When we moved away from the DC area in 2013, one of the hardest things (I mean, after quitting a job I loved, selling a house I loved, and leaving friends I loved) was knowing that there were so many places that we hadn’t discovered yet, and things that we had left on our to-do list. So it’s an added joy to be back with a second chance to do those things now – one of which was visit Little Washington, which we finally did over Columbus Day weekend.
Washington, VA, or “Little Washington” as it’s known around the Beltway, is a tiny town (and I mean tiny – you can walk from one end to the other in less than ten minutes) nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the entrance to Shenandoah National Park. The town is named after – who else? – George Washington, because he surveyed it as a young man.
We stayed at a B&B that was about two minutes outside of town, surrounded by farmland. The grounds were beautiful and the kids loved spotting the animals and running around on the wide lawns.
They even had activities for Steve!
HA HA. The hosts prepared a baggie of carrots for the kids to feed to the farm’s gaggle of miniature donkeys. Of course, my kids wanted nothing to do with the donkeys. Nugget clung to me while Peanut cowered on the other side of the road, sobbing “Monster, Daddy! Monster!” Oh, golly.
Can you even handle how suspicious he is?
Little Washington is home to the Inn at Little Washington, which boasts one of the most sought-after (Michelin starred!) dining rooms in the world. I’ve heard it’s over $1,000/night to stay there, and about $250/head for dinner alone. Needless to say, we and our wild children didn’t get any closer than this – across the street.
Instead, we ate several meals at a quiet, friendly place called Tula’s Off Main – the lunches were good, but brunch was a particular hit. The staff couldn’t have been sweeter, and Nugget made several new friends. I left with a job offer, because the manager was impressed at how I never stopped moving as I chased after Nugget. (As I think I’ve mentioned before, he’s an absolute menace in restaurants.)
Saturday was a bit gloomy, so we spent the afternoon wine-tasting. While Little Washington and the Blue Ridge are beautiful, there’s not much to do inside when the weather is wet. After it became clear that searching for family-friendly indoor activities was going to be an exercise in frustration, we just decided to hit the wine trail.
We checked out Little Washington Winery, Gadino Cellars, and Rappahannock Cellars.
All three were lovely, but I think Rappahannock was my favorite. And not just for the kids’ corner, which was stocked with toys and the Little Blue Truck books…
The wines were wonderful! I’m still partial to Loudoun County for what I consider to be the best Virginia wines. But the Rappahannock wine trail certainly didn’t disappoint.
We left with a bottle from each winery. What a delight to build up our wine cellar with Virginia wines again! Now I can’t wait to get back out to Loudoun County and compare.
We spent Sunday morning at Shenandoah National Park – a post about that is coming next Friday, because a national park visit definitely deserves its own day. Luckily, we had much better weather on Sunday than on Saturday, so after naps we headed back into Little Washington to check out the town in actual sunlight.
Now that’s what I’m talking about!
We found a place called “Wine Loves Chocolate,” so more tasting happened, of course.
Wine Loves Chocolate was a shop affiliated with Little Washington Winery, and we tried a basic flight of four wines paired with four chocolates. I can’t remember the pairings now, but I remember the tasting being a blast, and we left with a box of truffles, so basically, a win.
We ended Saturday watching Peanut eat three scoops of strawberry gelato and then run in circles around our room at the B&B until she collapsed in a heap. Good times.
Until next time, Little Washington! We’ve heard there’s a big Christmas celebration and parade in early December, so I think we’re going to try to hit that in a day trip. One thing’s for sure – I can see us returning again and again, because we absolutely loved it.
What’s your favorite weekend getaway?