I’ll be the first to admit that this summer has been anything but normal. But in the context of this unprecedented year as a whole, that’s not exactly a surprise. Now for the good news? As a big fan of silver linings, I’ve been thrilled to discover the many ways our communities are serving up that sweet summertime upside we all so desperately need—with a dose of creativity and a whole lot of determination. As it turns out, Northern Virginia is resilient. And although you already knew that, sometimes it’s nice to be reminded—in the form of scenic vineyard trips, dynamic outdoor dining, and iconic rooftop bars, no less. Over the past three months, we’ve proven together that getting into the summer spirit is possible—without compromising on safety (or fun). So, without further ado, here is your end-of-summer bucket list, a rundown of the places you should go and the sights you should see to make the most of your last days of summer—all while giving back to the local businesses that have given us so much.
Vineyard Daycation: Good wine, scenic views, and plenty of space? Now that’s what I like to call a winning blend. Luckily, our community offers up a full-bodied selection of local vineyards that would make the perfect day trip and quintessential summer activity all in one.
#1: Breaux Vineyards -- Home to over 400 acres, 17 different grape varieties, a tasting room, and an impressive selection of internationally acclaimed wines, this local favorite is finally back in action.
Reservations are not required Monday – Thursday, but are suggested nonetheless to guarantee a space in the shade.
#2: Bluemont Vineyard -- Come for the wine, stay for the extraordinary views. A family farm that’s nestled amongst the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bluemont offers panoramic views of the gorgeous Loudoun Valley to savor with every single sip.
Currently accepting reservations for socially distant table seating both inside and outside.
#3: Chrysalis Vineyards -- The ultimate Virginia vineyard, Chrysalis’ mission is to elevate Virginia wines to their (rightful) place among the world’s best. And the immense pride the owners take in their selection shows, so don’t waste any time in tasting the difference for yourself today.
Out on the Town: 2020 may be the year of uncertainty, but one thing’s for sure: outdoor dining (and drinking) isn’t likely to go out of style anytime soon. Here are some of the best spots in town for open air indulgence—perfectly primed for soaking up the last precious drops of summer.
#1: Clarity -- A Vienna mainstay where local chefs serve up creative New American Fare, Clarity is something we could all use a whole lot of right now, especially when it means outdoor dining, tasting menus, and new culinary creations every night.
#2: PassionFish -- Nothing says summer like seafood, something this Reston eatery does better than anyone by serving up Asian-influenced fish entrees in an airy, bi-level space complete with a picturesque patio.
#3: Sfoglina Rooftop Terrace -- An elevated (quite literally) bar that’s popped up just in the knick of time, Sfoglina’s unrivaled vantages of DC and VA are proof that there’s just no view quite like the one from the top.
#4: Lake Anne Brewhouse -- For hand-crafted beer overflowing with local flair, head over to Lake Anne Brew House, where you’ll find a selection of brews on tap, and a patio where you can sip in style.