Hotel at a Glance: Maple Hall Inn
Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson frequented the Maple Hall Inn centuries ago. The classically southern Greek-Revival style mansion, built by a Confederate colonel, is a picture of the antebellum South, albeit with careful renovations that have brought in an outdoor pool and award-winning restaurant. Enjoy locally sourced farm-to-table cuisine from the Shenandoah Valley at Restaurant 1850, as well as some of the area’s best wines. The southern-inspired cuisine won Virginia Living Magazine’s 2013 award for Best Restaurant, among other accolades.
- Kickstart your day with an included full hot southern breakfast, which may feature house-made jelly and herbs harvested from the onsite garden.
- Stylish digs: Whether they’re in the manor, guest house, or pond house, the inn’s spacious rooms offer 40” TVs, Egyptian cotton bedding, and tasteful, period antiques. Many of the available rooms feature amenities such as gas fireplaces, private baths in all rooms, and direct access to outdoor areas.
- Treat yourself to tasty cookies and chocolates; they’re free and available in every building. You can also indulge in a free cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate at any time.
- Did you know?: The Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets marched through the property on their way to the Civil War Battle of New Market in 1864. The property’s current owner is a VMI alum.
- Take a carriage ride on a tour of historic Lexington; inquire at the hotel for details.
Lexington, Virginia: Historic University Town Tucked between Mountain Ranges
Lexington’s colonial architecture and deep American roots earned it a spot on the Smithsonian’s “20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2013.” The city, tucked between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, is also home to two historic universities: Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. The latter was founded in 1749 and endowed by George Washington.
Many famous figures are buried in the area: Robert E. Lee’s remains lie in a crypt beneath the Victorian Lee Chapel on the Washington and Lee University campus, while the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery holds the graves of the namesake Confederate general and 144 of his soldiers. You can get a look at America’s modern military history during cadet guided tours of the Virginia Military Institute, which depart nearly every day at noon from the campus museum.