Stephanie’s Favorite Weekend
Wake up. Coffee. Hike. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
That is my perfect weekend. I’ve lived in the city, at the beach (on an actual island no less), in the mountains, in the country, in the suburbs, and now in the valley. Throughout all of it, my pattern remains the same.
Wake up. Coffee. Walk. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
You too can live like me. It’s not that hard, especially if you woke up at the Indigo.
Full disclosure: I judge a destination based on the local coffee shop. If like me, you love a proper coffee shop vibe, fancy latte to-go, or a constant flow of caffeine to stay alive, you can likely find me at one of my favorite coffee shops around Afton, Virginia:
- Trager Brothers Coffee in Afton It’s closest to the Indigo, super laid back. You won’t find anyone typing away here. You order at the counter and sit at the picnic tables on the back lawn, chatting with your friends. It’s an official coffee date.
- Mudhouse in Crozet Great vibe, great drinks, great food. Fast WiFi and convenient parking. You can’t go wrong here.
- Farmhaus in Waynesboro A minor detour if you are near Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway. There is zero pretension here. Show up in your sweaty exercise clothes (I know I do) or with your laptop and hang until your heart is content. They close at 2 pm, so your heart needs to be happy by then.
I almost never walk or hike without Marietta so all of my favorite paths are dog-friendly.
- Stoney Creek Park in Wintergreen In less than 10 minutes, you are in a wooded oasis. This is a super easy trail (under 2 miles total) with lots of water access, benches for resting or bird watching, and ample parking. This one is perfect if I just need to stretch my legs or get some steps in.
- Black Rock Summit in Shenandoah National Park It’s a short hike to a viewpoint on top of a rocky slope with incredible views. I love packing a lunch for this trail- there are endless views and plenty of room for people to sit and hang out.
- Big Run Loop in Shenandoah National Park Big Run is almost six miles. It is one of the park’s least trafficked trails and if I have a large block of time to kill, this is my ideal way to use it. Although this trail offers no grand scenery, it provides plenty of solitude and shade for those warmer days.
- Crabtree Falls in Nelson County Crabtree Falls, the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. It is just six miles off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 27. When I need a cardio day, this will do just fine. I think it climbs over 1,200 feet and you can see from 5 overlooks.
I’m not one of those girls who doesn’t eat. The breweries on Nelson 151 have great food, but normally, you will find me avoiding the tourism crowds (Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?). These are my favorite local spots:
- Basic Necessities in Afton Cozy, casual, and intimate. I almost don’t want to tell you about it because it’s so good and feels so secret. Patrons have been known to do a little sing-along on a Friday night with live music.
- Oakhart Social in Charlottesville A bright, modern restaurant offering New American sharing plates with lots of inventive ways to eat your veggies. I like to go to Public Oyster House beforehand for an Ol’ Fashioned during happy hour. IYKYK.
- Batesville Market in Batesville This historic country store features local food, music, and crafts. They will know you are not from here when you enter. Fear not, just keep walking up to the deli counter or fridge and lean into it – you’re sure to have a good time when all is said and done.
Now, I’ll let you nap and sleep on your own schedule and in your preferred place. But, if you see me sitting upright with the sun on my face and eyes closed, reclined in a hammock “reading”, or blatantly snoozing away in front of the fire, just keep walking. Find your own cozy spot and follow suit.