Recharge and Revolution
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Recharge and Revolution

Sometimes a change of pace is enough to revitalize the weary. But relaxation peppered with stories of patriots and bravery promises a rare blend of inspiration, especially when it’s all enjoyed in the midst of natural beauty and small-town charm. Plan this adventure in mid-April to be here for festival weekend.

Slow down for Jeffersonian style.

On your first day, as traffic disappears in your rearview mirror, you make your way to a relaxing getaway in Charlotte County.  Your hosts greet you as soon as you arrive and in no time you are settled into a cozy room in the beautiful 19th century home they now operate as a bed and breakfast.  There is just enough time to take a leisurely stroll around the historic town of Charlotte Court House before dinner is served. Much of the architecture in Charlotte Court House dates to the early 1800’s, including the 1823 courthouse built using sketches by Thomas Jefferson.  The new blends with the old so seamlessly that you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Take it to the streets for festival fun and history trails.

On day two, after breakfast, head back to the historic district for the Charlotte County Festival.  The town has been transformed.  Local vendors offer handmade crafts, flowers and bedding plants, gift items and a variety of foods; children play games and wait in line for pony rides; somewhere in the background a jazz band is pumping up the crowd.

After lunch you spend some time browsing in the local antique shop and the craft co-op before heading out of town on the Wilson-Kautz Driving Trail to Staunton River Battlefield State Park.  At the park, take a tour of the Roanoke Station Visitors Center, a renovated depot that houses Southern Railway memorabilia and Native American artifacts excavated from the park.  The park trail traces the former Richmond and Danville Railroad, leading you across the fields and over the Staunton River to learn about the young boys and old men of Southside Virginia who helped defend the bridge from the Union cavalry in June of 1864. At the end of the trail you discover the Clover Visitors Center which houses a display of Civil War uniforms and artifacts and provides extensive details about the battle that occurred where you stood moments ago.  Before leaving, take a few moments to sit by the river and simply enjoy the peace that now fills this place.

Give me liberty – and a beautiful garden.

On day three, once breakfast is finished and the car is packed, your final adventure in Charlotte County gets underway.  Today Red Hill, the last home of Patrick Henry, is your destination.  Henry once referred to Red Hill as “one of the garden spots of the world.” The home and the gently rolling land that surrounds it do not disappoint.  Tour the house and explore the beautiful grounds at Red Hill, taking a turn through the boxwood maze before heading over to the visitors center to learn more about the great orator who served as Virginia’s first governor.  As the museum staff tells you about Red Hill’s annual July 4th celebration and the walking trails that are planned, you’re already thinking about your next visit to this relaxing, rural escape.

Celebrate at Charlotte County FestivalCharlotte County Festival

This yearly mid-April event includes a parade, local arts and crafts, great food, informational displays and exhibits, live history, music pony rides and more.

Civil War history display at Clover Visitor CenterClover Visitor Center

See exhibits focusing on the Clover Power Station, Wilson’s Raid, the battle of “Old Men and Young Boys,” and home life during the Civil War.

Aerial view of Patrick Henry's home at Red HillPatrick Henry’s Red Hill

Henry’s last home is this Staunton River plantation. The reconstructed house and dependent buildings are surrounded by lush green lawn and gardens – you’ll see why Henry called this “one of the garden spots of the world.

Suggested Itinerary

Day One:

P.M. Arrive at a bed and breakfast, then stroll around historic Charlotte Court House before dinner. Settle in for a restful night’s sleep.

Day Two:

A.M. Spend the morning at the Charlotte County Festival in the historic district. Lunch on festival food.

P.M. Browse antiques and crafts before heading out on the Wilson-Kautz Driving Trail to Staunton River Battlefield State Park, Roanoke Station Visitors Center and Clover Visitors Center for historic sites.

Day Three:

A.M. Head home by way of Patrick Henry’s Red Hill to tour the historic home and gardens.