored to its grandeur and stands as the only remaining receiving hospital from the war left in Virginia. Special events honor the history throughout the year, and in late October stories are told of the spirits said to remain behind from that time long gone by.
Walking through downtown today you will find quaint shops and galleries that combine modern styles with antiques and country sensibilities. And don’t miss the more contemporary gems like The Pomme restaurant, where acclaimed French Chef Gerard Gasparini has brought a taste of Paris to the heart of Virginia.
For those looking for a taste of more traditional country cooking, there’s the annual Gordonsville Famous Fried Chicken Festival. You see, the town has long been recognized as “the center of the chicken-leg universe” because of how the history of the southern staple traces its roots to the women who served the treat to 19th century train passengers. Picture a train drive-through and you’ll get an image of how it all got started. Now imagine amazing flavor and family fun and you will be ready for the annual celebration that the town has cooked up for almost two decades to honor its place in food lore.
Located only 18 miles north of Charlottesville, Gordonsville is a short drive from Richmond, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC. But that brief journey promises to take you on a wide-ranging adventure through time filled with historic significance and culinary surprises, then topped with country graces. Gordonsville is truly one of Virginia’s and our nation’s great small towns.