John Moore rests his hand affectionately on his wife’s shoulder as they relax at the bar at The Edge restaurant at Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort. Earlier, they had enjoyed a quiet dinner in the dimly lit Copper Mine Bistro after a day of skiing.
Wintergreen seems to be a romantic getaway even for a couple married for 33 years with two children. John is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and Elaine is a registered nurse.
The North Carolina couple enjoy the atmosphere at Wintergreen because it’s “not overwhelming,” particularly for novice skiers. They have returned multiple times over the past 20 years to get their “batteries charged,” make memories and bond with family members.
John Moore advises younger people that sharing experiences during the day fuels late-night passion.
Experiences abound for couples at this four-season resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Nelson County, a three-hour drive from Washington D.C.
“You can be as active as you want to be or as relaxed as you need to be,” says Betsy Dunkerton, who promotes the resort.
In the winter, skiing reigns supreme. Need snow? The resort makes its own. And Wintergreen Will, the resort’s version of Punxsutawney Phil, guarantees an extended winter on Groundhog Day. Take a private ski lesson, go snowboarding or tackle snow tubing on The Plunge.
On Valentine’s Day, try chairlift speed dating to meet someone new. Celebrate all things winter on Presidents’ Weekend (Feb. 14 to 17).
You and your honey can hike on a woodland trail, play tennis or swim in indoor facilities, work out at the fitness center, soak in a hot tub or take a scenic drive.
Indulge in a couples massage at the spa (so relaxing some husbands have been caught snoring) and lounge afterward in bathrobes, sampling chocolates and cider. This month’s special? A chocolate truffle wrap with a Vichy shower.
Hungry now? The resort has four main restaurants, with fare ranging from burgers at The Edge to upscale dining at the exclusive Devils Grill. Weekends offer live music and Sunday brunch.
The bartender at Devils Grill specializes in custom cocktails, such as lavender martinis and drinks in frozen chocolate-ringed flute glasses. Anniversary couples may prefer a champagne toast.
The attractive stone and wood lobby of the Mountain Inn is a comfortable place to take a breather, have coffee and chat by the fire, read a book or browse the two boutiques.
Wintergreen lends itself to surprise marriage proposals, memorable outdoor weddings and built-in honeymoons.
Accommodations are diverse, but couples may want to snuggle up in a one-bedroom unit with a fireplace.
Of course, each season has its own allure, from golf and a music festival in the summer to orchards and colorful leaves in the fall.
Explore the Area
Appealing activities extend beyond the resort. Munch on handcrafted cheesecakes and pastries at Sweet Bliss Bakery. Enjoy a cozy table for two at Basic Necessities Cafe Wine and Cheese Shop, which has a European flair. Hunt for treasures at the Tuckahoe Antique Mall. Drive the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway (except in inclement weather).
Sample the county’s numerous wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. Many are on the Nelson 151 craft beverage trail, including Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery, which features its own fruit wines and meads and plans a Sweethearts Weekend this month. The Virginia Distillery Company on Nelson 29 offers “A Dram of Love Valentine’s Celebration” on Feb. 15.
Another possibility: The Piney River Volunteer Fire Department’s Chitterling Dinner with all the fixins’ on Feb. 15. After all, what says love like chitterlings?