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Spring-Break Plans Canceled? When You’re Ready to Travel Again, Here Are Great Ideas for Nearby Escapes in Virginia.

No flights required.

A few days at Primland Resort, stargazing through its observatory telescope, may make you forget about that cancelled vacation. Photograph courtesy of Primland Resort.
Coronavirus 2020

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Maybe you’ve nixed your spring-break travel plans out of concern about Covid-19. When you are ready to travel again, why not put that money into the region’s economy? The good news for those who eventually will wish to get away, but stay close to home: There are plenty of travel options in the Mid-Atlantic—and you may even score some deals. Although heading to a resort in the mountains of Virginia may not be the same as vacationing in Italy, it’s still a chance to rest and recharge. Here are some great options right in Virginia.


Washingtonian readers can save about $200 a night at Primland Resort this month. Photo courtesy of Primland.

Solitude—and Stars

If what you’re most after is a romantic getaway in the middle of nowhere, consider Primland, a boutique resort set on 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia. The property is most known for its observatory, where guests can peer through a telescope to glimpse the heavens and objects beyond our solar system. But there are other away-from-the-crowd activities, including RTV and mountain-biking trails, and fishing. Plus, you can sleep in a lavish treehouse. Although Primland is great anytime, visitors who are willing to go by March 31 can take advantage of a special deal for Washingtonian readers that saves about $200 a night off standard rates. To read more about this deal, click here.


Clifton Inn
The Carriage House suite at the Clifton Inn has a loft bedroom with a king bed and garden views. Photo courtesy of the Clifton Inn.

Small Gem

If your preference is to hole up in a small inn with few other guests, versus a large hotel, one of the nicest boutique properties in this region is the Clifton Inn, in Charlottesville. The luxe lodging has just 20 guests rooms and suites, spread out among five buildings on the 100-acre property. The rooms are so nice—some with fireplaces, patios, and claw-foot soaking tubs—you may never leave your room.



The Jefferson Hotel offers an indoor pool. Photograph of the Jefferson Hotel Courtesy of the Jefferson.
The Jefferson Hotel offers an indoor pool. Photograph courtesy of the Jefferson.

Into the Pool

If what you—and your kids—were most looking forward to while visiting your parents in Florida this spring was some pool time, don’t throw in the towel. A number of hotels and resorts in this region have indoor swimming pools, including: Wintergreen Resort in Virginia; the Omni Homestead Resort in Virginia; Lansdowne Resort near Leesburg; Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg; and The Jefferson hotel in Richmond. The Salamander and Lansdowne also have two of our favorite spas within an hour of DC.


Mindfulbliss: the Inn at Vaucluse Spring. Photograph by Jumping Rocks Photography.

Check In to Check Out

If the coronavirus, the presidential primaries, and the stock market have you addled, perhaps a mindfulness retreat is in order. Physician Tiffany Niide and her husband, Derrick, own the Inn at Vaucluse Spring, a lovely property near Shenandoah National Park; their mindfulness training aims to teach even the most distracted how to be in the moment and chill.


Pembroke Springs Retreat offers a taste of Japan, literally—guests can choose an American or Japanese breakfast. Photo courtesy of @lfpsr.

Taste of Japan

If you had to say sayōnara—at least for now—to that dream trip to Japan, you can soothe some of the disappointment at Pembroke Springs Retreat, in the northwestern part of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. The Japanese-themed inn has two large Japanese baths, and guest rooms come with Japanese bathrobes, or yukatas, and tatami mats; some also have shoji screens. In the morning, you can choose from an American or Japanese-style breakfast. Occasional Japanese-fusion dinners are also offered.


The Tides Inn is set to reopen April 23 after a renovation. Photo courtesy of the Tides Inn.

Shore Bound

The Tides Inn, on the Northern Neck, is scheduled to reopen April 23 after a refurbishing. You and your kids can still enjoy the inn’s classic attractions: kayaking along the Chesapeake Bay, a sailing school, tennis and golf, nightly s’mores, and games of croquet and cornhole. What’s all new, after the renovation: 66 refreshed guest rooms, four new suites, an all-new fitness center with two Peloton bikes, a new Maker Space with guest activities, and a new bar with nightly happy hour and live music.


Kingsmill Resort offers boat rentals, golf along the James River, and proximity to Williamsburg and Busch Gardens. Photo courtesy of Busch Entertainment Corp.

Step Back in Time

If you’ve been thinking more these days about history, and about the struggles our nation has survived, a trip to Williamsburg might be in order. One family-friendly place to stay is the waterfront Kingsmill Resort, on the James River. Activities include tennis, golf, an indoor pool and fitness center, a spa, bike rentals, and, weather permitting, water sports including kayaking and fishing. A new Refresh & Refuel package is offering accommodations in a one-bedroom condo with full kitchen, a $25 resort credit per night, and a $50 gas card for a rate starting at $269 a night—a savings of up to $100 a night, depending on the room selected. Rooms must be booked by March 31, for stays through August 31, 2020. Tax and fees are extra.



Executive Editor

Sherri Dalphonse joined Washingtonian in 1986 as an editorial intern, and worked her way to the top of the masthead when she was named editor-in-chief in 2022. She oversees the magazine’s editorial staff, and guides the magazine’s stories and direction. She lives in DC.