Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Everyone needs to get away sometimes right?
That's the premise behind Getaway, a glamping/cabin rental company offering the chance to get away... to leave behind the ever-present push to be productive, all within easy driving distance from a major city and with all the essentials provided.
Thankfully, though I was a skeptic when we first booked, Getaway (DC) was just what we needed. The cabins, about two hours from DC near Shenandoah National Park, are well-equipped, easy to find, and super comfortable. The process of booking, checking in, and departing was seamless (and contactless), and the cabins have all the essentials provided so you can build a fire outside, stay warm inside, and get some much-needed rest. I won't go into an exhaustive list of what's included in each rental, though you can find that information here if you're curious. Instead, I'll offer some advice for those looking to Getaway from DC, especially food lovers like myself who are fine with a little wilderness and adventure but don't want to miss any good meals along the way.
For the Best Food-Filled Getaway from DC
1. Bring some pre-made food from home or easy to cook items to make it easy on yourself. Nobody wants to be responsible for making a complicated, five-course meal in a small cabin kitchen. Though the kitchens in the Getaway cabins are well equipped, they're still cabins. There's dishware, a small sink with a sponge and soap, a pot, a pan, a small stove, kettle for boiling water, and a mini-fridge. Bring some food and snacks that are easy to heat up later and voila, you're prepared to enjoy a low-stress foodie vacation. We brought boxed mac and cheese and it was such a warm, comforting treat on a cold night.
If you're a tea or coffee drinker, I'd also recommend bringing what you need for your morning brew. There is a little stash of foodstuffs available for sale in each cabin (essentials like tea, pour-over coffee, pasta, etc), but if you need a specific caffeine fix in the morning, you might as well pack it. That way you can wake up, watch the gorgeous sunrise through the huge window in your cabin, and enjoy your tea or coffee in bed.
For more tips on what to pack, check here!
2. Visit Jack's Shop Kitchen for an outstanding brunch (or lunch or dinner). This unassuming restaurant is about a ten-minute drive from the cabins and offers some of the best food I've had while visiting this part of Virginia. The sweet potato biscuits with house-made chorizo gravy are absolutely fabulous. There are sweet little chunks of sweet potato in the huge fluffy biscuits, and the gravy is hearty and perfectly seasoned. Before or after a long hike, Jack's Shop Kitchen is the right stop to make.
3. Make S'mores over the fire! This is a camping or glamping essential, a beloved childhood memory for many of us. Thankfully, each Getaway has a fire pit with chairs set up around it for easy lounging. There are even firewood and firestarter logs for sale. Getaway also provided a complimentary S'mores kit which we found on check-in -- a cute amenity that illustrated how well thought out the experience is. So get that fire going and start making those S'mores! There's nothing better on a cold night.
Fire tip: The fire-starting log provided works well, but won't start a roaring fire if the only wood you have is large logs (like the ones available in the log bundles on-site). We supplemented the firestarter log by adding a layer of dry twigs and leaves on top. This dry, smaller material helped the large logs from the bundle provided by Getaway really catch, to get that big crackling fire we wanted. And yes, there's a long BBQ lighter provided in the kitchen to help you get the fire started.
S'mores tip: I have never, ever been able to make a S'more with that perfectly melted chocolate by simply roasting a marshmallow and then adding it to a cracker loaded with chocolate. You can see evidence of that failure in the photo above. Instead, take a graham cracker and add a layer of chocolate on top. Then, place that little chocolatey bundle on a sheet of foil (provided in the kitchen), and put it on the grilling grate that partially covers the fire pit. Let the flames melt the chocolate while you roast your marshmallow over the flames. Then when you put them together, you get the perfectly melty goodness!
4. Visit Early Mountain Vineyard for a wine tasting and impeccable food, just ten minutes away from Getaway DC. After a long day of hiking, or napping, or playing games in your cabin, Early Mountain offers the perfect change of pace. Their tasting room was previously voted best in the nation, and the gorgeous architecture is matched by the wine, food, and service. Try a tasting at the bar area, or sit and enjoy a flight or a glass while you eat. Their menu is crafted from seasonal local produce, so this is a chance to get your veggies after (maybe) eating too much boxed mac and cheese in your cabin... Perfectly seasoned, delicious veggies. Reservations are required during the busy season so be sure to reserve a spot before you go.
Non-Food Related Tip: As I may have mentioned before, I do not like adventures where I fear I could get lost and not have cell service to find my way. I always recommend downloading the map of an area for use offline, using Google Maps. This is one of my fave ways to give myself a little extra peace of mind when traveling and highly recommended before embarking on a road trip.
We thoroughly enjoyed our experience, buoyed by amazing food and the gorgeous setting right outside of Shenandoah National Park. Getaway DC is a great option for a quick escape from city life. And for my friends outside of the DMV, Getaway also offers a chance to escape from Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, LA, NY, Pittsburgh + Cleveland, and Portland!