While eloping may seem like a serendipitous event, it takes a little planning. You need the rings, someone to officiate the nuptials, and most importantly a romantic place to run away to together. These 10 Virginia bed and breakfasts, inns, and small boutique hotels and cabins have beautiful accommodations, lovely amenities and there are plenty of fun activities nearby for you lovebirds to enjoy as you start your new chapter together.
HOPE & GLORY INN | IRVINGTON
Formerly a boarding school in the late 1800s, this quaint Northern Neck inn houses an array of beautifully appointed guest suites, spa and restaurant and bar. When making reservations, request one of the private cottages nestled in the lush garden out back. On the property, enjoy a dip in the pool or soak in the romantic secret garden bath with your partner. In the morning start your day with a filling farm-to-table breakfast in The Dining Hall, before heading out on an adventure. Nearby there is no shortage of activities: off campus take a bike ride to the Hope & Glory’s sister winery Dog & Oyster Vineyard, stroll the streets of downtown Irvington or take a sunset kayak adventure on Carter Creek.
Ideal for the enophiles, Virginia’s award-winning Barboursville Vineyards also is home to a beautiful inn and cottages, which are a grape’s throw from the tasting room, Palladio Restaurant, Library 1821 and wine production facility. Accommodations include three suites in grand Georgian-style inn, such as the Octagon Suite with a private garden and balcony overlooking the manicured property and ruins of Governor Barbor’s mansion. Or rent out one of the quaint cottages, like the Sangiovese Cottage, a two-bedroom with small kitchen. Spend your weekend strolling the vineyard, sipping wine and enjoying fine dining. Head to the nearby town of Gordonsville, for lunch at the delicious Barbecue Exchange and shopping along quaint Main Street. Or if you are feeling adventurous, take a scenic country drive to Montpelier to visit James Madison’s historic home or Charlottesville and explore the downtown mall.
A BLUE RIDGE CABIN | MEADOWS OF DAN
Located off meandering Route 58 in Meadows of Dan among a little cluster of rustic cabins, this quaint one-bedroom-plus-loft cottage is beautifully decorated in rustic furniture and includes a full kitchen, bathroom, and living and dining area. Stock up on food ahead of time to make a romantic dinner in the cabin or take a star-lit walk down the road to the Crooked Road Cafe and split a bottle of wine and pizza. While you may feel off the grid, the cabin has Internet access and satellite so you can cuddle up in front of the fire to watch a movie. During the day, grab sandwiches at Poor Farmers Market and take a drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway to visit historic Mabry Mill, Chateau Morrisette Winery, and take hike on one of the parkway’s many trails.
PEAKS OF OTTER LODGE | BEDFORD
Located between Lynchburg and Roanoke at milepost 86 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this rustic lodge is for the couple that wants to embrace the great outdoors and enjoy a quiet weekend in the woods. When making reservations, ask for the Blue Ridge Romance Package which includes a bottle of Virginia wine, cheese platter, breakfast every morning of your stay, along with late check out at 1 p.m. At the lodge, share a romantic dinner in dining room, shop at the country store, listen to live music, and on clear evenings star-gaze on the lawn. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking with Sharp Top, Flat Top and Harkening Hill mountains a short drive from the lodge. The Peaks of Otter Winery is also a fun nearby excursion with a tasting room, orchards and farm animals.
NATURAL BRIDGE HISTORIC HOTEL | NATURAL BRIDGE
An elopement to Natural Bridge is the perfect place for the quirky couple who enjoys adventures. Bunk at the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and be sure to ask for a suite with views of the mountains. There are an array of packages to pick from depending on your interests from the obvious romantic getaway package to a seafood buffet, bed-and-breakfast and even beer lovers package. When you arrive, toast your new chapter with Champagne at the hotel’s Red Fox Tavern and then enjoy a romantic dinner in the Colonial Dining room. Nearby activities include exploring the Caverns at Natural Bridge and Natural Bridge State Park, driving through the Virginia Safari Park and feeding the animals from your car window, and sipping beer and wine at breweries and wineries.
THE INN AT GRISTMILL SQUARE | WARM SPRINGS
A scenic drive through the Allegheny Mountains and national forest will set the tone for your romantic getaway at Warm Spring’s The Inn at Gristmill Square. For your accommodations, choose from an array of rustic guest suites that are uniquely decorated and have working fireplaces. In the evening, grab drinks at the inn’s Simon Kenton Pub, which they claim is the smallest bar in the Commonwealth, and then dine at the award-winning Waterwheel Restaurant (the actual old mill), enjoying a meal of fresh-caught trout from the nearby Jackson River. After dinner, mosey downstairs into the wine cellar and pick out a bottle of wine to take back to your room and sip in front of the roaring fire. When you wake up, outside your door you’ll find a basket filled with coffee, juice and tasty breakfast snacks.
MUSEUM DISTRICT B&B | RICHMOND
If you and your beau are Richmonders who are looking for a staycation elopement, or are out-of-towners looking for an exciting city getaway, look no further than the Museum District B&B. Within walking distance to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Virginia Historical Society, and Richmond’s hip Carytown retail district, this bed and breakfast is the perfect little getaway tucked in Richmond’s quaint tree-lined Museum District neighborhood. While there are two beautifully decorated guest suites in the main house, you’ll want to book the adorable carriage house out back. Breakfast includes a mix of pastries along with a filling entree like French toast or eggs and bacon. In the evening, guests are served wine and cheese during a cozy happy hour in the historic home’s salon.
THE INN AT LITTLE WASHINGTON | WASHINGTON
Located in bucolic Washington, Virginia, this James Beard award-winning restaurant and luxurious inn is a great getaway for the newlyweds who are looking to pamper themselves. Accommodations range from suites in the inn to cozy cottages and historic homes. Start your romantic visit dining at the Michelin-starred restaurant, which at one point in time was named the best restaurant in North American and second-best restaurant in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine. On Sundays, visit the inn’s farmers market and stroll the streets of Washington. If you are looking for a nearby adventure, head to neighboring town Sperryville for lunch and antiquing, sip wine at one of the many area wineries, or drive 30 minutes to explore the Luray Caverns.
THE GEORGES | LEXINGTON
Downtown Lexington is filled with small-town charm from its historic buildings to independent boutiques and eateries. And, The Georges boutique inn is located in the heart of downtown, within walking distance to all the fun. Guest suite reservations include complimentary breakfast and afternoon refreshments. When you arrive, kick off your elopement with celebratory drinks in the inn’s piano bar and then head out for a night on the town. Start your day with breakfast at the inn, cooked by Michelin-starred chef Matthew Bousquet and then wander the campuses of Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University, or head to one of the many nearby breweries and wineries.
STONEWALL JACKSON HOTEL | STAUNTON
This little Shenandoah Valley town is the perfect place for the locavore couple to visit as it is home to Polyface Farm, eateries like The Shack, and a host of breweries. Conveniently located in the historic downtown and within walking distance to coffee shops, restaurants and boutiques, Stonewall Jackson Hotel offers a comfortable place to bunk. To embrace the old-timey charm of the hotel, request a room in the historic wing — and choose from a variety of packages like the winter wine package, bed-and-breakfast package or Shakespeare package, which includes two tickets to the neighboring Blackfriars Playhouse.
Marissa Hermanson is a Richmond, Virginia-based journalist who writes about arts and culture, food and drink, home and decor, travel and weddings. You can find her stories in Apartment Therapy, Domino, Dwell, Houzz, Southern Living, The Kitchn and The Knot.