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    Get your outdoor #zen on with #yoga in the #stables at Salamander #Resort. You might even be joined by the #barn #cat, Pumpkin! #loveva #virginia #earthday #vaoutdoors #repost #photooftheday#pet #stable @salamanderresort
    Happy Earth Day, Virginians! Strive to get out of the office today, experience #nature, appreciate her beauty and offerings, and make a commitment to preserving her health (and ultimately ours). For we are all one with nature. #virginia #loveva #earthday #repost #sunrise #goodmorning #visitvirginia #earth #conservation #vais4lovers Photo compliments to @dadofash. Virginia is for nature lovers 🌾🌸🌿
    #Bacon wrapped #porktenderloin at Helen's for #Restaurant Week: country sausage-apple stuffing, baked black lentils, cabbage-bell pepper and #Virginia #barbecue glaze. #heaven #dinner #rva #rvadine #loveva #vafood #eatlocal #restaurantweek #yummy @rvanews @rvais4lovers
    @hope_alexandraa spotted two #hotairballons #flying over the Charlottesville #downtown mall earlier this month. Great capture! Hope everyone's Monday has been stellar ❤️ #loveva #repost #cville #visitvirginia #virginia #onlyinva #spring #balloon #fly @charlottesvilleva @ilovecville
  • Archive for April, 2010

    Find the Perfect Summer Camp

    by Casey | Posted on April 28th, 2010

    If you have a sports enthusiast, aspiring marine biologist, or fiddle-totin’ musician, you’ll find a Virginia summer camp fit for their aspirations.

    Kids who love to dig in the dirt will find the archeology camp at Castlewood in Chesterfield County a fun way to spend the week. Then again, there is also a camp for kids who love to mix water with their dirt. James Madison’s Montpelier (surprise!) is your go-to for mud action! Kids at this camp will be able to enjoy portions of the 2,560 acre estate … like the creeks!

    Wave Riding Surf Camp

    Wave Riding Vehicles' Surf Camp in Sandbridge

    Hey soccer mom, here are impressive camps for your little kicker. Who knew that the Martinsville area would be THE place to have major influences like British and Brazilian teams conducting a camp? Register soon and your kid will be sporting a replica jersey from the respective camp they’re attending. (That’s in addition to the other awesome swag!)

    Speaking of swag, how well does Billabong ring in the mind of your ‘tween or teen? Down in Sandbridge (south of Virginia Beach), Surf & Adventure Co. offers the Billabong Surf Camp for the guys and the Billabong Chica Surf Camp for the gals. Learn the basics (and maybe a few advanced maneuvers) of surfing and take home a Billabong goodie bag, too! Can’t make it during one of the scheduled camps? No worries. The cool dudes at S&A will give you your own mini camp, so long as there are at least four of you.

    Ichthyology – ich¡thy¡ol¡o¡gy – noun - the study of icky things. Oh, wait. No, that’s the study of FISH, and if you have a child who wants to learn more about them, there’s a camp for that … on Wallops Island with the crew of the Marine Science Consortium. They offer a whole host of amazing camps for kids, grandparents/grandkids, parents/kids, etc. Check them out!

    The few camps mentioned here are just a tip of the iceberg. You’re encouraged to check out our Camps for Kids section and plan a day, three-day, week, or two-week educational getaway for your little (and not-so-little) sponge! The knowledge they’ll soak up will astound you.



    Events, Travel Ideas | Comments Off

    Hop the Train

    by Casey | Posted on April 27th, 2010

    Looking for a greener way to travel? A laid-back excursion where someone else is doing the driving? A new experience for the kids? Hop on a Virginia-bound Amtrak train and be whisked away to more than 20 Virginia destinations lickety-split.

    Family fun is just a train ride away!

    Amtrak may be the perfect way to get to Virginia from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and other congested points north. Travel south to beautiful mountains, lush valleys, art, history, music, and the world’s longest resort beach. Virginia is an awesome destination for families, and now even more so with the ease of Amtrak as a transportation option.

    Learn more and also see travel packages from accommodations near the various Virginia stations.

    Never traveled by train before? See this Pre-Departure Checklist from Amtrak.



    Travel Ideas | 2 Comments

    The Coolest Places for Kids

    by Casey | Posted on April 21st, 2010

    If you didn’t know it by now, Virginia is loaded with some pretty cool places for kids. Not just museums for kids, but really really cool things to do, places to visit, and awesome experiences. 

    To start with the obvious, Virginia’s theme parks cater to all ages but can be the most fun, perhaps, for teenagers seeking a thrill. They’ll get their kicks on rides like the speedy new Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion or the stomach-in-your-throat free-fall drop of Griffon at Busch Gardens. 

    LibertyMountain Snowflex Centre

    LibertyMountain Snowflex Centre

    One of the newest things for older kids is the opportunity to ski during the summer. “Huh?,” you ask. Yep. LibertyMountain Snowflex Centre in Lynchburg is open year ’round and it’s the first synthetic ski slope in the country. Is your teen’s summer not completely booked yet? Send them to Snowflex Summer Camp, July 5-23. Call 434-582-3539 for information. 

    For the ‘tweens – those who are not quite a teenager and definitely not a kid (scoff!) – Virginia has some pretty cool opportunities, too. The Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge is way cool. There, the animals roam free and you ride through their habitat on a tractor-drawn wagon. Armed with a bucket of grain, you can feed the residents as you ride. Don’t be alarmed, but there are tigers and cheetahs, too … separate from the general population, of course. You’ll also see free-flight birds, and can feed giraffes from their height. It’s a great place to spend the day. 

    Want to get lost in the crowd and pretend to be an 18th century family for a day? At Colonial Williamsburg, you can rent costumes for the kids at the Costume Rental Center (oh, and good to know … children 5 and under are FREE and ages 6-17 pay a discounted rate). If you’re unsure where to start in this grand old city, take the Children’s Orientation Walk. It’s offered daily and lasts approximately 30 minutes. 

    One of the most exciting places for the littlest family member is the Children’s Garden at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. Several acres have been dedicated to hands-on agriculture, treehouse fun, and water play. The treehouse is probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen. You might just want to build one of your own! Never fear, no one actually has to climb a tree; kids and families of all abilities can soar above the garden in this magical look-out. See the calendar for special family programming and events. 

    Have we whet your appetite? Check out the rest of our Cool Places for Kids on Virginia.org.



    Travel Ideas | 4 Comments

    Virginia’s First Golf Trail is The World’s First Green Golf Trail

    by Casey | Posted on April 19th, 2010

    Stony Creek Golf Course

    Stoney Creek Golf Course at Wintergreen Resort

    A group of top resort golf courses in Central Virginia are committed to becoming friends of the environment, and they’ve put togehter The Monticello Golf Trail, creating an official 45-minute link to each other. The appeal of trailing to Stoney Creek and Devils Knob at Wintergreen Resort in Nelson County, Birdwood at The Boar’s Head in Charlottesville, Poplar Grove in Amherst and The Rivanna in Fluvanna County?   

    According to Trail founder Mark Glickman, “these courses are taking some key steps and are committed to becoming more sustainable. By working together and inspiring one another, the golf industry can do more to help green the planet. Charlottesville is a world-class tourism destination and is on the leading edge of green living initiatives.  The Trail combines those elements for area golf courses.”

    Not to mention that golfers with a Trail card receive exclusive special offers on golf rounds, accommodations, merchandise and more.

    “This is not another discount program,” comments Trail partner Damon DeVito. “As a course operator it is important to me to help these resorts attract new tourism customers to the Charlottesville area. The customers get good prices and special opportunities without hassle.”  

    For golfers who purchase the card on www.monticellogolftrail.com before May 31, 2010, Trail organizers will plant a tree in their family name to help offset their trip to Virginia through a partnership with True Offsets, a company that is setting the world standard for carbon offsets through transparent investment. 

    In addition, golfers can submit their ideas for greening a golf course as part of the “Greenest Golfer Contest” between now and May 31, 2010 and win a 3 day/2 night Monticello Golf Trail Getaway at their choice of The Boar’s Head or Wintergreen Resort including championship golf at each of the participating Monticello Golf Trail courses. 

    Golfers who live outside Central Virginia and want to experience a memorable vacation and special benefits while supporting earth-conscious businesses can purchase the Monticello Golf Trail Card for a special introductory offer of $25 (regular cost $50), if purchased before May 31, 2010 at www.monticellogolftrail.com.  Cards purchased before June 1, 2010 can be used for travel through May 1, 2011.

    Green. Memorable. Flexible. Easy. The Monticello Golf Trail.



    Sweepstakes, Travel Ideas | 2 Comments

    Two-Wheel Adventurin’ in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on April 15th, 2010

    Motorcycle Grand Tour of VirginiaWe’re stoked about the second annual Motorcycle Grand Tour of Virginia that just kicked off last Saturday (April 10) and continues through November 1. Seriously. Wind at our backs, nothin’ but open highway, the most amazing views anyone could ask for, and a chance to win an oceanfront trip for two to Virginia Beach at the end of the line!

    Scenic byways, country roads and off-the-beaten path attractions and historic sites beckon riders who yearn for freedom. The tour features 82 stops across Virginia that include travel destinations, museums, restaurants, motorcycle dealerships and many more unique sites.

    Riders receive a passport and an official tour t-shirt once registered. As you ride throughout the season, (April 10-November 1), collect stamps from each sponsor to qualify for great prizes offered at the end of the tour. The more stamps you collect, the more chances you have to win!

    Participants are not required to be Virginia residents, but must obtain an official Motorcycle Grand Tour passport to be eligible for prizes. 

    Register on-line at www.vamotorcycletour.com where you can also post photos, share your stories from the tour, view the ride map and prizes, and learn about the sponsors’ businesses. 

    Hope to see you on the road!



    Travel Ideas | 3 Comments