From Atlantic beaches to woodland lakes and freshwater mountain streams, Virginia is awash in aquatic fun for families, providing experiences that connect loved ones together in memories that last a lifetime. The LOVE Aquatic Sweepstakes highlights a sampling of the best of these Virginia experiences.
Adults 21 and over can register to win one of four aquatic adventures based in Norfolk, Smith Mountain Lake, the Tides Inn in Irvington, and Richmond. Drawings will be held March 16, May 11, June 15 and August 10th.
Each of the four prize packages is for a family of four and includes air fare, rental car, overnight lodging, cash card, admission to attractions and a specific aquatic experience with personalized expert instruction.
Reality TV loves Virginia, in case you haven’t noticed. Guy Fieri has shown off and sampled some awesome eats on his Food Network Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes (get the scoop here), and the ball has continued to roll from there.
Carla Hesseltine of Just Cupcakes
In the past year Virginia has cheered on two Food Network Cupcake Wars contestants, one of which finished second in their challenge.
Just Cupcakes is a Virginia Green certified cupcake shop with three locations – two in Virginia Beach and one in Norfolk. Owner Carla Hesseltine and her staff bake several fresh batches of cupcakes each day. With names like “Frankly Scarlett” and “Puckerup Buttercup,” how can you pass up these treats?
Just Cupcakes was included in the Season 3 premiere “Kentucky Derby” episode which aired on June 14, 2011. See Carla’s audition.
Wicked cupcakes from Frostings
Most recently, Frostings in Glen Allen appeared in the Cupcake Wars “Wicked” episode of Season 4. You can see Matt Fraker and Jessica Jones compete during these upcoming encore presentations: January 12 at 11 PM, January 13 at 2 AM, and January 14 at 1 PM. The original air date was January 1, 2012. See Matt and Jessica’s audition.
Stop by Frostings through the end of January to have a taste of their Wicked creations - Dark Chocolate Port Wine, Tiramisu, Hummingbird, and Mexican Hot Chocolate.
If you would, take a step back from Virginia’s sweet treats and admire the rolling countryside.
Now in its 5th season, Ax Men, a series you’ll find on the History Channel, is branching out. Previously focused on big timber logging in Alaska and swamp logging in Louisiana, Ax Men is bringing in a new type of logger. The season premiere aired Sunday, January 8, bringing regular viewers up to speed with the loggers they’ve been following for several seasons. However, on March 4th you can expect to be introduced to the Rutledge men of H. H. Horse Logging Healing Harvest Forest Foundation in Floyd, Virginia. Tune in at 9 p.m. EST!
H. H. Horse Logging
If you’d care to actually meet the men, walk the woods, and maybe be introduced to the horses, give 24 hours’ advance notice and kindly bring a tax-deductible donation for Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit founded by Jason Rutledge.
Until your visit, we pose a question for you to ponder. Does your work provide you with a “dignity dividend?” Hear how H. H. Horse Logging’s Biological Woodsman Chad Miano defines it in this video clip from Restoring the Americas.
From chopping down trees to hiding behind them, take a glimpse of the illegal art of making moonshine. Keep in mind, this is not an endorsement for moonshining, but another view of how Virginia is capturing reality TV. Dive in …
Discovery premiered a brand new series December 6, 2011 that just concluded January 4, 2012. Perhaps you saw Moonshiners?
The show follows a third generation Pittsylvania County, Virginia moonshiner (Tim) and his apprentice (Tickle) as they fire up the still to produce and sell white lightning (shine, hooch, corn liquor, rot gut, creek water, squeezin’s, mountain dew, etc.). Also included is a Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agent (Jesse), who is out for a big take-down. For Tim and other ‘shiners, money is the prize, but is it worth the heat of being chased?
See an encore presentation of the season finale of Moonshiners on January 16 at 10 PM or January 17 at 12 AM.
Should you care to see the production of legal Virginia liquor and perhaps purchase a bottle, visit one of Virginia’s distilleries. Tim paid a visit to Stillhouse Distillery in Culpeper to learn what it takes to legally produce moonshine. Tours are available during normal business hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM, April 1 through December 24.
If the blahs of winter have gotten you down, fear not. A good dinner out will always raise your spirits!
Virginia is chock full of great dining and five areas are polishing their silver and perfecting their pairings for their annual restaurant week events. Which one do you plan to partake of?
January 9-15: The Northern Virginia / DC Restaurant Week is an occasion of fine dining that stretches across the cities of Alexandria, Arlington, Clifton, Fairfax, Falls Church, McLean, Reston, and Vienna. Choose a prix fixe three-course lunch or five-course dinner at one of the 52 participating Virginia restaurants. Lunch is $20.12 per person and dinner is $35.12 per person.
January 13-22: Alexandria Restaurant Week boasts 56 participating restaurants and $35 can buy you either a single three-course dinner OR a dinner for two at a range of atmospheres. Choose from formal dining to comfortably casual.
January 15-22: Virginia Beach Restaurant Week is in its 7th year and now has 70 restaurants on board! Go out for a three-course lunch for $11.12 or do dinner at your choice of two price rates – either $20.12 or $27.12.
January 22-29: Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week has 22 restaurants offering three-course dinners for either $20 or $30, depending on your choices. Eight of those participants also have a $10 two-course lunch menu exclusive to this week.
For all of these restaurant week events, reservations are strongly recommended. Click the links above to begin the online reservation process or locate phone numbers. We hope you find tastebud LOVE at the end of your fork this January in Virginia!
Many families take advantage of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday by getting away for the weekend. If you’re interested in such a runaway vacay, or perhaps just a day of fun to beat the January doldrums, here are a few ideas.
Wintergreen Resort has packed the weekend of January 13-16 to include Demo Days by Freestyle, the Wintergreen Rail Jam, a DJ keeping the fun going all weekend long, and more.
Wish to get unplugged and maybe even snowed in? Shadow Mountain Escape in Luray is offering a fourth night free when you stay three nights in one of their timberframe cabins. This is an ideal escape for couples, tucked in the mountains near Shenandoah National Park.
Skiiers will love this special discount near The Homestead. Stay at Meadow Villas at Warm Springs for two nights and get your third night at a 50% discount. The Homestead slopes are just five miles down the road.
Just a Day Away
Saturday, January 14 is Snow Days Festival at the Children’s Museum of Richmond. The 3rd Annual Snow Queen will be crowned and kids will have a chance to talk with her and then enjoy some winter activities.
Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol is the site of Winterfest, an event that includes sled dogs! See working dogs demonstrate their skills, enjoy some clogging, and stay for the spaghetti dinner. Winterfest is January 14.
The Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth is celebrating African American heritage on the 14th. Join in the festivities with drumming, stories, crafts, and more.