1. Enjoy some great Virginia wine. It may be a little cold to stroll through the vineyards, but there’s plenty to explore inside the many great wineries of Rappahannock County. Enjoy beautiful views from the tasting rooms at Quievremont Winery, gain some wine knowledge with a seminar at the Little Washington Winery, or relax in the comfortable second story lounge at Gray Ghost Vineyards. You can pair your wines with delicious traditional Indian food at Narmada Winery, sip while playing bocce at Gadino Cellars, or admire the beautiful stallions at Desert Rose Winery. Join the wine club at Rappahannock Cellars, and you get access to special guest spaces, live music and other events, and free wine! Plus, the bar at their new Dida’s Distillery is mixing up brandy cocktails, which sounds just about perfect for winter.
2. Check out our local breweries and distillery. If you’re in the mood for a brew or spirit, Sperryville is the place to visit. Hopkins Ordinary Aleworks serves up a great variety of delicious craft beers that can be enjoyed in their cozy tasting room or around a fire pit in their outdoor beer garden. Just across town, Pen Druid Brewing, run by a team of three brothers, is creating tasty and unique beers focused on the local terroir with wild yeasts sourced from around Rappahannock County. Across from Pen Druid you can find Copper Fox Distillery, an award-winning craft whisky distillery that offers tours and tastings daily. Even if you’ve visited a distillery before, you probably haven’t been to one quite like this! And if you’re a fan of cozy cocktail bars, look no further than Francis, right in the center of town.
3. Gallery hop. Our county is home to dozens of talented artists, so why not spend a day or two strolling through some of our great art galleries? Gay Street Gallery in ‘Little’ Washington is located in one of the oldest mercantile buildings in Virginia and hosts works from a variety of local artists including Kevin Adams who was Artist in Residence at the Shenandoah National Park in the summer of 2017. Also in town you can find several other outstanding galleries, like the Geneva Welch Gallery, Middle Street Gallery, and the gallery at R. H. Ballard. Peter Kramer’s furniture gallery and workshop is also not to be missed. In nearby Sperryville, Haley Fine Art along with Cottage Curator showcase fine art in all mediums from some of the region’s foremost artists. For glass art enthusiasts, there’s also the nearby Glassworks Gallery, as well as several pottery studios such as River District Potters. And there’s so many more!
4. Hike to find frozen waterfalls. The leaves have long since fallen, so the views from the summits in Shenandoah National Park aren’t as colorful as at other times of the year. No matter! For you outdoor enthusiasts, there’s still plenty of natural beauty to discover. The views are completely unlike what you experience in warmer months, and if you’re lucky, you may just stumble on a frozen waterfall. The park has many waterfalls to plan your hikes around, several of which are particularly beautiful when the winter freeze sets in. Even better, winter hiking is healthier for you than warm weather excursions (read more on that here), and, best of all, you don’t have to deal with the pesky bugs. So pick a sunny day, bundle up, and hit the trails!
5. Hibernate at Gay Street Inn! If all of this sounds a bit too adventurous for the winter months, we completely understand. But why spend your weekends at home when you can get away from it all and relax in our charming 1850s farmhouse? Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa, glass of wine, or a delicious craft cocktail by the fire in our library, take a short winter stroll to world-class dining, and wake up to the sights and smells of our delicious, homemade breakfasts prepared with the freshest local ingredients. Let us warm your spirits and relax your soul this winter at Gay Street Inn.
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