Do you want to see the Queen on her progress? Or become a pirate for a weekend? If Celtic History or Shakespeare are your interests, don your kilt or memorize a play. Either way, anyone who loves the Elizabethan era has to make a stop at the Virginia Renaissance Faire.
Pack the RV and include your best-loved Renaissance costume in the mix. Have the kids decide whether it’s pirate or maiden time, and set course for Spotsylvania. Get ready for excitement galore. Watch a Renaissance circus act, tap your toes in time to period-type music, and marvel at the sleight-of-hand of the court magician.
Cheer on the noble steeds at the jousting tournament before heading to the feast. Turkey legs are a staple, and sweet tea with funnel cakes is a tasty dessert combination. Step outside the box and go for a Tarot Card reading. Hit the shoppes for jewelry, clothing, and artisan wares to bring a little of the faire back home.
Spotsylvania is alive with history. Visit another era and see what took place in the Civil and Revolutionary wars. Put the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park on your list of must-see places. Plan this vacation as a once in a lifetime experience and make memories that will last. Explore Virginia on your way.
The Virginia Renaissance Faire is a family-oriented event held on weekends from mid-May to early June. Plan your itinerary and get ready to see the Queen’s parade. To dance with the villagers of Staffordshire and see a working Renaissance kitchen, visit www.varf.org. Tickets are a bargain at less than $20, and kids under the age of 6 are usually free to enter the gates.
Held at Lake Anna Winery, the Virginia Renaissance Faire can be found under ten miles east of Lake Anna. Enjoy the scenery as you meander the country roads. The website has detailed directions from several nearby areas like Fredericksburg and Culpeper. Download the Virginia511 app for real-time updates on weather and road closures as you travel across the state.
Parking is located right on the grounds of the faire. Parking attendants will be on hand to direct you to the best spot for your RV. No doubt the lot will be full of vehicles and rather busy, so ask for guidance to a secure pull-through spot. If time allows, plan to stop in the winery for a sample of their best Merlot to take back to your campsite.
Due to the rural location of the Virginia Renaissance Faire, public transit to make your way there is not an option. However, when in town, take advantage of FRED Regional Transit to move between Spotsylvania, Caroline, and Stafford counties. Check the FRED website for information on the routes and times.
The winery grounds do not have the space for campers. Camping amongst delicate and treasured vineyards could be tricky. Choose a campground near the Virginia Renaissance Faire and at the same time, take advantage of spacious tree-canopied sites with full hookup in close proximity to the event. Consider beautiful accommodations right in Spotsylvania, or venture further out to Fredericksburg or Milford.
One of the best state parks in Virginia is Lake Anna State Park. Things to do at Lake Anna include hiking on 15 miles of trails and canoeing on the pristine lake. Venture to Powhatan State Park for primitive sites or camping with electricity for 20, 30, and 50 amp current about an hour away. Westmoreland State Park slightly further at just under an hour and a half and is great for birding, and there is a boat ramp, too. Virginia also has many privately-owned campgrounds with full hookups and fun amenities like playgrounds and pools.
With activities like the axe throw, knock-a-knave, and treasure sluicing, you get the idea that the shire is an expansive space. From merchant displays to period cooking and blacksmithing demonstrations, a lot of walking is required to see it all. Wear comfy shoes for traversing the dirt and grass terrain. Strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs will need assistance if the grass becomes wet, or hilly, uneven spots are encountered.
When thinking of your camping prep, give clothing a spot near the top of the list. Bring casual clothes on this trip as Virginia is a place for exploring and getting dirty. Plan on hiking, panning for gold and walking riverside looking for turtles and frogs. These are the types of activities that the family will want to do. Remember to pack your Renaissance costume, too.
A relaxed camping trip is yours if you remember all the essentials. Pack hoses and clamps for water and sewer hookups. Bring batteries, a flashlight, toiletries, and must-haves like cooking gear, bug spray, and sunscreen. It’s a varied list, so weeks before the trip start jotting things down on paper as you think of them. Make a list and check it twice, they say, and you will be prepared for any event while on the road.
When doing an inventory of motorhome supplies, clean the cabinets and check the fire detector battery. Top up the water tanks with fresh, clean water. Ensure that the medicine cabinet has a fully stocked first-aid kit with newly purchased peroxide, ointments, and after-bite spray.
Peruse the internet for the best camping recipes and shop for simple ingredients that pack a punch around the campfire. Love a hearty vegetarian chili? Fill a cast-iron pot with beans, celery, onions, and the rest of the fixings and let it simmer over the open fire. Remember food safety; store food in proper containers in the refrigerator or ice-filled cooler to maintain safe temperatures.
Whether you are looking for quick-serve or sit-down dining, the chef deserves a night off in any event. Spotsylvania County offers a variety of dining experiences. From Italian, American, Thai, Mexican, Chinese, and more, you can sample ribs, steaks, noodles, pizza, tacos, and burgers. After dinner, take a walk around town and then make a pit-stop for ice cream.
Head to the Virginia Renaissance Faire with room in your tummy. The concession stands are ready to serve everyone and can take care of special dietary needs, too. If gluten-free, diabetic-friendly, or vegan requirements are on your menu, the vendors have it on theirs. Fancy a pair of pirate boots? Have you always wanted a piece of Chainmaille jewelry? You will find these items and more at the Renaissance vendor stalls.
Period weapons must be peace-tied and part of your costume only. Removal of swords from scabbards, for example, is not allowed. Security staff members are on hand if you have concerns. Because it is a busy venue, keep your kids close by and have a plan in place in the event of separation.
Unless the weather becomes dangerous, the shire will be in operation rain or shine. Bring appropriate clothing and footwear to keep dry. Pack shower hooks so that wet clothes can be easily hung up in the shower area of your Airstream. Daytime temperatures can be warm, so if in period costume, bring along a change of clothes in case you are too hot.
The Renaissance village of Staffordshire will be busy with demonstrations of archery, living history kitchens, and militia displays. Keep the kiddos safe by teaching them to stay by your side and out of harm’s way. At camp, make sure the family is aware of safety rules around the fire and at the lake. Keep a first-aid kit in the RV for patching up scrapes and bruises bound to occur.