There is nothing more Americana than a visit to the “Federal City” and a trip back through colonial times to discover beautiful and historically rich Virginia.  Only about an hour outside of the Capital, you will find world-class wineries (Pippen Hill, Bluemont Vineyard and King Family Vineyards to name a few) offering tasty wine, excellent farm to table cuisine, stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an afternoon of polo matches (at King Family Vineyards).  Downtown Charlottesville is filled with upscale restaurants, charming boutiques, and live music on the main square each Friday evening.  Stay at The Clifton Inn for an Old World meets New World experience. The white clapboard Federal Style home in the heart of Jefferson County, feels as if you have stepped back in time and will shortly be joined by our Founding Fathers in the cozy bar.  Venture further into the Shenandoah Valley, into Natural Chimneys Park for rigorous hiking, mountain biking, and notable fly-fishing, along with the newly created Red Wing Roots Music Festival each July (this year July 11-13, 2014) for some downhome Bluegrass tunes.  On your return to Washington, leave plenty of time for a stop to explore George Washington’s Mount Vernon, enjoying their fireworks display over the Potomac River and a taste their newly finished bourbon from the renovated Distillery.

Back in DC, wander of the beaten path to discover Ethiopian food in the U Street neighborhood, sunrise paddle boarding on the river from Jack’s Boat House, and pretend you are a spy for day at the International Spy Museum.  If the children are with you, they will enjoy the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American Indian (and of course the Air and Space Museum). The place to stay is The Jefferson Hotel.  Located just four blocks from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, but off the tourist route, this 99 guest room property evokes a European flair, drawn from Thomas Jefferson’s love for Paris. Extraordinary attention to detail (in the design and service to guests) creates a feeling of being a houseguest in a private home.

For more information please contact Lauren Maggard:

Map your trip with help from Lauren’s Guide: