Sponsored Advertising Content: Southern Living has partnered with Virginia.org to form a guest blogger network. Today’s post is provided by guest blogger Jessica van Dop DeJesus of The Dining Traveler. Check back every Monday and Thursday for new ways to explore the state of Virginia. Whether you like to spend the weekends learning about history or eating your way through a new town, there is something for every taste when it comes to planning a weekend getaway in Virginia. Although I have my favorites, I find that my wish list continues to expand as I travel more throughout the region. Here are some of my picks:
For the Lovers of Wine Loudoun County is home to many of Virginia’s beloved wineries. With rolling hills lined with luxurious homes, beautiful wineries, and plenty of farm to table experiences, it’s the perfect getaway, especially for couples. Where to drink: Stone Tower Winery has large beautiful grounds where you can have your tasting in both a casual or formal setting. Doukenie Winery has a very laid back atmosphere where they host a series of food and wine pairing events. 50 West is a new winery in Middleburg with an amazing view, perfect to taste a glass of Petit Verdot on their patio and take in the view of the surrounding hills.
Where to Eat: For delicious casual dining, head to Market Salamander for custom-made sandwiches and hearty soups. For a full farm to table experience, Patowmack Farm has a restaurant on the farm grounds (tip: arrive early for a self-guided tour of the farm). For a luxury dining experience, head to Goodstone Inn and indulge in French classics such as duck breast, escargot bourguignonne, and braised rabbit ragout.
Where to stay: Goodstone Inn’s rustic luxury property is the perfect setting for a romantic weekend getaway with its barns turned guest cottages, active farm life, and dazzling garden views.
For the Lovers of Food Richmond, Virginia is a great food lover destination in a hip, urban setting that magically retains its country charm. As you walk along Cary Street and West Main Street, you will encounter colorful and creative murals which pair beautifully with the young vibe that VCU students bring to the neighborhood. Where to eat: (this can be a whole separate post), if you are a carnivore, Metzger Butchery is the place to be. Start your dinner with Virginia oysters and indulge in a larger than life schnitzel for a main. For an affordable yet unforgettable meal, head to The Dog and Pig Show for delicious sandwiches, soups and their fan favorite: shrimp and grits. On a sunny day, you can walk over to Libby Hill Park and eat your lunch with a view. Brunch at Maple and Pine at Quirk hotel is a must as well, with is gorgeous décor and dapper staff. Indulge in local food trucks and live music on a Friday night at Hardywood Brewery.
Where to stay: For a girls' trip, the Quirk Hotel’s modern rooms and pink décor are a great setting. Linden Row Inn’s urban B&B is perfect for couples with its historical building in Downtown Richmond.
For the Lovers of History Fredericksburg is a gem for those who enjoy military and civil war history. As a young Lieutenant, I spent several afternoons at the Chancellorsville Battlefield. The Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center provides tours and maps for lesser known battlefields. National Park Service also provides a comprehensive list and maps. If a comprehensive battlefield tour is too much, I recommend the Fredericksburg downtown trolley. The guide combines historical and architectural facts of the city. I left the tour loaded with new facts about the region.
Where to eat: Downtown Fredericksburg has a lively main street scene filled with local-owned restaurants. FoodE by Top Chef contestant Joy Crump is where gourmet and casual dining come together with dishes such as buttermilk fried chicken to pan roasted rockfish. Soup and Taco is another yummy local owned restaurant, focusing on Mexican fare with a touch of El Salvador with delicious pupusas on the menu. For a more formal dining experience, head to Kybecca with dapper bearded bartenders making craft cocktails and an inventive menu with dishes such as the succulent 24-hour pork and sous-vide chicken. Where to stay: The Caroline House is an elegant Bed and Breakfast located right in downtown Fredericksburg within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and the trolley tour. Taking a longer tour of the area? Check out the Virginia Welcome Center in Fredericksburg.
Some of my other favorites include shopping in Old Town Alexandria, paddle boarding in Virginia Beach, and hiking at Shenandoah. What are your favorite Virginia weekend getaways? As a lover of nature and food, where should I go next?