Farmville and Appomattox
For a charming weekend in Central Virginia, hit the road to Farmville and Appomattox, located about an hour and 1.5 hours from Richmond, respectively.
War & Pizza
ARRIVAL: Stop by the Appomattox Visitor’s Centeraround 9:00am to get some information on local sites. Then head across the street to Baine’s Books and Coffeeto peruse vintage vinyl records, used books and quaint souvenirs.
MORNING: Next up is the American Civil War Museum, where General Lee’s sword and uniform are on display. In addition to stories of major historical figures, the museum also shares the history of average soldiers, women and African Americans. Before leaving, drop by the gift shop to browse locally made pottery, Civil War reproduction items and great history books.
AFTERNOON: Drive back into town for lunch at the Babcock House, a charming B&B and restaurant that utilizes local, seasonal ingredients to craft fresh Southern fare. After lunch, get back on the road towards Farmville and head to Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Zipline Park. The course takes up to three hours to complete and will definitely work off any extra calories from your lunch.
A few miles up the road, the Robert Russa Moton Museumis an iconic site for Civil Rights history buffs. This preserved schoolhouse holds exhibits that tell the story of the Prince Edward County school district and how a few brave African American students stood up for their right to a quality education. Many of these students became plaintiffs in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka(1954).
EVENING: Finish your Friday with dinner at Effingham’sinside the Weyanoke Hotel lobby, which specializes in coal-fired pizzas made to order.
Bucolic Beauty & Killer Shopping
MORNING: To start off Day 2 of your Farmville adventures, rent a bike from The Outdoor Adventure Shoplocated at the downtown trailhead of High Bridge Trail State Parkto rent a bike. While the High Bridge Trail runs for about 31 miles, it is only a 4.5-mile ride to High Bridge, which towers 125 feet above the Appomattox River and affords stunning bucolic views.
AFTERNOON: Return to downtown Farmville and stop by Uptown Coffee Caféfor lunch. The small-town restaurant serves up huge sandwiches and salads that will tide you over until dinner. Next, do a little shopping at a few of the local antique shops along Main Street in Farmville’s Historic District. The largest and most impressive of these is Green Front Furniture Company. Housed within 16 shops and warehouses spanning almost 1 million square feet, the furniture company has something for every taste and budget. If you love modern furniture as much as I do, you’re in luck. There are several buildingsdevoted to this très chic style.
EVENING: Wrap up your shopping and walk to Third Street Brewing, Farmville’s first craft brewery. On most Saturday evenings, the brewery hosts local musical acts and food trucks. After your brews, have dinner at the Weyanoke Hotel’s upscale Italian restaurant, Campagna. Finish the evening with a nightcap at Catbird, the hotel’s rooftop bar.
MORNING: Grab breakfast at Sassafras Coffee Barinside the Weyanoke then stroll across the street to check out the Longwood Universitycampus. Although right in the downtown area of Farmville, the campus is quiet and charming, with plenty of lush green landscapes. A few miles outside of Farmville, Hampden-Sydney Collegeis an all-male private college with another beautiful campus worth seeing.
AFTERNOON: Before wrapping up your weekend, stop at The Fishin’ Pigright outside of Hampden-Sydney’s campus for lunch. Known for their smoked meats, the restaurant is a must for any fans of Virginia barbecue and a fantastic last meal in Farmville.
DEPARTURE: Once you’ve recovered from food coma(andswooning over some college hunks), it’s time to head back home. After this weekend, I have no doubt that you’ll return to explore this charming region in Central Virginia, again.
WHERE TO STAY…
Weyanoke Hotel:Book your stay at this recently opened hotel across from Longwood University in downtown Farmville. The rooms are upscale and spacious, and many even have their own private balconies with patio furniture. There’s also a coffee shop, rooftop bar and two on-site restaurants.
Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort: If you’re looking for an outdoor-focused overnight option, consider staying at this unique place where you can rent a luxury tipi for a rare glamping experience. Inside, you’ll find separate bedrooms, full bathrooms with showers, kitchens and even living room areas complete with TVs and couches. Now that’s what I call“roughingit!”