THE GO OUTSIDE & PLAY GUIDE

get more from BRO

Four adventure itineraries to help you make the most of your adventure getaway!

A WEEKEND IN…

St. Paul, VA

Winding green canopies,dirt trails to wide open mountain views, and waterfalls define Spearhead Trails’ Mountain View ATV Trail System.

STPAULVA.org

St. Paul, Virginia–a tiny town offering big adventures.  Head on over to the banks of the Clinch River where fishing, floating, and kayaking become your new way of life. You’re bound to be hooked.  Or start a thrill-seeking adventure on Spearhead Trails’ Mountain View ATV Trail System.When was the last time you played in the mud and loved it?

Day One

MORNING

Grab coffee and a muffin at St. Paul’s Fourth Ave Baked Goods before heading over to the Clinch River.   Didn’t bring fishing gear? No problem. Clinch Life Outfitters can fit you with all you need to bring home dinner. They’ll hook you up.  Not into fishing? Maybe you prefer to start your day with an early morning bike ride, run, or hike along the Clinch River. Bike rentals are available. Starting at Blue Bell Island, loop around Oxbow Lake and adventure off onto the Sugar Hill Loop Trail. You can explore approximately 13 miles and never leave town!

AFTERNOON

Refuel after a morning of adventures and take a break before your next one. Head over to any of the small-town restaurants, such as Giovanni’s Pizza, a local favorite for over 40 years, or St. Paul’s award-winning brewery, Sugar Hill Brewing Company, for lunch or late afternoon snack.

EVENING

Get checked in at the award-winning boutique hotel, The Western Front, located downtown in the center of it all. Plan on a special dinner at Ina + Forbes, St. Paul’s newest restaurant. Located inside the hotel, enjoy a great meal prepared by Hell’s Kitchen Celebrity Chef, Chef T, and her staff. If the hotel is booked, no worries. There are other places for you to stay. Book an ATV Excursion as part of your lodging choice with St. Paul Suites and Cottages. At Mountain View Lodge, you can schedule an exciting trip around the area to see what else Southwest Virginia has to offer. No matter where you stay, everything in town is just a few footsteps away.

The Clinch is home to over 50 species of mussels, more than any other river in the world.  Not only known for its mussels, the variety of sport fish makes the Clinch a great destination for anglers.

Day Two

MORNING

Grab your coffee and breakfast and get ready for some thrills. Whiz over the mountains on your ATV to the wide-open spaces for some spectacular mountain views. Want to visit the nearby, trail-connected town of Coeburn, Virginia? You can— on your ATV. If you don’t have an ATV, don’t worry about that either, the Western Front Hotel has Polaris Rzrs, 4 seaters and 2 seaters ATVs, for rent.  

AFTERNOON

Before hitting the trails, don’t miss the opportunity to rough it with a packed lunch from Fat Boys BBQ, known for their Heart Attack Baked Potatoes, to enjoy a picnic at any one of the mountain overlooks or waterfalls along the trails. Whether you are visiting a restaurant, the trails, the hotel, or the grocery store, stay on your ATV. The town of St. Paul is ATV friendly! 

EVENING

Check the schedule in BackYard at the Western Front Hotel for live music, s’mores, and outdoor games such as cornhole and yard Jenga. You just might need a little trivia to help ponder the meaning of life. Grab a friend or two and head out back to wind down from your day of thrill-seeking and high adventures. Relax around the fire pit while you take in the sounds of music, laughter, and a good time.

And if at the end of the day, you find yourself just wanting more…  Plan another trip to St. Paul. Maybe the Coal Heritage Museum or the Wetlands of Estonia will be on your to-do list.


A WEEKEND IN…

Culpeper, VA

Davis Street | The center of what’s good, tasty, and beautiful in downtown Culpeper

VISITCULPEPERVA.com

Located just 70 miles from D.C. and 80 miles from Richmond, Culpeper, Virginia is a town with  rich history and modern charm. It has a happening downtown where you can stay at a charming B&B, browse the many local shops, and eat at fabulous restaurants. If you want, you can even ditch your car and take the Amtrak right to the heart of the downtown.

Day One

MORNING

Start your morning at Frost Cafe for breakfast (it’s cash only, so come prepared), then stroll around the corner to The Frenchman’s Corner or Seriously Sweet and buy some treats for later. Once you have your handmade sweets, pop into the shops on Davis Street to see what treasures you can find.

AFTERNOON

Drive or get a ride share to a triple-threat local favorite: Old House Vineyards, Distillery, and Brewery. You will find something there no matter your beverage preference. To continue your wine tour of Culpepper, try Gray Ghost Vineyards, Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery, Mountain Run Winery, or go back to Davis Street and hit Vinosity wine store for a complimentary tasting.

EVENING

Grab a bite at Flavor on Main and a flight at Beer Hound or Far Gohn. If you want a little exercise, you can walk through Yowell Meadow or Rockwater Park, and then retire to one of three sweet boutique inns, Suites at 249, Loft on Davis, or Thyme Inn.

Every Thursday, Friday, & Saturday, The Packard Theatre (part of the Library of Congress) screens FREE films. Check their website for listings.

Day Two

MORNING

After breakfast at Raven’s Nest, head over to the Inn at Kelly’s Ford Equestrian Center to hit the trail on horseback. Novice rider? No worries–they have options for beginners and provide helmets. If horses aren’t your thing, consider a trip to the Museum of Culpeper History, and then head out to see some of the Civil War Battlefields and the Culpeper National Cemetery.

AFTERNOON

For an active afternoon, drive a few minutes south of town to Lake Pelham Adventures where you can rent a canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or paddleboat. While you are there, be sure to check out Ole Country Store & Bakery. Grab a sandwich and browse the aisles in this unique store that specializes in bulk foods and baked goods.

EVENING

End your day at Foti’s Restaurants, a fine dining option with amazing food and service. After dinner, take one last stroll around downtown to check out anything you may have missed yesterday. 

Take Culpeper Home – If you are looking for some local food addictions, stop by Thyme Market and ask for some “Culpeper Crack.” Then swing by Knakal’s Bakery for their homemade famous donuts, or down to Moving Meadows Farm and Bakery where the Hudson family uses an Austrian Flour mill to hand mill all their grain. Stop by all three and take some Culpeper home with you!


A WEEKEND IN…

Alleghany Highlands, VA

Overlook from the North Mountain Trail.

VISITALLEGHANYHIGHLANDS.com

It’s easy to get to the Alleghany Highlands, yet it couldn’t be further from the stress of a hectic life. Beautiful mountain views, endless outdoor recreation, and two walkable downtowns with locally owned shops and restaurants add up to a charming and adventurous way of life. It’s Uniquely Alleghany! 

Mountain Biker at Douthat State Park.

Day One

MORNING

Start your day right with a fresh pastry and coffee to go from Cakes Your Way & The Coffee Café, or sit down and enjoy breakfast at Penny’s Diner. Once you’re fueled up and ready to go, hit the North Mountain Trail. At 6.8 miles out and back, you’ll be treated to mountainous views of the Alleghany Highlands as far as the eyes can see. When you get back to town, stop at Cucci’s Pizzeria for a sandwich with homemade bread or a slice of pizza.

AFTERNOON

After lunch, stop by Alleghany Outdoors, the newest outfitter in the area. Enjoy a trip on the Jackson River by kayak, tube, or canoe. A shuttle will take you to numerous boat launches of your choice. A local favorite is at the Smith Bridge Boat launch for a three to four-hour trip. This 10-mile section of the river has several rapids through crystal clear waters. You will encounter beautiful mountain cliffs and abundant wildlife along this exciting float. 

EVENING

Treat yourself to dinner at The Rail Bar & Grille with live music, the Cat & Owl for fresh steak and seafood, or at Café Michel for an elegant French cuisine experience. Check in to one of several local inns, AirBnbs, or campsites for the night.

Kayakers heading to their campsite on the lake.
The Alleghany Highlands Blueway is comprised of nearly 40 miles of scenic rivers and hundreds of miles of shoreline on two pristine lakes with over 20 different boat launches along its waterways.

Day Two

MORNING

Start at the Olde Town Diner for a breakfast menu full of tasty southern cooking options. Take a leisurely ride on the Jackson River Scenic Trail, a mostly flat, 14.4-mile rail trail that runs parallel to the water. If you don’t have a bike – Alleghany Outdoors has you covered! Afterwards, hop in the car and go for a scenic drive through the area. Sit by the water at Humpback Bridge, the last of its kind in the United States. Pull off at the overlook on Route 220 to view Falling Springs Falls, a breathtaking 80-foot waterfall that is one of the most photographed spots in the county. Afterwards, head to Trani’s Grille for wings, sandwiches, and more to keep your energy up.

AFTERNOON

Park at Douthat State Park, known for its world-class single-track trails, for an exhilarating afternoon of mountain biking on Stony Run and Middle Mountain Trail. If you prefer to be on the water, Lake Moomaw has more than 40 miles of undeveloped shoreline and numerous hiking trails to enjoy.

EVENING

Unwind with dinner at Jack Mason’s Tavern & Brewery, a local staple for great food and locally brewed beer, and head to the Historic Masonic Theatre for a movie or a show before turning in for
the night.

A WEEKEND IN…

Winchester, VA

Discover AT-quality trails and sweeping vistas without the crowds on the Tuscarora Trail, like here at the Eagle Rock overlook.

VISITWINCHESTERVA.com

The perfect base camp awaits for your next Shenandoah Valley adventure. Winchester has a thriving Old Town walking mall with 20+ local restaurants, 4 walkable craft breweries, and an up and coming art scene, not to mention a great outdoor outfitter, surrounded by 275 years of history. All of this within easy reach of hiking, biking, and kayaking for every skill level.

Day One

MORNING

Morning in Old Town warrants a walk to breakfast at the quirky but tasty Steamy’s Café or laid-back Hideaway Café. A short drive gets you to the local favorite Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery. Stop by Mountain Trails Outfitters on the Old Town Walking Mall for any last-minute equipment or supplies, then head west to the Eagle Rock Trailhead on the Tuscarora Trail. You can take a short 15-minute hike to the namesake overlook, or continue on for more beautiful views. This is a 252-mile bypass route of the AT, so you can hike as far or as short as you’d like. You can grab a great to-go lunch from Shaffer’s BBQ and Market or West Oaks Farm Market, both on the way.

AFTERNOON

Afternoon brings you back down the mountain. As you descend, drop by Richard’s Fruit Market for a refreshing homemade peach milkshake or Marker-Miller Orchards for some famous apple cider donuts, baked on-site daily. Then detour to Winchester Ciderworks for fresh UK-style hard cider fashioned in a century-old barn out of apples grown on site. Head back into town to check into the George Washington, A Wyndham Grand Hotel, in the heart of Old Town Winchester, which puts you just feet from a variety of local restaurant options. Or, if you’d like to truly get away, stay at the luxury Inn at Vaucluse Spring or Japanese-themed Pembroke Springs Retreat, both outside of town. 

EVENING

Make sure to check out the showtimes at the popular Family Drive-In Theatre in nearby Stephens City and catch a flick under the stars. Get there a little early on Saturdays as the cars line up!

Outstanding mineral water abounds in our mountains – free always-running spouts can be found off Rt 55 near Eagle Rock or off Wardensville Grade near Pembroke Springs.

Day Two

MORNING

Sleep in on your second morning and have brunch at Region’s 117, Oak Stone Pizza, or the Village Square Restaurant in Old Town.

AFTERNOON

Head out to kayak on the nearby Shenandoah River or Potomac River in Harper’s Ferry, stay local and hike the Third Battle of Winchester trails, or go on a guided biking adventure arranged by Element Sports.

EVENING

 If you didn’t spend the previous evening exploring in Old Town, this is a must-do today. Stop by Winchester Brew Works for one of their hiking-themed beers and check the showtimes at the Bright Box Theatre for live music, comedy, and more. Or for a paranormal experience, book an Apparition Trail ghost tour, available nightly in Old Town. Save time for a nightcap and live jazz at the Half Note Bar in the George Washington Hotel.

More on this topic

Advertisment

in case you missed it

Go Outside and Play: Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Feature Image: Historic Downtown Elizabethtown Corner. Photo courtesy of Elizabethtown Tourism. A WEEKEND IN... Elizabethtown, Kentucky

The Sound of Silence and the Joy of Laughter — on the Upper James River Water Trail

Sometimes we venture out into nature to find solitude. To simply reflect on its beauty. To escape from noise, traffic and the...

Go Outside and Play: Lexington & Rockbridge County

Feature Image: Along the 64 miles of the Upper James River and 10 miles of the Maury River, a 59-mile stretch of...

Go Outside and Play: Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia

Feature Image: Let the good times flow. Photo courtesy of Martinsville-Henry County, Virginia. A DAYTRIP TO...