Valentine's Day is the perfect time for a romantic getaway, but nobody wants to leave their BFF (best furry friend) at home. After all, shouldn't the one who gives you unconditional love get a little pampering?
Snuggle up with your true love (and your significant other!) at a Victorian-era bed and breakfast or a luxurious country inn, sip Virginia's finest vintages while Fido socializes at Yappy Hour, or indulge in some sweet treats from cupcakes to "pupcakes."
Virginia isn't just for lovers-it's for dog lovers too. We've rounded up some five-woof destinations that will make both two-legged and four-legged Richmond residents drool:
Wine Weekend in Charlottesville
Thomas Jefferson instituted Virginia's first dog license, so it's no surprise that his hometown of Charlottesville welcomes four-legged visitors. Coalby, the canine concierge at the Mark Addy Inn (www.mark-addy.com) was an official member of the wedding party when the innkeeper's daughter married, so expect a warm welcome for your pooch at this bucolic bed and breakfast, with amenities including a comfy dog bed and special treats.
Foodies with Fidos may want to head for the historic Clifton Inn (www.cliftoninn.net), once part of a Jefferson family estate. Take your pup for a stroll around the lovely lake and private grounds, and be sure to get a doggie bag from your gourmet four-course Valentine's dinner.
The opulent 1912 Tuscan villa, Keswick Hall (www.keswick.com) also loves canine guests, and even has a four-legged employee: A border collie named Wendy chases geese from the golf course. Both you and your pooch will be treated to top shelf in-room amenities and stellar service.
Take Fido to Keswick Vineyards on Sunday afternoon for the weekly Yappy Hour where your pal can socialize with local canines while you enjoy a wine tasting. For some retail therapy, meander along the pet-friendly pedestrian mall (www.downtowncharlottesville.net) to browse Charlottesville's eclectic boutiques.
A Victorian Valentine's on the Eastern Shore
The towns of Chincoteague, Cape Charles, and Onancock are a mix of historic and hip: 19th-century Victorian homes house modern bed and breakfast inns with Wi-Fi, and eclectic boutiques feature local crafts like stunning sea glass chandeliers and jewelry.
Enjoy a gourmet breakfast and four-course British tea at the elegant Channel Bass Inn (www.ChannelBassInn.com) in Chincoteague where musically inclined guests perform at the Scones & Jam sessions. You'll also be within walking distance of a Fido favorite, Howl Naturale. This popular canine bakery makes the seagull-shaped doggie treats handed out at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.
Situated on four beautifully landscaped acres, The Garden & Sea Inn (www.GardenandSeaInn) offers a Dog Lover's Package that includes a doggy bowl and treats for your pooch and chocolates for you. Originally known as Bloxom's Tavern, the romantic Victorian has been popular with visitors since 1802.
Award-winning Chatham Vineyards (www.chathamvineyards.net) on Church Creek has a canine mascot named Wilbur, who welcomes two and four-legged guests to their family vineyard in Machipongo. Cozy up around the firepit with some of their steel-cut Chardonnay and some local Shooting Point oysters.
Sweet Treats in the Roanoke Valley
Nestled in the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke offers a surprising array of sweet treats and comfy sleeps for you and your sweetheart. In the valley, the Sheraton Roanoke (www.sheratonroanoke.com) features its trademark Sweet Sleeper beds for both you and Fido, and the juicy steaks at its Shula's 347 Grille will have your pooch begging for a doggy bag from dinner.
Explore Market Street and stop by PawPaws (www.pawpawstreats.com) for natural treats for your pal and by Chocolate Paper (www.chocolatepaperroanoke.com) for some human confections. Hike up Mill Mountain to share the fun with friends on the live "Starcam" (www.roanokeva.gov/starcam) at the famous holiday decoration that gave Roanoke its nickname, Star City of the South.
If you're a fan of bluegrass music, the Hotel Floyd (www.hotelfloyd.com) is located on the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail (http://thecrookedroad.org) and this designated green hotel features pet friendly suites that support the Floyd Humane Society. You can catch a show at the Floyd Country Store's Friday Night Jamboree (www.floydcountrystore.com) or shop for local products and penny candy at this nostalgic mercantile.
The historic Grandin neighborhood is home to Black Dog Salvage, a paradise of architectural salvage: Sally, the resident black dog, stars in the shop's HGTV show, Salvage Dawgs and will be happy to show you around the sprawling warehouse and grounds. Just down the street, Viva la Cupcake (http://vivalacupcakes.com) makes special "Pupcakes" for weekend visitors.
Worth the drive for both wine and dog lovers is Chateau Morrisette (www.thedogs.com). This gorgeous winery is home to a bevy of black labs that roam the property and grace their wine labels. The gorgeous tasting room has paw prints leading the way to the wine bar, and with a kennel on-site, you can park Fido with some pals and enjoy lunch at the cozy restaurant.
Ginger Warder is the author of Fido's Virginia and travels with her BFF's (best furry friends) Tipsy and Max.