Five places to keep the flame burning

Satin sheets covered in rose petals, heart-shaped chocolates and a bottle of champagne served over ice — all classic elements of a romantic weekend getaway. But for Washingtonians tired of the chaos of the big city, there’s another ingredient that shouldn’t be overlooked: solitude. 

Maryland and Virginia offer numerous destinations for D.C. couples looking to spend a weekend away from it all. From the lush beauty of the Eastern Shore to the rolling hills of Western Maryland, the five destinations on this list are perfectly tailored to those seeking both the luxury of a top-of-the-line hotel and the tranquility of the countryside.

Kent Manor Inn and Restaurant (Kent Island, Md. — about one hour from D.C.)

Situated on a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay, this inn dates back to the 17th century and keeps the air of an old country manor.

“You don’t have the hustle and bustle of the city,” said inn manager Amy Fowler. “But we’re not far from anything either.”

Fowler said she often recommends visitors take day trips to nearby Annapolis and St. Michaels. She also mentioned that there are spas, museums and several golf courses near the inn.

Garden and Sea Inn (New Church, Va. — about three hours from D.C.)

This romantic bed and breakfast, located on the eastern shore of Virginia, was originally built as a tavern in 1802. It now caters to tourists who want to visit nearby Chincoteague Island, a popular vacation spot. Co-owner Thomas Renn was quick to point out that there are other places in the area to visit as well. 

“The eastern shore of Virginia has a lot more to offer than just Chincoteague Island,” Renn said. “If people stay with us they are in a very central spot.” 

Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn (Chestertown, Md. — about two hours from D.C.)

Located in Chestertown, home to Maryland’s second largest assortment of 18th-century buildings, the Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn offers a private setting with a personal touch.

“All the rooms are individually decorated,” said co-owner Michael Hanscom. “Intimacy is the word.”

There are 13 rooms in total: Six are cottage rooms, and the other seven are located in a plantation house that dates back to the 19th century. Among the amenities offered to guests are wood-burning fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.

Guests can also visit the nearby Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge and the Kent County Historical Society. 

The Tides Inn (Irvington, Va. — about three hours from D.C.)

Located on the Virginia side of the Chesapeake Bay, The Tides Inn has been in operation since 1947. With its own marina, spa and golf course, and many nearby landmarks like Colonial Williamsburg and Westmoreland State Park, the inn has more than enough to keep a couple busy for a weekend. 

“We’re a place where you come down and reconnect with your loved one,” said general manager Gordon Slatford. 

And there are many ways for couples to reconnect, from touring the Virginia Wine Trail to kayaking down Carter Creek. Slatford said that couples tend not to stay hidden in their rooms while they’re here. 

As Slatford put it, staying at The Tides Inn is “like going to somebody’s house — a big house.”

Haley Farm Bed and Breakfast (Deep Creek, Md. — about three hours from D.C.)

Skiing, water sports and spa treatments are just some of what’s on offer for those who stay at this bed and breakfast in western Maryland.

Owner Kam Gillespie said the location was one reason why the bed and breakfast appeals to couples. 

“It’s just so peaceful,” she said. “The scenery is just gorgeous.”

Haley Farm is located near Deep Creek Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Maryland, as well as Wisp Ski and Golf Resort and Adventure Sports Center International, where guests can go whitewater rafting.

The bed and breakfast has its own spa, where guests can receive facials, stone massages and herbal wraps.