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Almost Heaven, Central Virginia

Orange is small town, USA with an above average amount of history and rural bliss. The first thing you will notice on your way into the town of Orange, is the beautiful countryside undisturbed by house farms (housing developments.) Rolling hills of horse farms and hay wheels make you lose track of how far you have entered into the county and that is perfectly fine! Once you are here, you'll enjoy Main Street with its unique shops, it's art's center, the way-above-average restaurants and the historical landmarks. There is so much history and so little time to see it all. Orange County is home to James Madison's Montpelier, where he conceived much of our Constitution, Civil War encampments, a Civil War hospital, the birthplace of Zachary Taylor, the Wilderness Battlefield, historic downtown Gordonsville, and all the historical churches in downtown Orange. In the Winter of 1862, Robert E. Lee stationed the troops in Orange awaiting the Union engagement that would eventually end the war. Since there were about 60,000 Confederate troops stationed here, this is prime real estate for Civil War enthusiasts. The best way to see Orange is to check into one of the many bed and breakfasts and spend either a weekend or a couple of weekdays. They are all very good and check their ratings and reviews on any of the other websites and you'll see that they are all good. Best times are Summer, Fall and Spring. Besides exploring history, it's also a top five grape producing counties in Virginia. It's the perfect location to start your wine tour because one of the largest wineries is Barboursville Vineyards in Orange County. There are wine festivials, a county fair that is pure in definition and the largest event is the Montpelier Hunt Races, a steeplechase event held on the first Saturday of November for over 75 years. If hiking is your thing, the Blue Ridge Mountains are 30 minutes away. If skydiving gives you a thrill, then Orange Skydive is a must. Add to all that fishing, kayaking, boating, horseback riding, and some fantastic art galleries and you have just scratched the surface on what Orange offers. The best thing about Orange is the fact that not many people in Washington, DC or Richmond, VA have ever heard of Orange, VA and yet, it's just a 90 minute drive. That means you can enjoy it and leave the crowds behind. It's best to hurry though because it won't be so quaint once the word gets out.
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