Virginia’s natural beauty is almost too good to be true. In a little less than 43,000 square miles, we have mountains, rolling foothills, cities, and gorgeous beaches. It makes perfect sense, then, that it’s full of great places to have a yoga retreat. In two parts, we’re going to share with you some of our favorite spots in the Commonwealth, perfect for exploring during a retreat or just checking out over a long weekend! For the first part, we’re traveling west to the Shenandoah Valley and Charlottesville.
The Shenandoah Valley is one of Virginia’s true gems. Rolling foothills, stunning views, and friendly towns full of things to eat, see, and do. Check out some of our picks below!
Blue Ridge Cider: The Shenandoah Valley is apple country, so of course it’s packed with great cideries! The best known outside the commonwealth has to be Bold Rock. Smaller cideries Old Hill and Blue Toad use Virginia grown apples for a delicious brew. This list of Virginia cideries is sure to steer you toward a new favorite.
Devil’s Backbone: One of Virginia’s best-loved breweries! Its brewhouse and tasting room is located right near the Wintergreen Resort in Roseland. Come try varieties that aren’t available anywhere else, and stay for the tasty pub fare at the brewery’s Oak Grill.
Zynodoa: Located in downtown Staunton, a charming college town. They put a farm-to-table, upscale spin on Southern favorites. A great brunch choice!
Nu Beginning Farm Store: This cafe and grocery connects local farmers with their communities. Their cafe offerings are farm-to-table, and their homemade baked goods emphasize local ingredients. The grocery’s shelves are stocked with local goods and plenty of Virginia wine, beer, and cider.
Omni Homestead: The Homestead is a Virginia original. Take a dip in the famous mineral spring, explore the adorable small town of Hot Springs, or get pampered at the Homestead’s spa.
Inn at Little Washington: This five-star, five AAA Diamond, Michelin-starred inn is perfect for a luxe and romantic getaway. Make sure to eat at the in-house restaurant for some of the very best classic French food on earth.
Hotel Laurance: Luray Caverns are a can’t-miss part of Shenandoah Valley, and this hidden gem is the perfect home base for your adventure. Stylish and cozy.
L’Auberge Provencale: A magical bed and breakfast with colorful French vibes. The restaurant features ingredients from local farms as well as the inn’s backyard garden.
Skyland or Big Meadows Lodge: If you want to keep it rustic on your Shenandoah visit, try these on for size. Both are gorgeous lodges with stunning views located just off of Skyline Drive.
Hike: If you’re a hiker, this is the place for you. Right in between where the Piedmont becomes the Blue Ridge, the Shenandoah Valley is full of hikes that are scenic, challenging, or a little bit of both! Humpback Rocks is 12 miles outside of Waynesboro and offers a magnificent view of the valley. A little further to the west is Old Rag Mountain, one of the most popular – but most dangerous – trails in the Blue Ridge. Crabtree Falls in Nelson County features a breathtaking waterfall at the trail’s base. Each of these hikes feed into the mother of them all: the Appalachian Trail.
Skyline Drive: One of the most beautiful drives in the country. Take in the views on a pretty afternoon, stop to hike or pick apples, or spread your drive out over a few days to explore the small towns along the route.
Wintergreen: You’ve probably heard of Wintergreen as a skiing destination, but it’s so much more! In the warmer months, take advantage of the gorgeous mountain views or go for a swim in Lake Monacan. The comfortable rooms are inviting any time of year.
A little closer to home – about an hour away on I-64, to be exact – is Charlottesville! Vibrant and just a little bit quirky, Charlottesville is a classic college town with plenty of Southern charm. If you haven’t been lately, it’s time to fix that.
Bodo’s: A Charlottesville institution. You’ve probably met at least one person who thinks they’re the best bagels on earth. Once you have one, you’ll see that they’re onto something.
The Flat: Located right behind the Jefferson Theater, this pickup window specializes in both sweet and savory crepes. The Crepes According to Anna crepe, with local jam, brie, and chicken or local ham, is our pick.
Revolutionary Soup: With locations on the UVA Corner and the Downtown Mall, Rev Soup serves up delicious soups, sandwiches, and salads made from local and organic ingredients. Recite five lines of poetry by their poet of the month from memory and get 10% off your meal!
Citizen Burger Bar: If you love CBB’s Carytown location, be sure to hit up the original! Vegan and gluten free options are available, and everything is local and organic where at all possible.
Bizou: Virginia classics gone upscale. This is a great dinner spot to unwind and enjoy a cocktail after your perfect Charlottesville day. The meatloaf is absolutely out of this world.
The Graduate: Meet the RVA favorite’s Cville cousin. The Graduate is located right next door to the historic UVA Grounds and features a rooftop bar. If you miss those college vibes, this is the place for you!
The Farmhouse at Veritas: Located just outside of Charlottesville in Afton, this six-room bed and breakfast is right next to Veritas Vineyard. The chef-prepared breakfasts and dinners are farm-to-table.
Clifton Inn: A repurposed estate located ten minutes away from downtown Charlottesville and UVA. Guests have access to Common House, a social club just off the Downtown Mall.
Keswick: If you’re really looking to treat yourself, splurge at Keswick. One of the most beautiful estates in the mountains, Keswick is the epitome of Virginia luxury. The hotel is currently closed for renovations but will reopen at the turn of the year – and trust us, it’s worth the wait.
Carter Mountain: Picking apples (or peaches, depending on the time of year) at Carter Mountain Orchard has been a Cville favorite for years. The top of the mountain features a country store, the Bold Rock Cider Cellar, and unbeatable views of the Piedmont region. You can’t leave without trying one of their beloved cider donuts!
Downtown Mall: Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall is a pedestrian-only, which makes it a great place to stroll on a nice day. Check out one of its many awesome restaurants, shop at cute stores like Darling Boutique and O’Suzannah, or catch a concert at the Southern. If you happen to be downtown on a Sunday between April and October, you can’t miss the Charlottesville City Market.
Monticello: It’s hard to think of Charlottesville without thinking of Thomas Jefferson, too. His home in the Blue Ridge, Monticello, is open for tours every day of the year except Christmas. Be sure to visit the garden, which includes many of the varieties of fruits, vegetables, and flowers that Jefferson himself planted in the 1800s. Fun fact: Monticello and UVA’s Academical Village (which is also worth a visit!) are the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Virginia, and one of only 23 in the United States.
In our next part, we’ll be venturing south on 64 to the Tidewater area and north on 95 to Northern Virginia. Stay tuned!