Monday, June 24, 2013
Day Trip to Lexington, VA
Mary and I continued our day trip last month, departing the Natural Chimneys park on the way to Lexington. We had intended to go on from there to Natural Bridge but planned a lunch stop in the little town first.
We were surprised to find a charming little town, a bit larger than our beloved Luray, with a little more activity downtown, probably owing to the location of two universities there – Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee Universities. It’s well known as the home of Stonewall Jackson, and he is buried there, as is Robert E. Lee. During my reading for this post I also learned that Sam Houston – famous for his exploits in Texas – was also from Lexington.
Mary and I rolled into town in search of lunch, and settled on The Southern Inn. We had salads and light fare – in particular I enjoyed the beer list (I had two, both local and good). We chatted a bit with our waiter, and he told us about Boxerwood Botanical Garden on the outskirts of town.
We decided to head there for a bit instead of continuing the trek to Natural Bridge, since there’s always another day for an activity like that one. We went for a walk in the gardens there – the website is http://www.boxerwood.org/ - it turns out this was the estate of a local doctor and it has been subsequently developed into a botanical garden and educational resource. There are quite a few distinct “habitats” here – almost like rooms in the garden, featuring wildlife, a variety of trees, and artworks.
One of the photos features a central variety of tree that’s featured here, the Japanese Maple – apparently they were a favorite of the doctor’s. We also found what’s known as “The Nest,” a sort of outdoors classroom that our waiter has worked on one summer as an intern at the gardens. It’s on a high point in the garden, and there are 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge and Shenandoah Valley countryside from there.
After an hour in the garden, the time on our day trip was running out.
We’d checked out the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction (and had some pie), Natural Chimneys, the town of Lexington, and Boxerwood Gardens. A full day, in other words, so it was time for the trek back home.