What to do and see in Ashland, United States: The Best Places and Tips

January 17, 2018 Russell Mellin

Ashland is a town located 16 miles (26 km) north of Richmond along Interstate 95 and U.S. Route 1 in Hanover County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 7,225, up from 6,619 at the 2000 census.
Restaurants in Ashland

1. Kings Dominion

16000 Theme Park Way, Doswell, VA 23047-1918 +1 804-876-5000
Excellent
45%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
13%
Poor
5%
Terrible
3%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 1 reviews

Kings Dominion

Grab your friends and family and come to Kings Dominion - Virginia's ultimate 400-acre destination for summertime fun! With more than 60 rides, shows and attractions including the largest coaster collection on the East Coast, Planet Snoopy, our Peanut's themed children's area and WaterWorks, a 20-acre water playground which is included in your park admission. Kings Dominion is Virginia's only destination offering two parks for the price of one. We have everything you need for creating lifelong memories. Our 40th Celebration starts in 2014 and offers magnificent experiences you won't find anywhere else! While it's our birthday, this celebration is all about you! We've taken all of the thrills, chills, smiles and dazzling moments of our history and crafted them into a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don't miss it! To end the day, stay for Dominion at Dusk - a KD40 Nighttime Celebration! Start off with the vibrant lights and sounds of Snoopy's Starlight Spectacular and the stunning water and lights display of our fully refurbished International Street Fountain. The party really gets going as the Grande Bandstand and the midways of International Street come to life with our all-new block party, Ignite the Night! featuring an impressive cast singing some of your favorite hits! And the party isn't complete without a magnificent display of fireworks lighting up the nighttime skies above the park. Open daily during the summer; weekends in the spring and fall.

Reviewed By shardog - maryland

After reading the reviews for opening weekend I was concerned about our planned visit for today (2 fast pass + combo @$100 per, 1 regular ticket, 90 minute drive from southern MD).

Our day couldn’t have been better:
lines were nonexistent until after lunchtime, most if not all restaurants/vendors were open, park was clean, all “key” rides were open (more details to follow), and last but not least, the employees we spoke with were all great (the young ladies working the photos at Twisted Timbers and Dominator, one young lady at the arcade, food vendors, ride operators, etc.)
The fast pass + is expensive but worth it : my son and his friend rode no fewer than 30 rides, many from multiple trips on the most popular ones.

Note on rides-reading previous comments makes me realize that preview days/ the first couple of days are to be avoided if possible. Twisted Timbers did open later than the others and had several operational delays throughout the day but my son and his friend still managed to ride it 6 times, same with I305 and Volcano. The only rides not open were Crypt, Whitewater Canyon and the log flume.

2. Scotchtown

16120 Chiswell Ln, Beaverdam, VA 23015-1726 +1 804-227-3500
Excellent
60%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 37 reviews

Scotchtown

Built around 1720, Scotchtown is architecturally unique, and the house is surrounded by reproduction outbuildings and gardens. Since being acquired by Preservation Virginia in 1958, the house has been restored to its appearance during Patrick Henry’s life and is open for tours seasonally. Experience our dialogue based tour exploring Henry’s ideals of “Liberty, Human Rights and Revolution.” Also, explore the grounds, listen to a cell phone tour, enjoy a birding trail, shop in the museum store, eat lunch under our pavilion or participate in one of the site’s many hands-on classes and special events. Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown is also available for private rental. Visit our weddings section for more information about site rentals for reunions, festivals and feasts, photo shoots, TV/film shoots and of course, your special day!

Reviewed By Taylor B - Chicago, Illinois

Patrick Henry lived in several houses during the course of his noteworthy career. Scotchtown was one of them. Located at 16120 Chiswell Lane in Beaverdam, Virginia, 10 miles northwest of Ashland on Virginia Highway 685, it is a plantation that was owned and used as a residence by Henry from 1771 to 1778. At 93 feet by 35 feet, the house is one of the largest 18th century homes to survive in America. In its present configuration, it has eight substantial rooms on the first floor surrounding a central passage with a full attic above and English basement with windows below. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. This was the home of the noted orator and Founding Father of the American Revolution and America's fight for independence during his most influential period. He rode from Scotchtown to Richmond to deliver his famous "Liberty or Death" speech at St. John's Episcopal Church. It also was his residence when he was elected Governor of Virginia in 1776. Scotchtown has long believed to have been the childhood home of Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, who was a relative of Patrick Henry. Today, the house is owned and managed by Preservation Virginia, which has restored the house to its late 18th century appearance, including rebuilding outbuildings such as the icehouse, kitchen and law office.

3. Hanover Tavern

13181 Hanover Courthouse Rd, Hanover, VA 23069-1511 +1 804-537-5050
Excellent
70%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 34 reviews

Hanover Tavern

Reviewed By David S - Exton, Pennsylvania

If you love and appreciate history, you will really enjoy a visit to the Hanover Tavern. It was constructed in 1723 and has been graced by the presence of Washington, Jefferson, LaFayette, Patrick Henry, and other significant historical figures from the Revolutionary and Civil War eras. Lord Cornwallis even made his headquarters here en route to his defeat at Yorktown.

The Tavern grounds and building interior are quite charming, and there is also a large, modern barn-like structure in the back for events and parties. We were fortunate enough to be eating lunch on a Sunday when a wedding was going on, and it seems like a wonderful venue for such an event. And inside the Tavern there is the Barksdale Theatre, which has been operating since 1953 and offers a varied selection of plays each year.

As for our lunch, it was quite pleasing and very affordable. Most lunch items were about $10 and the menu including numerous offerings for both breakfast and lunch preferences. I ordered the chicken and waffles and my wife tried the French toast. The chicken was delightful with a nice flavor to the batter and a sweet glaze coating, but the waffles were a bit dry and absent of any crunch, so I didn't care for them. The potatoes and apples were a nice touch and they came with the French toast, as well, which was absolutely divine. It was coated in bits of toasted pecans, and the syrup and whipped cream really topped it off. And dipping the French toast in the fried apples was a nice touch.

My only gripes were that two servers handled 10 tables of about 30 people, so service could have been faster and more attentive, but our waitress was very friendly and did her best to keep up. It was also too hot upstairs, sitting in a fully-windowed, closed balcony pointing directly south, but the temperature was adjusted and it eventually cooled off. But overall, it was a nice lunch in a charming, historic establishment.

4. James River Cellars Winery

11008 Washington Hwy, Glen Allen, VA 23059-1904 +1 804-550-7516
Excellent
36%
Good
46%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
4%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 94 reviews

James River Cellars Winery

We are a family-owned and operated farm winery, located just north of Richmond VA. A refreshing change from the ordinary! Our staff serves a tasting of wines from whites to delicious reds and dessert wines in a tranquil country setting. Enjoy a picnic on our beautifully landscaped patio or capture the view from the terrace. James Batterson, winemaker, creates all wines from Virginia grown grapes.

Reviewed By jehenson81

This winery is right on historic Route One just up from 295. It is a cute little place that is in the process of expanding. The tasting menu has 13 wines on it and they had two more open to try. All their wines were very good with a few sweeter ones. I bought a bottle of their sweeter ones.

5. Center Of The Universe Brewing Company

11293 Air Park Rd, Ashland, VA 23005-3436 +1 804-368-0299
Excellent
44%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
0%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 45 reviews

Center Of The Universe Brewing Company

Reviewed By Jackfred - Ashland, Virginia

Our Ashland Rotary Club met here for an informal social where potential Rotary members came for a meet and greet. The staff at Center of the Universe Brewing was gracious and helpful. They helped us choose a draft beer to suit our tastes and the food that was prepared was delicious with choices for all dietary needs. While there the staff kept checking on every person to make sure everyone had what they wanted. Did I say that their beer is excellent. My experience there was perfect. I'm now a big fan of Center of the Universe Beers!!

6. Ashland/Hanover Visitor Center

112 N Railroad Ave, Ashland, VA 23005-1517 +1 800-897-1479
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 29 reviews

Ashland/Hanover Visitor Center

Reviewed By Tim M - Halethorpe, Maryland, United States

This is like walking back in history! I appreciate that they have maintained the historical/cultural layout of this train station. It was interesting, if not a bit eerie, to walk through this place. Definitely made me think about how things were.... glad they are no...MoreIt's great that we can operate a visitor center in the old depot and still maintain the history of the Old RF&P train station. Thanks for the review.

7. Hanover Wayside Park

8225 Hanover Wayside Rd, Hanover, VA 23069
Excellent
20%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
40%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 5 reviews

Hanover Wayside Park

Reviewed By dghornock - Newark, Delaware

Just north of Richmond and just south of the town of Hanover on the east side of US 301 is a nice little pet-friendly park with a neat little road running through it. There are picnic tables and rest rooms (outhouses.) Tall trees live the drive running through it with plentiful loblolly (southern) pine. There are monuments to veterans on the north side of the parrk, and there is a small pond. on the south side. Free admission.

8. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

1800 Lakeside Ave, Richmond, VA 23228-4700 +1 804-262-9887
Excellent
76%
Good
19%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

With something for all ages and interests, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a place to learn about plants, to marvel at nature, to relax in a beautiful setting, to take gardening classes, or to have a wedding or a business meeting. A wide variety of experiences are offered through its diverse gardens and facilities. No wonder Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is consistently one of the most-visited attractions in the Richmond, Va., area.

Reviewed By marykarz - Bluffton, South Carolina

We had a wide range of ages in our group--67 being the oldest, and 7 being the youngest. There is a good bit of walking if you see all of the gardens. We all enjoyed it--there are a good many things the kids can do...MoreThanks for taking the time to write a review. We're so glad you enjoyed your visit.

9. Lavender Fields Herb Farm

11300 Winfrey Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23059-4646 +1 804-262-7167
Excellent
50%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
17%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 41 reviews

Lavender Fields Herb Farm

Reviewed By Coccindy

We met family in Glen Allen for lunch after a three hour drive. We had been wanting to go to Lavender Fields so we planned a visit after lunch. Wow, what a disappointment! Very small amount of plants for sale and one small greenhouse. Their country store was in a small shed and was all things Lavender, which is the only place I saw any Lavender. They boast about their Lavender Ice cream like its abundant. There is a small cube freezer with a tiny sign saying "Lavender Ice Cream".

This place is nothing more than someones back yard. I hardly call it a farm. Im SO glad we didnt make a special trip to see it! The website makes it VERY deceiving!

10. North Anna Battlefield Park

12075 Verdon Rd, Ashland, VA 23047-1502 +1 804-365-7150
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 14 reviews

North Anna Battlefield Park

Reviewed By akittynamedtabitha - Woodinville, Washington

This battlefield is sandwiched between Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor Battlefields as part of the Overland Campaign of 1864.

This is strictly a walking tour. First the Confederate side, then the Union and then the long walk back.

The Confederate trenches are as advertised, the best on display of any battlefield. There is a brochure on the nps.gov/ns/frsp/planyourtour website, which advertises the Union trail as rigorous. Gauge the first half of your walk and then imagine rigorous. In the heat. It is a long trail, but worth the walk if you can handle the trail. It is very dense woods and growth, but what is pointed out with the interpretive signs is very easy to see and you'll get a good sense of the battle. The main part of the action is 3/4 of the way through the Confederate side and sites 1 & 2 of the union side, which is where the main battle was fought.

Read about the battle ahead of time and the trail will make more sense. Very thick woods so dress appropriately to be safe from ticks. If you are an enthusiast, then this is a must trip/walk. No visitor center. There was a walking map at the main park entrance, which was helpful, but you can also download it from the NPS or Civil War Traveler site.

Perhaps take some alcohol and you'll get the same experience as the Union General Ledlie had...

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