Here are 5 great winter weekend getaways if you want to leave the Haymarket and Gainesville area for a day or two …
It’s that time of year when we start to get a little restless. If you’re feeling an urge to get away for a day or two, without a lot of time or travel, here are a few suggestions for weekend getaways that may appeal to both adults and the whole family.
Various Dates and Times
Neighborhoods in D.C., MD and VA
A food tour is a great way to open your mind and palette to the sights, sounds and flavors of the distinct neighborhoods in Washington D.C. and surrounding regions in both Virginia and Maryland. DC Metro Food Tours, which is part of Food Tour Corp., offers a variety of culinary walking food tours that can be booked either online or by phone. The company offers a number of public tours for individuals, as well as private, customized tours.
Learn from highly trained guides about the culture, architecture and history of a neighborhood while enjoying specially selected dishes from locally owned and operated restaurants. Tours include Georgetown, Adams Morgan, Eastern Market, Little Ethiopia, H Street, Gallery Place, Chinatown, Dupont Circle, Old Town Alexandria, Del Ray, Historic Leesburg, Manassas and more. Tours last approximately 3.5 hours and are by foot or motorcoach. Book a night at a local hotel and make it a getaway!
For example, the Historic Leesburg Tour ($60.00), shown in photo, may include housemade pasta and sausage with wine pairings, Virginia style barbecue, local seafood served in a restored 19th century mill and dessert from an award-winning bakery! Public tours are booked online through third party ticket agent Zerve, which gives you date and time options, a full description of the tour and helpful reviews from verified past customers.
Links to book can be found at dcmetrofoodtours.com. Learn more about Private Tours, Culinary Events, Cooking Classes, and corporate options by calling 202-683-8847, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 17 to 21, 2016
The 9th Annual Virginia Wine Expo in Richmond makes a perfect day trip or overnight for wine and culinary enthusiasts. This national destination celebrates Virginia’s and Italy’s extraordinary wines and the culinary excellence within the Richmond region.
Meet the owners and winemakers behind Virginia’s emergence as a major international wine destination and enjoy dozens of events, including the legendary Walk-Around Grand Tastings, where you can taste and buy a wide range of wines of Virginia and Italy. You’ll also have the opportunity to taste craft beers, whiskeys and ciders as well as artisan burgers, smoked cuisine, specialty food and more.
The main expo is held at the Richmond Convention Center but specialty events are held at various locations and restaurants throughout the weekend including walking tours, wine tasting and pairing seminars as well as non-drinking tastings. You can even sign up for the Love Rox 5K, 10K or half marathon and enjoy the rewards of the expo after!
Visit virginiawineexpo.com for schedule of events and package pricing.
We’ve had some snow and there are still a few good weekends left to for some outdoor winter fun. Located just southwest of Charlottesville, about two and a half hours away, Wintergreen is a resort community with everything you need for a family winter getaway. I’ve been with my family (shown in photo) a few times over the past several years and the ski conditions were very good. They do a nice job of making snow and maintaining the trails.
If you don’t ski, there are still other outdoor winter sports like snow tubing and ice skating. There’s also an indoor swimming pool, a fitness center with classes, a full service spa and four restaurants to choose from. If you don’t own ski equipment you can rent there. You can also book ski lessons. Accommodations include room rentals, condo rentals or full house rentals for large families or groups.
Visit Wintergreenresort.com for more information.
Take a family trip to Hershey—it’s about a two and a half hour drive north on Route 15 (mostly). There are many hotel options but one upscale favorite is the Hotel Hershey. This resort features an indoor pool complex, fitness room, five restaurants and a luxurious spa—something for everyone.
Of course the sweet attraction in town is Hershey’s Chocolate World. Take a factory tour, taste chocolate, create your own treats and shop for goodies. Coordinate your trip with a performance at the Hershey Theater (Blue Man Group from 3/15 to 3/17) or catch a Hershey Bears hockey game at the Giant Center.
Lastly, be sure to visit the highly-rated Antique Automobile Club of America Museum, which houses a massive collection of vehicles set in a variety of historic scenes. Explore numerous vintage displays and interactive exhibits featuring cars, buses, motorcycles, and other automobiles from the 1890s through the 1980s. Current featured exhibits include It’s a Small World: Micro & Mini Cars through April 22nd. The kids will love the model train display and many more interactive opportunities.
For those who are tired of the Prince William County suburban scene and spend enough time in the D.C. area, hop in the car and take a short three hour ride north to Philadelphia. Book a room at the Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing, they always run special offers and packages.
Just steps from the hotel is the annual, family-friendly Waterfront Winterfest held through March 6th. It transforms Penn’s Landing into a winterized riverfront park featuring an Olympic-size skating rink (Blue Cross RiverRink), which overlooks the Delaware River. Warm up in the cozy Lodge with ski chalet-style heated tents, comfortable seating, indoor fireplaces and a tasty menu. Grab a hot chocolate, craft beer or cocktail while you relax after skate.
While you’re in Philadelphia choose from all sorts of fun things to do. Walk to the Independence Seaport Museum or take a quick ride over the Ben Franklin Bridge to the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, a family favorite. Historians may like the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross House or Independence Hall. Shop on the popular South Street, just two miles from the hotel, or take in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one of the largest museums in the country.
Photo credits (top to bottom): A Historic Leesburg Food Tour courtesy of Food Tour Corporation; Virginia Wine Expo tasters courtesy of Variant Events; Bryan Garcia’s family at Wintergreen Resort; Hershey Chocolate World courtesy of The Hershey Company; Scene from Antique Automobile Club of America Museum courtesy of the Museum.
Staying in Haymarket?
See the Top 10 Things to Do with Kids in the Haymarket Area
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