Stratford Hall, which gets more than 25,000 visitors a year, is located in Westmoreland County, Va., about 45 minutes east of Fredericksburg, Va., and two hours from Washington, D.C. Stratford Hall, 483 Great House Road, Stratford, Va. 22558, 804-493-8038. A list of special events like wine dinners and holiday events is available at www.stratfordhall.org. The National Historic Landmark estate is open on weekends during the winter and daily the rest of the year, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours run every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where to stay: The Inn at Stratford Hall has 21 rooms in two lodges that are $120 a night. Some cabins, with varied prices, also are available at times at the plantation. For more information go to www.stratfordhall.org/plan-your-visit/lodging. The Inn at Montross is recently renovated, 21 Polk St. Montross, Va. theinnatmontross.com, 804-493-8624. Nearby Colonial Beach also has cottages available, colonialbeachcottages.net or call 804-333-1919, Westmoreland State Park has campsites and cabins, virginiastateparks.gov, 800-933-PARK. For luxury, the Tides Inn, tidesinn.com, 800-843-3746 is a bit further way in Irvington, 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, and has a golf course, spa and marina. Also in Irvington is the Hope and Glory Inn in a historic schoolhouse, hopeandglory.com, 800-497-8228.
Where to eat: The Inn at Stratford Hall’s dining room is open year round for lunch, and for dinners Thursdays through Saturdays. Specialties include crab cakes and ginger cookies. The Art of Coffee offers a palette of egg dishes and tasty sandwiches for breakfast and dinner, 15722 Kings Highway, Montross, 804-493-9651, www.theartofcoffee.biz. And you can browse the reasonably priced wall displays of art and crafts. Nearby is Angelo’s, 15835 Kings Hwy, Montross,(804) 493-8694 _for pizza and Greek fare.
What to see: The area has boating, biking, birding, berry picking and wineries, along with history. The local tourist agency has a very helpful website, www.northernneck.org that is chock full of ideas. The Northern Neck Birding Trail features an array of birds from bald eagles to osprey to song birds. Westmoreland Berry Farm offers farm products, berry picking, a petting zoo and picnicking from May through December, www.westmorelandberryfarm.com, 1235 Berry Farm Lane, Oak Grove, Va., 800-997-2377. The George Washington Birthplace National Monument, www.sps.gov/gewa also is nearby, 1732 Popes Creek Road, Colonial Beach, Va. And the nation’s fifth president was born in the county as well. The James Monroe Birthplace is at 4460 James Monroe Highway, Colonial Beach, 804-214-9145, monroefoundation.org. And if you need reviving after all that history, a list of wineries is available at www.chesapeakebaywinetrail.com