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16 Bed and Breakfasts for Virginia History Explorations

by Casey | Posted on April 16th, 2014

Virginia’s most popular history attractions are always within reach, but come a bit closer. Pair your history jaunt with a stay at the closest bed and breakfasts.

A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast

A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast

Historic Jamestowne is the first permanent English settlement in North America. Colonists arrived here in 1607; John Rolfe and Pocahontas were married here in 1614; and the first representative assembly in America met here in 1619. Archaeology walking tours are available daily and the on-site archaeology museum will give you quite the view and understanding of the important ground you tread upon. Within five miles, choose from these four immaculate bed and breakfasts.

The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg

The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City takes you inside 1775 and the beginning of the Revolution. Meet the townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers, political figures, women, and enslaved that call Williamsburg home. As one can imagine when considering the historic nature of the Williamsburg area, bed and breakfasts are plentiful. Here are a few contenders within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg.

  • Fife & Drum Inn (.6 mile) – Nine distinctive rooms and suites are decorated in the flavor of the 18th century but with a modern twist.
  • Colonial Capital B&B Inn (.8 mile) – Colonial Revival boasts a rich blend of warmth, style, and comfort.
  • Applewood Colonial B&B (.8 mile) – Stately Georgian modeled after early Colonial Williamsburg restoration efforts.
  • The Williamsburg Manor (.8 mile) – Southern hospitality in a fresh and eclectic setting. Recently updated to combine the spirit of Williamsburg with the most modern of amenities.

Yorktown Victory Center is a museum of the American Revolution chronicling America’s struggles for independence. Exhibits include a rare early broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence dating to July 1776, a predecessor to the handwritten parchment copy signed by members of Congress. Within a mile of the Center are two historic B&Bs to choose from.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop Monticello in Charlottesville is a must-see historic destination. It’s the only U.S. presidential and private home on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stay at The Inn at Monticello, just two miles away, to enjoy the home, gardens, and views Jefferson loved so much. It’s an 1850s southern manor with romantic guest rooms and hearty gourmet breakfast.

Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Estate and Gardens are located in northern Virginia right on the banks of the Potomac River. Visit to see the new Ford Orientation Center, the most famous dentures in the world, heritage animal breeds, Washington’s distillery, and so much more.  Just over six miles away is the charming Gatsby’s House Bed and Breakfast in Old Town Alexandria. The proximity to everything in Old Town is reason enough to stay.

Montpelier was James Madison’s lifelong home. Take a guided tour of his and Dolley’s house, the expansive gardens, and other points of interest on the 2,650-acre estate. The closest bed and breakfast for your presidential explorations is Inn at Westwood Farm, just 1.3 miles away. Four beautifully appointed rooms are available in the 1910 farmhouse, and the concierge service is renowned.

James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.

James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.

James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland will catch you by surprise. It’s far more modest than the aforementioned presidential homes. In fact, Monroe called his home his “cabin castle.” Tours are offered daily, and the working farm adds to the attraction. Only two miles away is a very comfortable b&b, the only one in Charlottesville that also has a working vineyard – Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast. While it’s not a historic home as others mentioned in this post, it’s very well-appointed with no detail overlooked. You can even take their local winery tour with dinner transportation provided.

Of note, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Montpelier, and Ash Lawn-Highland are sites along the Road to Revolution Heritage Trail.

In Ewing, find Wilderness Road State Park, 310 acres that lie astride the Wilderness Road, a route carved by Daniel Boone in 1775. The route, which followed a buffalo trace, opened America’s first western frontier. Most notable in the park is the Karlan Mansion, built in the 1877. Stay seven miles away at the Wilderness Road Bed and Breakfast, and ask for the master suite. The sweeping views from the balcony will leave you breathless.

Civil War enthusiasts can visit the location of the war’s end in April 1865 – Appomattox Court House and National Historical Park. The highlight is the McLean House where Generals Lee and Grant crafted and signed the terms of surrender, bringing an end to the bloodiest chapter of United States history. Babcock House Bed & Breakfast Inn is just .2 mile away and includes an on-site restaurant. The B&B is a graceful 1893 manor home with its own historical story to tell.

Every corner of Virginia seeps history. Find more historic sites and the lovely accommodations near them when planning your next visit.

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25 Beautiful B&Bs with a Winery Just a Mile Away

by Casey | Posted on April 2nd, 2014

Vineyards are stunning with rolling hills of green vines. If you love the feeling you have when you visit a winery tasting room and walk the grounds, stay nearby so you don’t lose it. We’ve identified 25 beautiful Virginia bed and breakfasts that are a mile or less away from a Virginia winery. Stay close, sip close.

Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

Central Virginia

The Farmhouse at Veritas is located in Afton and has two wineries nearby. On site is Veritas Vineyard & WineryAfton Mountain Vineyard is .9 mile southwest. The Farmhouse is a comfortable reflection of its 19th century history.

Also in Afton is Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast and Cottage, a Civil War-era landmark on the grounds of Flying Fox Vineyard. In fact, the tasting room is just 30 feet away from the main house!

When you visit Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston you can stay at Orchard House Bed & Breakfast, less than a half-mile away. The home dates to 1874 and boasts a beautiful front porch for rocking and relaxation.

Check into one of the guestrooms or suites at The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford to sample the best of Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery just about a half-mile away. Hill Top offers “true to the fruit” wines and honey mead; pick blackberries seasonally, if you wish. One of five porches is awaiting your return.

Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

Overlooking the vines of Glass House Winery in Free Union is the Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast. A two-bedroom suite on the upper level affords amazing views of the property and pool. Three lower-level rooms with private baths boast radiant heated bamboo floors; two have private entrances.

Inn at Crossroads in North Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places and located next door to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Hundreds of rolling acres steal your breath while you spend time on the front porch of this Federal style gem.

If you happen to love horses in addition to wine, stay at Reba Farm Inn in Bedford where you can saddle up and find great wine just a mile away at Peaks of Otter Winery.

A visit to Barboursville Vineyards near Charlottesville offers you a choice of two B&Bs. The 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards is on the grounds of the vineyard and features bits and pieces of England, Italy, France and Virginia. Just .9 mile east in Gordonsville is Uphill House Bed & Breakfast, a relatively new home and B&B with English flair. Even closer to Uphill than Barboursville is Horton Vineyards and Winery at .7 mile away.

Blue Ridge Highlands

In Blacksburg you’ll find a luxurious retreat at Beliveau Estate Bed and Breakfast, plus Beliveau Winery is right there with it. Each spacious room has a cozy fireplace and private bath. Some have a private entrance and yet others have air jet tubs. Get comfortable with your wine!

Shenandoah Valley

In the southern Shenandoah Valley is Fincastle Vineyard & Winery and the vineyard’s bed and breakfast, too. The beauty of 80 acres of woodlands, pasture and vineyards will sweep you away; stay a while.

Back in Thyme Bed and Breakfast in Raphine is just down the road from Rockbridge Vineyard. The beautiful Victorian is comfortable with three bedrooms and private baths, plus a hearty country breakfast. Sample the wines at Rockbridge and bring a bottle out to enjoy on the swing below the vineyards.

Villa Veramar B&B sits among the grapes of Veramar Vineyards in Berryville and has romantic rooms with whirlpool tubs, evening wine and cheese platters, and of course, a fine breakfast.

Northern Virginia

Forgotten Creek Bed and Breakfast in Amissville is less than a half-mile from Gray Ghost Vineyards and Winery, a winery boasting an extensive list of national and international awards for their blends. Forgotten Creek B&B offers two suites and a farm-fresh quiche for breakfast.

Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

The rustic, country-style retreat of Hillsborough B&B is just about a half-mile away from Hillsborough Vineyards in Hillsboro. A pool with waterfall offer a tranquil setting to enjoy a glass of something beautiful.

The Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast in Middleburg welcomes you to enjoy their 47 rolling acres from their 1805 historic country inn. It can be home base for visiting Leaves of Grass Vineyards, a very small operation that is open by reservation only, guaranteeing your own personal wine experience.

Spread your wings a little on the 138-acre Belle Meade Farm in Sperryville, home to Belle Meade Inn, a restored Victorian farmhouse. Practically a stone’s throw away at .2 mile is Sharp Rock Vineyards, which also has its own B&B cottages.

Settle in at The Blue Rock Inn in Washington. An on-site pub and restaurant make your dining choices easy while Little Washington Winery is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

In Hamilton you’ll fall in love with your surroundings, and Zion Springs Bed & Breakfast is just the beginning. The incredibly spacious suites will leave you asking, “Do we have to go home?” Less than a mile away is The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, a welcoming wood and stone dairy barn-turned-tasting room.

The folks at Gadino Cellars in Washington are fortunate to have a number of nearby bed and breakfasts for you to choose from. Specifically, take a look at these beauties less than a mile away:

Chesapeake Bay

In Irvington, the renowned Hope & Glory Inn, a Top 100 in the World and Top 10 in the US, is less than a half-mile from The Dog and Oyster, a refreshingly unique winery that teams up with Ingleside Vineyard to offer premium and reserve labels alongside their own wines for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience. Hope & Glory offers 25 rooms as well as cottages. National publications are known to gush over this beautiful property.

Perched above the vines in Hague is The Manor House at General’s Ridge Vineyard. Sip a glass of the house wine from the balcony or porch after enjoying a tasting at General’s Ridge tasting room.

Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads

Visit the urban Mermaid Winery in Norfolk and stay in the elegant Bed & Breakfast at Historic Page House Inn, a AAA Four Diamond accommodation. Mermaid offers 12 wine flights for your choosing, all made in small batches from Virginia grapes.

 

Learn more about Virginia’s extensive wine offerings and the amazing bed and breakfasts awaiting you. Remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver.

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10 Places to Saddle Up in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on March 28th, 2014

The vantage point is a little different and the experience is entirely different from the back of a horse. Saddle up and explore Virginia’s countryside and seaside with these unique opportunities.

Marriott Ranch

Marriott Ranch

Offering the only service of its kind in Virginia and seemingly, the country, Virginia Beach Horseback invites you to the Virginia Beach oceanfront for a horseback ride on the sand or a swim with the horses. Corralled at 31st Street, come down between noon and 6:30 p.m. until June for a ride down to the pier and back. In summer, try their new Swimming on Horseback option Wednesday through Thursdays at North Bay. All riders are prepped on how to control the horses; no experience required. Rates from $40 to $100. Reservations are not required, but suggested.

The 4,200-acre working cattle farm known as Marriott Ranch is located in Hume, not far from Washington, D.C. Make a reservation for their popular 90-minute trail ride offered every day except Monday or take advantage of their special rides and overnight packages, such as the City Slicker package that includes horsemanship skills, cattle handling techniques, meals, and overnight at The Inn at Fairfield Farm (from $385/person). Or perhaps the Dinner Ride of a 90-minute trail ride and a cowboy steak dinner ($99/person) sounds nice? Additional rides include day-long rides, river and mountain rides, and cattle drives.

Shangrila Guest Ranch

Shangrila Guest Ranch

In South Boston you’ll find tucked away the Shangrila Guest Ranch, an all-inclusive horseback riding destination. Couples and families alike will appreciate the variety of accommodations (a three-bedroom homeplace, a sweet little log cabin, or the packhouse lodge). The ranchers at Shangrila will also work with you for corporate retreats at The Rusty Spur, and there’s a special Cowgirls Week in May that may be perfect for a bridal or reunion retreat. If you don’t have long to stay and play, reserve your spot for an hour-long ride or the full day; they’re happy to oblige. Rates from $40/hr for a trail ride to $125/person for a daytime excursion with lunch. Inquire for lodging rates and other opportunities.

Additional Places to Saddle Up:

More Information:

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11 Virginia Retreats for Wellness

by Casey | Posted on February 25th, 2014

More often than some would like to admit, a weekend away would be a welcome salve to the aches and drudgery of everyday life. Make this your year of self-pampering. Take the sick days that you never use and treat yourself to calm and relaxation.

Marriott Ranch. Photo by Tammy McMillan Photography.

Marriott Ranch. Photo by Tammy McMillan Photography.

RETREAT

Booking quickly and available for just one weekend, the Wellness Rejuvenation Package at Marriott Ranch in Hume includes two nights’ lodging, meals, wine with dinner on Saturday, one yoga session each day, boot camp drill session, a massage, hands-on cooking class, informal wine pairing education with dinner, and a fireside discussion with yoga instructor and fitness trainer, Monica Fernandi. Available March 7-9, 2014. $485 per person plus tax (double occupancy) or $685 plus tax (single occupancy).

Virginia’s newest resort, Salamander Resort in Middleburg, offers a special focus on equestrian activities and the well-being of riders. The Spa includes treatments for equestrians, mothers-to-be and couples, while their specialty programs include Yoga in the Stable and Yoga on Horseback, each 30 minutes long. Yoga in the Stable has you facing the sunrise and working poses to improve balance, flexibility, strength and posture while Yoga on Horseback needs no explanation. Rates from $20 to $150 per person.

Lansdowne Resort near Leesburg boasts its AAA Four Diamond Spa Minerale, an attractive centerpiece of the Pamper and Putt package built for two. Stay a night, swing one round of golf and relax through one 50-minute massage. Rates from $318.

The Spa Garden at The Omni Homestead Resort.

The Spa Garden at The Omni Homestead Resort.

Set in Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, The Spa at The Omni Homestead offers guests the chance to relax in Virginia’s hot springs through the Spa Garden area. Traditional and Homestead-specific spa treatments are available, as well as daily yoga and other fitness classes. The Omni Homestead has two overnight spa packages, one with a $200 spa credit, and another with a $400 spa credit plus a 15% spa retail discount.

Ultimate girl pampering is yours at The Martha Hotel & Spa in Abingdon. Book the “A Whole New You” package for a gourmet salt glow, 50-minute loosen-up massage, skin deep facial, aromatherapy soak and spa pedicure with your stay for $450. Guys have a package built for them, too. “Gentleman’s Indulgence” is a 50-minute loosen-up massage, facial and foot treatment for $280.

Check into Boar’s Head, Charlottesville’s only AAA Four Diamond resort, and enjoy the Winter Spa Package: an overnight stay and a $125 gift card to be used toward one of six seasonal spa services. Rates from $299. Available through March 31, 2014.

Yoga at Primland Resort

Yoga at Primland Resort

The Spa at Primland Resort in southwest Virginia provides guests with a complete list of spa and wellness services including yoga and meditation classes, a mother-daughter spa package and healing ritual services. Primland’s seasonal spa package, the Winter “Refresh,” is a two-night, mid-week package available Sunday through Thursday. The package includes overnight accommodations, two breakfasts, two dinners, one lunch, a serenity massage, stone of eternal youth facial, secret canyon wrap and float and one yoga class. Available through March 20, 2014. Rates from $1427.

A DAY BREAK

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg offers a menu of services rooted in five centuries of history. Try the 19th Century African Traditional Bath & Strengthening Massage Spa Experience. It reflects the African healing traditions that combined herbs, roots and fresh waters to enrich life and attract positive energy. The modern-day version is 120 minutes and includes Maize and Herbal Body Brushing, Root and Herbal Soaking Bath, and a Shea Butter Massage. $125 per person or $565 per couple.

The Spa at Colonial Williamsburg

The Spa at Colonial Williamsburg

Yoga at Virginia Mountain Vineyard in Fincastle is a 60-minute instructional class followed by healthy foods and wine tasting. A reservation is required and don’t forget your mat or blanket. $35 per person. Available April 13 and August 10, 2014.

The James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg is the site of Yoga in the Garden, a drop-in class open to all ages and skill levels. Bring your mat and $8 per person to participate. Saturdays May 3 through June 28, 2014.

Historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg invites you to join in an Integrated Yoga session the first Sunday of each month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Posture, deep relaxation, breathing, and meditation are in order, as is a meditative walk in the garden. $20 per person; bring your mat, walking shoes and water.

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10 Romantic Destinations in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on February 3rd, 2014

Valentine’s Day is approaching and we have a great list of destinations for you and your sweetheart to spend a night or weekend. Make your getaway reservations as soon as possible.

A great dining experience is an integral part of a destination’s appeal, and I was happy to find that OpenTable recently sifted through 19,000 restaurants’ five million reviews to name the 2014 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. Wouldn’t you know it? Virginia has several nods on the list, which are included in the first four destinations below.

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

1. Middleburg – The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant sits in the midst of Virginia’s hunt country and offers a fine farm-to-table menu of French Country cuisine.

Stay and Play:

Goodstone Inn itself offers six distinctive dwellings.
~ Salamander Resort opened in August 2013 and can easily be described as lavishly luxurious.
~ Salamander Spa
~ Barrel Oak Winery Fine Art Gallery & Tasting Room

More about Middleburg

2. BoyceL’Auberge Provencale French Restaurant is ZAGAT rated and holds AAA Four Diamond status.

Stay and Play:

~ L’Auberge Provencal Bed and Breakfast has been recognized by USA Today as one of Seven Irresistible Country Retreats.
~ The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail

More about Boyce

Keswick Hall

Keswick Hall

3. Vienna/Fairfax CountyCafe Renaissance blends French with Italian and gives it a modern twist.

Stay and Play:

~ The Ritz-Carlton caters to your needs with a full service spa and upscale dining.
~ Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

More about Fairfax County

4. Virginia Beach – Boasting two recommendations on the OpenTable list, Virginia Beach is a fantastic romantic destination any time of year. The Cellars is located in an authentic 1860′s farmhouse cellar, making it a truly unique experience. The menu is described as French County with a Southern flare.

The second Virginia Beach restaurant on the list is Salacia, the only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse in Virginia.

Stay and Play:

~ Church Point Manor Bed and Breakfast is the historic farmhouse in which you’ll find The Cellars. It’s full of beautiful antiques and only a mile from the Chesapeake Bay.
~ Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is home base for Salacia and is one of the most upscale resort hotels in Virginia Beach. Check out the Sky Bar, too.
~ Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

More about Virginia Beach

5. Charlottesville – Livability offers a list of Top 10 Romantic Cities and this historic area of Virginia happens to sit at number four.

Stay and Play:

~ Clifton Inn is a luxury boutique hotel of Relais & Chateaux esteem. Fewer than 20 uniquely appointed rooms and suites are available, and world-class dining is at your fingertips.
~ Keswick Hall is a “country house hotel” with 48 rooms, and is part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection.
Jefferson Vineyards
~ Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Lorien Hotel and Spa

Lorien Hotel and Spa

6. Alexandria – Amazon has released its annual list of Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., including Alexandria at number five.

Stay and Play:

~ Morrison House is a romantic, small hotel with big acknowledgements: Mobil four-star and AAA Four Diamond.
~ Lorien Hotel and Spa is a luxury boutique hotel that is sensibly sophisticatd. Adjacent dining at BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier is a delight.
~ Potomac Riverboat Company

Additional romantic destinations you might consider:

7. Richmond: The Jefferson Hotel and Lemaire Restaurant
8. Washington: Inn at Little Washington and Inn at Little Washington Dining
9. Williamsburg: The Williamsburg Inn and Cafe Provencal
10. Orange: The Inn at Willow Grove and Elmwood at Sparks

What’s your romantic style? Leave us a comment!

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