A Heritage Route with Heart
As one of the 13 original colonies, Virginia is rooted in America’s origins. Day trippers seeking historic charm and homegrown authenticity will find it all in Goochland County. Travel back to a place where the pace is unhurried and heritage experiences create great memories.
Touring Thomas Jefferson’s boyhood home makes it easy to understand the third U.S. President’s architectural influences and his love of the land. Considered by historians to be oneof the most well-preserved homes of its kind, Tuckahoe’s domed ceilings and dramaticstaircases likely influenced Jefferson’s architectural style. Exploring the home, formal gardens,and grounds take you back in time to 18th Century Virginia. Guided home tours and self-guided grounds tours are informative and awe-inspiring.
Contrary to the name, lunch at the Tanglewood Ordinary Restaurant is anything but. Southern favorites like fried chicken, country ham, mashed potatoes, and greens are served family-style, and are stick-to-your-ribs delicious. Whether you come for the nostalgic eats or the log cabin-style architecture, this dining destination on the National Register of Historic Places is full of local color–and flavor.
Planning tip: Tanglewood Ordinary Restaurant is open for lunch on Sunday and dinner Friday - Sunday.
Nestled in the heart of Goochland’s historic district, Court House Green is home to the Goochland County Courthouse. A beautifully preserved example of Jeffersonian architecture, the Goochland County Courthouse was built in 1826 by Dabney Cosby and Valentine Parrish, who paid homage to the Founding Father’s signature, European-inspired style. Court House Green’s park-like setting is the site of the Old Stone Jail, which was built in 1825 and carefully restored in 2016. Take a stroll on the trail encircling the green and read the signage that brings local history to life. Before you go, stop by the Court House Green Welcome Center for a friendly greeting, bonus tourist tips, and a rich perspective on regional history.
Commemorating the scholastic excellence and the struggles of the African American community in Goochland County, Second Union Rosenwald School Museum takes visitors on a moving journey through local history. Devoted to educating African American children in 15 states, Rosenwald Schools shaped achievement in the American South. Honoring the advocacy of Booker T. Washington and the philanthropy of Julius Rosenwald, the museum is a study in educational progress from slavery through desegregation.
Originally part of Thomas Jefferson’s Elk Island farm, his commitment to agricultural preservation and viticulture are alive and well at this family-owned winery. Specializing in Norton, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Sauvignon Blanc (to name a few), all grapes are Virginia-grown, with 90% grown in Goochland. Whether you toast your travel companion with a glass in the parlor or take your wine flight alfresco, the sips and surroundings won’t disappoint.
Ending your day in a historic home-turned-restaurant feels delightfully appropriate. Specializing in creative entrees and locally sourced ingredients, Lola's is a Manakin-Sabot staple with a devoted following. Insider tip: Lola’s signature carrot cake ends your day on a sweet note!
The allure of the past makes Goochland County a must-do day trip.
Get away to Goochland today!