Located at the intersection of historic US Route 11, Interstate 64 and Interstate 81 in the "upper" Shenandoah Valley area, Lexington is home of the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. It's also the county seat of Rockbridge County, Virginia.
Lexington was settled in 1777 and named in 1778. It was the first of many towns and cities in the country to be named after Lexington, Massachusetts, where the first shot was fired during the American Revolution.
There is plenty of Civil War history here: Virginia Military Institute was the site of a Union raid, and Confederate Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's only home that he ever owned was in Lexington. It's now a museum. Both Jackson and Robert E. Lee are buried in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in downtown Lexington.
Lexington's military heritage is also event at the Lee Chapel, the George C. Marshall Museum, Virginia Military Institute Museum, and the Museum of Military Memorabilia.
The retro-themed Hull's Drive In Theater is the first community-owned, non-profit drive-in in the U.S.
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Balloons take flight from the VMI Parade Ground during the annual July 4th celebration. The balloon rally is sponsored by Cornerstone Bank and the Lexington Sunrise Rotary Club. Photo: Burton R. Floyd