50+ Festive Restaurants to Visit for Holiday Cheer

Red Fox Tavern holiday decorations

Your family is coming to town and the thought of preparing a dinner for ten or more people sounds daunting, if not impossible. Relax! These restaurants all around Virginia effortlessly make the holidays bright and save you the trouble of cooking and cleaning for the entire clan. With seasonal décor, dishes utilizing winter ingredients, and holiday cocktails, these 50+ dining destinations will create lasting holiday memories without the hours of labor in the kitchen on your part.

Red Fox Tavern—Middleburg

The Red Fox Tavern goes all out for the holidays, with décor, drinks, and menu specials carefully crafted to reflect the season. Classic wreaths hang from windows and doors, and garland decked with ornaments, pine cones, and feathers is draped on the mantles above the crackling fireplaces and throughout the restaurant. Start your meal with a festive cocktail, like the Cranberry Moscow Mule, Hot Spiked Cider, or Santa’s Eggnog, finished with a cinnamon-sugar rim on the glass. During Christmas week, the Red Fox offers a Hunt Country Brunch, with the holiday highlight being the Cranberry Raisin French Toast. At the Christmas dinner, the restaurant serves up items like the Crispy Fried Half Duck and the Grilled Rack of Lamb, followed by decadent dessert options that include Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie.

Denson’s—Colonial Beach

denson's holiday

Denson’s R&B Oyster Bar decorates for the holidays in their own fashion, with a tribute to the Chesapeake Bay. An oyster bushel basket Christmas tree sits atop the restaurant and grocery’s main entrance, and inside you’ll find their oyster shell nativity scene and a wine bottle Christmas tree. Don’t let the unusual decorations fool you, however; the food at Denson’s is some of the best seafood around, with flavors that highlight the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia’s farm-to-table style. While the menu changes weekly, you can get fresh shore seafood like wild-caught Chesapeake rockfish and Rappahannock River oysters, served with collard greens, mashed potatoes, and Brussel sprouts, all purchased from local farms. If your aim is fresh seafood with a seasonal flair, Denson’s is the place to go during the holidays.


buckheads holidays

The last thing you expect when you pull up to the quiet strip mall that houses Buckhead’s Chophouse is the elegant interior. Richly carved wood covers the walls, with dim lighting bathing the dining area in an effortless glow of luxurious style. The decorations within the restaurant are simple yet sophisticated, appearing in curated touches like the bells draped around the mounted buck, poinsettia’s placed on shelves and tables, and sparkling gold ornaments hanging in the windows.

DoG Street Pub—Williamsburg

DoG Street holiday drink

Plan a visit to Colonial Williamsburg and stop by DoG Street Pub during the holidays for a very merry beverage or cocktail. The homemade hot chocolate will warm even the biggest Scrooge, and the Butter Beer is a delightful combination of mulled cider and caramel, topped with a caramel butter. Bows and garland add …read more

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Holiday Events in Virginia Wine Country

Veritas Vineyard and Winery

From holiday decorations to illuminated vineyard tours, craft shows, ornament decorating, caroling and winemaker dinners, a number of Virginia wineries provide a warm place to escape the chill and hectic holiday rush.

Wine your way into the holiday spirit at the following Virginia wineries and cideries.


Tarara Winery — Leesburg
Located in the northeastern corner of Loudoun County, Tarara Winery is hosting their annual holiday open house on Thursday, December 8 (6-9:30pm). Tarara winemaker Jordan Harris is known for producing some of the finest single-vineyard wines in the state. Guests will be able taste a number of single vineyard wines from 2014 and 2015. The event will also feature live music and food from The Wine Kitchen. The Tarara’s Cabernet Franc made from grapes grown in the Hill Block of Nevaeh vineyard and Viognier are worth stocking up to pair with holiday meals.

Casanel Vineyards & Winery — Leesburg
Located in the central part of the Loudoun County wine region, Casanel will be decorating the tasting room and winery for guests to enjoy a festive setting to enjoy wine and friends. On Saturday December 17, Casanel is hosting a ‘Last Minute Holiday Shopping Bazaar’ where guests can pick up last minute gifts, including wine.

Breaux Vineyards — Purcellville
The largest winery in the Loudoun County region, Breaux Vineyards is located on a 404-acre farm with 104 acres under vine. The winery is offering a special holiday brunch on Sunday, December 18. Pickup bottles of Breaux Viognier, Merlot Reserve and Nebbiolo to pair with holiday meals with family and friends.


Veritas Vineyards — Afton

Located in the charming town of Afton, Veritas Vineyards is a must visit for the holidays. The Veritas team goes all out to help spread the holiday spirit with decorations and events. The annual Christmas caroling singalong, including the Virginia Sil’hooettes, a capella group from the University of Virginia, will be held on Friday, December 9. Cheese, charcuterie, desserts, mulled wine and of course award-winning wines made by winemaker Emily Pelton will be available. Enjoy Veritas Scintilla sparkling wine with friends while relaxing in the large leather couches in front of the stone fireplace for an escape from shopping mall crowds. For guests in need of an overnight getaway during the holidays, there is an elegant eight room Inn on the property.

Blue Bee Cider — Richmond
On Saturday, December 3, Blue Bee Cider will host a grand illumination event at their newly opened cidery in the historic Scott’s Addition area in northwest Richmond. They will also offer a Christkindlmarkt on Sunday, December 4 that will feature local vendors and plenty of cider. Blue Bee’s dry Charred Ordinary cider pairs well with a many different holiday dishes, especially salty hams, and the Harvest Ration dessert cider is perfect to pair with desserts.

Trump Winery — Charlottesville
Beginning November 27, Trump Winery will offer a unique holiday experience for …read more

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10 Reasons to Visit Virginia during the Holidays

The Omni Homestead Resort

The holidays are here, and you may be looking forward to spending some down time with your friends and family during this special season. But the cold weather can bring winter blues to even the happiest of homes, making your household feel a little stir-crazy. Take your celebrations to-go and plan a memorable day trip or overnighter with one of these ten ultimate holiday vacations in Virginia.

10. Get Cozy at a Winery

Nothing warms you up quicker than a crackling fireplace, but a great glass of Virginia wine is a close second. With over 280 wineries around the Commonwealth (and at least 20 that boast impressive fireplaces), you’ll forget the bitter chill of winter in no time.

9. See Your Favorite Bands Perform at a Live Music Venue

Clementine Cafe harrisonburg

Dancing is another way to stay warm during the winter (as well as working off those extra few pieces of Thanksgiving pie), and what better place to dance than a live music venue where your favorite bands perform? Virginia has plenty of live music during the winter months, offering huge headliners at large music halls like the Hampton Coliseum or more intimate shows performed at small venues such as the Clementine Café in historic downtown Harrisonburg.

8. Visit a Winter Resort with the Family

Massanutten Resort Skiing

If you are one of those people that actually enjoys the cold weather and the resulting precipitation, embrace it at one of Virginia’s winter resorts or parks. Places like Wintergreen Resort and Massanutten Resort offer skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, with slopes for every experience level. Finish up the day with a cup of hot cocoa at the lodge, and you’re on your way to creating some unforgettable family memories. Smaller parks (albeit still fairly large) like Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center or ice skating rinks throughout Virginia let you get a taste of ice and snow without committing an entire weekend to the winter sports.

7. Take in Iconic History without the Crowds

Colonial Williamsburg Holidays

Virginia’s rich history draws thousands and thousands of people each year to famous destinations like Monticello, Mount Vernon, Colonial Williamsburg, and James Madison’s Montpelier. Spring, summer, and fall tend to get the largest portion of the visitors, yet winter is prime time to get out to these iconic estates and sites while avoiding the crowds. Many of the historic destinations have indoor buildings that keep you out of the cold, but wrap up in a few extra layers to tour the grounds with plenty of warmth and comfort.

6. Enjoy Breathtaking Mountain Views

Sharp Top Mountain

The mountains of Virginia have been memorialized in well-known poems, songs, and novels, but visiting in winter is your chance to write your own mountain story. Take in magnificent panoramic scenes from monumental peaks after an …read more

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Seven Suggested Itineraries for Fun Holiday Getaways


Tacky lights, beautifully decorated historic homes, an exhilarating once a year drive on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk… Whatever gets you in the holiday spirit, you’ll find it in Virginia! Bring your family and friends to experience the enchantment of this holiday season.

Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon

Special Activity: Visit Historic Christ Church where George Washington attended services.

A Colonial Virginia Christmas featuring Grand Illumination

Traveling with your pets? Richmond’s Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden hosts GardenFest for Fidos on Thursday, December 1, 2016 and Thursday, January, 5, 2017.

Charlottesville & Albemarle County Winter Itinerary

Did you know? Charlottesville’s historic pedestrian Downtown Mall just turned 40 years old in July of 2016? This eight-block pedestrian mall is also one of the longest in the United States!

Holidays: From the Capitol to the Coast, 100 Miles of Lights and Sights!

Special Activity: Drive down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and enjoy Holiday Lights at the Beach.

Clarke County Family Holiday Outing

Did you know? Open for more than 50 years, Dinosaur Land in White Post is an iconic roadside attraction featuring over 50 dinosaurs.

Christmas from Bristol to Williamsburg – Holiday Happenings along the Blue Ridge

From the mountains to the coast, this itinerary takes you all over Virginia. Delight in the millions of glowing lights as you visit Bristol Motor Speedway. Visit Monticello and experience how Christmas was celebrated during Thomas Jefferson’s time. Do some holiday shopping at Williamsburg’s Premium Outlets and more. .

Did you know? Eight U.S. Presidents were born in Virginia and most of their homes can be visited today. In the Charlottesville area alone, visitors will find and tour the homes of three.

Lights and Lyrics of the Holidays in Richmond

Did you know? Richmond was featured in Travel + Leisure’s list for The Best Christmas Lights in Every State.

See more:

Holiday Itineraries

Holidays in Virginia

Winter in Virginia

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