After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the beginning of the new year is often calm. For that reason, it’s the ideal time to schedule a fun weekend trip. Luckily, Virginia has plenty of affordable off-season destinations that are perfect for your next getaway.
The beach is perhaps an obvious weekend getaway destination, but it shouldn’t be overlooked in the cold season. In fact, it’s a great time to go to Virginia Beach because room rates are cheaper and the beaches aren’t as crowded.
Whale watching and horseback riding are two outdoor activities that can be done no matter the season, according to the Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau. In fact, January and February are prime months for whale watching.
One of the best ways to spot a whale is to book a ride on Rudee Tours or one of the other local tour companies. If you’d prefer something more active, you can go horseback riding on the beach, an activity only offered during the off season, with Virginia Beach & Outer Banks Horseback.
Checkout this list of hotels and resorts. Notably, The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club offers a Virginia resident getaway/staycation special that takes 20% off its best rate. It even includes breakfast at Becca Restaurant and Garden.
If a cozy cabin doesn’t scream winter getaway, it’s hard to think of what does. Luckily, many of the cabins that Virginia State Parks (VSP) operates are open year-round and are pet-friendly.
“There is nothing quite like a winter getaway to mentally help clear out the year-end junk and prepare for a bright new year ahead,” VSP states on its website. “Escape to a cabin in the woods and pop the bubble of the day-to-day pressure, where you can recharge and refresh, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.”
VSP recommends these five cabins for winter getaways: Cabin 2 at Fairy Stone State Park, Cabin 14 at James River State Park, Cabin 25 at Hungry Mother State Park, Cabin 12 at Douthat State Park, and Cabin 6 at Bear Creek Lake State Park.
The Hungry Mother State Park and Douthat State Park options are ideal locales for mountain getaways. Hungry Mother State Park isn’t too far from The Lincoln Theatre in Marion, which already has a robust lineup of events scheduled for January and February. Check out the offseason rates here.
Those looking to get away from city life should consider a getaway in the Shenandoah Valley. Through Jan. 31, Montfair Resort Farm is offering 15% off all cottage rates. “Enjoy comfortable cedar vacation cottages with self-catering kitchens, private covered porches, onsite easily accessible nature trails, biking, canoeing, and fishing,” the farm’s website reads.
Montfair is home to eight unique cottages. The Hazelnut Cottage offers the perfect combination of comfort and nature for any couple looking to free themselves of responsibilities for a weekend.
History lovers will surely enjoy a weekend getaway to Colonial Williamsburg, the world’s largest US history museum. Colonial Williamsburg Resorts is offering a winter getaway package from Jan. 1-March 12.
“Get two length-of-stay tickets to Colonial Williamsburg and up to $125 in resort credits toward dining, golf, spa experiences, and more when you stay two or more nights at an official Colonial Williamsburg hotel,” the company’s site states.
With numerous hotels and colonial houses to select from, you’ll surely find one that suits your needs. Affordable options can be found in the tavern rooms at Market Square Tavern, Chiswell Bucktrout, and Brick House Tavern. They offer a chance to experience 18th-century living with all the comforts of home.
The resort credit can be spent at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, or one of the many onsite dining outlets. You can’t go wrong at the King’s Arms Tavern, which serves meals inspired by 18th-century recipes.
Massanutten Resort in Massanutten offers a range of winter packages that can be used for a weekend getaway. Whether you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing getaway or one that’s chock-full of action, there will surely be a package to your liking.
Those looking for a three- or four-day weekend should take advantage of the “Stay Longer Save More This Winter” package, which offers between a 10-20% discount depending on your length of stay.
The “Winter Splash Package” is perfect for families who want to get wet despite the cold temperatures. It includes two or more nights in a condo or hotel room along with an admission pass for the indoor WaterPark and $50 resort dining gift card.
Couples will enjoy the “Winter Wellness Package,” which includes two or more nights and two signature massages or one massage and one Yon-Ka facial.
Massanutten’s winter packages expire on March 17.
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