There’s something about summer that slows the pulse—and the pace. This year, we’re living a bit simpler, savoring small triumphs a whole lot more. Whether you’ve dusted off your Schwinn or aced that sourdough starter, you’ve unconsciously embraced “slow living.” Keeping with the calmer pace we’ve adopted, slow travel—by foot, water or wheels—is a great foray into summer WanderLove adventuring.
On the Road
Orange County is 90 minutes from Washington, DC, and 60 minutes from Richmond—perfect for a weekend jaunt. Once the picnic blanket and precious cargo are packed, plot a scenic route to the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Scenic Drive, stretching 180 miles from Gettysburg to Monticello. The Orange County portion of the drive weaves through rolling hills and horse pastures along Route 15. You’ll roll into Orange’s historic commercial district in time for lunch and a libation at Ironpipe Alewerks. The Beez Kneez honey blonde ale channels summer vibes by the pint. Or pick up a locally made picnic lunch from Provisions Market Table to enjoy at one of your stops.
PC: Fauquier Times
Five miles beyond Orange, Montpelier’s majesty is best enjoyed on foot. Its eight miles of trails feature meadows and open spaces aplenty. If you’re traveling with little ones and want to spark interest before you go, check out James Madison’s Montpelier coloring page (download here) and Purr’s short story (download here) from the children’s activity book”The Nine Lives of an Orange Tabby” featured in the Step Into History series.
Be sure to spot the historic LOVEworks piece here!
Orange County’s waterways are a paddler’s paradise. Lake Orange is famed for its record-setting largemouth bass. Kayak and boat rentals on Angler’s Landing are affordable and available for half or full-day fun. If you have your own canoe or kayak in tow, Germanna Foundation membership gives you launch access down the Rapidan for a small annual fee.
Two-wheeled tourism has experienced a surge, with bike shops reporting record sales across America. Whether you’re a lycra loyalist or a casual pedaler, the Orange Ramble Trail is an easy choice, complete with river views and rural beauty. Lake Anna State Park’s eight trails boast moderate terrain through the woodlands.
Make the most of every moment this season. Day trips in Orange County promise leisure—and time with loved ones—at an unhurried pace.
For more information about the status of our outdoor recreation opportunities, click here.