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    Check out this awesome #aerial of the CSX A-Line #Train #Bridge (circa 1919) you've probably seen when driving on the Powhite Parkway crossing #JamesRiver! Props to @vintage_rva for the incredible capture. Tag your #VA photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here! #trainbridge #drone #flyinghigh #rva
    Sip away the end of #summer at North Gate #Vineyard in Pucellville before the crush begins! They have live music every Friday evening (TGIF: Thank Grape It's Friday), making it an ideal time to stop by for a taste. Next month is #Virginia #Wine Month, when a lot of vineyards across the state will be harvesting their #grapes. Photo props to @emkittie! #VAwine #howisummer #winetime Tag your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to get featured here.
    Here's a beautiful shot of @castlehillcider in Keswick posted by @merchcolony_cville. This is currently the only #cidery in the world to be fermenting and aging in buried terra cotta amphorae called kvevri. Plan a trip to try some of the world's finest right here in #Virginia. #loveva #vacider #drinklocal #cville #vatravel #castlehillcider #vaweddings
    A #bushel of #bluecrabs for the pot! @aklshnkovj and her #Virginia self-caught #seatotable meal courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay. ūüĎć #loveva #seafood #crabs #vafood #eatlocal #vacrabs
  • Archive for January, 2011

    Making Memories on Valentine’s Day

    by Casey | Posted on January 28th, 2011

    Don’t let the day of hearts sneak up on you. Plan your romantic jaunt today!

    Woo-to-the-max with the Aphrodite package at Holladay House Bed and Breakfast¬†in Orange. It’s a two-night reprieve in a luxury suite. Ask for one with a fireplace or double-sized whirlpool tub! One-hour in-room massages and a bottle of Virginia wine loosen you up for a relaxing weekend. In addition to a dining certificate, enjoy either a fruit and cheese tray or a freshly baked dark chocolate lava cake. This divine weekend is $789.

    Wedmore Place

    The palatial Wedmore Place in Williamsburg invites you to a luxurious Valentine’s getaway. Snuggle up for two nights in a king sized bed. The¬†in-room wood-burning fireplace is the perfect spot to sip wine and enjoy luscious chocolate-covered strawberries. Whenever you’re inclined to leave your room, there’s a reserve tour, vineyard tour¬†and wine tasting next door at the Williamsburg Winery. The weekend will be complete with a three-course dinner paired with Williamsburg Winery wines¬†at Cafe Provencal. $715. Add on a couples’ massage¬†for $225.

    On the Pagan River in Smithfield is Smithfield Station. It’s a romantic waterside setting where you’ll be greeted with fresh-cut flowers in your room, chocolate-covered strawberries, and a special dinner for two. Stay just one night February 10th through the 14th for $295.

    Cooper’s Landing Inn in Clarksville is offering their “Best Bed & Breakfast Package of the Year” for Valentine’s Day. Stay one night – February 14th – and enjoy a Traveler’s Tavern dinner, in-room champagne, silk rose petals, and breakfast in bed. You could enjoy this for $199 in a deluxe room, but since it’s Valentine’s Day, why not spring for the jacuzzi room for $250?

    Sick of the Valentine’s mush? Check out the “Stupid Cupid” package at Lansdowne Resort¬†in Loudoun County. With double accommodations, a bottle of wine and¬†two drinks in Stonewalls Tavern, this sounds like a great girlfriends weekend! $209/night

    There are many more Valentine’s packages (and girlfriend’s¬†escape packages!)¬†to choose from. See the complete list at Virginia.org.



    Travel Ideas | 2 Comments

    Follow Your Heart to the Finer Things in Life

    by Casey | Posted on January 26th, 2011

    We have launched the Follow Your Heart to Virginia Sweepstakes and a winner will be drawn for the first prize package in just three short weeks!

    Prize #1: Follow Your Heart to the Finer Things in Life
    Drawing Date: February 18, 2011

    One lucky winner will visit Northern Virginia in scenic Rappahannock County, located close to Shenandoah National Park in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia’s Piedmont region.

    House on Water StreetTwo private nights at the House on Water Street, a restored early 1900‚Äôs farmhouse in the quaint village of Sperryville, gateway to Shenandoah National Park, will prove to be a relaxing reprieve. Visit Shenandoah National Park, celebrating its 75th Anniversary throughout 2011, where nature can be explored¬†up close and personal with¬†a private and professional guide from Shenandoah Mountain Guides. A driver from Chauffeur & Transportation will escort our winner to three of Rappahannock County‚Äôs artisanal, family-owned wineries:¬†Chester Gap Winery, Narmada Winery and Gadino Cellars. Gift certificates for lunch or dinner at two “local favorites”¬†– Griffin Tavern & Restaurant of Flint Hill and Thornton River Grille in Sperryville — round out¬†the getaway in scenic Rappahannock County.

    Oatlands PlantationOur winner will then venture to¬†nearby Loudoun County, located just a few miles from Washington, DC, and bordered on the north by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Potomac River. For three nights, The Goodstone Inn & Estate in Middleburg will be the winner’s relaxation headquarters. Highlights of this jaunt include Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg¬†–¬†a Greek revival¬†built in 1803 and¬†formal gardens that are¬†among the finest examples of early Virginia landscape designs on the East Coast. Visits to three wineries will have our winner traversing¬†the picturesque countryside to towns such as Middleburg, Waterford, Lovettsville and Leesburg. Gems at the end?¬†Boxwood Winery, Hiddencroft Vineyards and Tarara Winery & Vineyard — all part of Loudoun: DC’s Wine Country. The trip is incomplete without sampling the local cuisine at The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville and Magnolia‚Äôs at the Mill Restaurant in Purcellville.

    See more prize details.

    Is this the package your heart desires? If so, enter now, and be sure to share the love with your family and friends!

    You must be a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who is 21 years of age or older to enter. All sweepstakes entrants will receive the official 2011 Virginia Travel Guide. For more information and prize drawing dates please read the Official Rules and Prize Details. Sweepstakes ends August 25, 2011.



    Sweepstakes, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 2 Comments

    New Year, New Ideas

    by Casey | Posted on January 12th, 2011

    This year, look just outside the box of your normal vacation. I know, the tried-and-true vacation is hard to break away from, but give it a whirl. Here are some ideas …

    Snowflex Center

    Snowflex Center

    Snow Sports Without Snow?
    If you’re sad to see the snow melt away at¬†Virginia’s Mountain Resorts in the spring, fear not. Lynchburg has your snow sports fix at the¬†Snowflex Center! It’s the only synthetic ski slope in the United States. Enjoy your favorite snow related sport year ’round, day or night, at Snowflex.

    Pitch a Bay-Side Tent
    Instead of the usual mountain route, try camping by the beach at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. Enjoy your own space, like usual, but splash around in the Chesapeake Bay instead of a pool. Smell the salt in the air in addition to the  customary scent of pine.  Amenities include cabins, hook-ups with or without electric and water, 20 miles of trails, boat launch, swimming, and nature and history programs, not to mention the Cape Henry Lighthouses are very close by.

    Take a Class.

    • Cooper’s Landing Inn in Clarksville offers cooking classes. Learn a new dish or two and then enjoy it for dinner. It’s a great mother-daughter (husband-wife, whatever-whatever …) vacation add-on. Plus, Cooper’s Landing is a B&B, so if you want to stay the night, that’s fine, too.
    • The Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd has artisans on-hand to bring out your creative side. Learn to paint, sculpt, create stained glass masterpieces, blacksmith, bead jewelry, and more!

    Rest assured that whatever you love in a vacation, you’ll find it in Virginia. Want to know more? Visit us at Virginia.org or feel free to leave a comment and we’ll help you with more ideas.



    Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    A Week (or More) of Culinary Indulgence

    by Casey | Posted on January 7th, 2011

    Take advantage of great dining deals at restaurants across Virginia during various Restaurant Week events!

    Dining in NorfolkVirginia Beach has an extensive list (more than 60) of participating restaurants for their 6th Annual Restaurant Week, happening January 9-16. Grab a great lunch for $11.11 and three-course prix-fixe dinners for $20.11.

    Northern Virginia restaurants are included in the Washington, DC Restaurant Week happening January 17-23.  Choose from participants in Alexandria, Arlington, Clifton, Fairfax, Falls Church, McLean, Reston, and Vienna! Three-course lunches are $20.11, and three-course dinners are $35.11.

    Alexandria also has their own Restaurant Week, January 21-30, where 60 restaurants are offering three-course dinners for $35 (and an option for a dinner-for-two for $35).

    Norfolk’s¬†Restaurant Week¬†is January 23-30 with¬†three-course dinners¬†available for either $20 or $30 at nearly 25 dining establishments.

    Charlottesville is geared up for Restaurant Week, January 24-30. Dinners are three courses for $26.

    Restaurant Week in Williamsburg has been so successful that it has stretched into Williamsburg Restaurant Month! Through the 31st, two-course lunches are $10.11 and three-course dinners are either $20.11 or $30.11.

    For more dining options in Virginia, see the complete list or filter by your taste buds at Virginia.org.



    Deals & Discounts, Events | 4 Comments

    7 for ’11: Ways to Maximize Your Vacation Dollars

    by Casey | Posted on January 5th, 2011

    ÔĽŅ

    Here are a few tips to help you stretch those coveted bucks a little farther as you plan your 2011 Virginia vacation.

    By the Side of the Road B&B, Harrisonburg

    By the Side of the Road B&B, Harrisonburg

    1. Shop smart. Check out the latest discounts and promotions offered by Virginia is for Lovers partners through Virginia.org. Oftentimes the deals found on Virginia.org are only found on Virginia.org.

    2. Plan ahead. Advance bookings (and I do mean “paid in advance” bookings) yield huge savings.¬†One example you’ll find through Virginia.org is the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton.

    3. Stay longer. Yep, that’s right. When you extend your stay many accommodations will offer you a cheaper nightly rate. If you’re looking for something soon, this one’s about to end (1/10/11): By the Side of the Road B&B in Harrisonburg is offering 33% off a second night when you book online. Stay two nights at the regular rate and save 66% on your third night! Find more options here.

    4. Think outside your accommodation. Seek out ticket and dining savings in addition to your room night(s). A visit to the Historic Triangle is incomplete without visiting Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. When you buy three Annual Passes you can get the fourth free Рa good savings for a family of four or more (plus kids under six are free!). Find more ticket savings here and dining savings here.

    Shadow Mountain Escape, Luray

    Shadow Mountain Escape, Luray

    5. Consider your fuel costs. Believe it or not, many accommodations are still using gas cards to attract visitors (it’s not as 2009 as you think it is). This deal from Shadow Mountain Escape in Luray includes a $25 gas card.

    6. Leverage your status. Are you a senior citizen? Did you serve¬†or are you actively serving in the¬†military?¬†What memberships do you hold? All of these should be considered when making travel arrangements. While you typically can’t combine all of those, each one should get you at least a 10% savings.

    7. Travel mid-week. If you’re looking for a good deal at a B&B or cabin, try booking your visit in the middle of the week. Not only do your odds of availability skyrocket, but the rates plummet. One example is the fine Mark Addy Inn¬†, a quick drive to/from Charlottesville, where you’ll realize up to a 40% savings! No need to pay extra for your breakfast, in-room flowers or chocolates – those are automatic amenities you can expect from this fine property. Browse for more deals like this here.

    Need more assistance in planning your Virginia vacation? Browse Virginia.org or request a copy of the 2011 Virginia is for Lovers travel guide.



    Deals & Discounts, Travel Ideas | 1 Comment