Winter Getaways Surrounding the Bethesda, Maryland area

Get Away

A wintry escape in the woods and other ideas for weekend trips

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Photo by Karen Riddle

Winter Wonderland

Husband and wife innkeepers Ralph and Karen Riddle dreamed of having a timber-frame home in the woods after Ralph retired from the Army. That home, located on 15 acres in Luray, Virginia, and bordering Shenandoah National Park, grew to include timber-frame cabins that opened in 2002 as Shadow Mountain Escape, a romantic winter oasis with the feel of a tiny European village in the forest. The property has a nature trail, a lookout tower with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains’ Skyline Drive, and a new stone courtyard that features a Gothic-style tower with an iron chandelier and gargoyles. Winter guests can cozy up under a blanket in the courtyard and drink gluhwein (a German mulled wine with orange spice) as chestnuts roast on the fire.

Shadow Mountain’s four timber-frame cabins were crafted from Virginia red and white oak. Each has exposed beams, elegant wrought iron railings or beds, European antiques, plump leather furnishings and a woodstove or fireplace.

Shadow Mountain is part of the Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop, an itinerary visitors can follow that includes Luray Caverns, wine and whiskey tastings, and restaurants in Luray and Sperryville.

Rates at Shadow Mountain Escape begin at $195 per night (two-night minimum) and include a welcome basket of treats, plus Friday evening wine by the fire.

Shadow Mountain Escape, 1132 Jewell Hollow Road, Luray, Virginia; 540-843-0584;

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