Last month some friends and I took a road trip to Virginia Beach. We chose Virginia Beach because it was halfway between us and no one would have to fly. Since it was May, we didn’t plan for beach weather so it didn’t matter that our hotel was not on the beach. We were just looking for a relaxing place to spend time catching up with each other. The Founders Inn and Spa was just what we were looking for…
The name of the hotel represents the Founding Fathers who drafted the Constitution. The hotel definitely had a historic vibe between the architecture and the period furniture. We kept saying how the place felt “very Virginia” to us.
As you can see, the gardens on the property were beautiful. It’s the perfect place to host an event. In fact, the first night we watched a large group taking prom pictures and the second night we witnessed a wedding.
Since it wasn’t warm enough we didn’t swim in the pool but it looked like a great place to lounge with the family in the summer.
And speaking of lounging, we loved these rocking chairs on the porch. Obviously, I must have a thing for hotels with rocking chairs. On our girls’ trip last year, we relaxed on colorful rocking chairs overlooking the water in Martha’s Vineyard. Let’s make rocking chairs a requirement for our next girls’ trip!
Like I said, the hotel was furnished with period furniture…
This was one of the lounge areas off the lobby. Throughout the hotel, there were plenty of common areas.
At the end of our hallway, there was even a darling lounge…
And part of our “welcome” included champagne and chocolate covered strawberries! You can’t beat that southern hospitality!
As you can see, the rooms were very charming and southern feeling with florals and cheerful colors…
I must note that the beds were very comfortable. Maybe we were just extra tired after the long drive (and the champagne) but I definitely slept well!
For our first night, we ate dinner at the Swan Terrace in the hotel. Since we knew we would be tired from driving the first night, it made the most sense. Also, I had read some good reviews on the restaurant. The menu was simple but good and we also enjoyed the huge buffet breakfast there each morning.
Apparently, the Swan Terrace must have been named after the swan on the property.
We spotted this one strolling around one morning. I believe someone told us her name is Abigail.
Besides spending time at our pretty hotel, we explored a bit. The first morning, we drove to the beach area of Virginia Beach and walked around. Weeks earlier, I had tried to get everyone to commit to horseback riding on the beach. I think I was the only one interested so that kind of fell through. We did watch the Kentucky Derby on TV that evening…Does that count? The hotel didn’t have any planned Kentucky Derby activities like we had on last year’s Martha’s Vineyard trip. It was a good thing, because I forgot to bring a derby hat!
We knew there were lighthouses in the area and after some confusion, we realized they were located on a military base. In order to visit them, we had to go through a check point with a car search and strict instructions on where we could and could not go.
We were only able to visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse. The other lighthouse on the property was in the restricted area of the military base…but we took pictures of both from a distance….
We also drove into downtown Norfolk. An outdoor wine tasting festival was going on but after a long Mexican lunch to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, there wasn’t much time to attend the event. We did explore the waterfront area of the city though.
My kids would have loved this old ship!
Mermaids are the symbol of Norfolk…
There were so many different ones around the city.
We also stumbled upon an enchanting Japanese garden…
I think I enjoyed the gardens at our hotel just as much though. The classic look of boxwoods and flowers have always appealed to me.
We enjoyed our stay at the Founders Inn and Spa and would definitely recommend it for a girls’ weekend getaway!
If you are thinking of the Founders Inn for your girls’ weekend, here are a few fun things to do in the area:
Flowering Almond Spa (at the Founders Inn) – (Perfect for a girls’s weekend)
Cape Henry Lighthouse (Be prepared for a car search and bring ID!)
Spirit of Norfolk Harbor Cruise (It was on our list but we didn’t get a chance)
Virginia Beach Horseback Riding on the Beach – (Doesn’t that sound like so much fun?)
See the “Visit Norfolk” website for festivals and other events
Are you planning any weekend getaways?
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