About Washington, VA

The Town of Washington was surveyed by a young George Washington in 1749 and remains to a remarkable degree a village in which he would still feel at home. Rappahannock County as a whole, nestled against Shenandoah National Park, has thousands of acres of land in scenic and agricultural easement, preserving a rural way of life (enjoy apple- or peach-picking) with 21st century social and cultural amenities (attend a concert, visit an art gallery). Whether you wish to spend a quiet day reading in our library or gardens, shop for antiques, hike mountain trails, go wine-tasting, or have a gourmet dinner, you can find it all within steps or a few miles of the Gay Street Inn.


Restaurants Within Walking Distance

Good food and good spirits — here are our favorites within walking distance:

The Inn at Little Washington – World-class dining is only steps away at this

renowned Michelin 3-Star restaurant.

Patty O’s Café & Bakery – This sidewalk cafe and European-style bakery offer an inviting dining room, cocktail bar, and patio dining with classic American dishes reimagined by the world-renowned team at The Inn at Little Washington. Enjoy fantastic live music at Bluegrass Brunch on Sundays.

Ours Noir – French cajun and creole dining with a bar serving local Virginia wine and spirits.

Restaurants Within Driving Distance

Good food and good spirits — here are our favorites within driving distance:

Three Blacksmiths – The elegant space with its open hearth, comfortable seating and lavish wood finishes makes for a cozy, intimate dining experience. Only 16 seats. Fixed price tasting menu of local, seasonal, handcrafted food served Wednesday-Saturday.

The Blue Door Kitchen & Inn – (540-675-1700) For delicious cuisine with a Mediterranean flare. Open Thursday-Sunday. (Flint Hill)

Houndstooth at Glen Gordon Manor – Open for dinner nightly with a fixed price tasting menu. Each course builds upon the next with a uniquely savory blend of traditional, local, and exotic flavors, crafted to appeal to the eye and palate. (Huntly)

Claire’s at the Depot – For excellent local cuisine and high-quality service in the romantic setting of a restored train depot. (Warrenton)

Dark Horse Tavern – For authentic English pub food in a lively atmosphere (live music most weekends, sports TVs in the bar area). (Flint Hill)

Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen – For gourmet, made-to-order pizza to eat in or take out. (Sperryville)

The Black Twig Diner – Located in the Old Schoolhouse Building, this popular local “watering hole” offers a selection of micro brews and a casual farm-to-table menu. (Sperryville)

Bar Francis – Located next to Thornton River Grille, Bar Francis features locally-inspired alchemistic cocktails & classics, wine, and beer along with small bites.



The grapes of Rappahannock increasingly have been bringing home major awards from around the country. Tastings in beautiful settings, opportunities for picnic lunches and special events abound at these and other local vineyards and wineries. Be sure to ask us about winery discounts and coupons for free or discounted tastings!

Local Libations

Located just a few minutes away in Sperryville, two micro breweries and an award-winning craft whiskey distillery provide unique hand-crafted ales, small batch beers, and classic American spirits. For whisky fans, be sure to book our Copper Fox Whisky Package for the full experience! Sperryville also boasts an amazing coffee café that roasts and grinds its own coffee beans for a truly outstanding cup of java. And just around the corner in Little Washington, incredible wines are paired daily with delectable artisan confections in a wide variety of flavors.


Art, Antique and Gift Stores

R.H. Ballard Art, Rug & Home is a “destination shop” not to be missed. There are many other fine retailers in the area, including in the historic downtown districts of Front Royal, Culpeper and Warrenton. The town of Washington features several art galleries, and the famous gift shops at the Inn at Little Washington, all within a block or two of the Gay Street Inn. A few of our other local favorites:

Entertainment & Activities

Whether it’s outside among nature or in the comfort of the indoors, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your visit to Little Washington.

Horseback Riding at The Marriott Ranch in nearby Hume offers scheduled trail rides and special services. Call (540) 364-3741 / 354-2627 for more information or to schedule a ride.

Golf at Schoolhouse Nine in Sperryville–Rappahannock’s first golf course–features 9 challenging par-3 holes ranging in length from 85 to 171 yards. The course meanders through a series of native wildflower meadows bordered by the Thornton River. Call (540) 987-5008 for more information or book our Stay & Play “a-Round” Package!

Classical Music at The Castleton Festival, established by the late Loren Maazel, sponsors classical music during its summer season in Rappahannock County.

Inspirational Talk at The Rappahannock Association for Arts in the Community sponsors Friday night lectures and other cultural events, including stage productions of well-known plays. 

Movie or Concert at The Theatre at Washington offers world-class concerts, comics and movies on selected weekend evenings. Walk just two blocks – and home-made popcorn to boot!


Health & Wholeness

In addition to clean mountain air and an abundance of peace and quiet, massage and yoga are also available nearby to help you relax and restore your spirits:

Natural Wonders

In addition to clean mountain air and an abundance of peace and quiet, massage and yoga are also available nearby to help you relax and restore your spirits:

Luray Caverns – Luray Caverns are quite simply among the most beautiful underground caverns in America. No matter the weather, the underground lake, wedding-cake stalagmites and pipe organ made of rocks are breath-taking for young and old alike.

Shenandoah National Park – With hundreds of miles of hiking trails and gorgeous views by car from Skyline Drive, this unspoiled mountain park is truly a national treasure. Autumn, of course, is spectacular, but the park puts on a new face for every season and has activities to offer everyone. To make your outdoor adventure even better, be sure to book our Hiking Package!

Shenandoah Caverns – With its snaking, soaring caves, Shenandoah Caverns has amazed visitors for nearly a century. The caverns are kept at a comfortable 56 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, and elevators and easy-to-traverse terrain make this natural wonder accessible to people of all ages and physical ability.



If you need to get around Rappahannock during your stay, we recommend SSMG. They can arrange a winery tour, get you to-and-from a wedding or special event, or provide limousine service from the airport. Call (817) 301-9679 for more information. 

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