Best things to do in Warrenton, VA

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Recently, my husband and I visited Fauquier County, Virginia to discover the best things to do in Warrenton, VA for couples.

The fall weather was crisp and cool. The streets of Warrenton, Virginia were decorated for the season. And, the shops, restaurants and attractions were bustling with activity.

Things to do in Warrenton, VA include shopping the historic Old Town city center. Pictured here are street clocks, shops, people walkking and fall foliage

So, if you have never heard of Fauquier County — or if you never knew there were lots of things to do in Warrenton, VA — this post is for you! Read on to discover this quaint, historic town!

Where is Warrenton, Virginia?

Though it was established in 1810, you might wonder where is Warrenton, Virginia and why have I never heard of it?

Located just an hour west of family friendly Washington, DC, Warrenton, Virginia’s history dates back to the late 1700s. A trading outpost was built at the crossroads of two major roads that were heavily traveled in Colonial times. A courthouse and jail soon followed. The town grew as the railroad came, and it avoided major destruction during the Civil War.

Eventually, those who know where Warrenton, Virginia is, probably discovered it for its tie to horse racing and summer resorts of old.

That quaint charm is still evident today.

Brick sidewalks and charming street lights welcome people to Old Town Warrenton

Historic homes line the streets. Brick sidewalks and cozy restaurants beckon guests to linger. The warmth of a bygone era with all the modern conveniences make attractions in Warrenton, VA worth a visit.

We spent two days there and found lots of fun things to do in Warrenton, VA. I think the only thing that surprised us was that we could have stayed a couple more days to do more!

Paint your own pottery at Earth, Glaze & Fire

A community staple for close to 25 years, Earth, Glaze & Fire is a bright, open paint your own pottery studio in Warrenton. As attractions in Warrenton, VA go, this is probably near the top. It was busy!

Located at 80 Main Street, in the heart of downtown Warrenton, the Earth, Glaze & Fire studio welcomes walk-ins and scheduled visits to paint your own pottery. The back of the large studio space is used for parties and large groups.

If you’ve never done this before, the process is pretty straight-forward. Select a piece of pottery to paint (prices on the bottom include the pottery, paint and glazing). Then, select your paint colors from a paint board. And finally, paint away!

Because the studio is large, guests can take their time painting their piece. We recommend you allow a minimum of two hours for anything larger than a coffee mug.

Once your piece is done, you leave it at the studio to have it glazed and fired. If you don’t live nearby, you can pay for shipping before leaving the studio and wait for your box to arrive.

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience. The studio was busy the whole time, but we had a table for ourselves. They didn’t rush us to finish. And, they offered painting tips when requested. We weren’t surprised by the crowds or their long years in business!

What do you think of our finished creations?

Glazed paint your own pottery from Earth Glaze & Fire in Warrenton, VA. Left is a white planter with some leaves painted green. Right is an acorn in shades of brown, orange and yellow with a yellow and red oak leaf

PLAN YOUR VISIT to Earth, Glaze & Fire:

  • ADDRESS: 80 Main Street, Warrenton, VA
  • HOURS:
    • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
    • Monday, CLOSED.
  • We recommend you arrive AT LEAST two hours before closing!

Enjoy a pint and a meal at Silver Branch Warrenton Station

Recently opened, Silver Branch Brewery Warrenton Station is the second location for co-founders and Virginia natives, Christian Layke and Brett Robison.

Beer tasting at the tap room at Silver Branch Warrenton Station

The taproom at Silver Branch Warrenton Station serves up craft beers, German food and gemütlich (which means a nebulous sense of camaraderie, coziness, and sense of belonging one gets when enjoying time with good friends).

Basically, come in to enjoy a beer, but more importantly, treasure the time to hang out with friends!

When we visited Silver Branch was in the midst of its opening rollout with a limited menu. However, they know what they’re doing and I look forward to going back again soon.

As far as attractions in Warrenton, VA, Silver Branch is the place to go to hang out with friends to catch a game!

PLAN YOUR VISIT to Silver Branch Warrenton Station:

  • ADDRESS: 56 E. Lee Street, Warrenton. There is limited parking on site, plus ample street and garage parking nearby. If you need an accessible entrance, go around back where there is easy access to the lower level.
  • HOURS: Check the website for latest hours. Generally, they are closed Monday and Tuesday. Open Wednesday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. or later. Saturday and Sunday, Noon to 8:00 p.m. or later.
  • MENU: For current offerings, their Facebook page is most current. But, save room for dessert! Just look at this chocolate stout cake made with Silver Branch Chronicle Stout and drizzled in their own Glass Castle caramel sauce. You’ll want to lick the plate clean!

Shop ’til you drop!

Okay, maybe not QUITE ’til you drop!

But, when you talk about things to do in Warrenton, VA, shopping is definitely on the list!

There are lots of independent shops in Old Town Warrenton, each with its own personality and vibe.

We knew we had an afternoon just to wander through Warrenton, and we got a lot of Christmas shopping done. Super fun!

Latitudes Fair Trade Store in Old Town Warrenton, with brick sidewalk in foreground and a yellow leaf ginko tree on the right side

Some of the shops we recommend, based on quality of merchandise and staff friendliness, are:

  • Latitudes Fair Trade Store, 78 Main Street, Warrenton. Great for gifts, the shop features fair trade items from across the world. Many items support charities and life-improving initiatives. Shop with purpose! The staff is friendly and helpful, too.
  • Deja Brew Cafe, 22 Main Street, Warrenton. Serving coffee, sandwiches, pastries and other beverages, stop in for a break or a light meal whenever you’re in Warrenton. (PRO TIP: When you see lots of people strolling with their coffee cups, you know it’s good!)
  • The Open Book, 104 Main Street, Warrenton. An independent, small town book store. Need I say more? Seriously, the staff here is great. I was on the hunt for one particular book which I can’t find anywhere. They looked the title up, and let me know it’s an independent publisher, so I should contact the author directly. Problem solved!
  • Red Truck Rural Bakery, 22 Waterloo Street, Warrenton. This little bakery is a popular with celebrities from New York to California! We popped in for a tasty treat. They also serve sandwiches and have a wall of gifts for the foodies on your list.
Antique red pick up truck at Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, VA

Look for the Murals

Like many towns in the United States, Warrenton has several murals that celebrate its history and sense of place in America. We found the “Civil War Mural,” at 25 South Fourth Street to be incredibly interesting.

Warrenton Civil War Mural on a building on 4th Street in Old Town

We also saw the “You Are Home” mural while it was still in process. It’s now complete and quite beautiful. Find it at 20 Main Street in Warrenton.

Warrenton You Are Home Mural on the side of the Britches building

And, of course, there’s the postcard mural, “Greetings from Old Town,” located at the corner of 2nd Street and Main Street. This classic mural has been a popular selfie backdrop since 2018!

Selfie in front of the "Greetings from Old Town Warrenton, VA" mural

When you think of attractions in Warrenton, VA, also look beyond the city limits! There are lots of things to do near Warrenton, VA that make a visit here even more enjoyable.

Things to do near Warrenton, VA

Warrenton, Virginia sits at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The region is absolutely beautiful! Attractions in Warrenton, VA offer great opportunities to appreciate that beauty!

Molon Lave Vineyards

A short drive south of Warrenton, Virginia, discover Molon Lave Vineyards, a family owned vineyard and winery.

Vineyard and scenery at Molon Lave Vineyards

This unique winery produces white, red and rose wines, all available for wine tastings or purchase. They also produce two rare products: Kokineli, a traditional Greek style rose, and certified Kosher wines.

Molon Lave Wine tasting, shows two of their wines and an engraved wine glass

With porch seating, decks overlooking a pond and the vineyards, and seating for small groups, a visit to Molon Lave Vineyards is one of the most relaxing things to do near Warrenton, VA! Order a charcuterie board with your wine and watch the sun set over the hills.

PLAN YOUR VISIT to Molon Lave Vineyards:

  • ADDRESS: 10075 Lees Mill Road, Warrenton.
  • HOURS: Monday to Thursday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • FAMILY and DOG FRIENDLY. Children and dogs must be supervised at all times. Dogs must be on leashes and vaccinated.

Spend a day in the country at Airlie

One of the most unusual places we visited on our trip was Airlie Hotel. We stayed at an AirBnb in Culpeper this particular trip, but we plan to stay at this Warrenton, Virginia hotel the next time we are in the area!

Staircase at Airlie in Warrenton, near the entrance to Harry's

Airlie is a “country resort,” a boutique hotel that is popular for weddings, that is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s an hour from Washington, DC but feels like a whole different world.

When visiting Airlie, walk up the hill to the Virginia LOVE sign. It's the most unique sign in the state (I think) L is wine bottles, O is a tractor tire. V is lattice and E is a love locks wall

We visited Airlie to explore the variety of activities offered, which locals and visitors to Warrenton can enjoy, even if they don’t stay at the hotel.

We enjoyed brunch at Harry’s, the casual restaurant on property, and then got to try their new Topgolf Swing Suites. After some crazy laughs, we explored the grounds taking in the gorgeous views.

Celebrating my "big win" at Topgolf Swing Suites at Airlie in Warrenton
Topgolf Swing Suites offer lots of game options. I happened to win ONE GAME! Out of 10!

You can also enjoy archery, Bingo nights, seasonal events and more. Check the Airlie events calendar for current offerings and prices.

More attractions in Warrenton, VA to consider

Because of the weather and time constraints, there were lots of things to do in Warrenton, VA that we didn’t get to!

Warrenton Branch Greenway: Stretching 2.2 miles from Downtown Warrenton to the Stafford Educational Farm, the Warrenton Branch Greenway trail was designated a National Recreation Trail in 2012. The paved trail is open to joggers, walkers and bikes and is ADA accessible. There’s even a retired caboose, carefully restored, from the Norfolk and Western Railroad on the trail!

Fauquier History Museum at the Old Jail: Housed in the old jail, which was built in 1808, the Fauquier History Museum preserves the rich history of Warrenton and Fauquier County. Two featured exhibits feature the role of women and the suffragette movement and the story of William Smith, who played a major role in the early development of the area. For history lovers, especially those who like history from the Civil War era, the museum should be on your must do list of attractions in Warrenton, VA.

Entrance to the Fauquier History Museum at the 1808 jail in Warrenton. Brick facade with American flag and stocks out front

Enjoy a GREAT meal at these Warrenton Virginia Restaurants! While we were on our trip, many people recommended two Warrenton Virginia restaurants to us. Our schedule this trip was already full, but when we go back, we’ll be trying them out!

The first Warrenton Virginia restaurant on our list is Denim & Pearls, at 29 Main Street. This was first recommended by someone in Charlottesville (a couple of hours away), so you know the food is good! Shop keepers and local residents also recommended it. Dress up or come as you are, all are welcome to this “casual upscale” restaurant. Check the site for special events (whiskey dinners, live music and murder mystery events” or to make a reservation.

The second Warrenton Virginia restaurant is O’Briens Irish Pub, at 380 Broadview Avenue in Old Town. Serving traditional Irish fare and more, come hang out, enjoy a pint and a great dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. For a special treat, enjoy afternoon tea on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays! This is on our list for three great reasons: (1) several people recommended it, (2) we love Irish pub food — dating back to our honeymoon in 1990, and (3) high tea? I love the whole concept!

And there you have it! There are so many things to do in Warrenton, VA that it’s a shame to keep it a secret any longer! With history, art, wine, craft beer, great food, shopping and outdoor adventures, go visit. Warrenton has all this and even more!

To help you get started, here’s a link to the best Warrenton Virginia hotels. With traditional hotel chains like Holiday Inn and Suites and boutique hotels like Airlie Hotel, you’re sure to find a Warrenton Virginia hotel that fits your needs!

So, don’t ask WHERE is Warrenton, Virginia. Instead, ask when shall we visit Warrenton, Virginia?