Thanks for dropping by.
If you have been following along lately you may know that I have just returned from a road trip that involved checking several wonderful places off my bucket list.
Our journey started in Washington, DC and then took us to another place called Washington except that this Washington is located in Virginia. Affectionately called “Little Washington” in order to distinguish it from Washington, DC, this tiny, quaint village is located in the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Some 70 miles and 1.5 hours outside of our nation’s capitol, a visit to uber charming Little Washington, Virginia is like stepping back in time 200 years. Seemingly lost in time, Washington, Virginia’s history and architecture make it one of America’s last unspoiled colonial communities. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Virginia Landmarks Register.
In July 1749, a 17-year old George Washington noted in his journal, “In the Blue Ridge Mountains . . . I laid off a town.” The young surveyor, assisted by two chain men, laid out the town of Washington in the same five-block by two-block grid that exists today and it hasn’t changed much since then. Four decades later George Washington selected a site 70 miles to the east for our nation’s capital.
After checking into the acclaimed Inn at Little Washington, Brad and I took a stroll through those 7 blocks laid out by George Washington and found it picture perfect at every turn. In that 5 x 2 block area not only lies one of the world’s best hotel & restaurant…
the 5 Diamond, 5 Star Inn at Little Washington…
but one will also find a number of other award winning Inns and Bed & Breakfasts there as well. While an overnight at The Inn at Little Washington that included both dinner and breakfast set us back a whopping but worth-every-penny, $1,200.00, Washington, Virginia is also home to a number of other more humble but equally charming places to lay one’s head. On our stroll we discovered The White Moose Inn.
Thanks to the celebrity of The Inn at Little Washington, folks from Big Washington have discovered the charms of Little Washington and DC’s elite and monied have come calling. In need of a nearby and restorative escape from city dwelling, Washingtonians are buying up land and building estates in the surrounding countryside, where there is nary a stop light nor a traffic jam to be found. One of those folks is DC developer Jim Abdo, the proprietor of The White Moose Inn. As I understand it, Mr. Abdo is also the mastermind behind a plan to leverage the success of The Inn at Little Washington into the transformation of the town of Little Washington. Once sleepy and stagnant, Little Washington is now enjoying a resurgence and new energy that, according to The Washington Post, has been generated by Jim Abdo’s investments into Little Washington.
He and his partners have bought 10 buildings in town and in addition to the White Moose Inn, they are planning new restaurants and shops. On our Thursday night stroll down Main Street we plopped ourselves in the white rocking chairs on the porch of the Inn and plotted a future visit that might include a stay at The White Moose and a joyride on their sporty bicycles. In fact, Little Washington, known as both a cycling and culinary destination, was chosen as the “Number 1 Bicycle Tour for Foodies in the World” by National Geographic who called it the Tour d’Epicure.
In what we agreed was a brilliant marketing strategy, one of the guest rooms was on display through open draperies, giving potential guests a peek at its spoils.
The grounds of the Inn also looked inviting, with white adirondack chairs beckoning relaxation and beautiful visitas.
Further down the street we stumbled upon The Gay Street Inn…
with its lush landscaping…
and stacked stone walkways.
Since the entire town of Little Washington is a Historic District, zoning laws prevent strip malls and subdivisions. What they have instead are lovely shops such as R.H Ballards, named one of the Top 50 shops in the South by Southern Living Magazine.
Further down the street of this postage-stamp-sized town we found art galleries…
and antique stores…
and gourmet grocery stores…
and the Wine Loves Chocolate shop.
We popped in and were tempted by the delicious looking chocolates and the wonderful wines on display.
But not wanting to compromise our appetites for the gourmet repast that awaited us later at The Inn at Little Washington, we simply enjoyed the view.
Every street corner in town was festooned with flower boxes…
Our stroll took us through garden courtyards…
by the town fishing hole…
and past cottages oozing with charm.
But my favorites were the old log cabins.
We also ducked into the Episcopal Church…
where we found a unique feature.
Under each pew were row after row of stools, all upholstered with cross-stitched bible scenes. They were so beautiful, and must have a story behind them, but there was no one around to ask.
It seemed that another church in town had been converted into the Community Theater where I understand they feature performances by world-renowned musicians.
As you can see, Little Washington must look much as it did shortly after George Washington laid it out, 265 years ago. I loved this little town, and I really loved The Inn at Little Washington. Please stay tuned and in my next post I will share with you a culinary and travel experience that I savoured both on my palette and on my soul. I can’t wait to tell you all about our stay at The Inn at Little Washington! It fulfilled a decades long dream to visit and did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded my greatest expectations. In the meantime here are some appetizers to wet your appetite.
So there you have it, A Visit to Uber Charming Little Washington.
Thanks for dropping in!
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