Our list of Outer Banks things to do includes fun and easy adventures to thrill the family, spark a romantic ...
These overnight getaways in and near Northern Virginia offer a perfect respite from the winter doldrums, and they are all welcoming in warmer seasons too. By mid-February many of us are experiencing a little cabin fever. We’re fed up with the cold and longing for spring, but we know there are a few more weeks of winter ahead.
Here, in no particular order, are 8 overnight getaways that make a fun escape when winter boredom sets in. Even if your destination is equally cold, a change of scenery can give you an emotional boost to last until that magical first day of spring.
If you don’t find a favorite here, check out second getaway list:
1. Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm, Crozet VA
Late last January we visited the Charlottesville area, staying in a large but cozy room at the Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm in Crozet. Hidden at the end of a quiet country road, the Inn offers several rooms in the main house and the nearby farmhouse. We chose the Wildflower Room, which features a four-poster bed, window seat with mountain views, double whirlpool tub, and wood-burning fireplace.
At night, we drove into town for a fun and delicious meal at the popular Mas Tapas, then headed back to our room for star-gazing on the deck and a fire in the fireplace.
2. Keswick Hall, Keswick VA
Another beautiful home base for exploring Charlottesville, Keswick Hall takes pampering, luxury, and cost up a few notches. Built as a private residence in 1912, the estate became the Keswick Country Club in 1948, with the mansion as it’s clubhouse. Today Keswick Hall boasts 48 sumptuous rooms, a full spa, award-winning restaurant, golf course, and infinity pool.
We combined our Keswick stay with a visit to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where we enjoyed touring the house and grounds and learning about Jefferson’s interesting inventions and habits. In the afternoon, we took a long walk around the Keswick grounds, then dined in the impressive Fossett’s Restaurant. On our way home, we followed country roads, passing several wineries on the Monticello Wine Trail.
3. The Jefferson, Richmond VA
Named a 2014 top destination by Frommer’s, Virginia’s capital city is hip, historic, and packed with great dining options. If you’re ready to spring for pampering with a dose of history, stay at the Jefferson Hotel on West Franklin Street.
Originally opened in 1895, the hotel’s fortunes swung from famous to destitute before a major restoration was begun in 1992 which returned the hotel to it’s former grandeur. You’ll enjoy the opulence of the polished marble staircase, the stained glass dome, and the life-size statue of Jefferson gracing the Palm Court, just like the rich and famous—including 13 presidents—who came before you.
During our stay, we enjoyed a Cuban dinner at Havana 59 in the cool Shockoe Slip area along the James River. We also took in a little history with a drive down Monument Avenue, and a side trip to Richmond National Battlefield Park.
4. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs WV
For elegance on a grander scale, it’s hard to beat the history and luxury of The Greenbrier in Sulphur Springs. With a full page of the web site devoted to dress code, The Greenbrier is more traditional and formal than our usual destinations, but the luckier half of FuninFairfaxVA won a 2-night stay and we weren’t about to pass it up.
Operating over the years as a resort, military headquarters, hospital, and Emergency Relocation Shelter (with a Cold War bunker to house the U.S.Congress if needed), the resort now includes a casino, 710 rooms, and over 100 guest and estate houses. As part of our prize package, we enjoyed 2 nights in the East Terrace Suite and a meal allowance.
The East Terrace Suite was huge, with a large terrace that can accommodate up to 75 guests. (covered in snow and too cold to use during our winter stay). We spent most of our two days relaxing and reading as we watched snow cover the grounds. The beautiful indoor pool gave us a chance to escape the cold, and our dinner in the Main Dining Room was elegant and delicious.
We also ventured into nearby Lewisburg one night for bangers and a few pints at the Irish Pub on Washington Street. The Greenbrier is the furthest of our overnight picks—about 3-and-a-half-hours from Dulles Airport—so you might want to plan a two-night stay.
5. Kimpton Boutique Hotels, Washington DC
We are devotees of the Kimpton brand, and the boutique lodging chain offers eight fun Kimpton properties perfect for an overnight stay in DC. We love the Hotel George, an excellent location within walking distance of the Capitol Building, Newseum, and other fantastic DC destinations.
When our twins were young we made many day trips to DC to visit the museums and monuments. One holiday season we decided to cut down on the driving and add a little more fun to our visit with an overnight stay at The Topaz Hotel in Dupont Circle.
We chose the Topaz because the room, rate, and location on a quiet street a couple of blocks from a Metro station, and not far from the White House, were perfect for our family. It was ideal to take a late afternoon break in our room before heading back out for the evening.
If you visit during the winter, head to the U.S. Botanic Garden where lush jungle and desert plants will help you forget the cold outside.
All Kimpton properties are kid friendly and many offer perks like hula hoops, bunk beds, and other fun surprises. Kimpton is are also pet friendly, so they’re a good option if you don’t want to spring for a dog sitter during your overnight getaway.
6. Hyatt at Reston Town Center, Reston VA
Sometimes you need a change of pace but you just can’t face a winter drive. The Hyatt at Reston Town Center is a wonderful option for a special staycation close to home. We took our kids for an overnight at the Hyatt even though we live in Reston, and had a great time pretending to be out-of-towners for a night.
The kids loved taking a winter dip in the Hyatt’s indoor heated pool before heading out for dinner and evening ice skating in the pavilion. In the morning, we hung out in our room and indulged in room service, but pop tarts at Ted’s Bulletin and a matinee at the movies would be a fun alternative.
7. Loew’s Annapolis Hotel, Maryland
We love making day trips to Annapolis, especially when we have an opportunity to get out on the water in warm weather. For an Annapolis overnight getaway, we recommend a stay at the Loews for it’s great location and comfortable rooms. There are also some wonderful B&Bs to choose from in town, and you’ll find plenty to do when exploring the city on a chilly winter day.
The Maryland State House, which briefly served as the nation’s capital, is definitely worth a visit.
The Old Senate Chamber, where George Washington resigned as commander in chief of the Continental Army, was recently reopened after a two-year renovation, with excellent, interesting displays.
Across the street, you can visit historic St. Anne’s Church and admire the two Tiffany stained glass windows.
Hopefully it won’t be too cold for you to explore the old streets of downtown before heading to the waterfront and the U.S. Naval Academy The USNA Visitors Center offers a rousing short film about the education and training of Naval officers.
8. Salamander Resort and Spa, Middleburg VA
The newest opulent lodging in our area is the luxurious Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg. We have not stayed at Salamander, but we stopped by on a recent trip through Middleburg. The luxurious lobby, library and bar area offer some beautiful spots to relax, and the barn looked lovely in the snow.
Bonus: AC Hotel National Harbor
We spent a relaxing, food and fun-filled weekend at National Harbor, on the Potomac River just south of Washington DC, and we highly recommend it. The European-style AC Hotel is sleek, comfortable, and centrally located.
Even if your plan is a romantic getaway, you can feel like a kid again when you ride the Capital Wheel.
If you visit near the holidays, make time to enjoy the spectacular Christmas tree light show, and walk-through ICE! exhibit at the nearby Gaylord Resort.
In summer, hop on a water taxi for a visit to the Washington DC monuments or the historic Alexandria waterfront.