Fabulous Virginia Inns on the Shenandoah Bike Tour
Our Shenandoah bike tour is a sumptuous blend of Civil War-era historic sites and idyllic American landscapes. You’ll ride through Virginia’s genteel Hunt Country, along Shenandoah National Park’s gorgeous Skyline Drive and then north toward Gettysburg.
Breathtaking Blue Ridge overlooks, pastoral valley farms, and winding mountain passes provide the setting for this incredibly diverse tour. Ride along rolling farm roads, through valleys, down quiet forest roads, and along the famous ridge line of the Blue Ridge Parkway. These are some of the most beautiful bicycle routes you could ever hope to ride. We’ll retrace the Civil War’s key campaigns in Gettysburg, Antietam and Harpers Ferry. Nightly, relax in gracious inns — two in beautiful country settings, and three in downtown historic districts.
Read on to learn more about the unique lodging on this lovely cycling adventure.
A pillar of the beloved Middleburg village, The Red Fox Inn & Tavern has been Virginia’s Hunt Country jewel since 1728. Standing on the village’s main thoroughfare, The Red Fox’s modern touches and classic Virginian character fuse seamlessly to create a coveted establishment. It’s a comfortable, yet lively place to relax after a day of cycling.
Established in 1728, the Red Fox Inn & Tavern rests in the heart of the historic village of Middleburg, Virginia between the Bull Run and Blue Ridge mountains. Joseph Chinn built the tavern out of local fieldstone at the half-way point between Alexandria and the frontier town of Winchester, VA. Chinn’s Ordinary, as it came to be called, soon became a popular stopping point for traveling colonists. Around 1748, an enthusiastic young surveyor named George Washington even stopped by.
During the Civil War, the Confederates made frequent use of the Inn. Most notably, it was where General JEB Stuart met with Colonel John Mosby and his famous Mounted Rangers. At the beginning of the Gettysburg campaign, as fierce cavalry battles raged around Middleburg, the Inn served as both headquarters and as a hospital for the Confederate Army. They used an upstairs room (called the JEB Stuart Room today) for planning and strategy while wounded soldiers lay in the the tavern rooms below, and the pine service bar served as the field operating table.
Many notable politicians, authors, musicians, athletes and celebrities have visited the Red Fox, including President John F. Kennedy, who held a press conference in the JEB Stuart Room. The lovely Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis also overnighted at the Inn on fall foxhunting holidays. Hollywood stars Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Woodward, Paul Newman and Tom Cruise have also stopped into the Red Fox. Over the last four decades, the Reuter family has managed the Red Fox Inn & Tavern, upholding the property’s long history of fabulous hospitality.
In 1951, the founder of Marriott International, J. Willard Marriott Sr., discovered a beautiful piece of the Blue Ridge foothills that reminded him of his boyhood days on the family farm in Utah. After buying the property, he meticulously began to restore the primary historic buildings, their surrounding grounds and continued to purchase contiguous parcels of land including Fiery Run Ranch, creating the 4200-acre Marriott Ranch.
Over the following years, J. Willard would bring the farm always known as “Fairfield” back to life. He accumulated a modest herd of registered Hereford cattle, a large group of black-faced sheep, and some quarter horses. J. Willard, an avid horseback rider and outdoorsman, would spend as much time as he could at his property, which he described in his diary, “A beautiful place, hard to leave…”
Located at the center of the 4,200 acre Marriott Ranch is the historic James Marshall Manor House (circa 1814), which is the focal point of the Inn at Fairfield Farm. James Marshall, the famous Supreme Court Justice’s brother, built the stately manor house, which is situated beneath white ash trees and accented by large boxwood hedges. The four rooms on the second floor of the historic Manor House have fireplaces and private baths or showers. Downstairs, the quiet library, beautiful living room, large dining room, fireplaces and impressive foyer provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for every guest at the Ranch. The generous afternoon beverage service and hearty three-course breakfasts will teach you the true meaning of “southern hospitality.”
The Inn at Vaucluse Spring is a romantic bed and breakfast in Virginia. In 1785, Revolutionary War Captain Strother Jones built the manor house and and named it after a spring in Vaucluse, France. His family lived in the manor house through the Civil War. It fell into disuse for a time, until Neil and Barry Myers restored the house in 1997.
Today, the first floor of Vaucluse contains the inn’s two dining rooms and two gracious sitting rooms. The Manor House still boasts much of its original woodwork, including intricately carved mantles, as well as walnut and cherry paneled doors. Curl up inside with a good book, or sit on the front porch with a glass of wine and enjoy the peaceful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.
In the center of the property lies Vaucluse Spring, a large limestone spring that pours forth over a million gallons of crystal clear water each day. All of this is set on 44 scenic acres in Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley countryside.
The highlight of your stay at the Inn might be the breakfast! The delicious three-course breakfast is the best breakfast in Virginia. Start off with a cup of locally roasted Black Dog Coffee or a pot of tea from the inn’s carefully curated selection. Start your meal with a delightful, baked-from-scratch breakfast bread. Next enjoy the fruit course — maybe a ginger-poached pear, strawberries Romanoff, or breakfast Waldorf with local honeycrisp apples. A delectable entrée completes the meal. Dig into a summer egg roulade, egg Napoleon with layers of rosemary potatoes, sour cream scrambled eggs and arugula pesto, or maybe a bacon, spinach, and egg flatbread. You’ll be more than ready to hit the road ahead.
Perched on a spectacular bluff overlooking the Potomac River in Sheperdstown, West Virginia, this 11-acre European-inspired boutique resort offers comfort, elegance, and world-class food and service. The Bavarian Inn has won many awards, including the AAA Four Diamond and Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence.
In the spring of 1977, Erwin and Carol Asam purchased the Greystone Manor and began a tradition of exquisite cuisine and gracious hospitality.
Erwin, a native of Munich, Germany and Carol, a native of Sheffield, England previously owned the Piccadilly Restaurant in Washington, D.C. But their dream was to open a small German restaurant serving authentic cuisine from Erwin’s homeland. Moving to Shepherdstown with their two sons Christian and David, the Greystone manor became that restaurant and their home. The dining room was expanded several times and in 1981 the family added overnight accommodations with three chalet buildings. In 1994, the Schwartwald Haus was completed for a total of 72 rooms.
This historic inn has been undergone another renaissance with the addition of the scenic Infinity 101 Pool and Bar overlooking the Potomac River (perfect for relaxing after a long day of cycling), as well as the brand-new Bavarian Brothers Brewery featuring a brewpub, lounge, and outdoor beer garden.
The Inn’s 72 luxury rooms feature gas fireplaces and whirlpool baths, with many offering stunning views of the Potomac River. Just an hour from D.C., the Bavarian Inn is just minutes from Historic Harpers Ferry, Antietam Battlefield, and Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races as well as endless outdoor recreation opportunities including whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, tennis, and golf. The Inn also participates in the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Lodging Give Back Program, donating $1 for every room booked to the Trail Conservancy.
Antrim 1844 is nestled at the foot of the breathtaking Catoctin Mountains in Central Maryland. This beautiful 24-acre estate is a member of Historic Hotels and a recipient of the Certificates of Excellence and Hall of Fame from TripAdvisor. These awards reflect the hotel’s upscale accommodations, each room restored with refined and understated class.
The Executive Chef, Ilhan Erkek prepares an exquisite menu every evening at the property’s luxurious Smokehouse Restaurant. The dishes focus on the finest and freshest ingredients with a sophisticated interpretation of contemporary cuisine that delights the novice epicureans and gourmands alike. The restaurant was recently named Best Historic Restaurant in America by Historic Hotels of America, has received the Best of Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for over 20 years, Gayot’s Top Romantic Baltimore Restaurants, and is part of the Distinguished Inns and Restaurants of North America.
Built in 1844, Antrim was once a thriving plantation and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Col. Andrew Ege built the mansion on 450 acres and raised livestock, naming the estate for his wife’s family’s ancestral home in County Antrim, Ireland. Many of the original outbuildings are still intact.
Gen. George Meade stayed on the property during the Civil War, days before the start of the Battle of Gettysburg, according to Historic Hotels of America. A room is named in his honor. Antrim was later owned by the family of Supreme Court Justice Harry Morris Clabaugh for nearly a century. In 1961, Taneytown businessman George Crouse purchased the mansion and 24 surrounding acres, maintaining the property and allowing its use for certain town functions, according to the Antrim website, while also having it placed on the National Historic Trust Register, which protects it from ever being torn down.
Current owners Dort and Richard Mollett walked through Antrim’s doors in 1987, fell in love with the place and purchased it. The Molletts opened it as a four-bedroom bed and breakfast in 1988. From there, it has evolved into a facility with 40 guest rooms, an outdoor pool, a pavilion and the Smokehouse Restaurant, boasting a well-stocked wine collection. The wine cellar has over 20,000 bottles, with over 500 varieties of fine wine.
You’ll have a chance to stay in the luxurious boutique Country House Hotel and dine at the Smokehouse Restaurant. You can also enjoy the swimming pool, croquet lawn, tennis courts, badminton, horseshoes, and a nature trail meandering by the stream. All hotel guests also receive afternoon tea, complimentary evening turn down, and a full country breakfast in The Smokehouse Restaurant.
For more information on the Shenandoah and Skyline Drive Bike Tour, feel free to call us at 800-272-4141.