Red, White & Blue Stafford Getaway

A vacation is one that celebrates our freedom – an experience that is truly American. As Veterans’ Day approaches, reflect on freedom and its many sacrifices with a trip to Stafford – less than an hour from Washington, DC and Richmond.

Day 1:

Arrive on a Friday afternoon to Stafford County, home of Quantico Marine Corps Base and the FBI Academy.  Check into the beautifully remodeled Best Western Aquia.  Then slip out for dinner at La Rosetta Ristorante for fine northern Intalian cuisine with an extensive wine list.

If you want to be in the thick of the fall foliage, pitch a tent or rent a cabin at Aquia Pines Campground.  Another great hotel option is the Country Inn.

Day 2:

Before heading out for the day, enjoy a complimentary breakfast in the hotel foyer.  Begin your day with a tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.  See how this amphibious branch of our military has served our nation for over 230 years on land, in the air, and at sea.  Watch the film, and tour a gallery, then break for lunch in the “Tun Tavern” or “Mess Hall” of your choice.  Tour the remainder of the museum, then depart for dinner.  Dine among many veterans at The Globe and Laurel, owned and operated by a retired Marine.  Take in the exhibits of military memorabilia and academy patches that cover the wall of this hearty meat and potatoes restaurant.

Day 3:

Enjoy breakfast in the hotel, then check out for another day full of moving experiences.  Pack a picnic for the first stop at Chatham – the local National Park Service headquarters, and former Union headquarters during the Battle of Fredericksburg.  Learn the significance this site played on more than one Union occupation.  Break for your picnic lunch, then head out to White Oak Civil War Museum to learn more about the Union experience in the winter of 1862-1863.  Photograph your family in one of the replica winter huts, and imagine what it must have been like to survive in such a tent during the coldest of winter days.  Before heading out of town, stop by Zum Rheingarten for a traditional German meal to warm up your insides for the ride home.

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