Northern Virginia Episode: Travels with Darley

Ranger Brendan Bonner guiding Darley in Prince William Forest Park
Ranger Brendan Bonner guiding Darley in Prince William Forest Park

Combine OSS spy cabins and authentic Turkish simit with made-from-scratch American apple pies and history-filled outdoor recreation on “Travels with Darley: Northern Virginia.” Travel back in time and visit with a melting pot of cultures in Prince William County in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. Learn about the history of the Civil War and visit a CIA training ground, both of which are now national parks. Experience travel gems and food found in the quaint town of Occoquan, Manassas National Battlefield Park, along the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, Prince William Forest Park, and the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

Darley starts her adventure at Manassas National Battlefield Park, where two Civil War Battles in 1861 and 1862 took place. Park Ranger Liz Hokanson shares the history. Darley then stops at the Ben Lomond Historic Site to dive further into Civil War history, speaking with Kevin Pawlak who guides her along this interactive site. Darley ends her day in Manassas at Farm Brew Live, where owner Marcus Silva shares how an old dairy farm transformed into a campus with food, beer, and live music.

The next day, Darley tours around Occoquan with Mayor Ernie Porta, who shows Darley its historic streets, buildings, and landmarks including the Mill House Museum. Just a short drive away, Darley checks out epiQ Food Hall, where she tries cocktails, beef patties, fried sushi rolls, and macaroons with Marjani Walker. 

Darley meets ranger Brendan Bonner at Prince William Forest Park, learning about its history as a former training ground for the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, along with its current recreational uses. Darley then visits Eavesdrop Brewery in Manassas, where she talks with entrepreneur Sam Madden about the origin of the brewery’s name. After a drink, Darley indulges in Turkish cuisine, including delicious simit, at My Cravingz, run by Serhat Yildizci and his family. Another restaurant stop is Red House Tavern, where Executive Chef Joel Valente combines Virginia ingredients with international flair and flavors. The final stop is at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, located in a striking building in Quantico, Virginia. Guide and retired Marine Gwenn Adams leads Darley around the museum to learn about the extensive history of the Marine Corps. 

Look for this episode on your local PBS TV station (check your local listings) and streaming starting March 1st on Watch on NJ PBS Sunday March 25th at 12:30pm. In the Washington, DC area, watch on WETA METRO: Saturday April 13 at 7:30pm.

Learn more about this episode at and watch it on PBS and streaming. Follow and subscribe to the new “Travels with Darley” podcast on iHeart, Spotify, Audible, Amazon, Google, Apple, and wherever you listen to your favorite podcast.