Culpeper VA is a quaint town with rich history. Plus, the town has lots to offer daytrippers and weekenders alike. Less than an hour away from Shenandoah National Park and with several Civil War battlefields nearby, there’s lots to do and see during your stay!
Culpeper is a great home base for folks wishing to explore the beautiful Virginia countryside. In the evenings, return to Culpeper for comfortable accommodations and excellent restaurants. Less than an hour away, it’s easy to find a great hike in Shenandoah National Park. And of course, the area is just brimming with Civil War history.
During the Civil War, U.S. and Confederate armies repeatedly marched through Culpeper. As they battled through central Virginia, both Union and Confederate forces occupied the town at times.
As you explore this wonderful Virginia town, you’ll definitely sense the community’s old-timey charm!
Shop Local in Culpeper
Explore the town, and you’ll uncover a more eclectic side to Culpeper. It’s so very walkable, and offers a variety of boutique and antique stores so you can start your holiday shopping (no matter what time of year you visit!).
Culpeper’s many boutique and antique stores offer a treasure trove of unique finds and the perfect holiday gifts — the kinds of souvenirs your family look forward to you bringing home from your weekend away! So get a head start on your holiday shopping, no matter what month it is!
Get raw honey and other sweet tasting treats from Bees & Trees Farm Store, as well as some of the cutest Christmas ornaments featuring bees that I’ve ever seen! (I also picked up a super cute cross-stitched dog ornament for my holiday “dog tree”!) We were so tempted by the BBQ sauces, jams and fruit butters that I had to pick up a few for our upcoming holiday meals.
If you happen to visit during the weekend — or anytime really — don’t forget to stop by one of the town’s several farm stores, where you can find local produce and meat, as well as more artistic treasures. The Oak Shade Farm Store offers everything from hand-crafted Adirondack chairs to beautifully crafted woven and carved treasures. At Christmas you’ll find beautiful Christmas trees, a warm fire and some gorgeous views!
Enjoy Culpeper Like a Local
Start your day with locally roasted coffee and avocado toast (or a delicious breakfast sandwich) at Raven’s Nest Coffee House before heading down Davis Street to browse the boutiques. Don’t forget to stop by Knakal’s Bakery for one of their famous donuts! If you’re seeking a more filling breakfast, then stop by the Frost Diner, on the corner of Davis and Main, to enjoy a country breakfast!
After breakfast, enjoy walking up and down East Davis Street to explore the wonderful finds waiting to be discovered in the boutique stores. We found cute Christmas ornaments at the Cameleer, adorable socks at Green Roost, special dog treats and a fancy embellished dog collar at Reigning Cats and Dogs and some cute and humorous stocking stuffers at Le Monkey House.
The history of the town is there for all to see. Just look up! Original tin ceilings still adorn many of the stores. Outside, the buildings’ names still proclaim their original purpose. Clark & Co Grocers. Famers & Merchants Bank. Post Office.
Booze, History and Adventure
Culpeper offers a variety of ways to entertain yourself in the afternoon. It’s dealer’s choice: booze, history or adventure (or perhaps, a little of each!).
Booze: Take a little drive out to Belmont Farm Distillery to sample some 25-year-old copper pot Virginia whiskey. You may even run into Tim Smith, the star of Moonshiners! This was some of the best moonshine I’ve ever sampled. Of course, I left with gifts for my adult children and friends! For more about this day trip destination, check out this article!
History: Cedar Mountain Battlefield is a nearby Civil War battlefields, just brimming with history, offering a hike through the battlefield. Also nearby is Brandy Station Battlefield and Culpeper Battlefield.
Adventure: Or you can go ziplining or challenge yourself on the ropes course at Verdun Adventure Bound. This beautiful park-like property has an important mission of substance abuse and addiction recovery and prevention. Every December, you can also enjoy the light show hayride through a magical holiday wonderland there as well!
For dinner, you’ve got some choices to make. If it’s Thursday through Sunday, enjoy music while sampling craft brews. Not far outside of town is a hillside brewery: Death Ridge Brewery. Local food trucks, such as Graze to Griddle, are usually parked outside. So grab some good eats at this surprisingly family friendly brewery! (There’s even a bouncy castle for the kids!)
Or, you can get served some amazing Thai food by a robot at Pinto Thai. Pinto Thai offers a variety of traditional and fusion Thai dishes. Or if you’re craving a European-inspired menu, check out the elegant It’s About Thyme, with its walls painted with beautiful murals.
Know Before You Go
Get all the info you need to know before you go at the Culpeper Visitor Center; parking lots are nearby there as well, at 111 Commerce St, Culpeper, VA.
Keep an eye on these spaces as we’ll be going into more detail about specific things to do and see in and around Culpeper in the coming months!