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A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

Richmond, Va.
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81 posts
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A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

What are your suggestions for a scenic day trip to the mountains from Richmond, Va? We are looking for a pretty drive to a pretty sight, and hope to make the round trip in a day. A short hike to a pretty view is OK, but one of our group is in her upper 70s, and she is not up to a true mountain hike. Also, we'd like to have a nice meal at a local restaurant. What do you recommend?

Thanks for your help, tripadvisor members.

Richmond, Virginia
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1. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

One suggestion would be to drive to Charlottesville and Monticello - the views are beautiful. You can eat at Michie Tavern which is close by.

Virginia
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for Virginia Beach
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2. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

It's a little further than you were probably thinking of driving both ways but there's a spot where you would have mountains, lake, walk-abouts for the person in her 70s and a nice spot for her to relax while others walked/climbed further. That's Peaks of Otter Lodge, Restaurant and surrounding area.

http://www.peaksofotter.com/

on the lower right below the pictures is a place to click for a slide show. The setting really is beautiful. The rooms really are that simple...cinder block and all. And all have that really great view of the lake and a balcony or terrace and chairs to view it.

But you don't have to stay in order to enjoy the other amenities.

The fourth picture on will show the Sharp Top Lounge with comfy seating and a fireplace...handy if you're going in the fall. There's a room with a big knitted checkerboard and tables and chairs and another fireplace. That's my favorite. But sometimes when we go it is set up for dining during the busier times.

The lodge would be a great place for your older friend to kick back after, say, lunch in the lodge dining room overlooking the lake and a walk around the lake, an easy hike on the one mile loop.

There are also times when the rangers give talks on history and the flaura and fauna while you're rocking on the front porch.

Across the Parkway is a ranger station where you can get a map of the nearby trails that are a little more strenous.

Then there's the peaks, the Peaks of Otter. You can take a bus up and hike down if you like.

Nearby, in the town of Bedford, is the D Day Memorial, if that sparks your interest, as well as lots of cute shops and a train depot which has long been a great restaurant. There is always a train going by once...occasionally twice if we stay long enough...whenever we eat there. Liberty Station.(Hope for the owner's homemade strawberry cheesecake among the homemade desserts.)

It would be great if you could take one night at the lodge. I think the drive would be about 2 1/2 to 3 hours from Richmond, alhtough it is a pretty straight shot through countryside and towns.

Richmond, VA
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295 posts
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3. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

Another suggestion would be a visit to Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA. The drive on route 15 (off I64) is beautiful and you can eat at the lodge without staying there. They have a fall apple festival which is fun. The drive is less than 2 hours.

I second the idea of Charlottesville and Michie Tavern. While you are that way, you can pick apples or other produce on Carter's Mountain (peaches are in season now, yum). They also have an apple festival. It is on the way to Monticello.

Lynchburg, VA
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4. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

I think a trip to the Wintergreen area is a great idea. It's probably a 2+ hour trip from Richmond on I-64 west to Route 6/115 Afton Mountain area and eat at the Devil's Backbone (www.dbbrewingcompany.com). A wonderful local restaurant and brewery that we try to visit as much as we can. Don't be turned off because it's a brewery, their food is fantastic!! If you're not interested in having an alcoholic beverage they also make their own Ginger ale & Root Beer. It has great atmosphere and local music very often. From the turn on I-64 which has a really nice pull off for view of the valley it's probably only a 20 minute drive to the restaurant. Hope that you find a place that will suit for you.

Richmond, Va.
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5. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

Thanks so much to all of you who responded. We visited with cousins this week at Buggs Island Lake (a nice quiet getaway, especially if you love to fish and water ski- the lake is absolutely beautiful)-- Clarksville, VA is the town by the lake -- and they own a condo at Wintergreen, so we talked to them about this trip. I already had decided on Wintergreen as my first choice before I read the post recommending it. It's close, my mother and brother have never been there, (and we have toured Monticello recently) and we can enjoy it on its own if my mother doesn't feel up to a short mountain hike. My cousin also had recommended the brewery/restaurant, but she couldn't remember the name, so thanks to the poster from Lynchburg for telling me.

I had considered Peaks of Otter, Graves Mountain Lodge and Monticello, so they too were great recommendations.

Many thanks again.

Virginia
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for Virginia Beach
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6. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

Thanks for posting. I was wondering how you all were getting on.

Post back about your trip when you return.

Richmond, Va.
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7. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

OK, here's our trip report. It was a great outing.

It was about 1-3/4 hours drive from Richmond to Devil's Backbone Brewery and restaurant in Nelson County, Virginia. Once you exit I-64 past Charlottesville at Crozet/Yanceys Mill, the drive is especially beautiful. You are driving through Rockfish Gap, I think, and it is tranquil and scenic -- farms and houses and pastures -- with low lying mountains close by. If you had driven in on I-64 from the west and stopped at the overlook on Afton Mountain, what you see from the overlook is what we drove through. From the interstate exit, we drove on Rt. 250 and Rt. 151 to Nellysford.

While we did not stop, there were roadside markets open and signs were posted to wineries and breweries. If you are a history buff, there are Virginia roadside history markers scattered along the way. Some old history, some new -- one was about Hurricane Camille.

The restaurant was quite good. It is just a few miles south of Nellysford at the intersection of Rt. 151, and Rt. 664, which takes you to the entrance to Wintergreen Resort.

Devil's Backbone is a large restaurant, not a small and cozy converted farmhouse. It looked only a few years old and has a large outdoor eating area. The indoor restaurant has tall vaulted ceilings, lots of mounted deer and moose/elk? on the walls. It reminded me of ski area restaurants in the Rocky Mountains because of the interior design and because there are no trees on the restaurant site, it looked like it was built in a former pasture.

Two of us had the brewery's beer, the Wintergreen Weiss was light and had almost no bitter beer taste. There are other choices as well.

The food also was worth the trip. There is a large menu, and it was all good, especially the spinach salad, the fish and chips, and the wraps. One person had ribs, OK but not the absolute greatest.

What was really nice for our family was that our relatives in Roanoke, Va., drove over and joined us for lunch. We don't see them that often, so I was glad they could come. Their drive was not much longer than ours; it was a good half-way meeting spot.

We then drove up to Wintergreen for a quick look around, much cooler, a delightful temperature. People were rehearsing for the music festival concerts and it was entrancing to hear classical music floating about the ski runs.

We drove back east on Rt. 6, pretty but long. You're close to the James River for much of the drive, but only catch a few glimpses of it, better to have driven over to the river at Scottsville or at another spot, just to see it.

So for a day trip to the mountains from Richmond, Wintergreen and a meal at Devil's Backbone Brewery hit the spot. Pretty day, beautiful scenery, good food.

Thank you again for your suggestions. I loved reading what you had to recommend.

8. Re: A day trip to mountains from Richmond & a nice restaurant

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