location_on Meadows of Dan, Virginia
For an escape into nature, this resort is hidden within 12,000 acres of leafy land near the Blue Ridge Mountains. While there’s opportunity for relaxation at the spa, the retreat is best known for adventurous activities such as horseback riding, ATVs, and archery—and stargazing. The remote location means less light pollution and clearer skies, ideal for spotting nebulae and galaxies. Housed in a silo connected to the main building, the resort’s observatory has high-tech telescopes for peering at celestial wonders—the ultimate romantic activity. Stargazing takes place twice a night, led by the onsite astronomer.
The Tides Inn
location_on Irvington, Virginia
Slip away to this waterfront destination in Virginia’s Northern Neck for a break on the coast. The decor is inspired by the nautical surroundings, and fire pits scattered throughout the property make for cozy evenings snuggled up with s’mores. For a romantic Champagne-and-seafood dinner sourced from local waters, the inn sets up heated dining domes under a cedar tree by the shore. Seasonal cruises in Carter’s Creek start up in March, launching from the inn’s marina. The kitchen can pack a posh picnic for a jaunt on the electric boat or pair a sunset sail with wine and cheese.
The swanky hotel in Fells Point has 128 plush rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, some overlooking the Inner Harbor. Amenities include in-room massages and a moody whiskey bar where couples can sip cocktails together. Go above and beyond—literally—during a helicopter ride over Baltimore operated by Charm Aviation. One of the hotel’s Cadillacs brings you to and from the launch point, where a 20-minute flight features flutes of Champagne. Opt for a daytime flight or an evening excursion to see the city lit up.
location_on North Garden, Virginia
In the heart of Virginia wine country, this charming bed-and-breakfast shares the same owners and land as Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards—meaning you can go wine-tasting without driving. Breakfast is included, highlighting seasonal items from local farms. Culinary couples can enroll in farm-to-table cooking classes at the vineyard; upcoming lessons cover French dishes and a surf-and-turf feast. The day begins with a glass of sparkling wine, followed by the tutorial. Enjoy the final product during a dinner with more varietals from the vineyard.
Spa Treatments for Two
Inn at Perry Cabin
location_on St. Michaels, Maryland
The Eastern Shore inn has rooms overlooking the water, as well as a lovely greenhouse and a gazebo for private dining. Spa treatments make use of the aromatic herb gardens, and twosomes can choose from multiple treatments, such as the $600 “waterside ritual,” which includes masks and massages followed by a glass of bubbly in the Relaxation Room.
The Lodge at Woodloch
location_on Hawley, Pennsylvania
This resort is home to one of the country’s top destination spas. Revel in couples massages, then chill out in the Snow Room or warm up in an outdoor infinity whirlpool, which is open (and heated) even in winter. Beyond the spa, every room has a private deck, and guests can bike and hike the scenic area together.
Inn at Willow Grove
location_on Orange, Virginia
Housemade beignets and fresh coffee are delivered to your door each morning at this spot surrounded by verdant farmland. The spa is in a picturesque red barn-style house, where couples treatments such as side-by-side massages and microfacials are followed by lounge time in sumptuous robes with chocolate-covered strawberries and Prosecco.
Intimate Cabins and Cottages
location_on Chestertown, Maryland
Take a short walk through the garden to six cottages at this Eastern Shore inn. Each of the dwellings has a front or back patio, and many have a wood-burning fireplace and jetted tub. No need to leave your private oasis: Meals can be brought directly to the door.
location_on Waynesboro, Virginia
Six well-appointed cabins are built on the edge of a mountain overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. Step inside to find a king bed, a fireplace, and a rainfall shower, plus a screened deck with a hot tub. Relax in the spa or, for the more outdoorsy, book a “Sip & Slip on Your Boots” package ($114), which includes a luxe wine picnic and information about hiking trails.
location_on Stanardsville, Virginia
Secluded in the woods near Shenandoah National Park, these tiny houses have large windows to enjoy the timbered landscape. Each cabin has a two-burner stove and cutlery plus a private bathroom with a shower. Towels are provided. Throw cell phones into the lockbox and roast s’mores over the fire pit for some uninterrupted quality time under the stars.
This article appears in the February 2023 issue of Washingtonian.