When you’re dying to get away, but don’t have the time to hop on a flight, play tourist in your own town. Our friends at Yelp DC have gathered their favorite spots to spend quality time with family and friends, all a short drive from the District.
Goodbye city, hello country! With panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountain visible from Breaux’ New Orleans-inspired wrought iron terraces, it’s easy to forget you are only an hour away from the center of the free world. Despite being one of Virginia’s largest wineries this family owned operation is committed to hand harvesting, pruning, and hand sorting every grape cluster before being pressed. Bring your own picnic or grab a taste of regional specialties (their local wine jam is divine) inside. Dogs are welcome and a recent visit featured a country crooner doing Prince covers. Life doesn’t get any better than this. 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville, 540-668-6299
Nestled along the bay, Flag Ponds Nature Park is a secluded oasis of sandy beachfront without the snarls of traffic District dwellers have become accustomed to in the summertime. Millions of years ago, sharks, whales, crocodiles, and other creatures inhabited the waters and shores of this area. If you look hard enough you can still find tons of fossilized shark and sting ray teeth in the water. 1525 Flag Ponds Pkwy, Lusby, 410-535-5327
Impress your coworkers by telling them you spent your weekend in a West Virginia moonshine distillery. The colorful cast of characters at Bloomery Sweetshine will take every notion you’ve had about moonshine and throw it out the window. All of their hooch is made using home-grown, natural fruit cordials with flavors like Black Walnut, Pumpkin Spice, and their signature Limoncello. A visit here is a promised day of fun from the dancing lemon that greets you in the driveway to the guaranteed buzz you will be feeling when you leave. 16357 Charles Town Road, Charles Town, 304-725-3036
Leave the kids at Great Wolf Lodge. The Omni Homestead is an adult playground for all things relaxation. From classic Virginia inspired treatments such as the Southern Harvest Apricot and Sweet Vanilla Wrap, to their European-inspired Aqua Thermal Lounge and Spa Garden you’ll feel all of your tension melt away at once. Also don’t miss out on their legendary hot springs that founding farmer Thomas Jefferson proclaimed to be “of the first merit” (pretty sure that translates to five Yelpy stars in today speak). 7696 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, 540-839-1766
Kimberly Van Santos is the Community Director for Yelp in Washington, DC. She works to curate an ecosystem where both business owners and local enthusiasts alike can support one another through positive word of mouth and social engagement within the community. She also helps businesses manage their online presence, hosts and sponsors local events, and helps to educate professionals about community building and the importance of being authentic. Follow @YelpDC on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.