Located right in the heart of the state, Central Virginia is an easy drive from beaches, mountains and Washington, D.C. From vibrant small towns to the bustling state capital, this region teems with creative energy, passionate makers, local love and rich history. And as the landscape transitions from urban riverfronts to rolling hills to mountain-top vistas, you’ll also find a wide array of outdoor experiences and a diverse abundance of locally sourced cuisine.
WHAT TO DO
- The newly renovated historic Ashland Theatre is open and will offer movies, live shows and concerts.
- The Virginia Museum of History and Culture is promoting the following exhibitions:
- Determined – The 400 Year Struggle for Black Equality – Through March 29, 2020.
- Agents of Change – Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today – March 7, 2020 – September 27. 2020.
- A Landscape Saved – The Garden Club of Virginia at 10 -May 2020.
- Stay Tuned: Rock on TV (From the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame)- May 23, 2020 – January 3, 2021.
- BLK RVA launched in August 2019, supported by Visit Richmond and The Black Experience Initiative, an advisory board of community members focused on developing unique ways to attract tourism while highlighting Richmond’s Black culture. The new tourism campaign highlights and celebrates the Black cultural experience in the Richmond region.
- The American Civil War Museum debuted its new expanded space on May 4, 2019 in the renovated historic Tredegar Iron Works site. The 28,500 sq. ft. space includes increased gallery space and a new permanent exhibit, ‘A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America.’ The ACWM is the preeminent center for the exploration of the Civil War and its legacies from multiple perspectives: Union and Confederate, enslaved and free African Americans, soldiers and civilians.
- Kehinde Wiley’s new sculpture, ‘Rumors of War,’ has been permanently installed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in December 2019.
- Fredericksburg will welcome a new semi-pro baseball stadium in Spring 2020.
- James Madison’s Montpelier has added their own LOVEwork to the Historic Montpelier property. The “We the People” LOVE Works is installed and sharing their love since September 2019.
- Canopy Adventure Park is a new ropes course located in Powhatan County that opened end of October 2019. It has four courses ranging from easy to difficult, 10 ziplines and are already looking at expansion opportunities to include a lower-level course for younger groups.
- The Looking Glass opens January 18, 2020 at the IX Art Park in downtown Charlottesville, and it will be the first fully immersive art space in Virginia. Inspired by the growing trend of immersive, interactive and hands-on art, the Looking Glass is a 3000 square foot enchanted forest designed and built by 14 Virginia artists. Visitors will be able to relax in a jungle hammock, travel through a 50 foot caterpillar, engage with augmented reality vignettes, play music on golden goddesses, get to know a friendly family of gnomes and more.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
- Lynchburg has a new brewery coming to town. 3rd Street Brewery, a second location for the Three Roads Brewing Company in Farmville, will open this coming year in the old Ford Motor Co. building in Downtown.
- Richmond has welcomed a bevy of new restaurants and beverage offerings, such as
- The town of Orange will be welcoming a new brewery, Iron Pipe Aleworks, located in the Historic Silk Mill Building. A father and son duo brewing from locally sourced ingredients creating small batches that will rotate through the seasons, in addition a brick oven pizza stove to offer rich unique pizza options to complement their beer selections.
- A new Agri-brewery, Unionville Brewing Company is located on a 25-acre farm in Orange County and will be crafting and brewing high-quality traditional German and Belgium beers. UBC will also be serving spiked seasonal teas, lemonades and specialty beer cocktails using only the freshest ingredients
- Well Hung Vineyard has opened a new tasting room and restaurant in Gordonsville in the Historic Main Street District. Offering full tasting room of their selections and a fresh casual menu to complement their selections, the outdoor seating has creating an inviting destination located in the heart of downtown Gordonsville.
- Opening in late 2020, Good Ship Brewing Company will be the City of Hopewell’s first brewery. It will have a five-barrel system with about 20 beers on tapas well as a 6,000 square foot outdoor beer garden.
WHERE TO STAY
- The Kirkley Hotel in Lynchburg has begun a multi year renovation of its 163 room property, upgrading its rooms, facade and restaurant.
- The Quirk Hotel will open its second location in Charlottesville in early 2020.
- The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2020 and will be offering a variety of lodging packages throughout the year to highlight the hotel’s heritage.
- John and Olivia’s Bed and Breakfast located within the renovated Walton-Hamner House in Schuyler, opened in November 2019.
- Devils Backbone Camp in Nelson County is renovating a 75-site campground featuring full hook up sites and primitive camping. The camp site will be within walking distance to Devils Backbone Basecamp, Brewery and Distillery.
- Beech Grove Cabins, also in Nelson County, opened in fall 2019. The scenic property has 4 two-bedroom log cabins and is convenient to craft beverage trails,hiking and outdoor recreation.
- Grace’s Place, is opening its fourth tiny home in Roseland, which will be completed by June 2020. A 1961 Airstream will also be refurbished as a food truck.
- True by Hilton will open in Thornburg in the spring of 2020 at Exit 118 in front of Dominion Raceway.
- Wingate Inn in Stafford is undergoing a major renovation of the entire hotel including expanding and upgrading their meeting space. The meeting space will re-open in late summer 2020.
- Culpeper is welcoming several new hotel and lodging options, including Hall Manor at Lake Pelham, The Loft on Davis, Hampton Inn & Suites Culpeper, and The Carver Center.