Food and Drink, Getaways, The Great Outdoors, Travel

Getaways: Wineries and a Pumpkin Patch down 66

Linden Vineyard Grounds

Weeks ago I was perusing my favorite local DC food blog, metrocurean, and got inspired by the Hurricane Wine Tasting post that blogger Amanda wrote about her recent winery trip. Having been to Barboursville recently, and loved it, I was antsy to take a trip out 66 to the wineries closer by, and Amanda provided me and my group of friends with the perfect trip planner. So the six of us set out on an afternoon trip.

Our first stop was Linden Vineyards. We piled in the cars and set out with our trusty GPS to guide us. We had heard this winery was one of the best in the state, and knew it was pretty prestigious and they were serious about their wine. So we were slightly surprised when we turned onto a 3-mile dirt road, but figured, well, if they say it’s this good, I guess you gotta work for it… And so we drove, and we drove, and Matt’s car got all kinds of dirty, but finally we arrive at Linden and it’s just gorgeous. See above. The porch faces the mountain (well, hill, if you’re going to get technical I suppose), people were having picnics on the lawn, the sky was blue.

So we went inside. It’s not too terribly inviting inside, just one single counter, no tables. We had a group of six, and the sign clearly said no groups larger than six. And they mean it. Amanda’s post had warned that the porch was reserved for “members” (ie: people who have bought a case of Linden wine during the calendar year). I didn’t think it would be quite so strict. Continue reading

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Daytrip: Luray Caverns, Skyline Drive and Dinner in Front Royal


Carl, screwing up a potentially nice picture
at Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns is a great little place to go and only about two hours away from DC. Here is how I recommend scheduling your time. You can drive to Luray, VA in about two hours if you go on I-66 to I-81. Tack on an extra hour if you opt to take the very beautiful Skyline Drive between Front Royal and Route 211, which will take you right into Luray. There is a $15 fee to take the Skyline Drive but it is worth every penny. Just do it.

The caverns themselves are beautiful, filled with stalactites, stalagmites, rocks and other things that are underground. The young woman behind us in line was scared of encountering bats but this is a squeaky-clean cavern, complete with lights, a paved walkway and tour guides who talk about the various things I would know more about, had I paid attention in my geology class. No bugs, from what I could tell, and thus no bats.
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