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    This is the #sunset from the #dock at #Merroir restaurant in Topping, VA last Friday evening. #Tranquility on #Virginia's #ChesapeakeBay. Swing by this weekend and get some #VAoysters in your belly! And tag your VA #oyster photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #photooftheday #latergram #eatlocal
    @rbuck65 recently hiked Bearfence #Mountain off of #SkylineDrive, and this was the reward! This #hike is fairly short with a nice payoff. The trail head is near mile marker 56.4 on the Skyline Drive. #photooftheday #repost #epic #hiking #mountaintop #sunset #blueridgemountains #vaoutdoors Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here!
    Have you hiked Roaring Run Trail in Eagle Rock, #VA? An excellent family #hike, the trail passes rock walls, cascading water, five foot bridges and even a natural water slide before ending at Roaring Run Falls. At the head of the trail is Roaring Run Furnace, ruins of a 19th century furnace operation. Roaring Run #Creek is also known for trout fishing. #VAOutdoors #waterfall #loveva #repost #roaringrun #virginia #perspective #photooftheday Kudos to @spezzaroo for the beautiful photo!
    Hot diggity dog! It's National Hot Dog Day, so we thought we'd share this beef brisket, apple jicama slaw, poblano #BBQ #footlong #hotdog from the Continental Westhampton for #lunch. Grab a hot dog at your local joint and celebrate! #loveva #vafoood #nationalhotdogday #rva #craftbeer #vabeer @rvanews
  • Archive for November, 2011

    Williamsburg Aglow for the Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on November 18th, 2011

    Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg

    Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg

    Yesterday I gave you the scoop on Richmond’s amazing lights for the 100 Miles of Lights event that covers multiple cities every year. Today, Williamsburg’s up!

    Kick off the festivities in Colonial Williamsburg on December 4 with the Grand Illumination event. First, it’s free – no ticket or reservation is required – and second, there are THREE fireworks displays and multiple stages of musical performances. The show starts at 5:15 p.m. Arrive early for good parking.

    If you care to stay the night, there are enticing travel packages to be had, and they cover more than what you might think.

    Christmas Town at Busch Gardens is entering its second year. If you’re imagining just a few lights to decorate BG, think again. There are now FIVE MILLION lights (up from a mere two million last year), a 50′ Christmas tree with animated lights, and I hear the park even smells like Christmas with the scent of warm sugar cookies and pine wafting in the wind.

    If you “do” Christmas Town, know these things in advance:

    Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

    Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

    1. You must buy the peppermint fudge hot chocolate. It’s mandatory and you won’t be sorry. (Really it’s not mandatory, but let’s pretend it is.)
    2.  There are real penguins. You will fall in love, no questions asked.
    3.  Santa is there, and he’s a good Santa, too. Not a mall Santa at all. And he’s building toys.
    4. Elmo and the Sesame Street Forest of Fun gang are in on the Christmas action, too.
    5. The shows are heartwarming, traditional, and just what you expect at Christmas time.
    6. While not all of the rides are available in the winter, plenty are, and the one you mustn’t miss is Flight of Lights.
    7. The dining menus change to reflect a traditional Christmas meal.
    8. Christmas Town is not open daily. The schedule:
    - Begins November 25
    - Friday and Saturday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 3 to 9 p.m.
    - Daily from December 16 through 31, 3 to 10 p.m. Exceptions: Close at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
    9. Christmas Town is an affordable gift (and will no doubt be very much appreciated). A single evening ticket is $24.99. If you can and want to go three consecutive nights, I suggest the Discovery Ticket for $32.99.

    Back to those travel packages …

     A Williamsburg Christmas Experience * Three days of unlimited admission to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens * Choose your own accommodation * from $119.99/person for two nights

    Christmas in Williamsburg from Country Inn & Suites * Two tickets to Busch Gardens for one day * $20 restaurant gift certificate valid at over 60 area restaurants * Christmas gift * breakfast * from $139/night

    Decked Out with All the Trimmings * Three-day Discovery Ticket to Busch Gardens * Two Busch Gardens Parking Vouchers * Dining certificate for a traditional meal and hot chocolate served in a souvenir mug * Choose your own accommodation * rates dependent upon number of guests and lodging choice 

    Hungry for more 100 Miles of Lights info? Go to Virginia.org/100MilesofLights/.



    Couples, Family, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Winter | Comments Off

    Millions of Lights Across 100 Miles

    by Casey | Posted on November 17th, 2011

    What a sight Christmas lights must be from the air. Especially when the effort is coordinated among cities to create something as wonderful as Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights.

    100 Miles of Lights - James Center in Richmond

    In a series of posts, we’ll tell you about each of the cities that comprise the 100 Miles of Lights route. Today’s city is Richmond.

    Richmond’s downtown is outlined in white lights every year from around Thanksgiving through the New Year. Downtown areas like the James Center include lighted, animated deer, snowflakes hanging from the trees, and  one giant tree boasting bright multi-colored bulbs.

    A new way to experience the beauty of Richmond’s lights is the Richmond Trolley. The very first electric trolley line in the country, the company got its start in 1888, but has been absent since 1949. To the delight of locals and tourists alike, the Trolley is back in service and offering special Holiday Lights Tours daily, December 1-23 at 5:30, 7:30, and 9:30 p.m. ($25/person)

    Lewis Ginter GardenFest of LightsVenture about eight miles north of downtown to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and you will not be disappointed. The folks there do it up right with their Dominion GardenFest of Lights display. Expect to see 500,000 lights on sculpted figures, lighting the conservatory, creating tunnels, and so much more. There might even be a little something extra on the grounds that will surprise you.

    The kids will love the fairyland scenes, and the opportunity to make s’mores at a firepit in the Children’s Garden. Don’t forget to go up into the treehouse for a bird’s eye view.

    The grand illumination is November 25 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with a laser light show included. Learn more about special GardenFest events here. ($11/adult; $10/senior; $7/child)

    Those who love a walking tour alongside historic homes won’t pass up the Church Hill Candlelight Walk on December 9. The tour begins at St. John’s Church where Patrick Henry gave his famed, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, and is led by a troupe of bagpipers. Quite a memorable walk it should be!

    For more information about 100 Miles of Lights, see Virginia.org, and stay tuned for the next post in our series.

     



    The Holidays | 1 Comment

    A Winter Family Vacation Giveaway

    by Casey | Posted on November 15th, 2011

    Do you love to ski or snowboard and want to instill that love in your children? Or maybe these are sports you’d like to learn as a family? If so, this winter sweepstakes will make you want to get into motion … SNOWMOTION!

    Enter to Win the Snowmotion Sweepstakes!

    This prize trip includes a three-night, four-day stay at Wintergreen Resort for a family of four in a luxurious, two-bedroom condo.   The family will spend their time at Wintergreen learning the ropes of the slopes with a free ski or snowboard lesson, as well as complimentary rental equipment and lift tickets for the entire stay.  Add in a $200 gift card which can be used for dining at any of Wintergreen’s three restaurants, and it’s the perfect winter getaway.  The trip prize winner will receive round trip airfare for four and a rental car to explore the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and nearby destinations in and around Wintergreen Resort.

    Travel must be completed between January 1 and December 31, 2012. Lodging is subject to availability.  Blackout dates apply for January 13-16, 2012; February 17-20, 2012; and December 24-31, 2012.

    >> ENTER NOW <<
    See Official Rules and Prize Details

     



    Family, Sweepstakes, Winter | Comments Off

    Make it a “Polar Express” Weekend

    by Casey | Posted on November 14th, 2011

    The Polar Express has become a modern-age family tradition, and you can experience it in a number of ways in Virginia.

    Based on the classic Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express is an Academy Award®-winning movie about a boy who anxiously awaits Santa Claus on Christmas Eve. As he finally nods off, a thunderous roar awakens him – The Polar Express – bound for the North Pole.

    Santa Arrives by Rail in Roanoke

    Santa Arrives by Rail in Roanoke

    The Science Museum of Virginia, located in Richmond, will be showingThe Polar Express in the IMAX®DOME from November 25 through December 31. $9
    Nearby Accommodations

    In Clifton Forge, you’re invited to climb aboard a 1932 dining car to enjoy hot cocoa, singing, the reading of The Polar Express, and a ride on the miniature train. PJs and robes encouraged! This exclusive event is offered December 9 at 7 p.m., December 10 at 2, 5 and 7 p.m., and December 11 at 2, 5 and 7 p.m. Reservations required. $10
    Nearby Accommodations

    Each year the Norfolk Botanical Garden welcomes families at 5 and 5:30 for a one-hour treat, a reading of The Polar Express, hot chocolate, cookies, and a tram ride through the Garden of Lights holiday display. Offered Monday through Thursday, November 28 to December 22. $10
    Nearby Accommodations

    Now in his eighth year of traveling the Norfolk & Southern rails, Santa will once again be arriving by train in Roanoke! The big day is December 3 and you’re invited to join in the festivities – snacks, crafts, stories, and more. Reservations are required for this special time with Santa. $8 or $7 if you bring a donation for Feeding America Southwest Virginia.
    - Book the Train Lover’s Package at nearby Hotel Roanoke.

    In Winchester, The Polar Express will be playing at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, and will feature a real conductor to welcome guests at every showing. Available November 28 through December 9. Tickets are $3, or for $5 you’ll also get hot chocolate, cookies, coloring sheets, and a commemorative ticket.
    Nearby Accommodations

    Treat the kids to a real train ride in Virginia aboard Amtrak. With 22 stations, there’s sure to be one near you. In many instances, you can hop a train and take a one-day round trip. I tried it out to see! My example included departing Staunton bound for the station in Clifton Forge. A one-day round trip is offered and takes just a little over an hour each way. A short jaunt like that will surely be a most memorable experience for your family.

    Hopefully this has sparked your imagination on ways to make new memories with your family. Have a fun-filled season in Virginia!

     

    ** Updated from the original post dated November 12, 2010.



    Events, Family, The Holidays | 1 Comment

    Getaway Gifts for the Kids

    by Casey | Posted on November 10th, 2011

    Family at Lansdowne ResortHave you ever taken a vacation during the holiday season?

    Sometimes a vacation is the ultimate gift, especially when it encompasses something for everyone.

    Here are a few ideas for families looking to do something just a little bit different this year.

     

    • Radio Disney comes to Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne November 19th. Be their guest for a full day of Disney awesomeness when you stay! The fun for four includes:
      • Radio Disney personalities and Road Crew
      • “Power Hour” Radio Disney JUMP START
      • Two-hour Radio Disney 15th Birthday Flashback Dance Party
      • Two-hour Muppet Mania PJ Party
      • Deluxe accommodations
      • Radio Disney Family Fun Gift Bag
      • Milk and Cookies for an evening snack
      • Meet Sharkie, Lansdowne Resort’s mascot
      • For mom, spa services are $25 off.
      • Dad can take advantage of reduced golfing rates.
      •  Stay Saturday night only for $199 or go ahead and add Friday or Sunday night for just an extra $99!
      • Book Now

    Santa and Mrs. Claus at The Boar's Head Inn

    • Santa is coming for breakfast at The Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, and your family can stay overnight, too.
      • Choose to stay December 2, 9 or 16 and have breakfast with Santa in the Pavilion the following morning.
      • Included are accommodations for four, breakfast, all resort fees and taxes, and a horse-drawn carriage ride.
      • Have your photo taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus for an additional fee.
      • $291 for two adults and two children.
      • Book Now

     

    Santa at Founders Inn and Spa

    • At Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach, you’re invited to a Santa Slumber Party!
      • Choose to stay December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, or 17 in deluxe accommodations.
      • Have breakfast with Santa the following morning.
      • Enjoy a milk & cookie turndown service at night.
      • Receive a personalized letter from Santa.
      • $179 for a family of four.
      • Book Now

     

    Discover more family fun packages, events, and attractions at Virginia.org.



    Family, The Holidays | Comments Off