Take a Chip & Sip Vacation to the Blue Ridge Mountains
Besides searching for the perfect swing, avid golfers also quest for the ideal vacation. A golfer’s Holy Grail is not just a spike-tightening collection of fairways and greens, no sir. What makes the experience truly worthy is that hedonistic other stuff—like can’t-miss recreation, exquisite dining, posh accommodations, Nikon-prompting landscapes and tempting side trips.
Which very much describes the popular perks of Wintergreen Resort, a premier destination situated among central Virginia’s rambling Blue Ridge Mountains about 25 minutes southwest of Charlottesville. When scrapbook memories are fundamental to a golf getaway, this 11,000-acre playground has the goods—including a 45-hole golf facility that opens April 19.
Before ascending Wintergreen Resort’s precipitous mountain entrance, tour Wintergreen Winery in nearby Nellysford. “WW” corks an exquisite assortment of Cabernets, Rieslings and dessert wines, plus an acutely satisfying Chardonnay that has earned acclaim at the prestigious Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition.
After checking into one of the resort’s 250 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, book some extended personal time at the Spa at Wintergreen. In addition to a terrific fanfare of treatments and services, there’s also a stand-alone aquatic and fitness center that offers picture-window panoramas of the Shenandoah Valley.
Relaxed and rejuvenated, it’s time to dine at the surf and turf-styled Devils Grill, one of four restaurants on property. Start with the curried butternut squash soup and follow with grilled sea scallops, both spa cuisine favorites that are as delicious as they are healthy.
After burning some calories at the resort’s award-winning clay and indoor tennis facility, brunch at the casual Copper Mine Bistro before heading to Stoney Creek Golf Club. Take a short-game lesson at the Wintergreen Golf Academy, then prepare for an unforgettable day on Stoney Creek’s 27-hole routing.
Crafted by Rees Jones, the Monocan, Shamokin and Tuckahoe nines are tradition-bent, strategic orchestrations that work in concert with the Rockfish Valley’s hilly topography. Oak, hickory, elm and towering pines line fairways and create splendid greensite amphitheaters, while pebbly creeks and swooping elevation changes ratchet up the natural drama.
More golf awaits up-mountain. Nested among craggy rock outcroppings and thick deciduous forests that become riots of reds and yellows come autumn, Devils Knob Golf Club is an Ellis Maples design that is the highest-elevation course in Virginia—3,828 feet above sea level with stunning panoramas and summertime temperatures 12-18 degrees cooler than in the lower valley.
Recreation also includes tubing, zip line, archery, bicycling, 30 miles of marked hiking trails that join the famous Appalachian Trail, canoeing and fishing on Lake Monocan, and an adventure park with archery, bungee trampoline, climbing wall and more.
This chip-and-sip getaway also offers tempting side trips on the Monticello Wine Trail, home to 30 boutique viticulturists. Celebrated labels include Jefferson Vineyards (acreage once tilled by Thomas Jefferson), Trump Winery (famed for its rosé and sparkling wines), Barboursville Vineyard (which produces an exquisite Nebbiolo vintage), Veritas Vineyard & Winery (for its gold-medal winning Petit Verdot) and Blenheim Vineyards (a righteously organic labor of love for owner and celebrated musician Dave Matthews).
Wintergreen Resort has the right stuff. For additional information go online to wintergreenresort.com or call (855) 699-1858.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.