Start your weekend bysavoring the modern regional cuisine with a French flair at the nationally acclaimed Virginia restaurant, L’Auberge Provencale. Open to the public for socially distanced on-site gourmet dining, along with a myriad of additional choices including in-room, al fresco on the patio or in the bistro area. A dining experience at L’Auberge will definitely help set the tone for a romantic Virginia weekend getaway.
Begin your day with a country breakfast or brunch at The Buttery in the quaint village of Millwood. Enjoy fresh farm-to-table fare in the historic cabin that once served as the town’s storehouse.
Following your meal, there are quite a few shops and historical sites to enjoy right there.
Head next door to the Locke Store - a “modern country” store and deli with a focus on supporting local agriculture and community.
Across the street, you will find The Burwell-Morgan Mill. Established in 1785, the mill is the oldest operable merchant mill in the Shenandoah Valley. Listed on both the Virginia Historic Register and the National Register of Historic Places, it is open to the public on most weekend from late spring through autumn. Operated by volunteers, the mill grinds a variety of grains that are then available for purchase at the mill and at local farmers’ markets. You can get a tour of this historic structure, marvel at the unusual interior water wheel and wooden gears and watch the dedicated millers grind wheat and corn just as it was done over 200 years ago. The mill also hosts local artists and their work on a rotating schedule.
From the mill, head over to the Fox & Pheasant or the Red Schoolhouse Antiques to find the perfect gift or treasure for your collection.
Need to stock up on fresh produce and meats for your hectic week back at home? Make a point of stopping in at the Clarke County Farmers’ Market. With numerous vendors, you will be sure to find plenty. This gives you the opportunity to talk directly with the farmer to learn where you produce came from.
After you have shopped your heart out, take in the gorgeous wide-open spaces and incredible views at two near-by spots.
The Virginia State Arboretum is a 172-acre preserve at University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm that features over 5,000 woody trees and shrubs from around the world and hosts numerous programs and events throughout the year, including its Arborfest and Garden Fair. There are numerous walking trails, each beginning and ending at the parking lot - ranging from three-quarters to two miles. It is a gorgeous sitting with an educational mission that provides great signage to guide and inform.
Bear’s Den outlook is a 66-acre retreat boasting two stone turrets, a secluded cottage in the woods and a spectacular outlook spot along the Appalachian Trail. There are a series of day hikes – from one to six miles that include easy nature trails or the challenging Crescent Rock climb and Spout Run hike (reserve six hours out and back for each). Three trails let you casually explore the Bear’s Den grounds and the various rocky outcropping to view the incredible colors and sunset.
Saturday evenings in Clarke County can be as quiet or festive as you like. Whether you are looking for a delicious meal at a small local restaurant or live music and dancing, we have you covered with some options.
If you ran out of time and were not able to visit the Clarke County Farmers’ Market, before heading home, take a quick farm tour and stock up on local, fresh produce and foods to stock your pantry. Check out our options for farms and farm stands that are open to the public and offer a wide selection of delicious homegrown and raised foods.