Locals often describe this 19th-century hamlet between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains as “right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.” Lexington is the kind of place where people are invested in making sure history is paid real respect.
Lexington’s primary economic activity stems from higher education and tourism. Located at the intersection of historic U.S. Route 11 and U.S. R 60 and more modern highways, Interstate 64 and Interstate 81, Lexington is host to the prestigious private school of Washington and Lee University and also the Virginia Military Institute. With its various connections to the Civil War, Lexington attracts visitors from around the country.
Places of interest in Lexington include the Stonewall Jackson House, Lee Chapel, George C. Marshall Museum, Virginia Military Institute Museum, Museum of Military Memorabilia and the downtown historic district. There are also two non-profit theaters in Lexington that attract visitors to the area: Theater at Lime Kiln and Hull’s Drive In.
Lexington also contains a host of small retail businesses catering to a unique mixture of local, tourist, and collegiate clientele.
Lexington has been the site for several movies. Parts of at least six motion pictures were filmed here. The first was the 1938 movie, Brother Rat, which starred Ronald Reagan. After the movie’s release he was made an honorary VMI cadet. The second was the 1958 Mardi Gras, which starred Pat Boone as a VMI cadet and actress Christine Carere. The third was Sommersby, starring Richard Gere, Bill Pullman, James Earl Jones, and Jodie Foster. Filming for parts of several Civil War films also took place in Lexington, including the documentary “Lee Beyond the Battles” and Gods and Generals. Most recently, in the fall of 2004, director Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise filmed scenes for War of the Worlds here, with Dakota Fanning and Tim Robbins..
Nearby are Douthat State Park, Lake Moomaw, and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, which offer camping, hiking, canoeing, boating and fishing.
Art in Lexington: A Gallery Tour!
The Gallery Tour consists of four fine galleries within easy walking distance of each other,featuring fine art, American crafts, hand-made jewelry, contemporary photography and traditional Chinese paintings.
See more information at www.lexingtonvirginia.com/