By Bob Tagert
Spring Time In The Mountains!
The best part of driving to the mountains is getting on to the beautiful back-country roads. Unfortunately, to get to these roads we have to get past the interstate…so let’s get started. My first stop will be Culpeper, Virginia. The best way to get there is to take I-95 south to Fredericksburg and then Route 3 to Culpeper. Check the traffic on 95, as it is always bad. After you leave Fredericksburg behind, you will begin to encounter open fields where the grass is getting a little bit greener very day. Before you get to Culpeper you will come to Old House Vineyard and a great place to stop after your 90- minute drive. Owner Pat Kearney has put a lot of effort in this old farm that he purchased in 1988. Have a sip of wine and then continue to Culpeper.
Take Route 522 west toward the mountains. After leaving Culpeper you will begin to enter the foothills. The traffic will all but disappear and you will feel your heart rate slow. After a thirty minute drive you will enter the one stop sign town of Sperryville (there are no traffic lights in Rappahannock County). Sperryville is a very small town with a lot of enterprising people. The Thornton River Grill is a great restaurant and caddy-corner to the restaurant is Hopkins Ordinary, an extraordinary B&B. Owners Kevin and Sherry took Kevin’s beer making hobby one step higher to brewing commercially. Here you will find the Ale Works and about 5 specially crafted beers.
About a mile out of Sperryville you will find Cooters Place straight out of the Dukes of Hazzard and the iconic car…the Robert E. Lee. This is a great place to shop and grab a bite to eat.
If you take Main Street out of Little Washing you sill find a lovely drive through the countryside and eventually to Route 522. Turing left of 522 you can continue your drive to Front Royal and then pickup Route 66 east to The Plains, another neat little town in the country. There are a couple of nice restaurants and shops in this charming town. A little outside of town is two of Virginia’s best wineries…Three Fox and Barrel Oak Winery. Three Fox is “a Little Bit of Tuscany” in the Blue Ridge. The vineyard is beautiful and in addition to heir inviting tasting room the now offer the cigar club. Grab a bottle of wine, a fine cigar and settle in for a pleasant afternoon. Barrel Oak is a very popular destination for northern Virginians. In addition to a wide selection of wines, owner Brian Roeder will be opening a brewery in May for the craft beer lovers.
This is just a sampling of the great places discover this spring. The trees are in full bloom and soon the green leaves will cover the trees. These are also towns where you will find the Old Town Crier each month. Join us.