Culpeper, VA is a charming historic town located about halfway between Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville in Central Virginia. The town dates all the way back to 1749.
It’s home to a number of great wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, antique shops, and historic sites, which means you’ll find plenty of things to do in Culpeper for a weekend getaway.
The historic district is centered around Main Street and it’s very walkable. You’ll find Burgandine House, the Culpeper Visitors Center, and the Culpeper Museum all within a few blocks of each other.
17 Best Things to Do in Culpeper, Virginia
Getting to Culpeper
Culpeper is located in Central Virginia. It’s about 55 miles southwest of Northern Virginia, 46 miles northeast of Charlottesville, and 35 miles west of Fredericksburg.
You can travel to Culpeper by either car or train. From Northern Virginia, you can take Route 15, and from Charlottesville, you’ll take Route 29. Both major routes lead right to Culpeper. From Fredericksburg, you can take VA-3 West.
Amtrak also has a train station right in historic downtown Culpeper, with two stops a day.
Culpeper, Virginia Map
17 Best Things to Do in Culpeper, Virginia
No matter what your interests are, you’ll find a lot of things to do in Culpeper, including wineries, distilleries, shopping, and historic sites to explore.
Below are some of my top picks for the best things to do in Culpeper, VA.
Along with many of the museums, breweries, and historic sites on this list, historic downtown is also the site of many beautiful, ornate Victorian Homes, particularly if you walk down South East Street.
You’ll instantly feel as though you’ve been transported through time as you walk down the sidewalk past these gorgeous colorfully decorated homes.
Some of the major places to check out are Wisteria, which dates back to 1885, and Fountain Hall, which is a charming bed and breakfast.
Culpeper Visitor Center is located in the historic train depot, right by the Amtrak station, which makes it a convenient first stop for your trip to Culpeper.
You can find maps and guides to help you navigate the major attractions, shops, and restaurants in town.
It’s also located within walking distance of most of the historic downtown Culpeper attractions, including Beer Hound Brewery (located right next door), Burgandine House, and Far Gohn Brewing Company.
The Museum Of Culpeper History is located in the train depot, right alongside the Culpeper Visitor Center.
Both sites are also located next to the Amtrak train station, which makes them incredibly convenient when traveling by train.
Stopping by the museum is a perfect way to start your vacation in Culpeper, as it will give you a chance to learn about its rich history, which includes the pivotal role it played in the Civil War.
The museum has an eclectic mix of exhibits, including a Dinosaurs exhibit, which highlights fossils discovered at a stone quarry near Culpeper. There is also a Native American exhibit that highlights the Manahoac people who still live in the region.
Burgandine House is so small you might miss it on Main Street, but it is definitely one of the major must-see landmarks in the historic district.
The home dates all the way back to 1800, which makes it one of the oldest structures in Culpeper.
Burgandine House is a great example of a working-class home, and it contains many of the original features. Visitors can tour the inside and get a sense of what it was like to live back in the 1800s. Parking can be found in the back.
Beer Hound Brewery is a micro-brewery located right next to the Amtrak Train Station, Visitors Center, and museum.
The brewery offers a good variety of beers on tap, no matter what your tastes. Some of their beers include Belgian Triple, Hazy New England IPA, Imperial Stout, and Black Lager.
For a heartier drink with a bourbon kick, try the Culpeper Bourbon Barrel Porter.
You can pair your favorite brew with some bar food favorites including a Reuben sandwich, Roast Beef, Ham & Cheese, Pizza, Nachos, loaded tater tots, and chicken wings.
They regularly host special events, including Karaoke Night (every other Friday), Trivia Nights, Dart Nights, and live music performances.
Far Gohn Brewing Company is located right in the heart of historic downtown Culpeper, near Main Street, and just a few blocks from the visitor’s center and museum.
It’s located in a cool industrial brick building that marks a lot of the architecture of the historic district.
The interior has a cozy tavern vibe with wood paneling.
The brewery makes its own beer onsite and has a wide variety of about 10 different styles at any one time.
If you’re in the mood for a different beverage of choice, you can choose among their local wines and ciders.
They also serve handmade pizza as well.
Dogs are welcome on the outside patio.
Make sure to stop by Graze to Griddle, one of the best restaurants in Culpeper, VA. They have incredible burgers that you don’t want to miss! They’re also conveniently located in the heart of downtown Culpeper.
They specialize in hamburgers and have a lot of options to choose from, including the single graze burger, double graze burger, and triple graze burger.
Beyond burgers, Graze to Griddle has plenty of other options, like the Griddled Cheese Sandwich and Chicken Burger.
Packard Campus Theatre
If you’re a fan of classic films, you’ll want to check out the Packard Campus Theatre. It hosts screenings of many classic films throughout the year.
The scheduled screenings are part of the Library of Congress. They take place at both the Packard Campus Theatre in Culpeper and the Mary Pickford Theater at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
Some of the classic and new classic film screenings have included The Poseidon Adventure, San Francisco, and Speed.
You can find a full schedule of upcoming screenings online.
Culpeper is located near the Shenandoah Valley, which makes it a perfect destination for wineries! Old House Vineyards is one that you’ll definitely want to check out!
The winery has a little bit of everything, with both wine and beer tastings, a distillery, and a full-service restaurant.
You can also book a tour for a behind-the-scenes look at how the vineyard operates.
They produce a wide variety of wines, including Chardonnay, Vidal Blanc, Rose, Cabernet Franc, and a Chambourcin Dessert Wine.
The brewery is comprised of both a taproom and its own Irish-inspired Pub, which will instantly transport you across the pond.
The distillery produces Barrel Aged Rum, Agave Nectar, Whisky, and more. There is also a World War II museum that is part of the distillery space.
The picturesque vineyard is also a popular wedding destination.
Mountain Run Winery is another great winery destination in Culpeper. It’s located on a 125-acre farm, and the tasting room is uniquely located in a 1950s corn crib.
The winery not only features a good selection of wines but also hard ciders and even meads (honey wine).
Some of their wines include several award-winning Chardonnays (both oak barrel and steel barrel), Viognier, several Roses, Cabernet Franc, and Meritage.
Beyond wine, you can find spiced mead, sangria, cinnamon cider, and more.
The winery is dog-friendly. It also features a playground for kids.
Belmont Farm Distillery is one of the major producers of whisky in the region. They have a production process that uses a genuine solid copper pot still.
Some of their products include Kopper Kettle Virginia Whiskey, Apple Whiskey, and Golden Gin, plus specialty products like Dark Chai Spice Rum, Virginia Lightning Apple Pie, Virginia Lightning Cherry, Virginia Lightning Moonshine, and Virginia Lightning Butterscotch.
When you visit, you can also book a tour to learn more about how the distillery operates.
Minuteman Mini Mall is a great place for shopping in Culpeper, VA. You can find 24,000 square feet of antiques, crafts, collectibles, and more.
They have a huge collection of furniture, home decor, silverware, plates, and artwork. The mall is a great destination for finding unique items for your house, or to find that special gift.
Lake Pelham Adventures Park offers plenty of outdoor activities at Lake Culpeper. They have canoe, kayak, paddleboard, and paddle boat rentals available.
The lake is a 255-acre reservoir with wooded areas around it and many opportunities to see wildlife, including Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Wren, American Goldfinch, and White-throated Sparrow.
You can rent equipment by going to The Ole Country Store & Bakery, which is conveniently located right off Route 29 South.
Seek Lavender Farm is a lovely lavender farm and shop located in the area. They specialize in all things lavender, including soaps, lotions, essential oils, potpourri, candles, and much more. You can also purchase other herbs, such as Sage, Rosemary, Tarragon, and Thyme.
Their products are handmade, and the lavender is hand-picked on their farm in Culpeper.
Another great thing to experience is walking among the lavender bushes when they’re in bloom (generally from June till the end of July.)
Auburn Farm Sunflower Patch
Auburn Farm Sunflower Patch is the perfect early fall destination in Culpeper. They host an annual sunflower festival in September!
You can head out there to pick your own sunflowers. The festival also features a corn maze, yard games, food vendors, kids’ activities, flower sales, and pumpkins.
You can learn about even more of the best sunflower fields in Virginia!
For mountain bikers out there looking for a new experience, you’ll definitely want to check out Burke Farm Trail.
The trails are privately owned and visitors must pay a fee to use them, but you’ll find 300 acres of trails for all experience levels. The trails also include log obstacles, hills, creeks, and even rock gardens.
Andora Farm is a unique destination for horse lovers. Horse owners can bring their horses and participate in weekend Cattle Drives from March to October. These events are also open to the public.
Andora Farm also hosts Cowgirl Week in May and July, where you can learn to ride and rope like a cowgirl.
Where to Stay in Culpeper, VA
Even though it’s a small town, there are a number of great places to stay in Culpeper, including hotels with top amenities like pools and fitness centers, as well as charming guesthouses and Bed & Breakfasts.
Below are some of my top recommendations to fit your budget and interests.
Hampton Inn & Suites Culpeper is conveniently located just 7 minutes from downtown Culpeper. They also feature great amenities like a free breakfast, pool, and fitness center. The hotel is pet-friendly.
|🛏️ Book your stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Culpeper by clicking here! 🛏️|
For a perfect getaway just blocks from downtown Culpeper, West Park Gardens is a great choice. This cozy guesthouse is bursting with charm and personality. The rooms also come with a full kitchen. It’s also pet-friendly and has a lovely garden.
|🛏️ Book your stay at West Park Gardens by clicking here! 🛏️|
FAQs about Culpeper, VA
Before planning your next trip to Culpeper, VA, here are more things to learn about this unique small town.
Is Culpeper VA worth visiting?
Culpeper, VA is definitely worth visiting. It’s a small town, and it features a walkable historic district with beautiful Victorian buildings, breweries, restaurants, shops, and the historic train depot. You can also explore the many farms and wineries around Culpeper.
What is Culpeper Virginia famous for?
Culpeper, Virginia is famous for its rich history and historic buildings. It was founded in 1749. The town was home to the Culpeper Minutemen, who were a pro-independence militia during the Revolutionary War. Culpeper was also a strategic location during the Civil War. At various times, it was controlled by both Confederate and Union Troops throughout the war.
Is Culpeper a nice place to live?
Yes, Culpeper is a nice place to place. It is a small, historic town with a walkable downtown area, and many restaurants and shops. The town is also more affordable than other locations in Virginia.
Is Culpeper VA in the Shenandoah Valley?
Culpeper, VA is not in the Shenandoah Valley. It is located in the Piedmont region of Central Virginia. It is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Conclusion: 17 Best Things to Do in Culpeper, Virginia
Culpeper is a great small-town destination to add to your next vacation plans in Virginia! It has a fun, walkable downtown with historic charm, plus great wineries, breweries, and stores to make your visit a memorable one.
Learn about more great things to do in Central Virginia!