The Iris Inn, in Waynesboro,VA, is a low-key gem of a bed and breakfast inn offering travelers plenty of places to hang out and simply enjoy the views of the Blueridge Mountains — it’s a place to relax and unwind after a busy day of sight-seeing, or just because!
The inn offers individual rooms in the main building, cottages, and cabins perched on the side of the mountain. One of the cottages is dog-friendly. The rooms in the main building all have private bathrooms and are decorated in a comfortable, traditional style; half of the amazing views but the others look into the woods and are very cozy. The cabins, having been built later, are more contemporary in style (but still comfortable) and are perched so that the view is everything.
But if you’re like me, you like to be on the go, and you’re in luck. There’s a lot to do and see right in the inn’s neighborhood. With the Blueridge Parkway (heading south) and Shenandoah National Park and the incomparable Skyline Drive (heading north) just a hop, skip and a jump away, you have one of the loveliest places on the East Coast right there, ready to explore!
If you’re into hiking, the trails nearby run the gamut of easy, strenuous, and challenging day-hikes, with overlooks, waterfalls, and all the natural beauty SNP offers; the inn has booklets available describing different hikes with their access points — just ask the innkeeper to point them out to you as you check in. Although I didn’t have time to visit it, you should consider building in time to visit Virginia’s largest cascading waterfall, Crabtree Falls, and experience its 1200-foot-drop in a half-mile section of Crabtree Creek.
There are also lots of historic daytrip destinations nearby as well, such as the birthplaces and homes of former presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Woodrow Wilson. Also nearby is the Frontier Culture Museum, with exhibits that describe the lives of the first American pioneers.
The inn overlooks Waynesboro, and nearby, downtown Staunton, which offer an eclectic variety of shops and boutiques.
Despite all the options, I have to say that I chose the option of simply finding a comfy spot on the balconies overlooking the incredible view, and just sat; at 5:30 p.m., wine and cheese was served, and we took our little snack and a glass of wine to our comfy spot.
My friends and I had been tired from a lot of traveling already that week, and when dinnertime rolled around, we ordered delivery from a local Italian restaurant, rather than climbing back in the car and heading into town. Our dinners arrived piping hot just as the sun was setting, so we enjoyed our repast with a million dollar view, and sat drinking our wine and beer as we luxuriated in the beautiful evening.
Breakfast is served off of a simple menu in the main building, comfort-food fare such as eggs how you want them, bacon or sausage, and pancakes or waffles. Sometimes you’re joined for breakfast by the area’s bears, but unfortunately, we didn’t see any ambling through the woods. All in all, a wonderful and comfortable stay — my only regret is that it wasn’t longer!
Know before you go: This is an experience best shared with good friends, loved ones, or new friends!
Getting there: 191 Chinquapin Dr.Waynesboro, VA 22980