Welcome to Lexington
The fighting spirit of the South is visually encapsulated by the sight of cadets from the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) strutting their stuff at Friday's full dress parade. The institute is one of Lexington's two major historic institutions, the other being Washington & Lee University (W&L). Two Civil War generals, Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson, lived here and are buried in town, and Lexington has long been a favorite stop for Civil War enthusiasts. Today you're as likely to see hikers, cyclists and paddlers using Lexington as a launchpad for adventures in the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, where the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Appalachian Trail overlook the valley, as well as on the James River. The opening of new hotels, bars and restaurants has re-energized the city in recent years – it's a great Shenandoah base.