8 Reasons to Make Berryville, VA, Your Next Getaway

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Highway traveling through Appalachia into the state of Virginia

When planning your visit to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, you should consider staying in Berryville. This small town is about 60 miles from Washington, D.C., and 90 miles from Baltimore. With its great location, you’ll be sure to find plenty of things to do during your stay.

However, Berryville, VA, isn’t just a great location. There’s so much this small town has to offer visitors. Let’s take a look at eight reasons to visit Berryville, so you’ll start making plans to visit today!

Where Is Berryville, VA?

Before 1798, Berryville had a different name: Battletown. It became Berryville when it was incorporated in 1798. This town is easily accessible, as it sits at the junction of US Route 340 and VA Route 7. Only about 40 minutes from the Front Royal entrance to the Shenandoah National Park, this area beckons visitors to enjoy the history and beauty every year.

A beautiful sunset in Shenandoah National Park, just 40 minutes outside of Berryville, VA

8 Reasons to Make Berryville, VA, Your Next Getaway

Although most small towns of about 4,000 people won’t make your list of vacation getaway locations, Berryville, VA, is an exception. History abounds in the architecture and museums. The scenery is stunning in the upper Shenandoah Valley. Let’s take a look at eight specific locations that will make your visit to Berryville an enjoyable one!

#1. Take a Stroll Through Historic Downtown Berryville, VA

Berryville has been committed to rehabilitating old buildings and is currently rehabilitating several old barns. This small town of about 4,000 people maintains its historic character and Southern charm while moving into the future.

Downtown, you can visit the Clarke County Courthouse and Berryville Historic District, both of which are listed in the National Register. Visit the Clarke County Historical Association for even more information about Berryville’s history. You can also book tours.

The Clarke County Courthouse in Berryville, VA

#2. Visit the Josephine School Community Museum

In 1882, formerly enslaved people built the Josephine City School so their children would receive an education. After the integration of public schools, it became the Johnson-Williams Intermediate School. Over the years, the building served various purposes and underwent many name changes.

However, the original Josephine City School made it onto the National Register of Historic Places. The museum officially opened in 2003 with the mission to share “the people, objects, and stories that form the continuing legacy of Clarke County’s African American history and heritage.”

Traveler’s Tip: Consider spending a week exploring Virginia and make the railway town of Ashland, VA your next stop!

#3. Recreate at Watermelon Park Campground

Originally purchased in 1949, Watermelon Park Campground in Berryville, VA, is a great location to enjoy fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, or tubing. The 27 acres set on the Savannah River offers beautiful scenery for a day outing or an overnight camping trip.

If you don’t have your own tubes or kayaks, Watermelon Park River Adventures will rent some out to you, and you can enjoy several hours drifting lazily down the Savannah River.

A red canoe sits out into a lake with trees surrounding the water's edge

#4. Visit the Holy Cross Abbey (and Buy the Fruitcake!)

Not only is this a monastery of Cistercian Order, but it’s also a historic site. Artifacts from indigenous people dating back to 8,500 BC were discovered here. It was also the location of the Battle of Cool Spring during the Civil War. 

You can stay a day or two at the Retreat House and enter into a time of silence and solitude. And when you visit, you have to go to the gift shop and buy fruit cakes, creamed honeys, and monastery truffles. This is a great way to support the monks by purchasing items they make themselves.

#5. Enjoy Lunch at the Tea Cart in Berryville, VA

This traditional British tea room has an elegant flair and Victorian theme. You’ll feel as though you’re dining with royalty. Tea seatings occur Thursday to Sunday, with one tea setting at noon on Wednesdays. Note that children are only allowed at the earlier tea seatings before noon on Thursdays to Sundays. 

The Tea Cart hosts monthly tea-themed events, so check out its website to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at The Tea Cart. While serving tea is one of the focuses, it also serves traditional British fare.

A cute display of pastries on a tea tower

#6. Take a Guided Wine Tour at Veramar Vineyard

This 100-acre estate has 26 acres of vineyards. It’s a beautiful mountain setting in Berryville, VA, near the Shenandoah River. Here, the Bogaty family grows Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Seyval Blanc, Traminette, Norton, Albariño, Vidal Blanc, and Malbec wine grapes.

The Veramar Vineyard’s tasting room opens at noon every day. Having earned 65 awards over the last 25 years, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.

Traveler’s Tip: If you’re interested in visiting more wineries, head south to Crozet, VA and you won’t be disappointed!

#7. Shop at My Neighbor and Me

This fair trade gift shop owned and operated by Christina Kraybill is a must-visit during your stay in Berryville. She sets up at the Clarke County Farmers Market on Main Street and offers private shopping appointments.

Products from artisans like Conscious Step, SERRV, Ten Thousand Villages, and more stock the shelves at My Neighbor and Me. Stop by and support these fair trade organizations that seek to bring about positive change in the world.

Locals bustle in and out of tents during the farmer's market in a street

#8. Pick Your Own Fruit at Mackintosh Fruit Farm

This is a great family-friendly outing in Berryville, VA. Onsite picking begins in the spring, but boxes of apples are available during the off-season by appointment only. Mackintosh Fruit Farm isn’t just a place to pick your fruit. It’s a fun outing that can last hours.

They offer fruit, vegetables, eggs, honey, baked goods, preserves, cider, and other local products, as well as a playground, picnic area, and kitchen. Peach picking begins in early July, while berries, apples, and vegetables are ripe for picking beginning in mid-August. It’s fun for the whole family!

Is Berryville, VA, Worth Visiting?

Berryville, VA, isn’t a bustling city, but it’s also not far from a couple of urban locations. It’s a town of historic character surrounded by the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. When making plans to visit northern Virginia or the DC area, check out Berryville. You’ll enjoy less traffic, fewer crowds, and more charm.

Doesn’t that sound like the perfect place for a getaway?

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