As parents to small children, we deeply appreciate the lack of clean-up required after eating outdoors, and when the weather is lovely (or just okay) we take advantage of the area’s many picnicking locations. Our favorites are on Nellysford’s Rockfish Valley Loop Trail, walkable from the house. But it’s only an 8 minute drive, straight up the road, to the Blue Ridge Parkway, so we’ll often pack a basket and head up to the mountaintops to have lunch or an early dinner.
Another boon is the incredible quality bread one can buy in the neighborhood. I used to bake my own weekly, but now I’m spoiled by our fine Goodwin Creek Bakery‘s excellent organic sliced breads (pick up a loaf at the IGA or the Valleymont Market) and the wonderful Ablemarle Baking Company breads available at Basic Necessities or Greenwood Gourmet Grocery. Virginia is for food lovers!