Let me recommend the best medicine in the world:
a long journey, at a mild Season, thro’ a pleasant Country, in easy stages.
~James Madison, 1794a

Each spring visitors are welcomed to over 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historic landmarks during “America’s Largest Open House.” This 8-day statewide event provides visitors a unique opportunity to see unforgettable gardens at the peak of Virginia’s springtime color, as well as beautiful houses sparkling with over 2,300 flower arrangements created by Garden Club of Virginia members.

Gardening is a social distancing-friendly activity that has proven mental and physical health benefits. Orange County, VA  is full of rolling hill landscapes and distinctive gardens that would be perfect for those interested in unique ways to appreciate all that nature has to offer.

Featured in Virginia’s historic garden week tour in 2020, the Annie duPont Garden at James Madison’s Montpelier is a 2-acre terraced garden boasting a mass of peonies, bearded and Japanese irises, and oriental poppies.

The Grelen Nursery is one of the largest retail tree nurseries in Virginia. Spanning 200-acres, this nursery houses distinctive trees, shrubs and plants and inspired the establishment of the Market at Grelen.

 Taylor Park in the Town of Orange , the Dolley Madison  Garden Club’s Community Project oversees seasonal and general plantings in Taylor Park. The park is archived as a public garden by the Smithsonian Institute and has meandering pathways of plantings, old growth trees and a water feature in the central portion of the park with benches to stop and soak in the surroundings.

Family-owned Darnell’s Garden Patch is a staple for local gardener’s offering quality plants, produce, and specialty foods. Additionally, Darnell’s has its own retail store and several greenhouses for visitors to explore. gardens and nurseries provide delightful outdoor experiences for all to enjoy! 

Barboursville Vineyards Allegrante Meadow, the romantically lush carpet of native wildflowers functioning as a pollinator garden can be enjoyed up-close in the summer months by a tended footpath for any visitor to admire and learn from Nature’s vision of this estate.

Annie duPont Garden, James Madison Montpelier
Taylor Park, Orange
Allegrante Meadow, Barboursville
Photo Credit: Kay Taylor
Photo Credit: Barboursville Vineyards
Photo Credit: Mayhurst Estate, Casey Cashell

Make a day or weekend out of your visit to Orange County:

Shop: Enjoy the charms of small-town America and get a reminder of the joys of brick-and-mortar shopping. Orange County’s artisan shops, boutiques and galleries offer locally crafted, one-of-a-kind items and warm, friendly service to help you find unique treasures.

  • Historic Downtown Gordonsville shops
  • Downtown Orange shops
  • Market at Grelen and James Madison’s Montpelier Museum shops

Taste: Orange County, Virginia gives you many ways to taste our local flavors. Our Wineries and local eats reflect our history and flavors of the community.

Check out these local favorites:

Wineries & Breweries:

  • Barboursville Vineyard, Horton Vineyard, Reynard Florence Vineyard-Barboursville
  • Honah Lee Vineyard & Well-Hung Vineyard Tasting Room-Gordonsville
  • Hammerstone Cellars and Chateau Merrillanne- Orange
  • Iron Pipe Alewerks-Downtown Orange

Local Eats:

  • Market at Grelen, Exchange Café-Somerset
  • BBQ Exchange & Well Hung Tasting Room, Downtown Gordonsville
  • Vintage Restaurant, Light Well,  LaNaranja, Silk Mill Grill, & Provisions Market Table-Downtown Orange
  • Palladio-Barboursville

Stay: Rest your head and relax among our variety of accommodations. Hospitality comes naturally here in Orange County, Virginia.

  • The Inns of Montpelier – These 10 distinctive, unique properties are all only a short drive to Orange, Culpeper and Madison. For comfortable, romantic lodging, sumptuous gourmet breakfasts, award-winning, locally-sourced dining, the Inns of Montpelier will not disappoint!
  • Named #1 Best Resort Hotel in the South by Travel and Leisure, The Inn at Willow Grove