November 28, 2017
Imagine leaving all the stress of daily life behind, no traffic, no noise, no electronics distractions. Then imagine replacing it with a quiet getaway nestled in the mountains in the most charming southern town where people really do live the simple, good life.
This is exactly what our weekend was like at Rose River Farm in Syria, Virginia. It is located in the middle of the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains and minutes to Shenandoah National Park, tons of well known Virginia wineries, restaurants and outdoor activities.
We stayed in one of their yurts, aka coolest luxury cabin ever. I'm not sure who was more excited to stay in a yurt, the kids or us. With half the yurt being floor to ceiling windows, you had a panoramic view of the Shenandoah Mountains. Each yurt has it's own fire pit with adirondack chairs and plenty of firewood perfect for roasting marshmallows and making s'mores.
The smell in the air at night with the wood burning fire and crisp fall leaves was intoxicating. The absolute quiet of being out in nature and the exceptional view of a starry night sky was one we'll never forget. Especially because each yurt has a huge skylight at the top of the roof for star gazing and constellation viewing. I've never seen stars so bright because of all the light pollution we have living near Washington, DC. We spent almost an hour picking out all the constellations we knew and made up a few too.
Rose River Farm is also known for it's spectacular fishing. It is one of the best places to fish and you don't need a license on one of the ponds on the property. We didn't think it would be easy for the kids to catch fish here, but one look at the shallow, crystal clear water and we saw literally dozens of huge trout. Fishing is definitely on our list to do first thing on our next visit.
There is a local convenient store, Syria Store, across the road that we will be sure to get our rods, bait and a picnic lunch next time.
This picture above is the scene we woke up to in the morning. We watched the sunrise and the mist lift off the mountain tops as it revealed the most beautiful fall foliage fit for a postcard.
We ate at the most charming place, Graves Mountain Lodge. It is only a few minutes from the yurt down a quiet country road perched between the mountain and a creek loaded with waterfalls throughout.
These pictures do not do it justice. Driving up to this place at night with just the lights glowing from afar and the smoke rising from their chimneys was like stepping back in time to the old country way of life.
They serve their home cooked, country meals family style in group seating tables next to wall to wall windows with a spectacular view of the Shenandoah mountains.
It feels as if you're having dinner at a friends house. Warm people with the best country cooking around. For breakfast they served fresh bacon (um we almost just ate straight bacon for breakfast it was so darn good), scrambled eggs made from farm fresh eggs and cheese, grits, slow cooked oatmeal, roasted apples with cinnamon and brown sugar, warm biscuits, fresh fruit and I didn't even get to the other 4 plates of food at our table because...did I mention the fresh bacon.
We met the sweetest newlywed couple who sat next to us at our table that morning. I never would've taken the time to meet strangers but here, you are truly living in the moment because you're allowed to slow down and take advantage of these little moments in between.
I'm so glad we did, because they let the girls ride their horses at the stables across the road after breakfast. This was our girls first time riding anything but a small pony at a fair. They were in heaven and horseback riding is now their favorite thing to do.
Graves Mountain offers horseback riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains. But this sweet couple let us ride their horses. They run a horseback riding trail on the upper side of the Shenandoah Mountains by Skyline Drive. It is a great place to incorporate on your way back home. It's called Skyline Ranch Resort located in Front Royal, VA.
Just a few minutes from Rose River Farm is one of the best places to hike and one of the most beautiful national parks, Shenandoah National Park.
This park has over 200,000 acres of protected land with beautiful forests, wetlands, trails and waterfalls. It is voted one of the best places to hike and has trails for the beginner to the more experienced.
There are two trails within minutes from Rose River Farm.
We opted for the easy trail because we went with the kids and wanted to all enjoy this hike opposed to having to carry them on our backs the whole time -both impossible and sure to end in a trip to the E.R.
1. White Oak Canyon - easy hike alongside a crystal clear stream with waterfalls, giant rocks and plenty of wildlife sightings such as the giant deer that ran across our path.
Click here to print a map of the trail and general info on this hike.
2. Old Rag Mountain - this is the most popular hike but also the most challenging. It is a 9 mile loop boasting the same spectacular views known at all the Shenandoah National Park trails.
This is now on our frequent visit list. I can't believe this little treasure was practically in our backyards. So glad my kids can experience this once in a lifetime trip. They were able to get completely lost in nature and enjoy the simple things that in my opinion are the best things in life.
I hope to go back again in the winter when it snows and again in the spring when all the flowers are blooming. I may never leave here if it's as pretty as I'm imagining.
This link on the Rose River Farm website gives loads of things to do in the area including some of the best Virginia wineries, kayaking, horseback riding, etc.
The Early Mountain Vineyard is a must see while there. Started by Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and his wife. It was voted the number one tasting room in the nation by U.S.A. Today.
picture courtesy of Early Mountain
picture courtesy of Early Mountain
picture courtesy of Early Mountain Vineyard
December 13, 2017