The second weekend of October, H and I spent a few days unplugged at a Getaway House near Shenandoah National Park. I had tried to book one last fall when I was craving a cozy cabin experience (and a socially distanced weekend away during peak COVID) but of course they were completely full, so I made a reservation for October 2021 instead. I had no idea when I booked the trip how busy we would be this fall, and this weekend getaway in the mountains was the perfect mini-break for us to spend time together enjoying nature.
Saturday morning, we packed provisions for the weekend and set off for our Getaway House. It was less than a two-hour drive, and we stopped at a pumpkin patch on the way there for the full fall experience! I was sartorially prepared, of course, in a white cable-knit sweater, a denim button-front skirt, a Western belt that I borrowed from H, brown ankle boots, and a felt hat.
Finally we arrived at the Getaway property and made our way down the gravel road to our trailer. Inside, we had a tiny kitchen with sleek stainless countertops, a table for two, a bed by the promised big window, and a bathroom with a surprisingly nice shower. The whole cabin was full of light, since there were windows everywhere, and outside we had a fire pit, Adirondack chairs, and a picnic table. We unpacked and checked out our supplies—the cabin came equipped with dishes, cookware, a radio, games, and a hilariously curated selection of books (think books that a hipster would keep on his bedside table to impress visitors).
After we settled into our cabin, we explored the nature walk around the property. I thought it would be like a quarter-mile discovery trail for kids, but instead we hiked a two-mile loop through the woods with a view of Shenandoah National Park from the highest point. For our mini-hike, I wore leggings, a fleece, and hiking boots.
Back at the tiny house, we read for a while and then made pasta and marinara sauce for dinner. It was a pleasant night, so we built a campfire after dinner and roasted marshmallows to make s’mores. Other people were staying on the property as well, but our cabin was tucked away in the woods and it felt like it was just the two of us there!
Waking up in the cabin was my favorite part of the weekend—I stayed in bed for a while watching the trees swaying in the breeze, leaves falling lazily to the ground, and a little squirrel running up and down a tree trunk. We had a slow morning, drinking coffee and making cheesy potatoes that I had prepped ahead of time using a backpacking recipe. H’s uncle lives nearby, so we dropped in for a quick visit, then headed to Early Mountain Winery for a wine tasting.
We hadn’t been to Early Mountain Winery before, but since it was ranked the number one tasting room in America we had to see it for ourselves! The tasting room was gorgeous, with high ceilings, big fireplaces, and rustic furniture. We tried a few different wines and shared a cheeseboard, enjoying the live music and people-watching in the packed tasting room. Afterwards, we walked around the vineyard admiring the view of the mountains. Since the universally accepted “winery outfit” is your cutest, most fashion-forward clothes, plus a hat, I wore this off-the-shoulder floral midi dress with the brown ankle boots and broad-brimmed hat I had worn the day before.
Back in our compact quarters, we read for a while, made grilled cheese and tomato soup for dinner (which went surprisingly well given that we didn’t have a spatula and had to improvise using a wooden spoon), and played cards. For hanging out in the cabin, I changed out of the fancy dress I had worn to the winery into a comfortable white sweater dress and cozy ragg wool socks.
We were in no rush to get back with the three-day weekend, so we took our time getting ready and then drove to Shenandoah National Park for a hike. After a mile and a half of hiking, we got to the end of the trail, but the view of the surrounding mountains was cloaked in fog—we will have to come back on a sunny day to see it! I also made the mistake of wearing a matching light pink top and leggings (the mud from the trail may never come out). We got lunch afterwards in Ruckersville, then drove home.
I’m so glad we finally got to stay in a Getaway House! The cabin was very cute and eminently Instagrammable. I had the same feeling of being immersed in nature that I have when I’m camping, but with the benefit of electricity and indoor plumbing. A two-night stay was just right: we had the full Getaway House experience, but by Monday I was ready to go home to our full-sized apartment. I’d love to go back during another season or stay in one of the other locations!
Would you spend a weekend at a getaway house, or are you planning a weekend at a cabin this fall? Tell me about it in the comments!