All the holiday hustle and bustle can make you want to skip town. Head to the Virginia Countryside (Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, to be exact) for fresh air, rolling hills, and temporary farm living.
Pretend you’re visiting a rich uncle’s estate at the welcoming Goodstone Inn & Restaurant. Book a room in the carriage house for breathtaking views or gather a weekend party group to rent an entire house (bonus: A chef can make your meals using local ingredients and freshly picked veggies from the garden). Then unwind in the spa or stroll the grounds to visit with farm animals.
Dress the part with clothing and accessories from vintage store Timmie Jane (12 East Washington Street, Middleburg; 540-687-3211). Thrifty discoveries might include a round, plaid skirt; sequin tops; or yellow Hermès-inspired bag.
Duck into the tiny rustic building that houses The Upper Crust Bakery (2 North Pendleton Street, Middleburg; 540-687-5666), where less than a buck gets you a snickerdoodle, hillbilly cookie (chocolate chips and walnuts), or steeplechase bar (brown sugar, pecans, oatmeal, and chocolate).
Take something home from Plank & Nickel, a quaint shop owned by two brothers who make furniture — desks, benches, dining and coffee tables — from reclaimed maple and walnut wood. (Don’t worry: Modern legs and accessories make them city ready.)
For more local flavor, Forlano’s Market serves lunch and dinner crafted from breads and pastas, as well as meats, eggs, and cheese from Fauquier County. Swing back in the morning for coffee and baked goods at the just-opened cafe.
Work it all off by hiking in Sky Meadows State Park in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (Twelve miles of trails should keep you busy.)
You can even get back in the spirit with hounds and hunters, wine tasting, and caroling during Christmas in Middleburg.
It’s like walking in a winter country land.
Photos: Courtesy of Goodstone Inn & Restaurant; Courtesy of Plank & Nickel