Hampton Inn Historic District

Inns, Lodges, Resorts

Article and featured photo by Polly Dean

March 2021

Convenient to a handful of the Old Dominion’s trout waters, such as Guys Run, the St. Marys River and the upper Maury River, the Hampton Inn in Lexington, Virginia is a rare unit of a major chain hotel that has such character. That is compliments of its history and location within walking distance of the village’s historic downtown.

Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

The picturesque grounds with their stately oaks, encompasses seven acres of the historic Col Alto Mansion. Col Alto was completed in 1827 for James McDowell, governor of Virginia from 1847 until 1849. Also on the property is a mid-1700s log cabin. Renovated and used for small events and intimate gatherings, the identity of its original owners is unknown. Some speculate that it may have been used for servant’s quarters or perhaps a summer kitchen. In later years it was used to house faculty and students at Washington and Lee University until 1984.

Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

The inn is conveniently located near the center of the historic area of Lexington. Be sure to allow extra time during your visit to travel to the shops, museums and unique restaurants and watering holes of this beautiful historic town.

Lexington is situated in the scenic Shenandoah Valley and is the county seat of Rockbridge County. The county derives its name from the Rock Bridge, which is designated as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The property on which it stands was once owned by President Thomas Jefferson. It is worth a side trip to Natural Bridge State Park when in the area.

The Natural Bridge. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

Home to Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute (VMI), the city is known for a couple of its famous former residents, Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan Jackson, better known as Stonewall Jackson. In 1865, General Lee was offered the presidency of Washington College, where he presided for the next five years until just before his death. Shortly after, the school’s name was changed to Washington & Lee University.

Stonewall Jackson, one of the South’s most revered and celebrated generals of the Confederacy, also served as president of VMI. During that time, he purchased the only home he owned, and is buried in Lexington’s Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery.

Photos by Polly Dean.

Besides its background and historical beauty, the Hampton Inn offers the usual comfort and convenience that guests expect from a Hilton property. Ten restored manor rooms with period furnishings are available for guests in the main house, along with a number of hotel-style rooms in connected wings.

The inn features an outdoor swimming pool with whirlpool, fitness center, hot breakfast and free Wifi. If you are a member of Hilton Honors or prefer the comfort of a familiar brand, you can be sure that you will not be sacrificing character and uniqueness by choosing this hotel as your home base. The Hampton Inn in historic Lexington provides a comfortable retreat after a long day on the water. Check it out on their website.

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