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Looking for wineries & scenic drive from DC to Charlottesville

We are flying into Dulles on a Wednesday in November and spending one night in DC before heading to Keswick Hall for 3 nights. I am trying to figure out a scenic drive (even if it takes a little longer) from DC to Keswick Hall where we could make a few stops at wineries, views, or some other point of interest on the way. We can't check in the hotel Thursday until 4:00 anyway, so may as well enjoy the leisurely trip there.

Also looking for a nice DC hotel that's easy to drive out of the next day.

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  1. I'd take 15/29 and stop for lunch at Pomme in Gordonsville.

    http://www.restaurant-pomme.com/

    I can't help with wineries on the way since I usually just wait until I get to the good ones in the C-Ville and Crozet areas (favorites are Keswick, Pollak, King Family, Jefferson, among others).

    I was going to recommend The Latham in Georgetown - I stayed there before I moved here - but I see they're still closed due to water damage. But maybe somewhere in that area or Foggy Bottom for a relatively easy out to VA the next morning.

    1. it's not food or wine but as a scenic point of interest in its own rural charm way, about halfway along 29 there's a store advertising "Antiques - Fireworks - Ammo"

      1. There are a bunch of wineries in Purcellville which is about an hour west on Route 7 from the Washington area. Not all of them are open during the week, and most don't open until 11 AM, but here's one listing of several area wineries that will get you some names and web sites.

        http://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=winer...

        From there, Charlottesville is about another two hours (which, by the direct route, is only a little more than two hours from DC).

        As far as hotels that are an easy drive from, I'd stay in Virginia, around Dulles. It's pretty grown up around there so you won't have trouble finding a place to eat dinner, and you'll be well out of the commuter traffic heading into DC when you take off in the morning. Natives don't know much about local hotels because we never stay in them, but just shop your price range around Dulles and you're bound to find a decent match.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MikeR

          Here's a link to the wineries in Loudoun County- http://m.visitloudoun.org/home/wineries. We have a lot :)

        2. On the way to Charlottesville, we always stop by the Moo Thru--local creamery that sources its dairy from farms in the area. It's on the corner of 28/29.

          Prince Michel Vineyard is right on 29 and is worth a stop, nice tasting room, little shop.

          A lot of restaurants in the Dulles area. For basic, Double Tree is fine. For something nice, Lansdowne in Leesburg. If you want a nice treat, try the new Salamander Resort in Middleburg. It just opened and has everything a high end resort should have. Worth checking out even if you don't stay there.

          1. I wouldn't take 29 if you want scenic. I would recommend going to Grodonsville via 15 as suggested before then taking 22 to Keswick, that will be much more scenic and less traffic, especially if there is a UVA game or something. Although I would stop for BBQ at the Barbecue Exchange, although I have been to Pomme and it was fine too, getting some BBQ, then you could check out Barboursville, Horton and Keswick and Jefferson. Barboursville and Jefferson are two very good wineries, the other two are fine and on the way to and fro.

            If you want some pics of those places, I think I probably have them on my blog katelintaylor.com

            1. Well, we ended up deciding to fly into Richmond and spend the night there before heading out the next day. Our flight gets in early evening, and we decided to relax & spend a night there, have a good dinner, then drive on the next morning. So I'm revising my request! Now I need a scenic route/winery/restaurant for lunch stops from Richmond to Keswick Hall! And recommendations for a dinner restaurant in Richmond on a Wednesday night. Maybe I should start a new post.

              4 Replies
              1. re: mimi777

                ask for recs in the 'Fan' area of Richmond. comfy, old and small scale.

                1. re: mimi777

                  In Richmond Comfort, Acacia, the restaurant at the Jefferson (forget the name), Rappahanock Oyster Bar. The Boathouse has a really nice view and is good.

                  Not a very good scenic route that I know of, you could hop off 64 onto 250 when your outside Richmond.

                  1. re: mimi777

                    Richmond's claim to fame is Mamma Zu, a truly unique place to eat. In an otherwise residential neighborhood, it looks closed and derelict from the outside, but you better get there by about 6:30pm or expect a wait. It's very popular and doesn't take reservations. No menu, no credit cards, just a big chalkboard that changes regularly. The whole fish and the risotto (if they have it) are tops. Everything served family style, so be careful not to over-order.

                    1. re: mimi777

                      The Post's food critic recently visited Richmond and has some dinner thoughts for you:

                      http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...

                    2. Much as I like people to spend their $$ in Loudoun County where we live, I can recommend at least two of the wineries in neighboring Fauquier County -- Pearmund is well known and quite good, Marterella is much smaller and also worth a visit. nice tasting rooms and plenty of wines and snacks for purchase. And if you want scenic vistas, you'll get them.

                      Pearmund is very close to 29, Marterella is just a few miles from 29.

                      If you have any interest in Civil War history, you'll go past the Brandy Station battlefield in Culpeper, scene of the war's biggest cavalry battle.

                      Culpeper (county seat of Culpeper Co.) and Warrenton (county seat of Fauquier Co.) are both nice little towns with lots of restaurants and shops.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bob W

                        Foti's in Culpeper is an excellent place for lunch or dinner.