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Wintergreen Resort, Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains

Please welcome Michele McIntyre, a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness and healthy living/eating.

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Stay, play and repeat for optimal relaxation!

I’m just back from a weekend at Wintergreen Resort, a four-season resort situated on 11,000 picturesque acres in the heart of Central Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Many four season resorts are primarily ski resorts with the other three seasons thrown in as an afterthought. Not so at Wintergreen. Sure, winter vacations or weekend getaways are enhanced thanks to the breathtaking mountain views with world-class skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing. But that's where the similarity to other four-season resorts ends. 

Here’s a sample three-day itinerary to make the most of your stay…

Day 1: Arrival at Wintergreen Resort

If you happen to be one of the lucky 4 million people that live within a three-hour drive of Wintergreen Resort, hop in your car and make the short scenic drive. If you’re traveling by air, fly into the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (allow 1 hour) or Richmond International Airport (allow 2 hours) and rent a car at the airport.

Creative cocktail at Devils Grill, Wintergreen Resort Little did you know, but are about to find out, that Virginia has a burgeoning wine and craft beer industry. Stop at Bold Rock Hard Cidery for a tour/tasting and to grab some hard cider to go.  Both the Virginia Apple and the Virginia Draft varieties are tart and tangy and well worth the stop. If wine’s more your thing, take a detour to Veritas Vineyard & Winery, one of the seven wineries associated with Nelson 151 (a travel destination for wine, craft beer and outdoor recreation lovers in Nelson County).  

Stop for lunch at Stoney Creek Bar & Grill (at Wintergreen Resort) known for sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and updated takes on classic menu favorites – like the Cherry Almond Chicken Salad on a croissant or the Taylor Ham and Pimento Cheese sandwich.

Drive up the mountain to the Mountain Inn, the central checkpoint for Wintergreen managed rental lodging. Choose from 240 condominiums ranging from studio to five bedroom and 30 private individually decorated homes for your stay. The larger homes and condominiums are shareable among multiple families, making a stay at Wintergreen Resort easily affordable. 

The Zip at Virginia's Wintergreen ResortIf you have kids in tow (or are kids at heart), check out Discovery Ridge Adventure Center where adrenaline junkies hang out and enjoy a bungee trampoline and a climbing wall. Adding to the multi-seasonal appeal is an 18-hole miniature golf course along with an indoor facility with X Box 362s, Wii's, pool table, foosball, air hockey, inflatables and a mechanical bull.

For dinner, visit the casual Copper Mine Bistro on the Wintergreen mountaintop, located in the heart of the ski and resort action and just steps away from clusters of condominiums. Start with a chopped romaine salad or the Avocado & Orange Salad for its creamy texture and citrusy flavor. The lobster mac and cheese needs no explanation. You know the dish that's the envy of every restaurant table? The dish you wish you'd ordered? Copper Mine's lobster mac and cheese IS that dish. The baked pasta has just enough sweet lobster in a rich, creamy sauce under a buttery cracker crust.  

Day 2: Exploring Wintergreen Resort

Wintergarden SpaMake your way to the 12,000 square-foot Wintergreen Spa and the Aquatics & Fitness Center, located a short, scenic drive from the Mountain Inn. The Spa at Wintergreen offers a wide range of therapeutic massages, skincare treatments, reflexology and body treatments. Co-ed and separate men's and women's quiet lounges encourage relaxation enhanced by a mountaintop setting and spectacular views from the relaxation and treatment rooms.

Sleepy ladies who are ensconced in plush lounge chairs and tucked under soft blankets might occupy the women’s relaxation lounge. It's like they've all drank from the same cup of exotic relaxation nectar - perhaps it's the tea that's offered to waiting guests? Sip a cup of tea of your own and hope to fall under the same spell of peaceful relaxation.

Try an 80-minute Wintergreen Signature Pedicure – not your ordinary pedicure! This is high caliber pampering of the feet and legs in addition to traditional nail care. Your hands and feet will be dipped in warm paraffin and your nails will be gently buffed to a shine before your nail technician applies several coats of polish; choose a fun color even though sandal weather has passed. When you emerge your feet will thank you even if they will be tucked away in boots for the next six months. 

Takeout lunches are available at The Market at Wintergreen Resort, located at the remodeled former country store, where hot and cold gourmet deli sandwiches that are indigenously named after famous locations and sights found at Wintergreen. Enjoy a gourmet boxed lunched back at your rental house before taking off for an afternoon of exploration.  

The great room at Wintergreen Resort's Mountaintop LodgeAfter lunch head to The Wintergreen Nature Foundation, located in The Trillium House (a former bed and breakfast). a non-profit organization that encourages the understanding, appreciation and conservation of the natural resources of Central Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The foundation offers nature exhibits, The Nature Center Shoppe, educational programming and 30 miles of mixed ability marked hiking trails threaded through the resort’s property. For a more intimate look at nature, attend one of 100 educational programs offered each year or schedule a private guided hike or program. The Nature Foundation staff are tireless cheerleaders for the local wildlife and their passion will surely rub off on you.  

For your final dinner at Wintergreen Resort, dine at Devils Grill Restaurant and Lounge at Devils Knob Golf Course. Sip local wines and spirits crafted into inventive cocktails on the outdoor terrace, offering spectacular views of Devils Knob Golf Course and Blue Ridge Mountain sunsets. The culinary and dining service teams will outdo themselves to lavish you with a memorable meal. 

Day 3: Departing Wintergreen Resort, reluctantly

luxuriate in the breathtaking viewsSleep in this morning and enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your rental home; sip your coffee while taking in the views. After a late morning checkout you’ll slowly wind your way back down the mountain, stopping at overlooks along the way to catch the final glimpses of the famed blue ridges.

Parting words: People flock to Wintergreen Resort for good reason:  its drop dead gorgeous. Pick a season and just go!

If you’d like to learn more about Wintergreen Resort, visit them online at WinterGreenResort.com , Facebook or Twitter and read what other travelers have to say about them on TripAdvisor.com.

To comply with the long list of regulating bodies, possibly even Geneva Conventions and in the interest of transparency, Michele’s trip was sponsored. Commentary and perspectives are those of Michele McIntyre.

About Michele McIntyre

Michele McIntyre ~ @cnyspagirlMichele McIntyre is a freelance writer who covers spas, travel, fitness, wellness and healthy living/eating. She is happiest when lying face up on the treatment table, writing about her spa and travel experiences or testing new products to share with her readers. She lives near Syracuse, NY with her husband and son. Michele is a regular travel contributor to LivingBetterat50+ and has written for Today’s Central New York Woman Magazine and online at Tripology, TripAtlas, and Splash Magazines Worldwide. When she isn’t writing about or visiting spas, Michele loves traveling, hiking, skiing, camping, yoga and reading. If any of these pursuits can be combined with a visit to the spa, even better! Catch up with Michele online on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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