For some time I have wanted to make a few comments about Lexington, Virginia on my blog. I hope that my recommendations don't overwhelm them with tourists and destroy what makes the area so special. (Just kidding.)
I have some very close friends who live in the Lexington area. Several times a year we go to visit them and I have taught several workshops and given programs to the Rockbridge County Camera Club. I am always struck by the beauty of the area , how nice the people are, and how support and love for the arts is so much a part of the community.
It's a small college town with both Washington and Lee University and the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) located there. What's more, when you walk across the campuses students actually smile and say "hello" at W&L and refer to you as Mister or Ma'am if you speak to a cadet from VMI.
It's also the hometown of Cy Twombly and Sally Mann.
The surrounding areas are beautiful! There are many interesting side roads that lead into the nooks and crannies of the landscape, up to the Skyline Drive, and to Goshen Pass. It's beautiful anytime of year.
While you are in the area, you might want to drive on down to Roanoke and see the O. Winston Link Museum. Link, you may remember, photographed the trains with huge lighting setups and a view camera. The entire museum is dedicated to him and his photography.
Equally interesting in Roanoke is the Virginia Transportation Museum. They actually have a train yard where you can go climb on the engines, kick the tires (so to speak), and take pictures of the real thing.
So, if you are looking for a nice getaway that offers a lot of wonderful photographic opportunities try Lexington.