Just in time for Labor Day weekend, getaways close to home were on everyone’s minds during last week’s Got Plans? discussion with the Going Out Gurus. Check out the highlights below, and for more information, search the boldface terms at goingoutguide.com.
Hi Gurus, my BFF and I are headed to Annapolis for the day Saturday . . . for a day out by the water. Any nice places for lunch and/or dinner? Also looking for a nice outdoor setting where we can sit and catch up, preferably near the water. Since we’re both pregnant with our fourths (hence the need for a getaway!), beer/wine lists aren’t really important. Thanks in advance!
Fritz Hahn: The best waterfront views, in my opinion, are on the dock at Pusser’s Caribbean Grille, a restaurant and bar in the Annapolis Marriott Waterfront hotel. It’s the kind of place where people tie their boats up at the bar. You have unobstructed views, for the most part, of people sailing into and out of Ego Alley.
If you just want to sit in a park and catch up, my favorite “secret” spot for that is the little South Street Park a few blocks from downtown: It’s on Anne Lane between South Street and Charles Street. (You’ll know you’ve found it when you see larger-than-life metal statues of geese.) There are benches facing the water and a cool breeze coming in off Spa Creek.
Favorite spots for lunch and dinner are in Eastport and include the boater hangout Boatyard Bar & Grill and the lively Rockfish seafood restaurant, though neither has much of a view.
I have a big birthday coming up, and I’d really like to get away for a few days. I’d like something pretty nice but more luxury cabin as opposed to a resort. We’ll be driving, so within three to four hours of D.C. is ideal. Any suggestions for a super-nice, celebratory getaway? Bonus if it is pet-friendly!
Lavanya Ramanathan: I’m headed down to Deep Creek Lake for Labor Day, and all the houses we looked at were gorg — hot tubs, wood floors, on the lake. Did I mention hot tubs? On the lake? I love the idea of spending a birthday that way. Another option: Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Check VRBO for homes at Deep Creek (there are plenty of cool options, and I’m sure the prices go down a little after Labor Day, too). In Berkeley Springs, check VRBO and Berkeley Springs Cottage Rentals .
GOGs, what is the best option for visiting a winery and heading for a great lunch nearby? Am open to drive around two hours from D.C.
Ramanathan: I’d recommend Purcellville. It’s an adorable town that’s packed with wineries and restaurants (and it’s only an hour from the District). You can visit the new Corcoran Brewing Company and one or two wineries in the area, including North Gate or Doukenie. I’ll add that Sunset Hills is a beautiful estate. Plus, there are a lot of options for dining nearby. If you’re looking for something casual, I’d check out the adorable Market Burger or eat a sandwich at Stoneybrook Farms Market (organic produce grown on the farm is used in the salads and sandwiches). And for finer dining, make a reservation at Grandale Farms (literally down the road from Breaux Vineyards) or Magnolias at the Mill. . . . And, if after all of this, you are still down to hike or hang out, you’re just a short drive from Harpers Ferry.
Hello, can you please tell us a couple of your favorite places to rent kayaks outside of the city? Willing to drive an hour or so from Arlington. Thanks!
Ramanathan: Oh, has to be Pohick Bay. They do great tours, and they just have so much wildlife to see. Amy Orndorff wrote a story about one of the tours a couple of years ago. But you can also upright paddle board!
Taking an afternoon adventure to National Harbor on Saturday. Is there enough stuff to entertain two 20-somethings for a few hours? Any recommendations for lunch there (preferably something we won’t be able to find in the Washington area suburbs)? Thanks!
Hahn: I think a few hours is just enough time for National Harbor. . . . Grab lunch right on the water at McLoone’s, wander through the waterfront gardens at the Gaylord, browse the boutiques and shops. If you’re feeling outdoorsy, you can rent kayaks and paddle boards right at the dock. (You can also take a quick ferry jaunt over to Old Town Alexandria, too.)
Hi, Gurus. I have a friend passing through D.C. for one night in September (a Friday). This is her first time to the city, so my friends and I would like to make it a fun “D.C.” night (we’ll be a group of six to eight). I’m thinking dinner, then drinks somewhere else and then on to more drinks/dancing. The only thing we’ve thought of so far is making the drinks portion at P.O.V. . . . I’m sure the view will be a hit. Suggestions for dinner before? Somewhere with a fun atmosphere. Also, will we need reservations to hit the bar at P.O.V.?
Hahn: If you have a party of five or more, reservations are required to enjoy the roof (call 202-661-2452 to talk to someone about this). I’d say reservations at the Source (a splurge) or the Hamilton would be good for dinner.
Have questions of your own? The Going Out Gurus will be online at 1 p.m. Thursday to talk about Labor Day weekend parties, trips and more. Submit questions in advance at goingoutguide.com.