West of Staunton, there’s more to soak in than beautiful natural scenery and gorgeous wildlife. Here, you’ll find hip food and stately architecture, cooking classes and aerial flight tours.
The area, known for its mountains, water and exceptional greenery, is a natural home for hiking, fishing and other outdoorsy pastimes. With charming B&Bs and inns nestled in the midst of breathtaking natural beauty, we’ve found your one stop shop for lodging, dining, and outdoor recreation. All you have to do is put on your shoes and go.
The Inn at Warm Springs—Warm Springs
The views of the mountains from multiple porches are simply riveting, but the cozy, comfortable rooms in the renovated old courthouse and jailhouse are the real show stoppers. Eat breakfast in the old judge’s chambers, complete with a simple local egg and bacon with yogurt or espresso. Dinner is a complicated and pleasurable shrimp and grits or unctuous pork and mushroom risotto. Owner Jarek Mika bought the place in July of 2017 and is a constant presence to direct you toward the nearest river fishing hole or concert hall.
Fort Lewis Lodge—Millboro
It seems to be in the middle of nowhere and that’s why it is perfect. When reaching out to make a reservation, you can expect to speak to any number of family members who run the property, which is open to guests from April to November. John and Caryl Cowden have overseen the 3300-acre “lodge” since its inception 35 years ago. Both can be found on property to discuss your plan for the day, which could include canoeing, kayaking, swimming or a quick steam in the wood-fire heated sauna. Dinner is prepared by Mrs. Cowden with seasonal ingredients, such as local chicken with lemon or on-property grown pork chops. Later in the evening, enjoy a crackling wood fire in the pavilion or a bright heart-to-heart with Cowden’s daughter-in-law, Erin who tends the bar and the chatter.
The Inn at Gristmill Square—Warm Springs
A short drive from the county of Bath, this Inn could be considered a little more “city” even though it once was a gristmill. Rooms surround a simple courtyard resplendent with foliage and herbs in growing season and maintained by owners Kate and John Loeffler. All meals, including those at the on-premise restaurant The Waterwheel, come together using local purveyors. Breakfast, a spinach and cheese pastry or a homemade berry scone, is delivered via picnic basket, begging to be enjoyed in bed or on one of the many porches overlooking the small creek surrounding this charming bed and breakfast.
25 E Main Bed and Breakfast—Fincastle
Owners Bobbie and Mitch Bowman turned this 1870s Victorian stunner into a bed & breakfast in May of 2016. Three guest rooms have been adapted with the present and the past in mind. You’ll find spa-like walk-in showers alongside period appropriate wallpaper. The Bowmans have created a little conservatory in the back of the house with raised vegetable beds, fountains, and a beehive on-site. Upon arrival, look for wine and cheese in the garden (weather permitting). Breakfast is included with site-sourced ingredients, including the honey. Expect buttermilk pancakes of cornmeal, stuffed French toast, or pastries alongside local coffee.
Arrive by plane, boat, or car to this unique bed and breakfast that also happens to offer aerial tours. . Think staying near a landing strip will be too loud? It isn’t. It’s relaxing and patently scenic. Owners Jack Phillips and Karen DeBord have cultivated their passions and transformed them into hospitality. DeBord hosts a biscuit class near the hangar and Phillips, a retired pilot, guides guests through a bird’s eye view of the Peaks of Otter by plane. Breakfast shows itself in many forms, from waffles to frittatas to scones. Make sure to request the “special” pecan-crusted bacon.
Cedar Pointe Bed and Breakfast—Huddleston
Surrounded by Smith Mountain Lake on all sides, Cedar Pointe Bed and Breakfast is ideal for the whole family. Water skiing, fishing, and swimming are simply a must. You’ll delight in the views from your spacious screened-in porch overlooking the pristine water of Smith Mountain Lake. Breakfast includes homemade scones, eggs Benedict with local fruit, or buttermilk waffles with macerated blueberries. A bonus: if you are traveling by boat, you are able to pull directly up to the attached dock.
Hill Crest Bed & Breakfast—Clifton Forge
High on the hill, the mansion is strikingly beautiful, with large columns, a stone staircase, and a vast wrap-around porch. Inside the 10,000 square foot home is all warmth and welcome. Each room bears a moniker that speaks to its history similar to each course (three to seven based on preference or time schedule) of breakfast, an homage to owner Martha Crawford’s past life as a private chef. The Crawfords have painstakingly renovated the seven room behemoth, leaving no detail overlooked. Expect sweet scones and savory herbed eggs for breakfast, home-baked goods upon check-in and a digestif coupled with a light sweet snack next to your pillow for bedtime.
Robey Martin is a food, spirits, and Virginia culture writer that has been featured in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Style Weekly, and Virginia Craft Beer Magazine.