You and your friends want to take a little holiday getaway. Where to go? Sure, you can head to Rockefeller Center or another big city center to get a serving of holiday cheer. Taxis, traffic, crowds–you can have them. This year, we challenge you to try something more laid back, and possibly more magical during the holiday season. Our roads, restaurants, museums, hotels, and homes are beaming with holiday magic. Just a short drive from DC or Richmond will have you enchanted (and full), we guarantee.
Here’s an example of how you can spend a weekend with your friends here:
Snuggle into the Hope & Glory Inn
You and your friends will be well taken care of at the Hope & Glory Inn. Reserve your very own cottage or stay in one of the rooms in the main house. This refined and funky spot in the River Realm has many thoughtful touches. Outside, you’ll find inspirational quotes along the walkways and an outdoor bath. Inside, the former boarding school plays on its schoolhouse past: the spa is called Recess, the bar is named Detention, and the farm-to-table restaurant is known as the Dining Hall.
Head out for a Wine Tasting at Vine
Once you’re settled into your rooms, head out for a walk in Irvington. Start with some wine at Vine. You can stop in at any time to browse the selection and the helpful staff will help you and your friends find the perfect bottles. Bring some back to the room or save it for home. On Wednesdays, the tasting room is open for guests to sample new varieties and try with pairings like ropa vieja and fresh local oysters.(want to mention small plate dishes?)
Shop at our Irvington Boutiques
Now that you have a little wine, it’s time to shop! You’ll be working up an appetite for dinner. If you’re hunting for fashion, stop into The Dandelion. Outside it looks like a house, but inside the walls and floors and cabinets are dripping with fine women’s clothing, jewelry and gifts. If you have some DIYers in the group, they’ll love Sewlovelee and Village Needle Point. The quilting and needlepoint boutiques carry tools, fabrics, threads and more you can’t find anywhere else.
Creative Dinner at Dredge
For a true River Realm experiences, you have to stop into Dredge. Owner Bryan Byrd is born and raised here. After a few years cooking in Key West, he returned to launch his famous food truck, known for its one-of-a-kind fried oyster tacos. Today, his restaurant Dredge carries an even larger menu complete with cocktails. Items like steamed clams, housemade pasta, egg rolls, and tacos will warm your soul. He also features new specials every night of the week.
Lunch by the Water at Deltaville Tap & Raw Bar
Prepare to dream a bit at the new Deltaville Tap and Raw Bar. Set on the waters of Broad Creek, you and your friends can watch the sun dance on the water and the boats roll in. Meanwhile, you’ll enjoy lunch and cocktails inspired by the River Realm’s fresh catches and fun culture. The inventive food menu is complimented by a large whiskey selection, a 16-line tap, creative bloody marys and other cocktail specials. Menu items change with the season, bolstered by classics like strip steak and raw oysters. Don’t forget the pie! The chef creates new, decadent desserts almost daily.
Shopping in Deltaville
We bet you still have a few people on your shopping list. Maybe you’ve been good and it’s time to treat yourself! Start with Nauti Nell’s. This cute little cottage is filled with books, glasses, candles, clocks, paintings, and marine gear. Then, head into the new Rivah Shack Treasures. The 10,000 square-foot store is lined with treasures like furniture, home decor, jewelry, toys, art, and antiques from 45 vendors. Don’t forget a little flavor. Pick up some gourmet dips, pickles, craft beers, and wine from J & W Seafood.
Indulgent Dinner at The Table
Get ready for a long, leisurely meal with your foodie friends. This River Realm culinary destination will feel like home, but an adventure at the same time. The chef features family recipes passed down by generations at The Table at Wilton. She serves them up with a creative flair and new specials inspired by local produce and seafood every day.
See the Christmas Lights
It wouldn’t be a holiday getaway without some twinkle! We’re talking LOTS of twinkle. Through December, you can your friends can enjoy the magical spectacle only found in Deltaville: 130,000 lights and a 36,000-bulb, computer-controlled light show that dances to Christmas music. Step into the 20-foot tall walk-in interactive tree and 1,600-square-foot light maze. Be sure to check Facebook for inclement weather closings. Learn more.
Brunch at Car Wash Cafe
Head to Kilmarnock for a final adventure. First, you’ll need some fuel. Stop into one of our brunch staples: Car Wash Cafe. This former convenience store is a frequent winner in Virginia Living Magazine’s annual “Best of ” issue for breakfast and brunch. Order up fresh, locally sourced creations including Huevos Rancheros, soft shell crab eggs benedict, she-crab soup, colorful salads, or a Cuban sandwich.
Antiquing in Kilmarnock
Fancy yourself a picker? It’s always fun seeing what you and your friends can find. You might learn something about each other, too! Kilmarnock has two antique shops we love. Start with Rivah Antiques & Accessories. You might get lost in there as you weave through a collection of new and old decor, art, jewelry, and collectibles. Next up: Kilmarnock Antique Gallery, Comer & Co. & Lewis Trimble. Vintage oyster plates are just a few of the things you’ll discover here for an enchanting gift your friends and family will remember.
Pick up Goodies for the Road at NN Popcorn
The flavors of Virginia’s River Realm are sweet, salty, briny and spicy. One place captures them all and allows you take them home with you: Northern Neck Popcorn Bag.The gourmet popcorn shop carries more than 50 flavors of creatively hand crafted, small batch popcorn. Create your own custom blends complete with unique labeling. In honor of 50 Years of Love, bring home the two-gallon 50 Years of Love Tin filled with Old Bay Caramel, Crabby Corn and Gingerale.
Looking for More Shopping?
We put together this comprehensive guide for you and your pals. It includes all of our shops, galleries, and other treasure chests in the area. Click here to see them all.