Central Virginia’s Hidden Gems: Day Trips from Our Historic B&B

A stay at the Babcock House bed and breakfast gives our guests an idyllic, relaxing place for a retreat and a fantastic spot to embark on a journey exploring all Central Virginia has to offer.

Nestled in the quaint town of Appomattox, Virginia, visitors to the Babcock House are steps away from relics of history, stunning natural vistas, and culinary delights.

In this article, we’ve assembled some of the hidden gems you’ll find on your next visit to Central Virginia!

Virginia Wine Country

Central Virginia is famous for its verdant landscapes, rolling hills, and lush vineyards, making it the ideal touring region for a day-tripping wine enthusiast. The Monticello American Viticultural Area (AVA) has some of the region’s finest wineries.

On your way to Monticello AVA, treat the cider-lover in your group with a stop at one of Central Virginia’s plentiful apple orchard cideries. Located between Lynchburg and Charlottesville, the Bold Rock Cidery in Nellysford is a true hidden gem.

Even if you’re not touring the vineyards, keep an eye out for the fruits of local producers when in town. With Charlottesville home to a burgeoning wine scene, you’ll likely find a bottle or two of Central Virginia-made wine on the menu at the local wine bars.

Capping off your wine tour, stop by the Barboursville Vineyards in Gordonsville and try their Octagon red blend while enjoying the breathtaking scenery.

A Glimpse of History

For history buffs, Central Virginia is a treasure trove of historic sites from America’s past.

Nearby the Babcock House in Appomattox, visit the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, which preserves the location of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant, effectively bringing the Civil War to an end. Check out the courthouse and wander through the historic town.

Roughly a one-hour drive from Appomattox, visitors can find Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson. Explore the beautiful mansion and its elaborate gardens before continuing on for lunch at the conveniently located Michie Tavern, a historic tavern within walking distance that dates back to 1784.

Immerse yourself in the life and rich history of another Founding Father. Visit James Madison’s presidential home of Montpelier and experience the beauty of its formal gardens and rural landscape.

Food and Drink

No trip to Central Virginia is complete without experiencing some southern BBQ. The thriving food scene in Lynchburg has plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from, including mouth-watering BBQ and fresh, regional produce from the farmers’ markets.

Heading further west, check out the growing craft beer and wine scene in Roanoke. Take a brewery tour, enjoy a wine tasting, and top it off with some fine dining at Billy’s, a fantastic spot for American fusion cuisine.

Locally sourced and fresh ingredients are a priority for many restaurants in Central Virginia. Try some farm-to-table goodness at places like The Local in Charlottesville or Magnolia Foods in Lynchburg, the latter of which also offers high-quality groceries and a boutique wine bar.

Back at the Babcock House, guests can also enjoy fantastic gourmet meals with locally sourced ingredients from our kitchen. Plus, let us prepare you a selection of wine or local beer and a cheese board to take with you on your day trip!

Natural Beauty

For those seeking a dose of the great outdoors, Central Virginia offers unparalleled natural beauty and outdoor activities.

Just minutes from Appomattox, Holliday Lake State Park is a great stop for hiking, camping and swimming. Also close by visit James River State Park for hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating, and camping. Or take a short jaunt to High Bridge Trail State Park, a 31-mile trail featuring beautiful vistas at the eponymous “High Bridge”.

A visit to Shenandoah National Park is a must for any first-time visitor, as is a drive on the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway for one of the most scenic routes in all of America.

Those looking for another hike can stop off the Parkway and trek the Humpback Rocks Trail—a short, steep, but rewarding trail with vistas of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Arts and Culture

It’s not all about nature and history in Central Virginia; it’s a thriving hub of arts and culture, too!

Close to the Babcock House, check out a theater performance at one of Wolfbane Productions’ two venues in Appomattox. If weather permits, we recommend catching an outdoor show!

In Charlottesville, explore the art scene with a show at the Paramount Theater and a tour of the Fralin Museum of Art, showcasing various artists and genres.

Music lovers can find their rhythm at events like the Richmond Folk Festival and the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, featuring a diverse range of featured artists and popular acts from all over the globe.


After a day of exploration, head back to the Babcock House bed and breakfast to unwind and relax. Whether you seek history, culture, or stunning local cuisine, we invite you to make our B&B the home base for your journey.

Experience the warmth and beauty of Central Virginia, and book a stay with us today. After all, Central Virginia is more than just a destination—it’s an unforgettable experience waiting to be discovered.

We’re excited to welcome you to our bed and breakfast home and help you discover the hidden gems that will make for cherished travel memories.

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