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Nearby foodie destinations (from DC)

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We're looking for a fun weekend getaway that involves relaxing, maybe at the beach, maybe in the mountains, or a smaller city. Need fun restaurant(s) and bar(s) nearby, and prefer a higher-end/nicer hotel with a cool outdoor pool. Charlottesville would be a good choice, just not sure about the pool (tons of great restaurants and shops). Prefer eastern shore ocean side, but not sure about the food options. Any creative cooking going out out that way? or just darn good? or a nearby resort, but don't want to be stuck with just boring resort food.
thanks in advance,

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  1. I feel like it might be hard to book anything at the beach at this point. I would recommend you check out Berkeley springs, which has everything you mentioned except for the beach. BUT it has beautiful nature, great shops, great food, and the mineral springs! http://www.berkeleysprings.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: katecm

      I second Berkeley Springs. I have friends who own a second home there; I've spent a couple of weekends there and really enjoy it. Lots of restaurants to choose from. The chef of one of them, Lot 12, was nominated for a Best Chef James Beard award this year. For breakfast or lunch, I love the Earth Dog Cafe - fantastic biscuits and gravy. Also, a couple of miles outside BS, as you are driving into it, you will pass a BBQ joint on the right; LOVE this place! I posted about it here:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/800499

      Don't know about hotels with pools though. That would require research.

      BS is a very artsy little town. To me, it's like a WV version of Vermont, minus Bernie Sanders.

      1. re: katecm

        I love Berkeley Springs but the hotel with a pool thing could be an issue. Coolfont is closed for renovation...can't wait to see the outcome.. and the last time I was there I stayed at The Country Inn which was also undergoing much needed renovation...just not sure of the outcome. I'd be tempted to send you to Shepherdstown. The Bavarian Inn is a lovely place to stay with fine dining and a pool. It sits on a cliff overlooking the Potomac. As for the town itself, it's a fun funky college town with shops and good restaurants such as The Press Room, Shaharazade's and The Blue Moon. The Yellow Brick Bank is overpriced subpar food. The Lost Dog is good for coffee and the Sweet Shop Bakery for pastries. I used to grab a latte and a pastry then walk it off on the C&O canal...which is a lovely walk or bike ride. There are spas I can't speak to. You can rent kayaks or bikes or drive into MD and check out Civil War battlefields(not my thing but it's there).

        1. re: rHairing

          I used to LOVE Shepherdstown as my favorite getaway, but then Stone Soup Bistro closed! I loved that place.

      2. I think Keswick and Boar's Head Inn (which was just remodelled) both have pools in C-ville.

        Other options to consider: Nemacolin, Greenbrier both which have good food, and I think cooking classes too. What about St. Michael's it doesn't have a beach per se, but isn't far and has lots of culinary cred. Bartlett Pear Inn might be a good choice?

        1. Clifton Inn has a nice pool IIRC (and a great restaurant)

          1. Nemacolin Resort in Farmington, PA is a AAA 5 Diamond Hotel. Very elegant and lavish resort that has everything you could imagine. The dining there also happens to be superb. Lautrec is their top restaurant and I would highly recommend it. In fact under their old chef I would say Lautrec was one of the top restaurants in the country. They recently changed chef's but have heard the food remains divine. I have also dined at Autumn and enjoyed it very much. Everything at Nemacolin is top notch and you're treated like royalty. You can get couples messages in the spa. http://www.nemacolin.com/ There are a few different areas within the hotel that you can stay. The rooms in the Chateau Lafeyette are amazing. I can't say enough great things about Nemacolin. It's expensive but it's well worth it!!!

            1. My wife and I spend a lot of time at Rehoboth, DE.

              Most of the town is open year round, and there is a very vibrant local restaurant scene. Plus tax free shopping at the outlets. Off season a lot of the hotels on the ocean are reasonable, and the restaurants are a lot less crowded.

              Current favorite spots are Eden, A(Muse), and Nage. Theres a great mix available of high end dining, as well as diners, and beach standards like Grottos pizza, Thashers fries, and all sorts of taffy and fudge.

              3 Replies
              1. re: laststandchili

                I spend a lot of time at Rehoboth as well. I like Lupo del Mare for dinner (I think it has good food and is a much better value than Eden, Blue Moon, Espuma, etc.) and Crystal Diner, Green Man and Dave & Skippy's for breakfast/brunch. Also I like the dim sum brunch at Confucious.

                1. re: woodleyparkhound

                  Thats been on our list to try for a long time. Never seem to get around to it. We also never seem to have any luck getting into the Henlopen Oyster House. Always mobbed, and looks louder than we're interested in. Late last season we also tried the Shorebreak Lodge and were very impressed. Prices were also reasonable, possibly as incentive to get folks into a new spot.

                  We also like the Robin Hood diner on the avenue for breakfast. Sometimes you just need a gum chomping waitress to call you hon.

                  We tried Saketumi on Coastal recently and were impressed. Great decor and service and pretty solid sushi. I'd prefer that they change the name. Cheese factor is awfully high.

                  1. re: laststandchili

                    Interesting... I haven't been to any of these places except Saketumi. I totally agree with you on that - both that the food is good and the name is horrendous!

              2. Just in time, Eater DC put together a list of 9 dining destinations within two hours of DC. http://dc.eater.com/archives/2012/08/...

                1. Check out Savage River Lodge.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kukubura

                    not sure if theres a pool but has great food wonder inn st. michaels - inn at perry cabin

                  2. Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina might fit the bill. I haven't stayed there yet but I know several folks who have attended conferences there and said nice thing about it.

                    I puts you right in the heart of Marylands Easter Shore destinations of Cambridge, St. Michael's, and Oxford. Go get some chesapeake blues and a lot of beer . . . then hunt around for a slice of Smith Island Cake.