Find Your Happy Place: Winter Weekend Getaways in VA
When the temperature drops, you might start dreaming of Key West… But why fly so far for R&R? Virginia offers phenomenal resorts, wineries, hot springs and hotels for your next escape — and many are cheaper than you expect. Here are our top picks for winter weekend getaways in VA.
Romantic Weekend Getaways for Couples in Virginia
They didn’t have Jacuzzis in the 1700’s, so Virginians who needed a winter getaway headed to the natural hot springs in Bath County, in western Virginia. Thomas Jefferson relished soaking in the mineral-laden, 98.5-degree water, and so will you and your significant other — if you come at the right time, that is. There are actually two Jefferson Pools, one for gentlemen and one for ladies. The rocky pools hold separate hours for single-sex, clothing-optional soaks, family soaks, and (clothed) adult co-ed soaks.
The centuries-old wooden bathhouses are unheated. Prepare to shiver as you take off your clothes in the frigid changing rooms, then say ahhhhh as you slip into the water’s warm embrace. Book a room at the nearby Omni Homestead Resort, a grand, 250-year old hotel, and spend the rest of your romantic winter weekend getaway skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and warming up with afternoon tea. The Homestead’s not cheap, but you can save a little money on your weekend getaway by eating at local restaurants instead of the resort.
For Cheap Weekend Winter Getaways in VA, Boogie Down to the Beach.
Virginia Beach? In the winter? Hear us out. You can get great deals on hotels in Virginia Beach in December — we found several oceanfront rooms for less than $100 between Christmas and New Year’s. You won’t want to get in the waves (unless you’re a hardcore surfer), but this big beach town offers lots to do for weekend Christmas vacation getaways.
While the shops selling hermit crabs, naughty T-shirts, and souvenir ashtrays have mostly closed for the season, restaurants and higher-end stores are open. Cruise down the boardwalk at night to see the Holiday Lights at the Beach display. Pet a stingray at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, or pet a goat at Hunt Club Farm (don’t miss the huge and kinda weird animated Christmas wonderland). The best part of your Virginia Beach winter weekend getaway? A whale-watching boat tour that takes you to see migrating humpback and fin whales just off the shore.
Get Back to Nature at the Primland Resort
Primland, a resort on 12,000 acres in Virginia’s mountainous Meadows of Dan, invites the whole family to get outside and play. Young kids can learn to fish in the pond, splash in the indoor pool, wander on nature walks or even learn to golf. Older children and parents can try guided tree-climbing and horseback riding. And everyone’s jaw will drop when they peer through the resort’s Celestron CGE Pro 1400 telescope to spy on our neighbors in the solar system.
At the end of the day, parents can retreat to the Primland spa while the kids enjoy movie night or check out one of the resort’s video game systems. On your way home from your winter weekend getaway, make sure to stop by Fairy Stone State Park. More specifically, stop at the Fairy Stone Pit Stop, a service station that adjoins the park, and follow the trail into the woods. Sharp-eyed kids and adults can find (and keep!) their own fairy stones, little cross-shaped mineral formations that appear almost nowhere else on earth. If Primland is too pricey for you (the lowest winter rate we found was around $200 per night), the state park’s cabins are cheap, though basic.
Take a Virginia Wine Country Tour for a Girls Weekend Getaway
Virginia’s once-underrated vineyards are seeing a surge in popularity. Not only are they producing outstanding wines, but they’re building beautiful tasting rooms that are cozy winter havens for wine lovers. Why not grab a few girlfriends and go on a winter weekend getaway in Virginia wine country?
Some of our favorites in the Blue Ridge region include Barboursville Vineyards, with its lively Tuscan Tasting Room and memorable Palladio restaurant, and the Early Mountain Vineyard, which will warm your soul with live music and roaring fireplaces. In Northern Virginia, you’ll love the views at Bluemont Vineyard and the relaxed vibe at 8 Chains North. Consider hiring a limo or bus service for your winter weekend getaway, so you can enjoy the wine without arguing about who’s the designated driver. To save money, explore booking a cabin or Airbnb property instead of splurging on a bed-and-breakfast.
How to Pay For Your Virginia Winter Getaway
While we can’t help get the price down for a soak in the Jefferson Pools, we can help make your transportation cheaper. Shop for cheaper car insurance on Compare.com. In just a few minutes, you can get free quotes from several insurers and compare plans and premiums to find the best option. Then you can spend your money on things you’d really like to — like weekend getaways in VA — and not on things you don’t — like car insurance.