As much as we love living in the city, we also relish an escape from it now and then. It’s refreshing to go somewhere a little more laid back, where we can see oodles of stars twinkling in the night sky, breathe in fresh mountain air, hike among tall trees, and partake in adventures that aren’t so easily accessible all in one place at home.
So, when friends asked us to join them for a weekend away earlier this month, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. We decided to go to Wintergreen Resort, because 1) both of our families had been before — us during the winter, them in the summer — and knew we liked it and 2) we found a great, reasonably-priced house there through VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner.
Wintergreen is located in central Virginia on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, about a three-hour drive from DC. We headed up there on a Friday, arriving in the evening and stayed through Sunday afternoon. And while it sounds like a quick trip, it felt much longer. We managed to fit in a good amount of activity — and a nice dose of R&R as well.
With five kids ranging in age from 1 to 7, we planned most activities around them. We took a short hike, letting the kids do some easy rock climbing; spent several hours swimming at a pool and playing at a nearby playground; took tube rides down a mountain at the resort’s Discovery Ridge Adventure Center; and swam, canoed, and played at Lake Monocan down the mountain.
That’s just a tiny sample of all there is to do there. At the Adventure Center alone you can also ride zip lines, jump on the bungee trampoline, tee up for mini golf, and let little ones play in Ridgley’s Fun Park. There is also golf, tennis, a spa, and fishing opportunities, plus scheduled family activities like geocaching, scavenger hunts and lawn games.
You need resort passes to enjoy some it — like the spa, tennis, and golf — which you can get if you book through the resort. If, like us, you book through the property owner, you can ask about a resort pass. We did not have one, but had access to other pools on the mountain, which was absolutely fine. You also have to be a resort member or guests to go to the lake on Saturdays. That also worked out well for us, since we went on Sunday when there was barely a crowd (and we heard it was packed the day before).
All in all, it was wonderful weekend at a locale I highly recommend. And now that we’ve been during winter and summer, a leaf peeping trip is in the works for the fall.
Wintergreen Resort is located in Wintergreen, Va (though the address to get there says Roseland, Va), about 30 minutes from Charlottesville. You can book a stay through them and take advantage of special packages or DIY with VRBO and add the adventures on once you get there. Either way, you’re in for a fun escape.