My husband and I have been staying at bed & breakfasts and inns for over 10 years. We've been to B&B's in San Francisco, Charleston, York Beach and several in Central Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay area. We prefer the warm, homey feel of a B&B compared to the more sterile, highly trafficked environment of commercial hotels. There are such a wide variety of B&B and inn styles to choose from and several within a short drive of Fredericksburg.
When choosing a place to stay, "guests have the ability to select a B&B or inn that really fits their particular lodging preferences," says innkeepers Orquida and Dan Ingraham of Afton Mountain Bed & Breakfast located in the heart of wine and craft beer country near Charlottesville. "The large majority of our guests are couples in their 30s, 40s and 50s, either celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or just looking to escape to the country for a relaxing, romantic weekend."
If you're looking to add some romance, you may opt for more private and romantic spaces. A guest could choose a room with a fireplace, a Jacuzzi tub, a private porch and/or add wine and cheese/chocolate packages to their stay. Innkeepers are readily available to talk with guests if they so choose, to find out their preferences for local activities and make dinner reservations.
"Couples getting away for a weekend are our most common guests. They have often found a sitter or a family member to watch their children and they are going where they cannot be disturbed," said co-owner and innkeeper Sherri Fickel at Hopkins Ordinary located in the historic village of Sperryville. "And with restaurants within walking distance, there is a relaxed, unhurried feel so couples can truly enjoy each other and not think about the logistics of getting from one place to another."
One perk for couples that choose to escape to a B&B is the ability to relax and enjoy breathtaking scenery together.
"Stand on the Riverside Balcony at sunset or stand in front of the Parlor fireplace as so many couples from years past have done," says innkeeper Michelle Darnell at Belle Grove Plantation, located on a bluff overlooking the Rappahannock River in King George. "We invite couples to come and make their own history. Being tucked away from the main road lends us to being in a world of our own. The 1791 mansion is appointed with period antiques and each room has its own private bath with claw-foot soaking tubs. Our Riverside Balcony calls most of our guests to rest and relax, either in the morning with a cup of coffee to watch the bald eagles fish or in the late afternoon with a glass of wine to watch one of our spectacular sunsets over the river."
Another perk is forgetting everyday life and exploring the unfamiliar.
"Guests seem to be drawn by the architecture and charm of the house, which was built in 1848 and can be a bit of a step back in time. It kind of transports you away from the stresses of modern life and allows you to relax and enjoy the moment," said the Ingrahams.
Fickel adds, "The helpfulness of the innkeepers can be a plus; [it's] like staying with friends who want you to have a good time. We often give our own insider tips on some of the lesser-known, but fabulous, things to do."
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, it's time to shuffle the kids off to the grandparents, pack your bags, and put your phone on airplane mode. Head out to the lesser-known areas of Virginia's countryside and enjoy your time with your sweetie for a romantic getaway personalized just for you two.
Nikki Ducas is a Fredericksburg mom of two young sons that knows how important it is to her family's well-being to get away from it all (read: children) with her husband.
Afton Mountain Bed & Breakfast, 10273 Rockfish Valley Highway, Afton
Innkeepers: Orquida and Dan Ingraham
Belle Grove Plantation, 9221 Belle Grove Drive, King George
Innkeepers: Brett and Michelle Darnell
Hopkins Ordinary Bed & Breakfast, 47 Main Street, Sperryville
Co-owners and Innkeepers: Sherri Fickel and Kevin Kraditor
Inn at Kelly's Ford, 16589 Edwards Shop Road, Remington
The Inn at Stevenson Ridge, 6901 Meeting Street, Spotsylvania
Innkeepers: Dan and Debbie Spear