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Natural Beauty: Best Views—Spring

Natural-Beauty-Best-Viewse28094Spring

No matter the season, Culpeper and the surrounding region serves up a feast for the eyes. In the spring, it’s all about the explosion of vibrant color, from lush green trees and vines to multi-hued flowers. Here are some places to see.

Vine Views

Some of the most beautiful sights are found on and around the numerous vineyards surrounding Culpeper, which makes it an ideal stop along the way for those traveling the state. The neatly manicured rows of verdant grapevines provide a gorgeous backdrop for an afternoon outside, plus many wineries feature lakes, ponds, fields and farmland as well. In Culpeper, you can’t miss Mountain Run Winery or Old House Vineyards. But with more than 60 wineries within 60 miles, you can pretty much set off in any direction and stumble upon a new favorite. Try Skyline Vineyard if you’re traveling to the west, Molon Lave Vineyards to the north, or Wilderness Run Vinyards as you go south.

In the current time of social distancing, tours and dining on-premises are closed across the region, but you can still see the pristine rows of vines and beautiful vistas from your car while taking a drive around the wine region—it’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon picking up a few (or more) bottles of wine to enjoy from home.

On Top of the World

Shenandoah National Park is one of Virginia’s gems, and it’s just a stone’s throw from Culpeper. During spring, the park’s wildflowers and waterfalls are at their best, so it’s a great time to head out on a long leisurely drive or hit the trails for a more active afternoon. Both the White Oak Canyon trail and the Doyles Fall trails are great for spring melt waterfalls, but they do challenge hikers with a bit of elevation change. Regardless of which hike you choose, keep an eye out for floral species like redbud trees, trout lilies, yellow and purple violets, bluets, trillium, azaleas and wild geraniums.

Water Gazing

Those looking to rest their eyes on serene water can head to Lake Pelham, the water supply reservoir for the Town of Culpeper. The lake covers 255 acres, with a mixed shoreline including forests and open banks. Fishing enthusiasts should inquire about getting a permit to set out by boat and discover the large population of channel catfish in the lake, along with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie, pumpkinseed sunfish and yellow perch.

Soak in the Color

Spring is the perfect time to visit one of Culpeper’s cut flower gardens. Windmill Heights, a locally owned, family-operated garden center specializing in hard-to-find plants, is a great option. The business was founded in in 1965 by Mason Hutcheson, who called his greenhouse "Ebenezer Heights Greenhouses." Today it is known as Windmill Heights, but it’s still run by the family. Or head up to Wollam Gardens, where you can visit 11 acres of blooming perennials and specialty flowers. There are often yoga sessions, workshops or even festivals on site, so check the calendar for current activities.