By Sophia Rutti
Spring Break season is coming up, which means families in Northern Virginia are going to be searching for the perfect place to get away, but we don’t all have the time or means to take the full week and ship off to Cancun or Aspen. Don’t use your days off to see how long you can wear the same pair of pajama bottoms; instead, take a day trip to one of the most idyllic places in Virginia: Washington. Well, little Washington that is.
Little Washington, as the locals call it, exemplifies all the best parts of Virginia: a quaint town with beautiful scenery and rich colonial history. This particular town has a population of less than 150 people but boasts some of the most incredible sights, ambiance and food on the East Coast.
There are countless bed-and-breakfasts in in the tiny town of Washington including Middleton Inn, a four-diamond bed-and-breakfast, and the famous five-star Inn at Little Washington.
The Inn at Little Washington is everything that a B&B should be: relaxing, romantic and removed. On top of everything, it is one of the premiere dining experiences on the East Coast. Chef Patrick O’Connell’s food has been described as both “inspired American cuisine” and “so good it makes you cry”.
If you want to just stroll and shop in little Washington, there are several boutique stores including The Inn at Little Washington Shops. Stop in and check out Geneva Welch Gallery, Antiques at Middle Street or Wine Loves Chocolate Tasting Room. If the weather is nice and you’re up for a walk, take the 2-mile stroll to The Farm at Sunnyside that recently made national news when First Lady Michelle Obama purchased organic vegetables from the farm’s stand at the White House farmers market.
If the luxurious restaurant at the inn and the quaint shopping lane weren’t enough to make you pack up the car and run out for the weekend, then the countryside that little Washington is situated in surely will be.
The land that surrounds little Washington is the exact same as when it inspired George Washington himself over 250 years ago. In fact, the good General surveyed the site of the town all those years ago, inspired by the stunning location, in the hopes that it would become the capital of our country. Instead, big Washington, D.C. won the title of capital, and little Washington has been a historic landmark since the 1800s.
The countryside is everything that one would expect from Virginia: rolling hills dotted with plantation-style homes, many of which are converted into bed-and-breakfasts. Little Washington is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which means if you want to hike, drive the Skyline Drive or explore the true rugged countryside of Virginia, you hardly have to leave town.
Some of the most popular hiking trails near little Washington are: Mary’s Rock, White Oak Canyon, Little Stony Man, Limberlost, Mt. Marshall Trail and Old Rag Mountain. The hike up to Old Rag Mountain is commonly referred to as one of the most spectacular hikes and mountain views in Virginia, and it is only 30 minutes away from the town of little Washington. If you’re a first-time hiker, don’t worry: Many of the hikes listed above are for beginner to intermediate hikers.
The rolling hills of Virginia’s countryside give way to one more picture perfect aspect of little Washington: wine country. There are three wineries in the town of Washington itself and nine wineries within 60 miles of the village. A list of the wineries in little Washington:
You don’t have to head towards higher-population areas to find a place full of beauty, culture and history. Give big Washington D.C a break and head out for a day to give little Washington a chance.