After a long winter inside, spring in Virginia explodes with warmth, color, and activity. Culpeper is a perfect place to slip away for a springtime weekend, with something around every corner to highlight the dining, shopping, and exploring of the season.
Stay in Style
The Suites at 249’s accommodations are an ideal home-away-from-home for transitional weather. The rooms are beautifully appointed, filled with light, and include luxury bathrooms. If you snag an upstairs room, you can enjoy your morning coffee on the balcony. And for those nights that are still just a bit cold, each room comes equipped with a fireplace.
Fresh Food, Fresh Air
One of the best parts of spring is the chance to eat a great meal outdoors in the sunshine, and Culpeper offers more ways to dine outside than ever. For a casual pitstop, you can’t beat a burger and fries from the Graze to Griddle food truck. Graze to Griddle makes mouth-watering burgers that you can stack up one, two, or three patties high and load up with their homemade sauces. They also offer chicken burgers and chorizo patties. Its permanent location on Germanna Highway has a picnic table area, and the Graze truck is often joined by other food trucks, making it a perfect stop for a family or group with differing tastes.
In town, Grill 309 offers American fare including salads, sandwiches, wings, and wraps that you can enjoy on the attached patio alongside a round of cold beers or cocktails. If you’re getting an early start, Grill 309 also serves breakfast daily, as well as brunch on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you’re more of a night owl, there’s a late happy hour from 9 to 10 p.m.
Or, turn any meal into an outdoor experience by ordering your food to-go and enjoying it on one of Culpeper’s parklets. These mini patios dotting downtown are perfect for groups of two or four, with café tables surrounded by flower boxes that invite you to stay a while.
Snag a Sweet Treat
To many, warming weather means the start of ice cream season, and you can’t go wrong with a classic cone featuring Gifford's Famous Ice Cream from Scoop on Davis. Tucked away in the back of Poppy & Chalk’s vintage and reclaimed furniture shop, Scoop also serves milkshakes, malts, and sundaes.
Frosty’s Ice Cream is another tasty option, offering Blue Bell ice cream on Main Street. If you have a bigger appetite, Frosty’s also serves hot dogs, soft pretzels, candy, and more. E.B. Wood Community Park is tucked away right next to Frosty’s, with benches and seating scattered around a nicely landscaped area perfect for enjoying your treats on a sunny day.
Or stop into The Frenchman’s Corner for gourmet gelato. The upscale chocolatier offers flavors like Coppa Pistachio, Hazelnut Chocolate, and perfect-for-spring Guava Mango, among many others. The Frenchman’s Corner also offers a jaw-dropping array of chocolate confections, from glossy truffles to dark squares with chewy sea salt caramel filling to seasonal delights shaped like flowers, bunnies or bumblebees.
Bring the Outdoors In
Springtime brings an explosion of new greenery, flowers and plant life. Celebrate the season by sprucing up the flora around your own home. Botanical Dwellings is a chic new plant store on Main Street with a wide selection of house plants like succulents, air plants, pothos, snake plants, ferns and more. The shop also stocks pots of all sizes, plant care tools and books, and stylish home décor items to brighten up any room in your home.
Just next door, the Shenandoah Garden Spot offers fresh floral arrangements as well as plants, gift baskets, and more. The store also sells décor items and has an amazing selection of large outdoor planters, perfect for leveling up your patio or backyard space to enjoy throughout the season.
Winery Adventures Ahead
One of Culpeper’s best features is the close proximity to dozens of wineries, and Fieldstone Trails offers a new way to experience them—on horseback. Make a reservation for a ride through the Blue Quartz Winery and enjoy an up-close trip through the vines on one of Fieldstone’s veteran horses. You can choose a one-hour trail ride, a picnic ride, or a ride for couples at sunset. Afterward, enjoy the wine and rolling-hill views at Blue Quartz, where there is often live music out on the patio. And keep an eye out for winery dog Maggie greeting customers.
While in the area, drop by Revalation Vineyards, nestled in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Revalation is a passion project from Françoise, a Belgian mathematician, and Julian, an Irish dentist, who fell in love with the beauty of the area and of central Virginia wine. The complexity of the wines and coziness of the tasting experience makes this newer winery feel like it has been here forever. Enjoy your flight or bottle in the rustic log cabin or out on the grounds, where firepits keep any lingering chill at bay.