A Few Days In

Three-Day Weekends from Washington, D.C.

by Christina Ohly
The view from Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley. Photo courtesy of Shenandoah Valley National Park.

Need some quiet weekend plans away from the action/adventure/machinations of Washington, D.C.? We have a few ideas.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Sometimes it can be hard to forget that there's a whole world out there beyond Capitol Hill. But it's true! Pastoral charm, double five-diamond meals, and views of the Blue Ridge Mountains are within reach of the weekend.

Here are a few places to start:

It doesn't get more charming than this. Photo courtesy of The Inn at Little Washington.


If you're in the mood for: scenic hikes and truly stellar meals.

Route to take: The 72-mile drive takes approximately two hours by car. Don't miss the scenic Skyline Drive that winds through the Shenandoah National Park and features waterfalls and starry skies.

Your agenda: Chef Patrick O'Connell at The Inn at Little Washington oversees one of the world's only double five-diamond establishments where chawanmushi (warm, local duck egg “tea cup” custard with ginger-scented Asian tea) and carpaccio of herb-crusted baby lamb loin are the orders of the day. Once in a blissful food coma, repair to one of the historic Relais & Chateaux's sumptuous suites and take in the garden views. 

Avoid the Sunday blues: Check out will be depressing, so stock up at the Inn's Tavern Shop where chef O'Connell has selected exquisite kitchen items, including Laguiole knives and artisanal cheeses.

Ah, the country life. Photo courtesy of Red Fox Inn. 


If you’re in the mood for: a romantic weekend with a backdrop of rolling green hills and grazing horses.

Route to take: Drive a little over an hour on Route 50 east of Washington, D.C.

Your agenda: The charming Red Fox Inn was established in 1728 and has been visited by historical greats like George Washington, John F. Kennedy, and Elizabeth Taylor. Try The Goodstone Inn & Estate Restaurant for farm-to-table French cuisine sourced from the onsite organic herb and vegetable gardens.

Avoid the Sunday blues: With a glass of RdV Vineyards' Lost Mountain cabernet sauvignon at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The intimate winery accepts tastings by appointment only, so book in advance. 

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.