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DC Road Trip to… Sperryville, Virginia

Buckland Farm Market- Farm

 

Trip Overview: This DC Road Trip takes you into the heart of Virginia’s picturesque Rappahannock County. Farm-fresh produce stands, artisans, wineries, taverns and hidden-gem natural wonders are along every mile of the route as you drive out of the city and towards the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Total Mileage: Around 180 miles, roundtrip

Time Needed: 12 hours. Numerous B&B options are along the route for those wanting to extend the trip overnight.

 

Final Sperryville map

View DC Road Trip to Sperryville in a larger interactive map

 

SUGGESTED ROUTE

1. Buckland Farm Market (4484 Lee Highway, Warrenton, VA 20187)

This is one roadside stop that must not be missed. The Buckland Farm Market has it all: plants, home-grown produce, canned goods, bakery items, by-the-pound old-fashioned candy, dry goods, meat and much more. Tip: Buy some carrots and other veggies at the market to bring to the friendly donkeys and goats outside in the “petting zoo” area, overlooking the nearby farm.

Buckland Farm Market- EXT

Buckland Farm Market- Jam

Buckland Farm Market- Donkey

 

2. Griffin Tavern (659 Zachary Taylor Highway, Flint Hill, VA 22627)

Established in 1843, the Griffin Tavern is full of character, with lots of old touches like hardwood floors and stone fireplaces. Patrons can sit in one of several dining rooms, the porch or the inviting bar and choose from traditional pub fare like Shepard’s Pie, burgers, pizzas and salads. There’s a decent drink list, too, including local beers and wines, making this a great spot for a lunchtime pick-me-up before you move along to the next stop.

Griffin Tavern

 

3. Inn at Little Washington (Middle Street, Washington, Virginia 22747)

The town of Washington, Virginia is famous for one thing: the Inn at Little Washington. Perhaps this five-star property should be called the Little Inn at Washington, because this noted Inn is, well, little. But inside this little structure holds one of the “biggest” and most renowned restaurants in the entire DC area… for those lucky enough to have a reservation. For everyone else, Washington, Virginia is still a noteworthy stop on the Rappahannock tour- stretch your legs, stroll around town and enjoy stopping in some of the shops.

Inn at Little Washington

 

4. Little Washington Winery (72 Christmas Tree Lane, Washington, Virginia 22747)

In an area full of wineries, it can be hard to decide which one to visit. If you’re stuck, try the Little Washington Winery, known for its gorgeous views of the Shenandoah countryside… and its “George” red wine.


5. River District Arts 
(3 River Lane, Sperryville, Virginia 22740)

River District Arts brings together over a dozen different artists to showcase their work in a collective space. Featuring varied mediums like pottery, paintings, sculptures, photography and more, R.D.A. is part gallery, part artisan storefront and part artist work space. It’s common to see artists hard at work at their next masterpiece, as you wander through the open and airy space before continuing on your way.

River Arts District

 

6. The Coterie and School House (12018 Lee Highway, Sperryville, Virginia 22740)

After stopping at River District Arts, your culture-vulture soul will be warmed up and ready for another set of artisan shops at the Coterie and School House. Here, whimsical and homemade housewares, antiques, crafts, clothing and more are on display. Plus, there’s an on-site pub, for those preferring to whet their whistle rather than shop.

coterie 2

Image via the Coterie

 

7. White Oak Canyon (the lower parking lot is located in Robertson, Virginia 22719)

In this part of Virginia, Old Rag is a frequent destination avid hikers. However, there’s another lesser-known hike that’s the perfect complement to a warm summer day. White Oak Canyon is a moderate to steep hike that follows bubbling creeks, pools and waterfalls along the entire path. If you don’t feel like doing the entire circuit (which could take upwards of 6 hours), in just 2 hours you can take the “Cedar Falls Run” trail to hike to “the Slide”- a natural water slide into a brisk, refreshing pool.

White Oak Canyon- path

White Oak Canyon- slide

White Oak Canyon- feet

 

8. Rudy’s Pizza (3710 Sperryville Pike, Sperryville, Virginia 22740)

After completing your hike at White Oak Canyon, reward yourself with a slice of “the best pizza in Sperryville” and an ice cold bottle of beer at Rudy’s. Freshly made dough and pizza sauce are the base to creatively named pizzas like “Blue Ridge Greek” and the “Hiker’s Special.” The best part? It’s affordable– with $13 large pizzas and bottles of microbrew that cost under $4/ bottle.

Rudy's

Photo of the “Maui Wowi” pizza via Road Food

 

9. Carousel Frozen Treats (346 Waterloo St  Warrenton, Virginia 20186)

End your day on a sweet note at Carousel Frozen Treats. This florescent roadside stand is an ice-cream lover’s paradise and dishes up heaping cones of soft serve, sundaes, malts, hawaiian-style shaved ice and more. For those looking for a salty treat, try the sundae topped with crushed pretzels, hot fudge and caramel sauce… or their popular sea salt fries!

Carosel Ice Cream

Carosel Ice Cream 2

 

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14 Responses to DC Road Trip to… Sperryville, Virginia

  1. Patrick G. May 29, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Chris,

    It’s interesting that you are going to Sperryville and have chose to blog about it. I’m in the middle of reading Jack Reacher novel #8, some of which takes place in the little berg of Sperryville, which is kind of interesting considering how small it is – you have to make a real effort to go there. I actually had to double check to make sure it was the same place I was just reading about.

    It looks like a great place to go to – quiet, rustic, friendly people – sounds like my kind of place.

    Patrick

    • Chris June 2, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

      @Patrick- thank you for your reply! I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post and that it was such good timing.

      If you end up doing the road trip and experiencing it for yourself (and I hope you do!), I hope you’ll share how it was and if you found any other cool Sperryville locations to add.

  2. Jo Ann May 29, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    I’m ready to go there just for the pizza!

  3. Christina S. May 30, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    What an undiscovered gem! How did I not know this cuteness existed?

    A little further southwest, I’m a big fan of the little town of Luray.

  4. Joe @ Cosmic Smudge June 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    What a great idea for a road trip. We’ve been wanting to get to the Inn at Little Washington for some time and this might be the inspiration that finally gets us to make a day of it!

    • Chris June 5, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Hi Joe! I’m glad that you’ve gotten some inspiration from my road trip. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, but be sure to report back once you go with your tips to add!

  5. Jess June 10, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I love Sperryville. We always stop somewhere when we go for our Old Rag hike. I love this cause it gives great new options for me to check out the next time I’m down there! Thanks Chris.

    • Chris June 11, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

      Hi Jess! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. If you have any other places to add, please do! 🙂

  6. Susie July 25, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Chris –

    We live in Rappahannock County and are so thrilled you loved our little corner of the world. I would add a few things for you to try on a future visit and for other readers to know:

    Best lunch is at 24 Crows in Flint Hill, just across from Griffin Tavern. Outstanding sandwiches and soups with vegetarian options. Good coffee. And the best homemade ice cream and homemade waffle cones you will ever have.

    Another great breakfast, lunch and dinner spot is Thornton River Grille, right next to Rudy’s Pizza. Consistently good food – steaks, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and hearty vegetarian options also available. Good wine selection, Full bar available too. Best french fries in the county.

    If you can stay a night or two, the Foster Harris House is a great B&B in town. John and Diane MacPherson run a lovely place with one of the best breakfasts you will eat – I’m not talking stale scones and lukewarm coffee – think 4 course gourmet breakfasts that you will truly enjoy. And they offer amazing bike tours that take you to different wineries around the area. Their Tour d’Epicure is a wonderful weekend of biking and culinary adventures. They have just been able to start serving dinner to their guests, and John’s food is amazing, creative, inventive and just delicious.

    The Little Washington Theater shows movies once a month on Friday nights in the fall, winter and spring. They usually coincide with DirecTV movie releases, so they are not necessarily “new” but a few months out of theaters. They usually show the Oscar nominees and winners. Fun time to have some popcorn and enjoy an older theater with a balcony. The Theater also offers a number of great performances ranging from classical music to bluegrass. Pick up a brochure at the kiosk outside of the post office in Little Washington, or at the Rappahannock County Visitors Center.

    And if you can’t afford dinner at the Inn at Little Washington, walk in and ask to have a drink. They can usually accommodate you, especially if it’s a weeknight or a winter evening. The bar list is amazing and it’s just a really fun place. The service is what they’re known for, so don’t be afraid to walk in hiking clothes and ask for a drink – they are happy to have you.

    Come back soon!

    • Christina Ricchiuti July 25, 2013 at 12:44 am #

      Susie,
      Thank you for reaching out and sharing such amazing info. I feel like I have a whole itinerary laid out to do on another visit!

      The Foster Harris House’s lodging/ biking & wine tours sounds like a weekend plan in itself! Sounds like a fantastic place- can’t wait to try it for myself on a weekend soon 🙂

  7. Rebecca May 12, 2014 at 10:28 am #

    Next to Coterie in the main building of the Sperryville Schoolhouse is the shop Comfort which sells fair trade and American made clothing, jewelry, candy, coffee, toys, kitchenware, etc. Across the hall from Comfort is Knit Wit which sells local and fair trade yarns, felting supplies, locally made felted animals, and scarves. Headmasters Pub is also in the School House as well as Antics and Antiques and Schoolhouse Antiques. Finally, below Coteris is Heritage Hollow which sells locally raised meat and other goods.

  8. Canyoning verdon March 23, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    Thank you very much for this article !
    I live in France, and i looking for information about Sperryville. I have family over there, and is not a very popular place for finding information easly 🙂
    Thank you again, i’ll show to my husband where is cousin live !

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