July Guide for plant loving insiders guide to Sperryville
Escape & Exploring Sperryville.
July 1st, 2019 -- Here are a few things I've either did or thought of doing this week...
This is one of those things that sprouted out of my local love of where I get to do business and play, almost every day.
Have you visited our little mountain treasure recently? Were a small community with a heart for the mountains and here is an insider guide to enjoy the Blue Ridge as needed.
Escape and explore.
Its a sweet hazy time of year to see the relaxed smiles of folks as they mosey around town, after a hike or before dinner. They all seem relaxed and ready to just go with the flow. So I usually send them on their ways to some of the unique and favorite places I love to go. Flora and fauna I love, places to eat and hikes to see. All the good things that make Rappahannock unique. I know this is tour guidey - forgive me.
On to the guide:
It is full tilt summer here and I've been spotting so many roadside herbs and plants. I'm the mini-van you may see on the side of the road crawling through the weeds to grab a handful of St. Johns Wort. I can't help it.
What's blooming now (a brief list):
Wineberries, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Mullein, Yarrow, St. John's Wort, Queens Anne's Lace, Black Cohosh, Blue Vervain, Teasel, Evening Primrose and all the Milkweed are all pretty easy to spot along the roadsides.
Fauna and Insect wise: Bears, deer, river otters, and bobcats have all been spotted recently in the park and local areas (love the river otters). Butterflies and moths are everywhere as well.
Oh if you're looking to make it a day trip, here are a few of my mid-summer to-dos.
If you're looking for an option to get out of town for the 4th. Come to the Ben Venue Road 4th of July Celebration. it's all the small town goodness you need to just relax and enjoy the stars and stripes.
Go picking blueberries, raspberries and maybe blackberries are still perfect. Get to Kim Dean Road's End Farm. 853 Scrabble Road.Castleton, Va. It's self serve if Kim isn't there so bring your own buckets to carry your haul. There is still another week's worth of blueberries and the blackberries are just starting to come on out here
Also, it's already time for peaches, nectarines, plums and cucumbers which are my favorite cooling fruits. I usually head to Jenkins off Yancey Road, but I'll also drop in on Whipporwill farm to see if they have any organic fruit to offer, they hopefully will have apples and plums this year. (more on the local farms next time).
Or head out to the Thornton Gap entrance to the Shenandoah, grab a piece of Blackberry Ice cream Pie from Skyland in the park (it's graham cracker crust, blackberry ice cream, and meringue..mouthwateringly perfect), and enjoy the view.
Mosey around the visitor center while your digesting, and when you're ready hike head down to Dark Hollow Falls for a beautiful watery hike. Or up Stony Man Trail for a fantastic vista and mountain breezes. (all hikes under 1 hour and kid friendly).
If you're looking for a bigger hike, Little Devils Stairs (go up and back and not down the fire road) is my favorite glute challenging hike along the river. There are no swimming holes per se on that trail but there are places to definitely squirrel around in and get wet.
AND of course, for an easy sunset view make sure that you make your way up by 8 pm. I love the first overlook heading towards Front Royal on the left-hand side. Walk down and plop on the big rocks with a bottle of wine and a little picnic. Pack in pack out my friends. https://www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/maps.htm
BUT of course a little in town guide with your first stop being our Apothecary to stock up on our botanical teas, syrups, and handcrafted goodness.
Apothecary will be open 11am-5pm on Thursday the 4th, 11am-5pm Friday & Monday, and 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday.
As things heat up the NEW community garden (thank you again garden fairies) is starting to fill in with all the herby goodness. Grab one of our guides from in the shop and explore the what and the why of the plants we planted.
Brewing will be a few of our favorite summer teas iced to try and cool you off from the heat too.
If you're coming out why not plan your day out too:
The lamb bratwurst from Bear Belly Brats goes perfect with their Golden Swan beer. Nom. Nom. The guys from Pen Druid are releasing their Spontaneous Brew which is always a treasure to bring to any summer festivities...
Or if you miss the market, pop over to Bar Francis where ahem I actually do all the cocktail recipes and enjoy the creative spirit. Insiders tip, Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen is self serve but if you stay in Francis you'll get a little more service, full menu and great bartenders too.
For some good local music enjoy the bluegrass band playing at the HeadMaster's Pub on Saturday night from 8pm-11pm called Copper Cup Collective.
If you want something more relaxed try Copper Fox Distillery. They have a fantastic Riverside Cocktail Bar that is open til 8ish.
If you have any questions please let me know... I love encouraging local wanderlust and adventure in the mountains.
More on this later but enjoy the magic of today folks.