Located on the eastern ramparts of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Rappahannock County is an artsy, outdoorsy, and food-loving community. It is a place of spectacular natural beauty, quirky little villages, and interesting people. The population is a mix of families who have lived in the county for generations, long-time residents, and devoted weekenders. People leave their worries and stresses at the county line, making for an upbeat but relaxed community of friendly folks.
Few places remain that have the unspoiled natural splendor of Rappahannock County. The County has changed little through the years because of insightful planning by the County fathers in the 1970’s. Now about 25% of Rappahannock land is protected forever by conservation easements and another 20% is in the Shenandoah National Park. The delightful rural community has a strong commitment to and deep appreciation of its untouched forests and fields.
Farms, food, and tourism drive Rappahannock ‘s economy. Traditional cattle, hay, and grain operations are interspersed with organic vegetable and livestock farms, orchards, and wineries. Small stores around the county offer local beef, pork, chicken, and lamb. At last count there are 8 wineries, 2 breweries and a distillery in Rappahannock.
There is also a selection of fantastic food to accompany the local beer, wine, and spirits. The renowned Inn at Little Washington serves some of the finest food in the world in a luxurious yet unpretentious atmosphere. For more casual fare visit Rappahannock’s local restaurants, bakeries, and pizzeria.
An exceptional and distinguishing trait of Rappahannock County is the total absence of malls, chains, or big box stores. Instead, the county has a multitude of eclectic shops, open studios, and galleries. Combined with the Farmers Co-op and a number of country stores almost everything is available within the county lines from fine art to fresh fish to plumbing parts.
Rappahannock County has a well-deserved reputation as a center for the arts. There are three theatres each of which has a packed schedule of music, films, and live performances. Castleton in Performance features monthly showcases of world-class opera, symphonic performances, and chamber music. It is a unique, astounding, and extremely rare opportunity to enjoy both established and up-and-coming musicians in such a beautiful setting.
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