*Caution, affiliate links ahead…Don’t worry, I’ll use the money for something practical, like wine…. or a pony!
Have you ever just wanted to escape your life for a few days? Escape the responsibilities, the never ending chores, the play dates, the baseball practice, all of it? My family got to that place a few weeks ago, that hit a brick wall, just need to get out of here for a few days, place. We just needed a few days to unwind and unplug, so we headed to the mountains of Virginia, specifically Wintergreen Resort.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Wintergreen is the perfect place to get away from it all and spend some quality family time. Whether you are looking to just relax by the lake, or up for something more adventurous (zipline anyone?), this is the place to be.
Let’s start off with the fact that you can stay in your own personal mountain villa. Each villa comes equipped with a full kitchen, living room, balcony and fireplace (in villas with multiple bedrooms). Villas range in size from studios to 5 bedrooms, perfect for a family of any size! Looking for more bedrooms for a retreat or family reunion? Wintergreen also has mountain homes with up to 9 bedrooms!
In all honesty my husband and I would have been completely content to just relax on the balcony of our villa breathing the fresh mountain air all day and counting the stars at night, alas, our kids were not quite as content with that idea, so we ended up exploring all the activities that the resort has to offer, brace yourself, because there are A LOT!
With both indoor and outdoor courts, you can play all year long. The facility is staffed with tennis pros that offer a variety of classes and clinics for kids and adults. My kids took classes with Anita, and they loved her! I had to practically drag my older kids onto the court, but after a hour with Anita, they were having so much fun that they didn’t want the class to end. She even had my 3 year old hitting not only consistently but with the proper technique.
I got lucky and got a private lesson with Kostyantyn. I love tennis and having been working with a coach (whom I love!) off and on for the last 2 years. I have learned a lot with my coach, but everything seemed to click after a lesson with Kostyantyn, he was encouraging, but at the same time pulled no punches when it came to correcting my technique. When I met with my coach after our trip he was amazed at my improvement and said that he should have sent me to Virginia a long time ago.
Discovery Ridge Adventure Center-
This is the place where the fun happens, where all the kids smiles start and the place they never want to leave. In the summer there is ziplining, land tubing, bungee trampolines and of course the mechanical bull! For the less adventurous and younger set, there is mini golf, playgrounds and bounce houses. Cap off your day of adventure with a marshmallow roast around the campfire, complete with not too spooky campfire stories and a movie under the stars.
Wintergreen is home to 30 miles of scenic hiking trails that can accommodate any skill level. I was able to take the littles on a beginner trail while my husband and big kids tackled a more advanced trail. You can even hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail here.
My littles have never been hiking, their reactions to the beaver dam, the sweet-smelling flowers and the moss covered trees were priceless. Our 1 mile hike took us more than 3 hours as my usually indoor divas fell in love with the sounds, sights and smells of the woods that surrounded them.
Apparently I missed my calling, turns out I’m a pretty impressive archer. I give all the credit to our exceptional instructor. With each round of shooting we did, he gave us helpful suggestions about our technique and minor adjustments that we could make. He had a passion for archery and not only taught us proper technique and safety but also gave us an in depth history of archery and ancient weapons. Truly fascinating.
If relaxation is on your agenda, but the kids want a little more stimulation, then Lake Monocan is where you want to be. Here you can relax on the beach while your kids play in the water, build sand castles or fish. If you are a water lover then you’ll be happy to know there is kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boating. There is also a 2 mile paved trail around the lake perfect for an afternoon bike ride or an evening stroll with your family before dinner.
Each villa has it’s own kitchen, but honestly sometimes you just don’t want to cook on vacation. Thankfully there are 4 onsite restaurants to take your family to for lunch or dinner, or you can do like me and hubby and feed the kids sandwiches and sneak away for a romantic dinner (if you aren’t fortunate to have your own teenager, there is babysitting available!) We dined with a breathtaking view of the Blue Ridge Mountains at sunset.
If you aren’t exhausted yet there are also 2 world class golf courses, children’s programs, geocaching, a nature preserve, full service spa, onsite shopping, an indoor and outdoor pool and a fully equipped fitness center (complete with sauna and steam room).
The cool temps in the summer and the snow covered mountains in the winter make Wintergreen the perfect place to visit year round. We had a wonderful time here and can’t wait to go back and see what they have to offer in the winter. If you are looking for a place that is away from it all, where you and your family can spend some fun quality time communing with nature and each other, then this is the place for you.