Last week, we had the opportunity to explore Washington, VA, also known as Little Washington. This charming little town is located a little over an hour outside of Washington, D.C., right at the Shenandoah National Park’s foothills. In my honest opinion, this town a hidden gem for foodies and wine lovers, and I can’t believe I haven’t made the trip sooner!
If you’re looking for a quick getaway, this is a charming area to spend a weekend in. There’s great wine, cute shops, and world-class cuisine! Here are my favorite things to do in and around Washington, VA.
Things to Do in Washington, VA: Getting There & Getting Around
Little Washington is a little over an hour away from D.C. and about an hour and a half away from Charlottesville. It’s a tiny town, so, unfortunately, Uber service doesn’t exist here. You will need to get a car to make your way to Washington unless you arrange for a private car service.
Washington VA’s Main Street is super walkable, and our B&B had bicycles for us to rent to get around town. The wineries are a 10-minute drive outside of time, so it’s handy to have your own car and a designated driver to get you to all the sights safely. Plus, I’d highly recommend stopping by neighboring Sperryville for more shopping, dining, and drinking!
Things to Do in Washington, VA: Where to Stay
The White Moose Inn team invited us to stay at their property, and we had an absolute blast. Very thankful that they offered to host us!
White Moose Inn is also owned by the same folks that brought us Hotel Hive in Washington D.C., and I definitely noticed the similarities in the design between the two properties. Both have signature pops of yellow throughout, which was a fun, unexpected touch!
I loved the White Moose Inn because it was a charming yet modern bed and breakfast. I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I’m not looking for a ton of colonial-era decor when I book a B&B: I loved that the decor here was chic and higher-end, yet homey. I also felt super comfortable traveling here since it’s a small property, and even when it’s fully booked, it’s still really easy to social distance while staying here.
The White Moose Inn has plenty of room types to choose from. We stayed in The Suite and thought it was the perfect amount of space for a romantic getaway. We loved the spacious layout, the Molton Brown bath products, and the double pedestal sinks in the bathroom (a must when traveling with your significant other!) They also have a private cottage and a couple of villas (see one & two) if you’re looking for a bit more privacy and space.
The White Moose Inn has a complimentary happy hour every night, where they serve Early Mountain wine and Copper Fox whiskey, two local favorites. They also have a complimentary breakfast each morning, and we were able to enjoy a yogurt parfait and a vegetarian quiche.
Overall, I’d highly recommend the White Moose Inn if you’re looking for a place to stay in Little Washington. It was quiet, charming, and a perfect home base to explore the area!
Things to Do in Washington, VA: Things to Do
We split our time between Little Washington and the neighboring Sperryville, VA, which are only 10 minutes apart. Sperryville is a super cute, hip small town that’s worth the trip!
Both of these are pretty small towns, but here are a few things to do when you’re in the area:
- Visit the Shenandoah National Park. If you’re a nature lover, definitely take a trip to the Shenandoah National Park. Here, you can hike, camp, fish, and view wildlife. There are also ranger programs for children available, although these have been paused due to COVID at the moment.
- Drive the acclaimed Skyline Drive. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can drive the Shenandoah National Park and still soak up all of the mountain views. This slow, scenic drive will take your breath away, and it is something I love doing year-round. Be sure to check for any advisories or road closures in advance: inclement weather can impact the roads!
- Shop at r. h. ballard shop & gallery. This shop is located right on Main Street in Little Washington, steps away from the White Moose Inn. It has a carefully curated selection of home goods, books, stationery, linens, and glassware, and more. R. H. Ballard has a bit of a francophone flair. It’s super charming, and you’ll definitely end up leaving with something you love!
- Visit the Wild Roots Apothecary. This women-owned shop in Sperryville was an unexpected highlight of our trip. Wild Roots makes herbal products using organic herbs. I ended up picking up some herbal teas and syrups to make cocktails with while shopping here — I loved the selection! They do host classes to learn more about plants as well — mostly outdoors at this point due to COVID.
Things to Do in Washington, VA: Where to Eat and Drink
- The Inn at Little Washington: My local readers probably know what the deal is here, but The Inn at Little Washington is an acclaimed 3-Star Michelin Restaurant that should 100% be on your bucket list. The menu changes pretty frequently, but it features contemporary, American cuisine made with only the best local ingredients. You will need to make a reservation a few months in advance, but it’s worth the wait!
- Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen (RPK): We needed a low-key lunch after such fine dining on our second day, so we opted to grab lunch at RPK in Sperryville. They’ve got pizza and seasonal pasta dishes. It’s located pretty close to Pen Druid Brewing, and you’re able to bring outside food to their brewery.
- Quièvremont Winery: For my French wine lovers, this is the perfect winery for you! Quièvremont prides itself on producing exceptional classic Bordeaux-style blends. I was really impressed — the red blends here were easily some of the best I’ve tried in the entire state. I also loved their spacious tasting room and stunning mountain views.
- Little Washington Winery: I want to preface this by saying that I am not a huge white wine lover. But the Stainless Steel Chardonnay from Little Washington Winery was so good that I brought a bottle home with me. It was crisp, super dry, and incredible. They also have a great selection of reds, but the Chardonnay really stood out to me! I also loved the atmosphere here: plenty of seating and excellent service!
- Copper Fox Distillery: We tried Copper Fox whiskey for the first time at Tides Inn earlier in the year, and we fell in love. I was stoked to see that their tasting room was located in Sperryville, and I knew we had to check it out! Copper Fox produces some of the best Virginia whiskey I’ve tried in the entire state. I’m a big fan of their Single Malt! You can also get delicious cocktails at their distillery as well. It was a treat to warm up with a Hot Toddy on a cold day in February!
- Pen Druid Brewing: This place was a gem, for sure! Pen Druid is known for spontaneous fermentation beers, and they use mostly local ingredients to produce them. There’s plenty of outdoor seating here, so you can social distance with ease. There isn’t any indoor seating available at this time, so plan accordingly with the weather!
Have you ever been to Washington VA before? Let me know in the comments below!
Photos by Tom McGovern