TRAVEL: Colonial Beach, VA

Paul is a very hard person to shop for. He likes a lot of things, but he doesn’t really wait around for holidays or birthdays or anniversaries – if he wants it, he tends to buy it. Which is problematic for me when holidays or birthdays or anniversaries roll around. He gets a lot of sportsball-related presents. But this year, I think I nailed it. For Christmas, he got all of the normal present-y things, but he also got several hints for the weekend trip that I planned for his birthday. After a significant amount of hand-holding and guessing, I got him to figure out that we were going to Colonial Beach, VA.

I can’t speak for what Colonial Beach is like during actual beach weather, but in January, it’s a quaint, sleepy little town surrounded by a TON of wineries and a brewery or two. (More on those in subsequent posts.) We stayed in a lovely waterfront house that I found on Airbnb (Hi, Robert! We still love your house!) that was maybe 15 minutes away from “downtown.” We had swans! And hawks! And absolutely gorgeous sunrises. Even when the weather was nothing but grey, the view was breathtaking – to the point that we were all over Zillow to see what vacation homes are going for in the area.*

We had originally planned to go hiking Saturday morning, but the weather was not terribly conducive to being outside because January. It was, however, perfect for winery hopping, and instead of going to my planned four, we went to six. (For those of you playing along at home, you might know that my usual limit is two to three wineries a day. My notes from the last winery are basically illegible, and I’m going to have to lean on Paul to write most of that post.)

My sole word of warning – if you go to Colonial Beach in the Winter, make sure the restaurants you want to visit are open when their websites/Yelp say they are. Otherwise, you’ll roll up for breakfast at a place that updated their hours so that they open at lunch. And then you’ll try to go to another place and find out they’re on vacation. And then you’ll be a little hangry by the time you get to Ola’s, which apparently never closes THANK GOD.

Do make sure you stop by Denson’s Grocery and have the oyster stew. It’s absolutely fantastic, and I think I could’ve eaten the whole pot. Plus, the owners are amazingly friendly and welcoming, and you’ll leave feeling like a local.

*Yes, we are those people who watch HGTV and look at home prices in every city we visit. You bond your way, and we’ll bond ours.

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