It all started with our desire to drink wine. We’re both alums of the University of Virginia and often go back for reunions. But we’d never had time to visit any wineries.
Most of our wine drinking was in Orange County, 40 miles from Charlottesville in one of the best wine regions in the country. We stayed at Barboursville Vineyards where our only neighbors were the cows.
It may have been our best road trip ever.
We made a few unscheduled stops along the way, including Poplar Forest, Thomas Jefferson’s retreat home, which has been restored to reflect its condition when he visited from his home at Monticello.
When I saw Luray Caverns on the map, we had to add that to our road trip. I get claustrophobic in some caves, especially those you have to go down an elevator to enter.
At Luray you enter through a gentle downward slope and can wander through the cathedral-like caves at your leisure. They are truly spectacular and worth a detour.
Who can pass up a potato chip factory? Especially on a road trip, right? We veered just a little ways off course to check our the famous Route 11 potato chips and loaded up our car with the crispy snacks.
Here are a few highlights of each town, links to our stories and why you want to add them to your next road trip.
Abingdon is home to the historic Martha Washington Inn, the Barter Theatre and the Virginia Creeper Trail, the best bike trail we’ve ever on. Please see our story: Top 5 Amazing Things to Do in Abingdon.
Wytheville is the hometown of Edith Bolling Wilson, one of our most powerful first ladies. Visit her museum and stay in an historic hotel, the Bolling Wilson, named after her. There’s also an amazing winery, a lavender farm and German-style dinner theater. Please see our story: Things to Do in Wytheville, Virginia.
In Harrisonburg we stayed in the more contemporary Hotel Madison, located adjacent to James Madison University and the official hotel of the school. Please see our story: Hotel Madison: Sophisticated Luxury in Virginia’s Shenandoah. Valley.
Strasburg is the Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, a cute town with a perfect location for outdoor recreation, and a darling bed and breakfast we indulged on gourmet breakfasts. Please see our story: Things to Do in Strasburg, Virginia.
We visited another presidential home, Montpelier, in Orange County, where the wine industry is booming, and stayed in an adorable cottage at the most gorgeous winery, Barboursville Vineyards. Please see our story: Things to Do in Orange County, Virginia.
Primland, in Southwest Virginia, is an amazing luxury resort offering a variety of accommodations, including treehouses, spa, pool and dozens of activities including golf, shooting, RTV trail rides and hunting. Please see our story: Luxury Stay with Infinite Activities at Primland in Southwest Virginia.
– Jan Schroder, Editor-in-chief