Small Town Travel Series:
Things to do in Madison VA
I had the pleasure of traveling to Madison VA earlier in the month and let me tell you, it is a wine lovers dream! One of the great things about this Small Town Travel Series is that I’ve gotten to work with so many great local wineries along the way.
The Taste of the Mountains Festival was happening in downtown Madison while I was in town. This was a great local street festival full of crafts, art, music, food, and wine! I highly recommend visiting during this time next year – it’s one of the best street festivals I’ve ever been to. The streets are filled with tents that seem to never end. Everyone was very nice and the weather was great! So here are my ideas for “Best things to do in Madison VA.”
- Check-in at the Ebenezer House Bed and Breakfast
- Day at the Taste of the Mountains Festival
- However, if you decide to visit when there is not a festival in town – explore the downtown area on your own. In addition, here are some wineries that you should visit:
- Lunch at Jenny Lynd’s Pizza (some of the best pizza ever and I am a pizza lover)
- Relax at the B&B
- Dinner at Mad Local
- Homemade breakfast at the Ebenezer House Bed and Breakfast
- Coffee at Cake Krums
- Tasting & Lunch at Early Mountain Vineyards
- Tasting at Blue Quartz Winery
- Drinks (& Music if available) at Bald Top Brewing
- Dinner at Bavarian Chef
The Bed & Breakfast:
We had a fabulous stay at Ebenezer House Bed and Breakfast. The owner, Alan, was a great host and makes a delicious breakfast each morning. Alan lives in the house, along with his new dog “Jedi” and bird “Sweetie” (who can do more tricks than Jedi). The beauty of staying at a bed and breakfast is that you always get something unique – and our time at Ebenezer House Bed and Breakfast was no different.
We had plenty of space to feel at home. Our rooms were located upstairs, which also offered a nice public living space. The back porch was another favorite location to enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. This was actually one of the larger B&B’s that I’ve stayed at in the past. The extra personal space was a great feature!
Mad Local is an excellent dining option for a local, unique twist on American classics. They offer a variety of local beers and local wines, along with food that melts in your mouth. The hospitality was great, everything was very clean, and the atmosphere was very laid back. Mad Local would be a great casual dining option if you find yourself near Madison VA!
- Cheese Fries, topped with cheddar cheese, jalapenos, green onions, hardwood smoked bacon crumbles and black pepper ranch*****
- Dirty South Tacos, house marinated and Fried SVO chicken, smoked Gouda pimento cheese, honey BBQ sauce, lettuce, and pickled jalapenos****
- Steak Sandwich, steak grilled to perfection, topped with lettuce and smothered in cheese and a side salad****
**Stars indicate my personal favorites on a scale from 1-5**
Early Mountain Vineyards is stunning in every way imaginable. The building, the decor, and the views are all gorgeous. There is no surprise that this is a very popular wedding venue.
In addition to wine tastings and wine by the glass or bottle, Early Mountain offers a small menu with big tastes. We enjoyed an Artisanal Charcuterie & Cheese Board along with the Classic Flight which offered a variety of white, rose, and red wines to taste.
They have many great locations to sit back and enjoy a day with friends. If interested in getting a table, I recommend making reservations ahead of time. Walk-ins are a better option if you are just looking to do a tasting at the bar. There also picnic tables where you can enjoy a bottle of wine outside.
Blue Quartz Winery is a brand new winery with a gorgeous tasting room and the outside offers even better views of the mountains. We enjoyed a tasting of the four wines that they are currently serving. Later, we decided to sit outside with a glass of their 2018 Viognier.
As mentioned, the winery is brand new. And for those who may not know this, grapevines take 3-5 years to mature enough to produce fruit that is acceptable for winemaking. Therefore, during this time they have been purchasing grapes from other local Virginia vineyards. Everything we tasted was great – and I’d love to go back and try their own wines once their own grapes are able to be harvested. They also make and serve their own craft beer!
Bavarian Chef is one of the most unique restaurants that I have ever had the pleasure of working with! As the name should suggest, it is a German-style restaurant. The portions and extremely generous and the sides are unlimited. During the entire experience, you truly feel like you are in a five-star restaurant in Germany. I could not recommend dining at The Bavarian Chef enough!
- Caesar Salad*****
- Filet Mignon, seared and cooked to perfection*****
- Jumbo Shrimp Scampi, stuffed with lump crab meat****
- Green Beans****
- Potato Dumplings****
- German Potato Salad***
**Stars indicate my personal favorites on a scale from 1-5**
You could easily make a longer trip out of a visit to Madison VA. Located right above Charlottesville VA, which is the home of 100s more wineries and breweries – there’s no wonder why the VA wine region is gaining so much national exposure right now. I will be traveling to Nelson County in a few weeks to feature even more wineries and breweries in this region. You could quite literally spend a week in the area and still not visit all of the things that this beautiful slice of Virginia has to offer!
So thank you for reading about what I suggest to be the “Best things to do in Madison VA.” I hope this inspires you to travel a little differently sometimes. Go somewhere new or eat somewhere different. The world is a big place, and sometimes the smallest regions have the most to offer!
Until next time,
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Thank you to Madison County Tourism for sponsoring this post. All reviews and recommendations are honestly and organically my own