Dulles to Charlottesville

Jun 3rd, 2010, 05:52 PM
  #1  
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Dulles to Charlottesville

We have a family wedding in late June in Charlottesville. We are flying into Dulles and have a couple of days before the wedding events then a day after to get back to Dulles. I was thinking of spending one day doing the Skyline Drive to Charlottesville then the next day seeing Monticello. Then on the way back going through Fredericksberg & perhaps Manassas. One question is we are from Colorado would Skyline Drive be a let down? Too busy in late June? We are 2 teen boys & Dad with history & baseball interests, Mom would do the wine/antique/shopping tour & 21 yr old daughter is an equestrian. I would love to see the ocean but that looks too far. Is there anything cool on the Cheasapeake?
Any suggestions? Anything very special that seems to fit our varies interests?
BetsyG is offline  
Jun 4th, 2010, 03:05 AM
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I'm not really an expert on Skyline Drive, but I live in Fredericksburg and am sure that you will enjoy your stay here. Here are some suggestions for you:

Civil War Visitors' Center on Sunken Road and Lafayette Street, along with walking tour of the Sunken Road wall behind which the Southern soldiers defended themselves at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

Then go to Kenmore, a Revolutionay-War era mansion which belonged to George Washington's sister's family.

Then visit the downtown area, which is nice and has a lot of little shops, particularly antique shops.

Then go across the Rappahannock River to Chatham mansion, which was the headquarters of the Northern army during the Battle of Fredericksburg, and also an interesting house in its own right. See where Northern doctors did surgery on soldiers wounded in the battle.

If you leave Fredericksburg for Dulles anytime before 9 a.m. or after about 2 p.m., I recommend taking the following route: U.S. 17 to Opel; U.S. 17-29 to Gainsville; I-66 E to Route 28; Route 28 to Dulles. Takes about 1 hr. and 20 minutes or so, but you don't have the traffic.

Have a good time in Virginia!
tom18 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2010, 09:41 AM
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>>One question is we are from Colorado would Skyline Drive be a let down? Too busy in late June?<<

This is a bit of an odd question to ask and answer. So, bluntly, if you hope to replicate a drive through the Rockies, you'll probably be let down. The elevations of the Blue Ridge aren't as high and the topography of VA and CO are very different. The vistas are less dramatic but sweeping and beautiful nonetheless. It won't be too busy a time to visit.

Perhaps you all have visited DC before, but it offers a lot of history and baseball.

tom18 gave you a very full day in Fredericksburg. Sounds like a really interesting itinerary. If you've got an afternoon flight out of Dulles, I'd recommend monitoring the traffic reports, though, as the traffic on I66 and Rt 28 can be trouble.
obxgirl is offline  
Jun 4th, 2010, 04:38 PM
  #4  
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Thanks tom & obxgirl. Great info. I think we will try the Skyline Drive, it looks like you can exit in places & short cut to Charlottesville. Then on the way back to Dulles, stop in Fredericksberg. Thanks again, Betsy
BetsyG is offline  
Jun 5th, 2010, 07:59 AM
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If you are set on Skyline Drive, it will take you about an hour after leaving IAD to reach Front Royal via Rt 28 to I-66 west. At Front Royal follow rte 340 through town to the drive entrance.

As you noted, there are three exits that can lead you to Charlottesville. If you have time, stay on Skyline at least to the second exit, route 33. The first section to route 211 has the lower elevations and even though there are many scenic views of the Valley, they don't compare with those further south.
ronkala is offline  
Jun 10th, 2010, 03:15 PM
  #6  
 
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You might consider a stop in Lexington, Virginia-lots of Virginia history there. A cute, historic town-take a carriage ride from the information center. Antique shops and wineries in the area-check out the Virginia Wine Guide on line for locations. For your equestrian daughter, it is the location of the Virginia Horse Center-a lovely facility with many horse shows, but unfortunately the location where Christopher Reeve suffered his life altering accident.
We found a great place to stay while traveling through there last month-The House Mountain Inn. A nine room B and B, a few miles outside of Lexington, in the middle of over 1,000 acres of prime forest. Probably the closest you will get to something similiar to the Rockies in Virginia. Rates included breakfast, dinner, and afternoon wine and cheese. A quiet, restful place, with hiking, horseback riding, a pond for catch and release fishing, and private hot tubs on your balcony- we can't wait to go back.
SusieKay is offline  
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