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Archive for August, 2010

Fall in the Highlands = Music & More!

by Casey | Posted on August 27th, 2010

Get fall started early with a trip to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands. The perfect event to kick it all off? Why, the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, of course!

If you didn’t know it, this area of Virginia is known as the “Birthplace of Country Music” and you can witness the musical talent first-hand September 17-19, 2010, during the 10th Anniversary of the Reunion.

Reunion musicians include the The Del McCoury Band, Drive By Truckers, Gerald Anderson & Friends, Joe Diffie Bluegrass Band, John Anderson, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Wayne Henderson, and so many more, all scattered across four outdoor stages, a dance tent and 16 indoor venues!

Spend some time looking around while you’re in the neighborhood.  If you appreciate architecture, a stroll through Bristol’s Solar Hill Historic District will fix you right up, as well as feed any astronomy cravings you might have.

Have time to get out and about on a bike or hike? You can’t miss the Virginia Creeper Trail! It’s over 34 miles of stunning foliage and includes amazing wildlife viewing and scenic points of interest. No doubt you’ll enjoy Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain

If quaint downtowns interest you, Abingdon Historic District, a 20-block town founded in 1778, is a must. The historic buildings house great shopping and culinary treats a’plenty, not to mention Barter Theatre - the State Theatre of Virginia.

For some of you, The Reunion will have only increased your hankering for more music. Should that be the case, you must visit some of the stops along The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.

For more information to plan your fall Blue Ridge Highlands getaway, click us up at Virginia.org. We’re happy to send you a Virginia is for Lovers® Travel Guide, too!



Events, Travel Ideas | 3 Comments

Main Streets are a Main Attraction

by Casey | Posted on August 19th, 2010

Being a small town Virginia girl (Lexington in the house!), it took me a great while to appreciate the charm that a quaint downtown possesses. Chalk it up to being  young or taking my surroundings for granted, but I couldn’t see and didn’t know how lucky I was to be surrounded by renowned artisans, acclaimed chocolatiers, and irreplaceable history that many other towns wish they had. With these realizations in mind, I give you 5 reasons to love Virginia’s small towns.
Downtown Lexington

Downtown Lexington

 

1. Small towns are the perfect place to find fresh ingredients. Some have weekly markets and some have side-of-the-road produce stands that are open daily. One thing is for sure, short of picking it yourself, you can’t beat a bushel straight out of the back of a farmers’ pick-up truck! 

2. You don’t need New York City’s artsy air to pluck a one-of-a-kind piece from a recognized artist. Known creators like Sally Mann (Lexington), P. Buckley Moss (Mathews / Fishersville), Nan Rothwell (Faber), and Wayne Henderson (Rugby) call Virginia home. Visit a studio or downtown shop to take home beautiful photography, paintings, pottery, and more. 

3. No doubt you’re treading on history with every step you take in Virginia, but the museum docents (many of whom are volunteers) and tour guides in small towns are oftentimes the most passionate about sharing the history with those who aren’t yet in the know. 

4. When one considers a title like “State Theatre of Virginia,” one might believe such an establishment must exist in Richmond. Au contraire, mon frère! The State Theatre of Virginia is none other than the Barter Theatre in sweet little Abingdon. With a schedule that rivals nearly any performing arts facility, you’re sure to find an appealing act. Other interesting venues include Theater at Lime Kiln in Lexington and Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton. 

Floyd Country Store

 

5. If you want to hear original music, small towns are the best place to hang out and listen. In little country stores and coffee shops, banjos and guitars are strummed weekly! A well-known hot-spot is the Floyd Country Store in Floyd. Folks jam Friday through Sunday, but don’t be surprised if you see someone pickin’ on the porch any ol’ time. Also check out Lays Hardware in Coeburn, the Rex Theater in Galax, and Donk’s Theater in Mathews. 

Ready to find your new favorite small town? Begin planning a fall getaway at Virginia.org or call 1-800-Visit-VA to request a free Virginia is for Lovers® Travel Guide.



Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 4 Comments

Tailgating with Virginia is for Lovers®

by Casey | Posted on August 5th, 2010

Okay, okay, it’s a little early, but I just can’t stand the wait any longer! It’s almost FOOTBALL season!!

Liberty University - Williams Stadium

If you’re ready for Saturday pigskin match-ups like I am, I’ve got the scoop on great college football in Virginia to share with you, not to mention some Virginia is for Lovers® items to spruce up your tailgating.

From the Virginia Tech Hokies and the UVA Cavaliers, two of the ACC’s powerhouses, to the Liberty Flames, the Big South Conference champions three years’ running, there’s plenty of great football action to witness in Virginia this fall.

Tune in to see if the Hampden-Sydney Tigers can seal the deal with another perfect season, and if a slew of new coaches will bring the heat to teams like the Richmond Spiders, UVA, and the Washington and Lee Generals

Need more football? See additional schedules here. Now on to the tailgatin’! 

Virginia is for Lovers® Sweetens Tailgating Parties

 “Keep it cool.”
ECO Koozie * $3
Foam Can Cooler * $3.50
28 oz. Water Bottle * 4.50
Bottle Koozie * $5.90
Cooler Tote * $17.90

“Who brought the snacks?”
Individual 2 oz. bags of salted Virginia peanuts * 1.20

“I don’t have enough hands. Anybody got a bag?”
Large Eco Tote * $4.50
Large Canvas Boat Tote * $15.90

“Don’t forget our chairs.”
Red Captain’s Chair * $31.90

 “Ah, man! Barbecue sauce on my favorite jersey!”
Black Apron * $14.90  

“Rain never stopped us before.”
Red 42″ Umbrella * $11.90
Red & White 42″ Umbrella * $11.90 

“A little wine brings good cheer.” (Ha ha! Get it?!)
Corkscrew Wine Opener * $5
Wine & Cheese Picnic Set * $8
Set of 2 Wine Glasses * $15 

Looking for more great Virginia is for Lovers® gear? Try The VA Store, where you’ll find apparel, gifts, hats, and more, all by our official licensed distributor. 

To plan your next Virginia vacation, visit www.Virginia.org or call 1-800-Visit-VA to request a free Travel Guide.

Please enjoy pre-game activities in a responsible manner.



Travel Ideas | 3 Comments

Rainy Day Play

by Casey | Posted on August 4th, 2010

Rainy days don’t have to be wasted days! Here are a few energy-burning ideas for a great day out with your children.

Museum Fun

  • Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children’s Museum is in Lynchburg, and is all hands-on! It’s great for kids well into their tween and early teen years.  Access for All is their newest area for children without disabilities to experience what life is like for children with disabilities – Braile, American Sign Language, wheelchair bowling and basketball, and more! Amazement Square has many accessible offerings, which are made possible by the Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services. Open daily. Admission: $8; children under 2 are free.
    Virginia Air & Space Center
  • Children’s Museum of Richmond – Great experiential play for kids just a few months old to 8. Open daily. Admission: $8; children under 1 are free. Check out the new Short Pump location, too!
  • Harrisonburg Children’s Museum – Year-round learning and play for kids up to age 12. Open daily. Admission: $5; children under 2 are free. Don’t miss the FREE ADMISSION DAY – August 15th – sponsored by Target!
  • The Virginia Air & Space Center is located in Hampton and features actual NASA gear, shuttles, and more! See the real Apollo 12 Command Capsule that went to the moon! Want more? Check out the IMAX Theater for flicks like Sharks 3D and Hubble 3D (reduced-rate combination ticket available). Open daily. Admission: $11.50 for Adults (exhibits only); $9.50 for children 3-18.

Arts & Crafts

  • All Fired Up is Richmond’s “Original Paint Your Own Ceramics Studio” and perfect for older children. Open daily. Fees: Choose your unfinished pottery, ranging from $3 to $50; kids’ studio fee is $6; adults’ studio fee is $8. Paint as long as you like!

Something Different

  • American Celebration on Parade at Shenandoah Caverns is a place where kids can see animated parade floats from past Macy’s, Rose, and Presidential Inauguration parades. Open daily. Admission: $22/adult; $10 children 6-14; children 5 and under are free. The admission ticket allows you entrance into Shenandoah Caverns and the Yellow Barn, too!

And we haven’t even taken a tip off of the iceberg yet! Find more great fun at Virginia’s Cool Places for Kids pages!



Travel Ideas | 1 Comment