Virginia Living, November-December, 2010
"Mountain retreats, country towns, and waterfront treasures—all a short drive away"
By Molly Lehman , Gwendolyn Purdom
Published Monday, February 01, 2010
Many second-home hunters want to escape the noise and congestion of the city. These five resort towns, all less than two hours from Washington, offer everything from water views to quiet countryside—and you don’t have to fight Bay Bridge traffic to get there.
A Step Back in Time
Robert and Joan Ballard opened their gift shop, R.H. Ballard, 12 years ago in Washington, Virginia—often called Little Washington. At the time, they lived in Bethesda. “A lot of people start the way we did, coming out on weekends,” says Robert Ballard, who moved with his wife to Little Washington two years later. “Then they realize there’s so much out here.”
Framed by the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Rappahannock County, Little Washington’s five-by-two-block downtown was designed by George Washington in 1749. Today the village of 200 people about 70 miles west of DC is a rustic arts and dining destination.
The biggest draw is chef Patrick O’Connell’s legendary restaurant, the Inn at Little Washington. There also are five family-owned wineries, six art galleries, and six bed-and-breakfasts. A 130-seat theater brings international performances and hosts annual festivals and events.
Zoning regulations have protected Little Washington from sprawl. There are no traffic lights or Starbucks. A spike in sustainable farms in recent years has fueled an organic-food movement, and Shenandoah National Park’s mountain streams, hiking trails, and campsites are 20 minutes away. “It’s like a step back in time for an hour-and-a-half drive,” says Ballard.
"Wintry Weekends Intimate escapes to the countryside"
By Ari Post
February 2010"...The Middleton Inn, an award winning bed and breakfast just down the street from The Inn At Little Washington, sits on a knoll of a country estate with unparalleled views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Enjoy a four-course breakfast or a wine and cheese hour surrounded by bucolic landscapes and the crisp mountain air. Art galleries and quaint boutiques such as the Middle Street Gallery and R.H. Ballard make for great day shopping."