Saturday, March 10, 2012

Monterey Virginia (Highland County)

This is the last blog about our late summer/early fall 2011 road trip to upper New York State, Pennsylvania and Virginia.  Fittingly, our last stop on our return trip was in one of our favorite places, the town of Monterey in Highland County Virginia.

Monterey is the County Seat of Highland County.  Since Highland is the least populated county in Virginia, it seems appropriate that Monterey’s population stands at roughly 160 citizens.  From the late 1700’s until 1847, this place was known as Bell’s Place.  It was named after James Bell, owner of a log cabin located on Main Street. (The cabin still stands)

When the Virginia General Assembly created Highland county in 1847, 17 local justices changed the town’s name to Highland.  Then, only a year later, when General Zachary Taylor was elected President, the justices changed the name of the town to Monterey…as a tribute to Taylor’s victory at the Battle of Monterey in the Mexican-American War.

We stayed at the Arbogast Inn. (Laurie loves B&B’s!) This Colonial-Revival home was built in 1902 for Ed Arbogast, a livestock dealer, lumberman, political leader and sheriff.  The house was completely restored in 1995.  The current owners and innkeepers are Betty and David Cockerham…a mother and son team.

We stayed in the Charles Dickens room on the second floor in the front bedroom of the house.  The bed was comfortable with the room being quite large and nicely furnished.  The en-suite bath was equally well equipped. 

With no TV in the room, I actually read a book by the light of that old lamp by the chair!  It was very peaceful…with almost no traffic passing by our windows.

The Inn is full of antique furniture.  Many of the walls are paneled with Oak and Walnut.  The dining area is well equipped and Betty prepared a very nice breakfast for us in the morning.  We arrived late, but if we had been there earlier, afternoon treats and beverages were available. 

David Cockerham (co-owener of the Inn) also happens to be a very good photograper & he has quality photo cards of the Monterey Virginia area that you can buy right there at the Inn.  Laurie bought a bunch!
For more information regarding the Arbogast Inn, you can call the Innkeepers at 540-468-3278 or you can contact them via email at  The website, with photos of the rooms, is at

Dinner time was a bit of a challenge… It was a Sunday evening and both of the restaurants that we wanted to try, ‘The Highland Inn’ and ‘High’s Restaurant’, close early on Sundays.  So, in a town this small we were left with one option, the Mountain Hideaway Restaurant.  As you can see, it was busy…

Sorry for the dark photo… The interior of the restaurant was simple and straightforward but clean.  The customers were a decent mix of locals and tourists like ourselves.

Laurie ordered the trout with beets and cottage cheese.  Decent little rolls accompanied both of our meals.  She thought that the trout was pretty good and she loves beets.

As we travel across the country, I keep looking for good pork chops.  You know what I mean…juicy, well seasoned…not overcooked.  These chops had flavor but they were way overcooked and tough.  I needed some ketchup to bring them back to life.  The fries were OK and the cole slaw was very good. 

Since it was our last day on the road, instead of splitting a dessert, we each ordered something.  Laurie had this little sundae covered with butterscotch sauce.

I went with a slice of rubarb/strawberry pie ala mode.  The pie was just OK. 

We concluded that the Mountain Hideaway qualified as a safe place for travelers to ‘fuel up’.  The staff was friendly enough, pricing was reasonable but the food was just OK.  Mountain Hideaway Restaurant is located at 37 Potomac River Road in Monterey Virginia.  Phone: 540-468-1575.  I couldn’t find a website for this establishment…
One more time, I’d/we’d like to stress that we really like Highland County and Monterey Virginia.  We will return…the next time for a longer visit so we can explore the countryside more completely.

Here's what Monterey and Highland County looks like in the fall.  I captured this photo off the Internet.  Looks like a great time for us to visit the next time!  This is a view from one of the ridges looking down on Monterey.  The countryside is just spectacularly beautiful!

For local attractions, places to stay and restaurants in Monterey, just go to  A pamplet is available entitled "A Walk Around Monterey Virginia".  There are no less than 25 points of interest listed...including the 'Landmark House' that was built in 1790.

For additional information regarding activities and events, go to  There is a pamplet available entitled "Discover Highland County - Scenic Driving Tour".  Actually, the pamplet lists 7 different drives ranging from 20 minutes to 2.5 hours...and from 10 miles to 63 miles.  We can recommend the Blue Grass Valley Drive.  Only 6 more drives for us to do!
Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them...
Thanks for stopping by for a visit!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. We like B&b's as well and I love the last shot.