The DW&S Team is spending the Summer scouting Virginia. We are searching for your next unique craft beverage and food experience, and are traveling back roads and city streets to look for unusual Summer vacation experiences in Virginia.
The DW&S Mission is to provide “The Taste of Virginia.” We want to introduce you to Virginia’s unique blend of craft beverages and food. For Summer, we want to combine the tastes of Virginia with a few options for a Summer Vacation Escape. So, sit back and read about a few Summer Escapes, DW&S-style.
I am writing this story from the new Devils Backbone Campground. No doubt, Virginians are already fond of Devils Backbone beer. The new Devils Backbone Distillery has also opened and is offering tours. But it’s the new Devils Backbone Campground that brought me to Beech Grove, Virginia in Nelson County. The new campground opened in early Summer 2018, and I think it’s the perfect place to relax for a summer vacation and write a story for DW&S.
Not an RVer and you do not own a tent? That’s OK. Keep reading. I have scouted breweries with on-site lodging and will provide all the details, including one with an agri-pub menu. From a quaint B&B to a 5 bedroom Inn, your Summer Escape awaits.
The Devils Backbone Summer Vacation Camping Experience
You may already know that Devils Backbone uses the tag-line “Craft an Adventure,” but I want to tell you about our stay at the new Devils Backbone Campground. There’s adventure for your entire family, even your dog (on a leash).
There are campsites available for motorhomes, travel trailers and tents. Need electric and WiFi? They have it available. You can cook over your campfire or dine at Devils Backbone. The brewery, distillery, The Summit Coffee Shop and multiple dining options are only a quick walk from your campsite. No matter your camping style, you will be comfortable.
Our dog, a Boykin Spaniel, named GeeChee, also enjoyed her visit to Devils Backbone Brewing Company and Campground. She especially enjoyed the groomed on-site trails and the brewery dog area in “the meadow.” As a side note, while camping at Devils Backbone, she also enjoyed her visit to near-by Bold Rock Cidery where she took a dip in the Rockfish River and then joined us for a cider at their Barrel Barn. Plus, she had a snack while sitting under the shade trees of the patio at Wild Wolf Brewery. Please remember, you can bring your dog, but they must remain on a leash.
Of course, you need to be 21 or over to sample the famous Devils Backbone beer (and now spirits), but many non-alcoholic options are available. The brewery also offers a kid’s menu. Bring your family and enjoy a few days in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.
Here are just a few of the amenities at Devils Backbone and within a short drive of the campground that make a perfect summer vacation:
- Hiking and Mountain Bike Trail On-Site
- The Devils Backbone Gardens and Greenhouses
- The Summit Coffee Shop showcasing locally roasted coffee from Trager Brothers
- A Farm-to-Table Menu at Devils Backbone Eateries
- The Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail
- The Brew Ridge Trail and the Rt. 151 Trail Showcasing Craft Beer, Wine and Cider
- The Nellysford Farm Market on Saturday mornings (Through early November)
Imagine spending the day exploring Nelson County and the Blue Ridge Mountains. You wrap-up the day beside a campfire with a view of the sun setting behind Three Ridges. You are dining on some Devils Backbone BBQ or grilling vegetables just purchased at the Nellysford Farm Market. It’s the end of a perfect DW&S escape day.
TIP: Check out the schedule of Summer vacation events on the Devils Backbone website, www.DBBrewingCompany.com. We will be back at this campground in July to enjoy one of their new pop-up festivals.
Book your stay at the Devils Backbone Campground through Reserve America
“The Unique RVing Experience”
Now, I want to tell you about a winery and farm stay Virginia summer vacation option for RV owners. As I explored and scouted locations throughout Virginia, I learned of the Harvest Hosts program. I was delighted to discover that several Virginia wineries and farms participate in the program for RV travelers.
I joined Harvest Hosts (At the time of publication, the annual membership was under $50) With a yearly membership, we can park our Winnebago Motorhome for one night at a number of Virginia wineries and farms. Harvest Hosts only suggests that members thank the host by purchasing wine, beer or products during your stay. Of course! That’s all part of the fun. Reservations are required, and you do limit your stay to one night at each host location. I think that this is a great way to visit Virginia harvest locations and sample local fare. I also believe that it is a great way to add a few bottles to my Virginia wine collection.
As a member of Harvest Hosts, you can park your RV with views of Virginia vineyards or orchards laden with the fruits of the Commonwealth. While parked at the host site, take part in wine tastings, food pairings, and farm dinners. ($) In 2018, Virginia hosts include twelve wineries, one brewery, one farm/ranch and two attractions. That’s a lot of options for your 2018 Summer Escape.
Everyone (at the host site) is so friendly and helpful. This experience was truly amazing! Thank you all for such a great time! — M&T Blondin, Harvest Hosts Members
Once you are a member of Harvest Hosts, you will be able to browse all of the host locations available. Each site is different. If you are traveling with your dog, be sure to read the guidelines for each site.
Harvest Hosts is a national program with over 615 locations located in all of the lower 48 US states, Canada, Alaska and Baja California. Locations include wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, museums, and attractions. To learn about Harvest Hosts, visit their website: www.HarvestHosts.com
Beer & Stay
Perhaps, your Summer travel plans do not include camping…or even glamping. If you are looking for a destination stay that provides Virginia craft beer and on-site, traditional lodging, I have a list for you.
Stable Craft Brewery: Located in Waynesboro, Virginia, Stable Craft is a Chef-Inspired, Working Farm Brewery. “Stable Craft Brewing’s commitment to excellence is carefully woven into every product”—from the brewery’s website. Enjoy locally sourced fare, visit the on-site hops field and taste their collection of crafted beer. And then, stay on-site at Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables. You can book a two-night Beercation through the Stable Craft Bed & Beer program. Visit www.StableCraftBrewing.com for all the details.
Be sure also to read Unique Bites in this edition of DW&S, featuring the chef-inspired agri-pub food at Stable Craft Brewery. It’s a full-farm experience at Stable Craft Brewery!
Blue Mountain Brewery: Located in Nelson County, Virginia, Blue Mountain Brewery is the oldest brewery in the county. Recently, they added The Inn at Blue Mountain. The Inn is a five-bedroom retreat next to Blue Mountain’s Afton location. Walk across the path to the brewery for drinks and enjoy an extensive menu. Or cook a gourmet meal in the Inn’s fully-stocked kitchen. Visit www.innatbluemountain.com for all the details.
Hopkins Ordinary Bed Breakfast Aleworks: Located in Sperryville, Virginia. If you love history and beer, this is your destination. The original building of Hopkins Ordinary was built around 1820 by John Hopkins and today is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2014 Hopkins Ordinary became Virginia’s first BBA (Bed & Breakfast & Aleworks) Visit www.HopkinsOrdinary.com for all the details.
I hope you find your perfect Summer escape in Virginia. When you arrive, raise a glass of cheer. Enjoy!
Kim Chappell can be reached at [email protected] Have a perfect Virginia escape that includes craft beverages or farm-fresh food, let Kim know.