WanderLove is about reconnecting with what you love. Experience secluded hikes, world class trout fishing, and all of the winding roads in between when you road trip through Madison County, Va.
Follow Route 231, a Scenic Byway, through Madison County for the top attractions the area has to offer. You’ll find charming eateries, eclectic shops, and miles of rolling hills along the way. Discover the best spots to play, eat, and stay in this guide to Madison County.
Go Outside and Play
Shenandoah National Park is the crown jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Explore the park by car along Skyline Drive, featuring overlooks and trailheads along the way. Hike the iconic White Oak Canyon and Old Rag for towering cascades and stunning fall colors. Wade into the cool mountain waters of the area, including Rose River, Rapidan River, and backcountry streams filled with native and stocked trout.
Stop by Graves Mountain Farm and Lodges on the weekends in October for their Apple Harvest, a ticketed event this year to maintain safety guidelines. There’s something for the whole family, from local vendors and apple pie to a petting zoo and hay rides. You can also pick your own apples, choosing from 27 varieties.
Make sure the Madison Arts Exchange is on your must see list while in town. Over 200 artisans are represented, from jewelry and apparel to fine art and specialty foods. Mad Tack has everything the horse enthusiast needs, including riding equipment and consignment apparel. Outfit your life, home, and garden with personal touches from Southern Grace.
Piedmont Deli offers a wide variety of subs and sandwiches, perfect for lunch on the trail. Pick up snacks and souvenirs at Yoder’s Country Market or stroll out to the petting zoo. Taste the authentic flavors of Germany and bask in the warm hospitality with a dinner at The Bavarian Chef.There’s no place for comfort food at breakfast, lunch, and dinner than Miranda’s. Head to Jenny Lynd’s Pizza or veteran-owned Mad Local for people passionate about where they live and the food they make. Pig N’ Steak is known far and wide for their barbecue cooked the old fashioned way—slowly over a pit.
Relax on the porch at Revelation Vineyards for a panoramic view of the Hebron Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains. Prince Michel Vineyard & Winery, conveniently located off of Route 29, now also features limited edition brews from Tap 29 Brewery. Sample a variety of wines at Early Mountain Vineyards paired with seasonal produce and artisanal cheeses.
Stop by Shotwell Run Brewing Company and Blue Quartz Winery for craft beer, wine, and cider. You can even book a guided horseback riding excursion through the vineyard with Fieldstone Trails and enjoy a wine tasting afterwards. Located in an estate on the National Register of Historic Places, Bald Top Brewing Co. combines the natural beauty of the area and a love for homebrewing.
Made with cobalt blue wine bottles and a detailed welded frame, the LOVEwork sign is the first thing you’ll see at DuCard Vineyards. Enjoy a glass of wine from the solar powered tasting room with great views of Shenandoah National Park.
Relax and Unwind
Head back to your rented room for a good night’s sleep before another day of adventure. Madison County features over 100 unique Airbnb options and bed and breakfast establishments so you can find the one that fits your getaway. The Home Place at Clore is a quiet retreat with easy access to adventure around the area featuring multiple bedrooms and views of the Hebron Valley. Or stay at the Spirit Dancer Lodge on the side of Old Rag Mountain, just minutes from Skyline Drive.
Experience WanderLove for yourself when you visit Madison County, Va.
Please check local guidelines and regulations before making plans to get outside. Remember to practice social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and respect others’ health when outside.
Cover photo: Sunflowers at Rose River Farm, photo by Ed Felker