Babysitter Booked? Check Out These Five Romantic Escapes in Virginia
Virginia may be deeply rooted in the past, but these days this colonial state is just as much about wineries, world-class restaurants and top-notch spas as it is about history lessons. In short, it’s ideal for romantic getaways that are both good for the body and the mind. Sure, you can spend the day discussing politics at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, but then you can pass the evenings tasting incredible food and wine, relaxing beachside or simply enjoying a date out in nature.
Explore Scenic Shenandoah Valley
The gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, just east of Plymouth, VA, is the ideal place for a romantic weekend. Take a tour along the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, a winding road at the top of the Shenandoah Mountain Range. In autumn be prepared for eye-popping bursts of color from the leaves turning gold, red and orange. The Luray Caverns (970 U.S. Highway 211 W., Luray, VA) are the perfect outdoor date, where you descend into beautiful caves full of glittering rock formations. Whether it's the dead of winter or the middle of summer, the inside temperature remains 56 degrees F year-round. Afterward, stop by the small family-run River Hill Wine and Spirits (356 Ruffners Ferry Rd., Luray, VA), to take a tour and tasting of their excellent wines and whiskey. Spend the night at the Iris Inn (191 Chinquapin Dr., Waynesboro, VA), where beautiful, secluded cottages have been designed with romance in mind. Watch the sunset over the Shenandoah Valley, unwind in your own private hot tub under the stars, and get cozy with a steam shower for two before relaxing by the fireplace.
Enjoy Colonial Charlottesville
For a more urban experience, head to Charlottesville, to enjoy wandering around this culturally rich town that is full of outdoor restaurants, cafés, concerts and street vendors. After sauntering and shopping, head to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA), the former president’s tranquil mountaintop home with sprawling grounds, sweeping vistas and gorgeous gardens, or to a show at the Paramount Theater (215 E. Main St., Charlottesville, VA), where beautiful painted tapestries, detailed plaster moldings and imposing brass chandeliers will transport you to another era.
Discover Virginia Beach
Summertime is the right time for romance in Virginia Beach. With six miles of public beach, and a 40-block boardwalk, there is plenty of space to walk, bike, run, swim and sunbathe. After a day of activities on the waterfront head to the super-sleek One Fish Two Fish (2109 W. Great Neck Rd., Suite 102, Virginia Beach, VA) for happy hour in a gorgeous open-air bar with ocean views. Try the popular oysters and gimlet combination, or choose a glass of one of their award-winning wines.
Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail in Abingdon
Rent bikes from the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop (201 Pecan St. S.E., Abingdon, VA). They will drive you to the start of the gorgeous Creeper Trail, a 17-mile almost completely downhill trail that is set in the picturesque mountains of Virginia and North Carolina. The route takes you through farms and along a mountain creek; it's the perfect date for outdoor enthusiasts. Reward yourselves with a cold pint of local craft beer at Wolf Hills Brewing Co. (350 Park St. S.E., Abingdon, VA) once you're back in town.
Get Pampered in Middleburg
If you are in need of some rest and relaxation look no further than the Salamander Resort and Spa (500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg, VA), a hidden gem in the historic town of Middleburg, which is surrounded by wineries—a bonus. This sprawling, gorgeous resort offers large, beautiful rooms with fireplaces, pedestal tubs and stone balconies that open up to the rolling Virginia countryside. The staff here will cater to your every need. Try the customized couples massage, which includes 25 minutes in a deluxe suite and a complimentary glass of prosecco.