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The Inn at Little Washington

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Driving Time from Poughkeepsie: 5 hours 50 minutes
Weekend Rates: from $995 per night
www.theinnatlittlewashington.com 

As you approach The Inn at Little Washington, the landscape changes. Major highways and shopping centers give way to lush fields, stately farmhouses, and rustic gas stations that evoke a sense of erstwhile Americana. Cell service drops (you won’t have reception in town). For decades, foodies have been making the pilgrimage here to dine at The Inn at Little Washington, consistently one of the DC area’s best restaurants. But that’s not the only draw. 

In fall, the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains blaze with autumn color; Shenandoah National Park, with its many hiking trails and scenic overlooks, is only 20 minutes away. In the other direction, vineyards grow between swaths of farmland, and tasters stroll among 13 acres of auburn and crimson vines at award-winning Gray Ghost Vineyards. Sip some piquant varietals like Petit Manseng and Nebbiolo at family-owned Gadino Cellars. 

The Inn itself is a quirky masterpiece: an eclectic country inn with a distinctly European feel, each room named for an American culinary pioneer. A stay here is characterized by special touches—personalized menus at dinner, a Florentine notebook on your pillow, freshly baked cookies on the coffee table—and a sense of hospitality that makes you feel like an honored guest, not a paying customer.

 

Scenic Spots

One of the classic desserts: the butter pecan ice cream sandwich with hot caramel sauce

Hike the rocky 3.7 miles to the summit of Mary’s Rock for one of the region’s most breathtaking views.
Ascend to the top of the Blue Mountains and drive part of Skyline Drive’s 105 miles, stopping at picnic sites and hiking trails along the way.
Snap photos of the mountains with a glass of wine in hand on the porch at Little Washington Winery.

 

Must Do 

You can’t stay here without experiencing innovative cuisine—whimsical amuse bouches, lamb-loin carpaccio with Caesar salad ice cream, and a veritable raft of desserts, including a butter pecan ice cream sandwich with hot caramel sauce—in Patrick O’Connell’s raved-about dining room. 

 

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