(First in a Series)
Wintergreen — it’s not just for skiing. Yes, the skiing, snowboarding and ice skating are fantastic winter fun and reasons to head to the 10,800-acre Virginia resort on the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge mountains, but there’s still some fall left, which means there’s still killer views.
This weekend marked Harvest Fest. To see current fall foliage, check out the resort’s mountain cam. Among its many, many accolades, Wintergreen earned first place for Best Resort 2015 in Virginia Living Magazine – Best of Virginia – Central Virginia. It also took second for Best Outdoor Adventure and third for Best Tennis Club.
Wintergreen offers many activities year-round. One spot to discover loads about the children’s program is the Discovery Ridge Adventure Center. There’s something for everyone: climbing tower, bungee trampoline, bounce bot inflatable, mechanical bull, mini golf and more at this family friendly getaway.
Archery lessons are available. There’s also mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, fly fishing and golf and tennis, the latter with standout instruction available and popular Nike Tennis Camps. Also nearby is the 20-acre Lake Monocan Park for swimming, boating and more.
For golf, visitors can access both Stoney Creek and Devils Knob courses. The latter, perched at an elevation of 3,850 feet, provides majestic, 50-mile views of the Shenandoah and Rockfish valleys. Devils Knob Golf Course is exclusive to registered overnight Wintergreen Resort guests, resort members and their guests.
If you need to brush up on your game, check out Wintergreen Golf Academy at the 27-hole Stoney Creek golf facility in Rockfish Valley. The one-day or multi-day program uses V-1 Pro golf teaching technology, a scientific system that combines biomechanics with golf expertise to obtain maximum results. Instructors not only assess your golf game but customize a program to train any body type – based on size, age, gender and other factors – to achieve the ideal swing.
For couples or me time, try the spa adjacent to the indoor aquatics and fitness center. The Nature Foundation is another exploration that awaits. The staff are dedicated to preserving what makes this place of natural wonder and beauty special through exhibits, its gardens, children’s play area, hikes and sales of native plants.
This Nelson County region in central Virginia is great for a variety of day jaunts. The county is home to a a host of wineries, a hard cidery and three distilleries, for instance. Nelson County, midway between Charlottesville and Lynchburg VA, is bounded by the James River on east and the Blue Ridge Mountains north and west. There are antiques, historic properties and scenic drives plus lots of outdoor adventure and popular Crabtree Falls. Fun fact: Nelson County, incorporated in 1870, was childhood home to the creator of the TV show “The Waltons,” this setting, no doubt, an inspiration.
Wintergreen has a wide variety of accommodations to choose from including 230 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to seven-bedroom homes and the Mountain Inn. Homes and condos have fully equipped kitchens and comfortable living areas, most with fireplaces and a balcony or deck. Many with incredible views. One of our sites was family of black bears crossing the road, momma and three cubs in tow. Another was a cloudy night, literally when we had to drive back to our house in what some may assume was a dense fog, but actually it was a cloud crossing the mountains with prolific rainfall on the way.
If You’re Going: Visit WintergreenResort.com or call 855.839.2263 for reservations. The resort plans a traditional Thanksgiving feast and holiday workshops at its Thanksgiving Weekend Nov. 26-29. Dec. 12 is the projected date for the opening of ski season. And, Dec. 19-31 is Blue Ridge Mountain Christmas and New Year’s Celebration at Wintergreen. December will also see the publication of the book “For Love of the Land: The History of Wintergreen.” The prologue begins: “The legacy of Wintergreen belongs to those who dreamed it, those who sold the dream, and those who turned it into reality. Its natural beauty existed long before its inception, setting the stage for the dream and thankfully is still largely intact today…”
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International and Luxury Travel Examiners J.S. Fletcher and spouse, Kathy M. Newbern, report on luxury destinations, spas and cruising around the globe. They are award-winning members of the Society of American Travel Writers and created YourNovel.com, their personalized romance novel business.