Meadows of Dan is about 300 miles from the Capital Beltway. Take Interstate 66 west to Exit 1A, then I-81 south to Roanoke. In Roanoke, take Exit 114 to Route 8 south toward Floyd. Go through Floyd and take the Blue Ridge Parkway south to Meadows of Dan.
WHERE TO STAY
Rocky Knob Cabins, 266 Mabry Mill Rd. SW (at milepost 174 on the parkway), 540-593-3503, http://www.foreverlodging.com. 1930s-era cabins nestled in a mountain cove, right near hiking trails, with kitchenettes, heaters, window fans, bedding and towels. Six cabins include two double beds plus a rollaway, but share a central bathhouse. One wheelchair-accessible cabin has a double bed and a rollaway plus a private shower. Open May 1-Nov. 1. $65 a night for one or two guests; additional guests $8 apiece. Pets allowed for an extra $10 a night.
WHERE TO EAT
Chateau Morrisette, 287 Winery Rd. SW (milepost 171.5), 540-593-2865, http://www.chateaumorrisette.com. Winery with tasting room ($5 to taste at least 10 wines) also has a restaurant with a lavish Sunday brunch buffet (available through Nov. 29) that includes a prime-rib station, made-to-order omelets and waffles, and Southern biscuits and sausage gravy for $21.95. Lunch is available Wednesday-Saturday and dinner only on Friday and Saturday. (Meals are limited to weekends in January, February and March.)
WHAT TO DO
Blue Ridge Tree Climbing, 276-398-2639, http://www.blueridgetreeclimbing.com. Half-day "climbing experience," in which instructor Bob Wray handles all the setup: $95 for one or $150 for two. A 2 1/2 -day basics class is $450 for one, $750 for two.