The Iris Inn – A Welcoming Shenandoah Hideaway
Two of my favorite ways to unwind are spending a bit of time outside reconnecting with nature and enjoying a good glass of wine. Luckily for me Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, a short 3 hour drive from my home in Virginia Beach, has both in spades making the area an obvious choice for a weekend getaway.
But where to stay?
Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, was an obvious choice but I wanted the peace and relaxation that can only come from waking surrounded by nature and the homey feeling that staying at a B & B provides. The Iris Inn would be my weekend refuge.
Overlooking the picturesque Shenandoah Valley near Waynesboro, Virginia; owners Dave and Heidi Lanford have been welcoming guests to their mountainside inn since 2007.This Select Registry property is located 30 minutes from Charlottesville, and less than ten minutes from the entrance to Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. For oenophiles like me the Iris Inn is set squarely in the heart of Virginia wine country with over 30 vineyards (many of them award winning) within a 30 minute drive.
One thing at the Iris Inn that you won’t find at many other B&B’s? A spot for an electric vehicle charging station, making the inn a popular choice for the eco-conscious traveler.
Traveling as a group of three this time we had a bit of difficulty finding B&B accommodations as many just have rooms for couples. The Iris Inn has three spacious cottages perfect for families or a group of friends travelling together. We stayed in the Garden Path Cottage, with 770 sq. feet of space featuring a king bed, flat screen tv, fire place and a basic kitchen on the first level as well as a spiral staircase leading up to a loft with another queen sized bed. The bathroom was just as well appointed with a double Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. Charming touches throughout the cottage just added to the feeling of staying in a friend’s mountain home.
The Iris Inn also offers 6 rooms in the main inn as well as 3 modern luxury cabins, all of which feature some of the best views in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Arriving to the inn I was warmly greeted by Heidi, Dave and their sweet dog Katie (the Iris Inn is also pet friendly for guests travelling with their four-legged companions). After a short chat about their love for the Shenandoah Valley they inquired about my plans for the weekend and were quick to offer suggestions about their favorite wineries and restaurants as well as some short hikes in Shenandoah National Park. The spacious Great Room, featuring a three story stone fireplace, is the heart of the inn and where Heidi and Dave really strive to makes guests feel at home. Chocolate chip cookies are available any time of the day and Dave offers a very popular nightly happy hour from 5-6 pm with complimentary wine, beer and light snacks.
Breakfast is the hallmark of any good B&B and the Iris Inn does not slouch in this department either. Heidi offers an ever changing menu of gourmet breakfast goodies. Fluffy scrambled eggs, applewood smoke bacon and delectable french toast were a perfect start to my day’s adventures in Shenandoah National Park.
Oh, and then there’s this view.
Gracious hospitality, spectacular views a delicious breakfast make the Iris Inn a perfect base for exploring the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Follow the country roads and make the Iris Inn your mountain home.
I was graciously hosted by the Iris Inn but as always all opinions remain my own. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter to find out about their latest events and specials and receive a Shenandoah Valley Vacation Guide.