A major perk to living in Washington, DC is its proximity to beautiful countryside in surrounding Maryland and Virginia. This always makes for perfect weekend getaways! At the tail-end of summer, we were in search of a getaway to round off the season and what better way to do that than with a couples trip into the Virginia countryside. Our search led us to the quaint unincorporated community of Batesville, VA, a 30-minute drive south of Charlottesville nestled in Virginia’s wine region. We could have stayed in Charlottesville and ventured into the countryside during the day, but we wanted an entire escape from city life and thus opted for the rustic Batesville Creek Cottage found on Airbnb. The 200-year-old cottage could not have been a better place to stay. The 3-floor rustic cottage was perfect for our long weekend as it was a short drive away from some of Virginia’s best hikes, drives, and wineries!
What we love most about staying in Airbnbs are the opportunities to meet new people, learn about their community, and contribute to the local community by supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs. Alexander, the Superhost of the Batesville Creek Cottage made us feel welcomed and at home, with possibly the best welcome basket we’ve ever received. He stocked the basket with local goods purchased from the general store (across the street) which included eggs, coffee, cookies, and biscuits. Carrie could only enjoy the coffee though.
The 2 bed one bath cottage is perfect for two couples. Although I should mention that to access the bathroom you have to walk through the second-floor bedroom so this trip is for close friends only! The uniqueness of the property and its location were huge drivers of our decision to stay here. As the name implies the cottage backs up to a small creek. The backyard sitting area borders the creek and was where we spent our evenings playing games, drinking local Virginia wine, and gazing up at the stars.
Despite, being in the middle of nowhere there was something to do. The Batesville Market, located across the street sold locally made staples like bread, cheese, and wine but, they also sold lots of other items needed to cook a meal at the cottage. When we strolled over to the market, our intention was to buy wine and figure out our plan for the next day, but when we set foot in the store, we realized it was more than just a store, but also served as a local gathering place with a small kitchen to order food and space for a band. The band was just setting up, so we were right on time! Live music, local wine set in the Virginia countryside was our idea of a weekend getaway. So we did what everyone else did and grabbed a table, a bottle of local wine, ordered food and enjoyed our evening. On top of all that our trip home didn’t require a taxi, but instead a 1-minute walk across the street.
The following morning as we had our coffee and breakfast on the back porch we planned our day. There are two things you absolutely have to do in this part of Virginia. Go hiking and visit a winery or a cidery.
The scenic landscape in this part of Virginia is the reason you come here and so going for a hike is a must. If you aren’t into or able to hike the area also offers several stunningly scenic drives including the famous Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.
Since we love the outdoors a hike up the nearby and popular Humpback Rocks was our plan to start the day. To get to the visitors center where you start the hike you must drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, easily one of Virginia’s most scenic drives. The Parkway has several places to stop and take photos.
Humpback Rocks is one of several excellent hikes in the area. The hour-long, medium level hike winds its way through a forest before a final steep incline ending atop the rocks providing panoramic views of Virginia’s green countryside. It’s worth mentioning that the trail is popular, or at least it was at the end of summer.
There’s a good reason Virginia produces lots of wine. According to the history books, Thomas Jefferson donated 2,000 acres of land in the 1770s to start a vineyard near his estate at Monticello (also in the area if you’re interested in history). After hundreds of years of producing wine, the Virginia countryside has become a destination for wine lovers along the East Coast. After our hike, we checked out Veritas Vineyards and Winery close to our cottage (17 minutes to be exact). After a tasting, we settled on a bottle, grabbed lunch from the small restaurant on site, and sat on the large porch overlooking the vineyards.
With lots of wineries nearby so chances are whatever you do whether it’s hiking or visiting historical landmarks chances are there will be a winery nearby.
If you prefer cider over wine, we have a terrific recommendation for you. On our way home just north of Charlottesville we rounded off our couples weekend getaway with a stop at Castle Hill Cider. This being our second visit in a year to the scenic cidery it was just as good as we remembered it. They offer an excellent tasting that allows you to explore the depth of their cider. Well worth the visit.
Veritas and Castle Hill Cider are just scratching the surface with wines and cideries in the Charlottesville region of Virginia. My suggest is after you’ve booked your stay at the Batesville Creek Cottage open Google Maps for the area and plot out your scenic hike or drive. After that type in “winery” or “cidery” and see how many options appear!
Looking for a weekend getaway either as a couple or with friends or with another couple as we did then look no further than the Virginia countryside around Charlottesville. The countryside is filled with scenic drives and hikes to occupy you during the day and wineries and cideries to unwind in the late afternoon and evening.
Photography by Albert and Carrie Bond