It’s time to throw the traditional anniversary gifts out the window. You know the ones. The first anniversary gift is paper, the fifth is wood, the 11th is steel … It’s not until you’ve made it 25, 50 or 60 years that you get to the good stuff! Let’s just make all anniversaries about the good stuff, shall we? And for our purposes, “the good stuff” is time. Time together, traveling, experiencing, and making more memories. You got this.
— THE FIRST TEN —
Don’t get stuck in the rut of just passing cards and quick kisses as you wrangle the kids. That can lead to “the seven year itch;” avoid it! Get away, be adventurous and have fun with a Virginia anniversary trip.
First Anniversary: Take a tour of the National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly and fly an F-4 simulator. Overnight at Black Horse Inn in Warrenton and enjoy dinner at Claire’s at The Depot or Black Bistro & Cellar. After breakfast, head to Brandy Station where you’ll soar over the countryside in a biplane.
Second Anniversary: Saddle up on an ATV for the Spearhead Trails in St. Paul, or sit tight in a canoe or kayak for great fishing and floating on the Clinch River with Clinch River Adventures. Homemade delights served with authentic Southern hospitality can be found at Riverside Diner and the one bedroom king suite at Mountain View Lodge will be a comfortable place to rest after the adventure. The suite includes a full kitchen and fireplace. Cozy!
Third Anniversary: Escape for two nights to Virginia’s mountains for a Wintergreen Resort stay. Many outdoor activities await you, as well as spa services for two. Dine on site at your choice of four restaurants, each with a different vibe and menu.
Modern: Crystal or Glass
Fourth Anniversary: By land and sea, you’ll fall in love with the Eastern Shore of Virginia. From Cape Charles you can meet the real natives of the Shore – the birds, ponies and other tidal wildlife. Paddle to a winery, enjoy the local drink and eats at Cape Charles Coffee House and a comfortable reprieve at Fig Street Inn.
Traditional: Fruit or Flowers
Fifth Anniversary: Own the Shenandoah Valley as you climb her rocks and tour her caverns. Stay two nights at Skyland in Shenandoah National Park with dinner and breakfast available on site, and see about a guided horseback ride through the park. Lucky for you, Luray Caverns are nearby, and they’re the East Coast’s largest.
Sixth Anniversary: Conquer the waves of the Atlantic when the two of you take on the challenge of a surf lesson with Surf & Adventure in Virginia Beach. Continue the adrenaline rush with climbing and ropes at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium. You’ll be more than ready for a hot tub soak and good food, so check into Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront and you’ll find Catch 31 and Salacia right there for your dinner options.
Traditional: Candy or Iron
Seventh Anniversary: The recently renovated Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke is a great home base for outdoor recreation. On the grounds of the 2,600-acre Conservancy you’ll find hiking and mountain biking trails, disc golf, and treetop adventures. Harvest Restaurant and Stony Creek Tavern are on site for a taste of the local flavor, or drive a few miles to enjoy The Palisades, also a farm-to-table gem.
Traditional: Wool or Copper
Modern: Desk Sets
Eighth Anniversary: Two nights of indulgence sound good. Try The Ritz-Carlton in McLean where you can soak your way to relaxation in the Day Spa and dine on sumptuous cuisine at your leisure. Nearby Tysons Galleria will satisfy your urge to splurge, so shop away!
Traditional: Pottery or Bronze
Modern: Linens or Lace
Ninth Anniversary: Reserve tours, current and vintage tastings, and fine Mediterranean cuisine are indeed the norm in Williamsburg. Experience European-inspired luxury for two decadent nights at Wedmore Place, and taste why Virginia’s largest winery is an annual winner.
Traditional: Willow or Pottery
Tenth Anniversary: Shoot clay pigeons, gallop horseback or rev up an ATV for serious adventure in the heart of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains with a stay at Primland Resort. It’s an unparalleled mountain-top escape with unmatched views.
Traditional: Tin or Aluminum
Modern: Diamond Jewelry
— THE BIG ONES —
15th Anniversary: The Blue Ridge Mountains inspire love. Stay at Hotel Roanoke, relax with a couples’ massage and breathe in the arts with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and the Taubman Museum of Art.
20th Anniversary: Stay a few nights at the historic Martha Hotel and Spa in Abingdon and take in a show at The Barter Theater. Peppermill Restaurant or The Tavern are great dining options for your romantic time away.
25th Anniversary: Luxuriate in southern sophistication is The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs. Indulge with champagne, massages and sauna sessions. Enjoy dinner and breakfast daily in the glamorous dining room.
30th Anniversary: Relax for a night or two at Historic Longwood Bed & Breakfast in Gordonsville. Nearby restaurants Pomme and Palladio at Barboursville Vineyards are delectable treats. Visit the nearby wineries and even a cidery – Castle Hill.
35th Anniversary: Get that prestigious feeling as you dig into the lives of Virginia’s presidents and stay at the four-diamond Boar’s Head Inn in history-laden Charlottesville. Tour the surrounding presidential homes as well as the Rotunda at the University of Virginia.
40th Anniversary: From his verses to the burial site of his mother, Edgar Allen Poe still exists in Richmond. Explore the city Poe knew, then retreat to your parlor suite at Linden Row Inn to escape dreams of the macabre. Consider dinner at Lemaire or Rappahannock.
45th Anniversary: From world famous ham and fabulous Colonial, Federal and Victorian homes to the Little Theater and Smithfield Station, your stay will earn rave reviews. Try the traditional good food the area is known for when you dine at Smithfield Inn Restaurant and Tavern.
50th Anniversary: Appreciate delectable cuisine paired with local wines when you stay at Foster Harris House in Washington. Inquire about a cookbook while you’re there. Plenty of wineries are nearby for your sipping pleasure.
* These are fun ideas to spark your imagination as to what an awesome, heartfelt anniversary trip could look like. If you’re celebrating your fifth but like the looks of the 20th, jump to it! The numbers don’t mean a thing. 🙂