Gordonsville is a small charming Southern town in Orange County in Virginia, about 19 miles from Charlottesville and 65 miles from Richmond. Gordonsville played an important role during the Civil War, since it was located on the Virginia Central Railroad. Historic Exchange Hotel, which was built in 1860 to serve the passengers on the railroad, is now a Civil War Medical Museum. The hotel is also claimed to be haunted and is often visited by ghost hunters. Horton Vineyards is a winery and vineyard known for experimenting with new varietals and techniques. Gordonsville’s Historic District is great place for exploring on foot, with quaint shops, art galleries and antique stores.

1.The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum

The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum
© The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum

The Exchange Hotel was built in 1860 in Gordonsville, Virginia next to an important railroad junction, to offer a welcome stop and resting place for the passengers on the Virginia Central Railroad and Alexandria Railroad. When the civil war began, the railroads became a supply route for transporting troops, supplies, and the wounded to Gordonsville and the beautiful hotel, with high ceilings, luxury parlors and a grand veranda changed into the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital and provided care for over 70,000, both Confederate and captured Union soldiers. Between 1865 and 1877 the hospital provided care and education to the newly freed slaves as a Freedman’s Bureau. Since 1971, the old hotel has been restored and converted into a museum and an African-America Memorial Site. The museum, located in the Gordonsville Historic District, contains diverse artifacts from the Civil War era, such as medical artifacts, uniforms and firearms.

400 S Main St, Gordonsville, VA 22942, Phone: 540-832-2944

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2.Horton Vineyards

Horton Vineyards
© Horton Vineyards

Horton Vineyards is a winery and vineyard located in Orange County, Virginia established in 1989 on 55 acres. Horton Vineyards is known for experimenting with new varietals and techniques to create the very best wines that Virginia viticulture can produce, such as utilizing the "open lyre" training system to promote ideal ripening, and drip irrigation for ensuring ideal soil moisture. The first small crop was harvested in 1991 and made into wine at Montdomaine Cellars, leased by Horton Vineyards for five years. It produced Chardonnay and Cabernet under that label, and its own line of Rhone Varieties. In 1992 the construction started on a new winery, with stone underground cellars, views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and wonderful vaulted ceiling tasting room. Tasting Horton wines is a special experience because there are over 40 wines to taste.

6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville, VA 22942, Phone: 540-832-7440

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3.Raindrops in Virginia

Raindrops in Virginia
© Raindrops in Virginia

Raindrops in Virginia is a quaint, charming shop located in a lovely Victorian in Gordonsville, Virginia. The shop offers customers the finest handmade and vintage products for their home and garden. Many of the unique pieces are made by the owners and artists Adam and Kathryn. The store also offers handmade bath and body care products, custom home decor, unique furniture pieces, accessories, original jewelry, exquisite garden furniture as well as yard and garden implements. They also offer full service jewelry, watch and clock repair and antique restoration. Raindrops is a great place to pick up an original birthday gift or a gift for a special person in your life, but even if you are not looking for anything particular, the shop is so full of quirky and fascinating objects, it is easy to spend hours browsing.

206 N Main St, Gordonsville, VA 22942, Phone: 434-218-3360

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4.The Barbeque Exchange

The Barbeque Exchange
© The Barbeque Exchange

The Barbeque Exchange is a rustic, homey eatery in downtown Gordonsville, Virginia, famous for its hickory-smoked and slow-roasted spareribs and pork shoulders. The meats are first dry-cured and rubbed with secret ingredients and then cooked in their special wood-burning cooker. The chicken is grilled over live coals, the roadside BBQ-style. It is so delicious that the Rotary, Kiwanis, and Fire departments happily serve it on Saturdays all over the Eastern seaboard. The meats come with freshly baked rolls, cornbread, pumpkin muffins, homemade pickles, salads, and slaws. There are six fantastic sauces and great southern sides such as Donna’s Baked Beans, Hushpuppies, Macaroni and Cheese and Collard Greens.

102 Martinsburg Ave, Gordonsville, VA 22942, Phone: 540-832-0227

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5.Restaurant Rochambeau

Restaurant Rochambeau
© Restaurant Rochambeau

Restaurant Rochambeau is an elegant, upscale French restaurant in downtown Gordonsville, Virginia. The restaurant features a lovely formal dining room with a working fireplace, sparkling light fixtures, white tablecloths, outdoor terrace, a separate bar, and space for private events. Renowned Chef Bernard Rochambeau focuses on authentic traditional French cuisine. He partners with local and regional farmers and fishermen in order to prepare his seasonally-driven menu using the finest natural and organic ingredients. Many of the herbs and produce come from the restaurant’s own herb and vegetable garden in the courtyard. Rochambeau Sunday brunch is a local event. Separate RochamBar has its own, lighter, menu.

115 S Main St, Gordonsville, VA 22942, Phone: 540-832-0130

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5 Best Things to Do in Gordonsville, VA