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Archive for September, 2010

Crazy for Corn Mazes

by Casey | Posted on September 30th, 2010

Have you ever wound your way through a labyrinth of corn? It’s challenging. It’s also really cool for families looking for a cheap thrill. Hide and seek, anyone?

Liberty Mills Farm

Liberty Mills Farm

It’s officially corn maze season in Virginia and there are plenty waiting to be explored.

  • Patriotic folk will love the 20-acre Liberty Mills Farm maze in Somerset. Pick your own pumpkins while you’re there, and then stop by to see James Madison’s Montpelier just three miles away.
  • Washington Post calls Cox Farms in Centreville “the Big Kahuna of farms with fall festivities in northern Virginia.” See for yourself why their CORNundrum© cornfield adventure, giant slides, and other exciting activities won them the 2009 Best of Nova ’Family Friendly Event’ Award by Northern Virginia Magazine.
  • Since it is the month of Halloween, perhaps a Haunted Maze is in order. If you’re up for a spook or two, try Pumpkinville in Leesburg. They have 21-acres of family fun that includes pick-your-own pumpkins, hayrides, animals, a 200′ zip line, magicians, and so much more.
  • Try your hand at trivia as you pick your way through the maze at Doe Run Farm in Ararat. Apple launching is a hit with the teens!
  • Get lost in your own world when you meander through the “Alice in Wonderland” maze at The Farmer’s Daughter in Cedar Bluff.

Visit our Corn Maze Craze and Pumpkin Patches page for more fall family fun!

Fall in Virginia, Travel Ideas | 1 Comment


by Casey | Posted on September 29th, 2010

You might be surprised, but a little bit of Germany resides in Virginia, both in history and in our Oktoberfest celebrations.

Copyright Richmond Oktoberfest, Inc.

All month long you’ll find Oktoberfest events throughout Virginia, but here are a few of them that offer over-the-top tradition and fanfare.

  • The 42nd Annual Richmond Oktoberfest is Virginia’s oldest Oktoberfest celebration. Join in the fun of German traditions, food and beverages at The Showplace, October 22-23, 2010.
  • Take a stroll through an authentic German farm at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, October 2, 2010. It’s all about music, food and fun in a family friendly environment.
  • Also October 2 is the 3rd Annual Vienna Oktoberfest. This is an ever-growing downtown festival that includes two live entertainment stages, free kids’ activity area, a Marketplace, and of course all the German foods and beverages you’d expect to find.
  • Every Friday and Saturday in October you can pull up a chair for a German feast at Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke. This spread has all the fixin’s – even the roasted pig! The “Oompah” band will have you toe-tapping, if not all out dancing the polka. Too stuffed to drive? You’re more than welcome to stay the night!

For more Oktoberfest celebrations, see our Oktoberfests in Virginia article on Need assistance in planning your weekend away? Call 1-800-Visit-VA or consult our online Virginia is for Lovers® Travel Guide.

Events, Fall in Virginia, Travel Ideas | 2 Comments

VMFA Presents Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris

by Casey | Posted on September 28th, 2010

One hundred seventy-six of Pablo Picasso’s personal pieces are on international tour. The only East Coast venue to host this substantial exhibit is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.

Portrait of Dora Maar, 1937, Pablo Picasso

Portrait of Dora Maar, 1937 Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973), oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 25 9/16 in. (92 x 65 cm). Musée National Picasso, Paris Copyright 2010 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, NY

The Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris exhibition is noted as the most important exhibition in VMFA history, and you can see it beginning February 19, 2011 through May 15, 2011, seven days a week. Mark your calendar for the Grand Preview Gala on February 16.

The artwork on display is from Picasso’s personal collection and contains key pieces representative of each artistic period of his eight decade career. Most notably, you’ll see Dora Maar (1937; pictured at right), Reading (1932), and his influential Cubism work, Le Sacré-Coeur (1909-1910).

This may be the one and only time these pieces are ever on tour, so secure a travel package with tickets included or purchase your tickets online to be a part of this monumental occasion.

Tickets: $20/adult; children 6 and under are free. Special discounts are available for seniors 65 and older, students with an ID, groups of 10 or more, and children ages 7 to 17.

For further assistance in planning your Virginia vacation, visit or call 1-800-Visit-VA.

Special thanks to Altria Group, presenting sponsor for Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso, Paris.

Events, Travel Ideas | 7 Comments

Fall Cycling Adventures

by Casey | Posted on September 22nd, 2010

Whether you’re the casual rider or the adrenaline junkie cyclist, Virginia has awesome bicycling opportunities.

Cyclists Along the Blue Ridge Parkway

For you junkies:

  • Mountain bikers thrive on the 1,000′+ vertical climb from Sherando Lake toward Bald Mountain Overlook.
  • Advanced riders can take to the four trails of Massanutten Resort to pair scenic beauty with a relaxing resort weekend.
  • If you’ve never heard of Mount Rogers, you’re missing out on 5,729′ of bliss and 400+ miles of trails! The Damascus area is sure to have some of Virginia’s best foliage this year.
  • Cyclists who happen to be movie buffs will love the 20 miles of trails at Mountain Lake Hotel – home of Dirty Dancing. Make it as hard or easy as you like with GPS-traced topo maps.

Virginia Creeper Trail

For the casual, paved road cyclists:

  • How can you say no to the Blue Ridge Parkway? Perfect views, stunning foliage, and a slow speed limit to keep you from being plowed over. 2010 is also the 75th Anniversary of the Parkway, so what better time to go for a spin?
  • How many days does it take to peddle 128 miles? Find out when you start at “God’s Thumbprint” of Burke’s Garden and wheel your way to Guest River Gorge on The Heart of Appalachia Bike Route and Scenic Drive.
  • The famed Virginia Creeper Trail winds 35 miles along gorges and mountain streams. Photo ops abound!
  • Try a portion of the Virginia Capital Trail, a trail connecting Virginia’s first capital to its current capital (Williamsburg to Richmond). Currently open are .5-mile to 7.5-mile stretches. Click through this link for more information.

What’s holding you back? Check the tires, grab a water bottle and helmet, and get going!

For more assistance in planning your Virginia getaway, call 1-800-Visit-VA, visit, or request a free Virginia is for Lovers® Travel Guide.

Fall in Virginia, Travel Ideas | 1 Comment

When in Williamsburg …

by Casey | Posted on September 20th, 2010

Fall in Williamsburg is simply charming. The scene is spectacular with brilliant foliage and there’s a hint of colonial home cookin’ in the air. Passersby bid you well with a nod of their head and a sparkle in their eye. Somehow, Colonial Williamsburg feels like home.

The stocks at Colonial WilliamsburgSettle in for the weekend at the Governor’s Inn, Williamsburg Woodland Hotel & Suites, Williamsburg Lodge, Colonial Houses, or The Williamsburg Inn – all within the Colonial area and reflecting its style. If you have two nights to spend, check out the Autumn Stories package that includes lodging, breakfast, Tavern Ghost Walk tickets, and a $100 activities card. It’s available through November 24, 2010, beginning at $449 per couple.

18th Century dining is a must. Choose from Christiana Campbell’s Tavern (George Washington’s favorite), Chowning’s Tavern, King’s Arms Tavern, or Shields Tavern. Children will love the tricorn hat-inspired ham and cheese at King’s Arms, while you enjoy fresh, seasonal dishes (including seafood) at any of the taverns. Be sure to check reservation requirements before sauntering in.

One thing becomes evident as you begin to plan your Colonial Williamsburg weekend – there’s something for every member of the family. The ladies will love The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg with its five centuries’ healing methods, while the gentlemen may enjoy a round of golf at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club. In fact, the Fall Military Invitational is November 13 and 14, and active duty, retired, or reserve military, or National Guard members are welcome to compete in this 36-hole format.

Jesse Williams of Grey's Anatomy

Teenagers wrote and recorded a special art tour called “Teen Takes: A New Angle on Art”. Each piece highlighted on the tour was chosen by the teens based on its “coolness” factor. What better way to encourage art appreciation than by having cool kids talk to your cool kid about cool art?!

How about art and artifacts for adults? It just so happens that Colonial Williamsburg touts two award-winning museums. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum houses British and American decorative arts from 1600 through 1830. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum (the oldest folk art-dedicated museum in the U.S.) is home to whirligigs, toys, embroideries, weather vanes, and more fun pieces.

The art of acting takes center stage in Colonial Williamsburg. The costumed interpreters deserve an Academy Award, in my opinion. To further build the “art of acting” notion, CW has launched a Guest Artist Series. The next one is Saturday, September 25, and features Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams as Lord Dunmore’s abandoned servant in “What Holds the Future?”. Reservations are required for one of the two show times - 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. – and there will be a Q&A session by Jesse and the crew.

Keep an eye out here for more information about Colonial Williamsburg holiday fun, and be sure to request a Virginia is for Lovers® Travel Guide to assist in the planning.

Events, Fall in Virginia, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off