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About three hours outside of D.C., The Tides Inn sits on a private peninsula, surrounded by Carter Creek in Irvington, Virginia, offering sweeping waterfront views. The luxury bed and breakfast exudes serenity, peace, and yes, nonstop fun. (Image: David Cowan)

Escape busy D.C. and relax with a visit to the tranquil Tides Inn

Anyone who lives in the DMV knows this area is stressful. Even if you don’t work for the government or in the White House, national news is happening right in our backyards. Add in the traffic and metro delays and it’s tension city! Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all, and my go-to place to escape is anywhere with a great water view.

About three hours outside of D.C., The Tides Inn sits on a private peninsula, surrounded by Carter Creek in Irvington, Virginia, offering sweeping waterfront views. The creek feeds into the mouth of the Rappahannock river and then the Chesapeake. The luxury resort exudes serenity, peace, and yes, nonstop fun.

When I stepped into the resort, I caught my first glimpse of the water, and a sense of calm washed over me. And if that wasn’t enough, the terrace, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, cocktails, and light fare, is rimmed with exquisite flowers and, again, features jaw-dropping waterfront views -- it’s mesmerizing!

Luckily, the attire is pretty casual everywhere so there's no need to change before grabbing light fare on the terrace. Rather than farm-to-table, here it’s tide-to-table. It was a rather cool night when we visited, so we sat by the fire and munched on Yukon Gold Chips with Sweet Vidalia Onion Ranch Dip, Tuna Nachos and Crispy Crab Wontons. Oysters are huge here, and if you’re a fan you can find them done fried, roasted, on the half shell and "angry" -- the oysters are lightly roasted, tossed in a butter-based hot sauce and served over a bed of marinated cabbage slaw with a watermelon rind relish. m.

There is live music every Friday night, which is the perfect way to wind down a stressful week. But before we enjoyed the live music, we started our vacation by grabbing two of the free bikes and headed into town with its cute shops and restaurants. At the Tides Inn you can also tee off, set sail, learn to paddleboard, sample local wine, and be pampered at the spa. Off the creek are small coves that are ideal for kayaking, and I'd also highly recommend partaking in the daily fitness walk with a guide who will showcase a few of the area's prettiest homes and share some local color/gossip.

From the hotel pool you can take in the sights of the water, watching the sailboats and small yachts going back and forth. If a pool is not your thing, there is a small beach area right below the pool where you can lounge. After your morning dip, you can grab lunch at Commodore’s, an informal café where you can get hamburgers, yummy smoothies and cocktails.

It wouldn't be a vacation for me without a round of golf. Carved out of the beautiful wooded landscape around a 50-acre lake, the Golden Eagle course features exciting elevation changes and well-placed bunkers. The clubhouse has a well-stocked pro shop and a good spot to grab a bite for lunch after you work up a sweat on the back nine.

We enjoyed breakfast on the terrace every morning, and you can either have the buffet or order off the menu. Once again, there’s great seafood with the Crab and Country Ham Omelet and the Chesapeake Bay Benedict. By Sunday. I felt like I needed a lighter choice so I went with the Breakfast in a Glass -- an energizing parfait with Greek yogurt, honey, strawberry, banana, wheat germ, granola, and cream. After reading the paper one last time, unfortunately it was time to head home. If only I could take this view with me!


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