It's summertime, and in the wise words of Vince Vaughn, "It's Wedding Season!". As fate would have it, I got to take some time off from driving and actually attended a wedding this summer. Two to be precise. One close to home in Colorado, and one not so close to home in Virginia. When I booked travel I didn't think about the specifics, I just knew we were going to "the Richmond area". That was partially true, but the end destination was a small town called Lexington, VA. Never heard of it. Never planned on going. But after 13 hours of travel I was there.
As a city guy my first reaction was "oh great I'm in the middle of nowhere". Which was a pretty accurate assumption. In the two hour drive west from Richmond we only encountered one relatively populated area (Charlottesville, a really nice college town). We ventured into town and, despite the blistering heat and humidity, we uncovered a charming Southern relic. Lexington is home to two colleges (Washington & Lee, and Virginia Military Institute) and seems to be suspended in the Antebellum days. I mean, the biggest attraction in town is Stonewall Jackson's gravesite. You get the picture.
Lexington proved to be quite fascinating for a day trip. Washington & Lee has an old-world Southern feel, almost like a Civil War battlefield turned into a college. Downtown Lexington has a couple of boutique shops set up in repurposed stone buildings. It gives the feel of life in a different era, and is a really great break if you're looking for life to slow down for just one day.
If, for whatever reason, you find yourself in Central Virginia give Lexington a try. It's only a blip on the radar, but some people do call this town home. Seeing life from their perspective is powerful and broadens our understanding of the United States. Sound idealistic? It is. But venturing off the normal path can make all the difference in your travels.