Visit Montpelier, the meticulously restored home of James Madison. Famed as our fourth president and known as The Father of the Constitution, he and Dolley Madison played a vital role in the creation and preservation of our young country. Take a guided tour of the mansion, once owned by the DuPont family. Stroll the grounds, gardens and gravesites. Then, take a short drive to the town of Gordonsville, a village with a distinctly European flair.
Enjoy lunch at La Pomme, serving unparalleled French cuisine or The Barbeque Exchange, where homemade food is served with genteel Virginia hospitality and style. After browsing the shops of Main Street enjoy a short stroll to the Civil War Museum at The Exchange Hotel. Learn how this restored railroad hotel became a receiving hospital during the Civil War where 70,000 Confederate and Union soldiers received care.
A visit to Orange County wouldn't be complete without exploring the local wineries. Start at Barboursville Vineyards and the Historic Landmark ruins of Governor Barbour's mansion. The ruins are hauntingly lovely and carefully preserved by vineyard's owners. At the tasting room, discover why Barboursville's wines are consistently ranked among the best. Picnic on the grounds or, for a special treat, dine at Palladio, offering authentic Northern Italian cuisine.
Then stop at Horton Vineyards where more than 40 wines await your palate. You will quickly see why many consider Horton to be one of the most innovative wineries in the country.
Lastly, visit one the newest vineyards in Virginia and see why Reynard Florence Vineyard is a hidden gem – the perfect place to explore a true family vineyard or just "get away" with an award-winning glass of wine.
Reflect on American history with a visit to Payne's Farm, the site of the Union Army's ill-fated effort November 27-December 2, 1863 that came to be known as the Mine Run Campaign. Next, visit Ellwood Manor, which once served as a Union Corps Commander's headquarters, a Confederate hospital and where the amputated arm of Stonewall Jackson is buried.
Luncheon options include delectable Italian fare at Bella J Cucina or a wonderfully prepared meal of American favorites at Clearwater Grill.
Conclude your spotlight on history at the Germanna Visitor Center. It is located near the site of the original Germanna Fort which Governor Alexander Spotswood built near the Rapidan River to house the first German immigrants that came to Virginia in 1714.