Living in a city is wonderful. Everything is at your fingertips—fabulous restaurants, great theater, the arts and much more. But, sometimes, you just need to get away from it all. That’s exactly what my friend Kelly and I did.

Washington DC is surrounded by some of the most beautiful national and state parks. It’s hard to believe when living in a city like Washington DC where people are consumed by politics and demanding careers. But all that changes once you get out of the city.

My love for the outdoors is something new. I loved traveling, but wasn’t much of a nature person until about seven years ago when I experienced my first “wow” moment kayaking in one of Puerto Rico’s
bioluminescent bays.

Recently, I’ve been going through what one could say is a rejuvenation and detoxification period, removing unnecessary clutter, refocusing on myself and what’s important to me, and adding new experiences to really connect with my body and mind, like hiking.

Meadows State Park: A Perfect Place for a Morning Hike

Sky Meadows is one of Virginia’s state parks. Located on the eastern side of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it features luscious pastures, rolling hills and a number of trails. The park offers many activities for people to enjoy, including great campgrounds, horseback riding and of course, hiking.

My timing couldn’t have been better. After experiencing scorching temperatures and high humidity for weeks, there was a sign of relief. The combination of milder temperatures and less humidity made it the perfect day for a hike.

We arrived around 11 am filled with exhilaration and excitement about our hike. It had been a long time since I had gone hiking, and upon viewing the mountains and greenery, the excitement continued to rise within me. I couldn’t wait to engage with nature!

Our two mile hike took us through the wilderness. Nature’s finest. We encountered interesting plant life, colorful butterflies, lots of dragonflies and tall trees that provided us with shade. We climbed rocks, crossed over fallen trees and hiked steeps hills, finally making it to the top of one of the park’s hills where we were greeted by captivating views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was beautiful and very peaceful. It was picturesque with the mountains silhouetting in the background and the green pastures that laid before it.

It was truly a moment that I will never forget.

Washington Street going east from the corner of Washington & Madison streets. Picture by Jim Poston.

A Great Way to End the Day: Lunching in Middleburg

A good hike left us with a big appetite. We ventured into Middleburg, a quaint town established in the 1790’s. It offers character and vast history dating back to the early years of our nation. During the 20th century the town became famous for its fox hunting and horse races.

Middleburg is beautiful. They streets are quiet, sprinkled with a selection of small original shops, restaurants and inns.

After meandering through the streets, we decided to dine at the Red Fox Tavern. Located in the famous historic
Red Fox Inn, the restaurant offers classic American cuisine. The menu features a wide variety of salads, sandwiches and entrees. The kicker–parmesan French fries!

Our fun day ended with ice cream from Scruffy’s Ice Cream & Coffee Parlor. I loved the ambiance of this place. It took me back to my high school days. There isn’t much room to sit. They don’t take credit or debit cards, but the ice cream rocks! What’s even better–funds support local animal rescue leagues. We purchased our cones and enjoyed them while sitting on a bench outside, taking in everything that makes Middleburg so special. The perfect way to end a fun day!

Interested in checking out these places?

Sky Meadow State Park

Historic Middleburg
Red Fox Tavern

About the Author:
Sherrie Bakshi is a freelance lifestyle writer and ongoing contributor for Tango Diva. Her work has been published in Charleston Magazine, Audrey Magazine, WHERE Magazine and most recently Qatar Airways In-flight Magazine. Keep track of her adventures on