Where should we go for a weekend getaway?
June 4, 2008 8:02 PM   Subscribe

The boyfriend and I would like to get away for a weekend. Somewhere interesting within a five hour radius of Richmond, VA. Where to go?

We aren't looking for anything beach related since he's from VA Beach and we both hate the water and the sun. Also, DC and Charlottesville are played out. I was thinking either somewhere out west in the mountains, or maybe even Philadelphia since Mapquest says its roughly five hours from here. But really, I am open to any suggestions. Bonus points for destinations with great vegan restaurants, interesting museums, or antique stores. Thanks!
posted by MaryDellamorte to Travel & Transportation around Richmond, VA (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are you up for a train ride instead of a car trip? That opens your options up even more.
posted by secret about box at 8:33 PM on June 4, 2008

Have you tried Asheville? They have some decent vegetarian dining - one restaurant in particular that will please your vegan palette. If you want something less tourist-y, you could always come to Carrboro, NC. I can tell you where to eat: Carrburritos and Akai Hana in (eminently walkable/bikable) downtown. I'm not going to promise they'll be 100% vegan if you're not careful, but they're pretty good, and you can always get some good vegan food at Weaver Street Market (same area, central mid-size co-op grocery, has a good cafe).
posted by amtho at 8:42 PM on June 4, 2008

Response by poster: Mikey, I've never traveled by train before so I've never considered it as an option. I don't know how the price of a train ticket would compare to driving.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:44 PM on June 4, 2008

Canaan Valley State Park, West Virginia is situated in one of the most scenic and tranquil settings in the Mid-Atlantic. Canaan Valley is the highest mountain valley east of the Rocky Mountains, with a base elevation of 3,100 feet. Canaan Valley Resort is nestled on a plateau overlooking the valley, offering sweeping views of the surrounding peaks. The Canaan Valley resort offers a 250-room lodge, 23 cabins, and 34 campsites; fine dining, a conference center, and a championship golf course; a fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and a whirlpool spa; and miles of hiking and biking trails.

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia is less than 100 miles from Richmond. Did you know that 40% of Shenandoah National Park is federally designated Wilderness? Hike in the shade of oak trees along the Appalachian Trail, or take Skyline Drive along the crest of the mountains through the woods and past spectacular vistas. It's all good.
posted by netbros at 8:49 PM on June 4, 2008

Second Asheville. Awesome dining, great bars, plenty of places to stay and the Biltmore Estate.
posted by trbrts at 9:21 PM on June 4, 2008

Seconding Skyline Drive, with possible stops in at the caverns (Skyline, Luray, Endless (Luray is the best I think)). Hitting up Skyline Drive on the right day can be a pretty amazing thing.

While you are in the area, try a super fancy schmancy dinner at The Inn at Little Washington. If you guys can make it through that day without having an amazing time and the most ridiculous sex ever, I would be surprised.

Do it to it!
posted by milqman at 11:25 PM on June 4, 2008

I hear some weirdo has organized a Meetup in Norfolk on June 7 at Bardo.
posted by waraw at 6:45 AM on June 5, 2008

Mountain Lake, near Blacksburg is nice as well. It's one of only two natural lakes in Virginia (the other being in the Dismal Swamp and not nearly as nice.
posted by trox at 8:26 AM on June 5, 2008

Longwood Gardens, in the far western suburbs of Philly, is simply amazing (and I'm a guy who can usually take-or-leave this sort of thing.) As a matter of fact, all of Pennsylvania between Philly and Lancaster is somewhat pastoral, with plenty of scenery, plenty of history, and not much touristy kitsch (I sympathize with your ambivalence toward the beach and it's crowds). Kennett Square, near Longwood, bills itself as the Mushroom Capital of the World, and if you can't find some vegan dining there I'd be mighty surprised.
posted by dinger at 8:54 AM on June 5, 2008

I love Asheville. My husband and I drove down there for our honeymoon from the Richmond area. Took us 5-6 hours. Asheville has museums, unique movie theaters, great dining, and lots of outdoor stuff. Not the mention the Biltmore, which could take an entire weekend alone.

Philadelphia will also take you about 5-6 from Richmond (depending on traffic), and I think that might fit your museum criteria best. I haven't been in years, but the Franklin Institute stands out in my memory as one of the best museums I've ever been too. And there's the iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art. Unfortunately, the vegan requirement will have you missing out on the delicious cheesesteaks :)

Also, I live near Skyline Drive / Shenandoah National Park and it can be quite nice. If you're into hiking, waterfalls, wildlife and mountain views, you would enjoy it. However, I don't think this is the best time of year to visit. It's HOT. We're expecting highs in the 90s for the foreseeable future with high humidity (not unlike Richmond mid-summer), which is really not good hiking weather. It also creates haze, which ruins the mountain views from the overlooks on Skyline Drive.
posted by geeky at 9:31 AM on June 5, 2008

Since you like museums, have you gone to Colonial Williamsburg? What about Mt. Vernon, or Jefferson's plantation (Montpelier?)

I think I'm mixing up those last two plantations, but all three of those places do a kind of living history where you can watch people ply their trades, learn how the sheep were cared for, what the slaves life was like, that kind of thing.
posted by GardenGal at 12:02 PM on June 5, 2008

Coming late to this thread, but July 24-27: FloydFest seems up your alley. Main site here. Floyd county is kinda cool. They have a jamboree at the Floyd Country store on Fridays.

Other ideas: Lexington is pretty and has a great chocolate shop. If you go to Roanoke (3 hours or so from Richmond), go to the Star. The view is great and romantic at night. I like the transportation museum. Not sure if the new art museum is open yet, but should be very soon if not. There are a number of vineyards on the Blue Ridge parkway, e.g. Chateau Morrisette. Booker T Washington national park is about 40 minutes from Roanoke--it's a shortish visit, but gets you up to Smith Mountain Lake. D-Day memorial in Bedford, VA.

BTW, Mountain Lake near Blacksburg has a great Sunday brunch during some of the year and is where some of Dirty Dancing was filmed. Abingdon, VA has the Martha Washington inn and the Barter Theater and is "antiquey". If you come to Blacksburg, there's a wonderful open air market, August 1 and 2. August 4-9 is the Galax Fiddler's convention.

Weekend away at The Homestead (skiing in the winter). Or the Greenbrier in West VA, and see where congress planned to hide during a nuclear war.
posted by idb at 7:14 PM on June 9, 2008

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