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    Behind-the-scenes on today's photo shoot in #VirginiaBeach with photographer @meatkinson. We're #paddleboarding in front of the Cape Henry Lighthouse with Tula Adventure Sports. @tulasports #loveva #photoshoot #behindthescenes #photooftheday @visitvabeach
    Today's the day of the annual Pony Swim made famous by Marguerite Henry's "Misty of Chincoteague." Every year thousands of spectators gather from around the world to watch the #saltwatercowboys heard the wild ponies from #Assateague to #Chincoteague Island. This event is totally #bucketlist worthy! Photo props go to @cohennic. Tag your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #repost #virginia #vatravel #wildponies #beach #photooftheday #cowboys #chincoteagueponyswim
    Do you recognize one of the oldest tourist destinations in the US? This beauty has been included on several "Seven Natural Wonders of the World" lists, was surveyed by George Washington in 1750 and was once owned by Thomas Jefferson as a personal retreat. While you're visiting don't forget to swing by the legendary Foamhenge, explore the Natural Bridge Caverns and get your photo taken with a baby tiger at the Natural Bridge Zoo. Photo credit: @takeiteasybee #loveva #virginia #vaoutdoors #naturalwonder #naturalbridge #howisummer #vatravel #virginiaisforlovers #photooftheday #fatherson
    #HappyBirthday to #NASA, launched 51 years ago in 1958. This is an awesome shot of the Minotaur V launch from #WallopsIsland, #Virginia last September by @_miancab. If you're interested in watching their next #launch, the Antares is scheduled for October of this year (date TBD). You can view from bleachers or the rooftop observation deck at the Wallops Island Flight Facility Visitor Center OR you can watch from Chincoteague or the Assateague Island beach. #rocket #loveva #space #stars #photooftheday #blastoff @nasa
  • Archive for March, 2012

    We’re All Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

    by Casey | Posted on March 14th, 2012

    ShamROCK N' ROLL in Norfolk

    ShamROCK N' ROLL in Norfolk

    Even if your blood lacks an ounce of Irish descent, you must admit that it’s hard to fight the fun of St. Patrick’s Day!

    For the Family

    Roanoke’s Saint Patrick’s Day Celebration and McDonald’s St. Pat’s Parade is one giant festival the whole family will love. Enjoy pipe bands, the Bonniest Knees and Classiest Lass Contests, inflatables, face painting, the Wells Fargo “Buffalo Bill” Stagecoach, Celtic dancers, cloggers, and lots of great music.

    For the Athletes

    Abingdon plays host to the Shamrock 4-Miler - a brand new run with a great ending – a post-race party with BBQ from Bonefire Smokehouse and beer from Wolf Hills Brewery. Go ahead and dress in your favorite green garb … they’ll be judging.

    Down on the Boardwalk of Virginia Beach this weekend’s highlight is the 40th running of the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon. Included is the marathon, half marathon, 8K, and running events for children, too. Post-race parties will include Murphy’s Irish stew and Yuengling, of course!

    For the Partiers

    Block Party? The merry ol’ section of Norfolk known as Ghent brings you Shamrockin’ in Ghent 2012! Party Friday evening with traditional Irish sounds by local bands, food by Belmont House of Smoke, and various beverages. Wear your green and get your party on.

    In Richmond, Shamrock the Block in Shockoe Bottom is the place to be … with 20,000 of your closest friends! It’s a free event, so enjoy the live music, purchase lots o’ food, and choose from plenty o’ frosty beverages. Noon to 6 p.m.

    In Norfolk, the AT&T ShamROCK N’ ROLL event includes bagpipers, Irish fair, and all things green. Held at TowneBank Fountain Park at the waterfront, this weekend looks to be perfect for it.

    For the Tasters

    Nellysford is celebrating at two wineries! Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery invites you for a wine and food pairing. Wear your green and you’ll take home a free logo glass with your purchase. At Wintergreen Winery, the party is on with Irish music, dancing, mayhap a leprechaun, and of course – wine.

    A buffet of Irish-inspired delights will be available for your grazing pleasure at the Natural Bridge Hotel, as will Virginia micro-brews and Irish beers. Take a walk beneath the natural wonder of the Bridge itself before the festivities kick off at 3:30 p.m. Or, stay the night for $139/couple.

    In Berryville, Veramar Vineyard is breaking out the mischief AND the Blarney Stone. It’s rumored that a leprechaun may be lurking in their parts, too. Expect music, fun, wine, and yummy potato soup.

    Irish dancers kick their toes to traditional music while you sip the fine wines of Potomac Point Winery in Stafford. An Irish menu will be offered all weekend long.

    A special Irish food and wine pairing awaits you at Fox Meadow Winery in Linden. It’s called Pot of Gold Tasting and includes an elite array of gold medal-winning wines.

     

    Find more St. Patrick’s Day events and family fun on the Virginia.org Events Calendar.



    Events, Food and Wine | Comments Off

    Summer Beach Homes Along the Chesapeake Bay

    by Casey | Posted on March 9th, 2012

    So far this month we’ve highlighted  Eastern Shore summer beach homes and Virginia Beach summer beach homes as a nudge for you to not wait much longer to book your beach vacation. These homes fill quickly!

    View from Chesapeake Bay Beach House

    View from Chesapeake Bay Beach House

    Today let’s look at the summer beach homes along the Chesapeake Bay. Virginia offers 7,213 miles of tidal bay shoreline, albeit a couple hundred of those miles include the western side of the Eastern Shore, as well as Tangier Island.

    The Chesapeake Bay region is known for small towns full of authentic Americana offering a nostalgic vibe that takes away everyday stresses.

    How does a private 200′ beach sound? If that’s not enough, the Chesapeake Bay Beach House in Reedville offers great Bay views (the home overlooks the widest portion of the bay – 30 miles), five bedrooms, two double sea kayaks, and plenty of outdoor space to enjoy the view and breeze. Sleeps 14. Available June 18-22, July 7-13, and August 18-September 7.
    Weekly Rate: $4,000-$5,500
    Book Now

    Cozy Cabin is indeed that. It rests on the shores of the York River at Gloucester Point. The York River is a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay and still boasts an expanse of water and a sandy beach. Popular activities aren’t too far away. Your family of four could enjoy Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, Colonial Williamsburg, or Historic Jamestowne quite easily. Available the weekends of June 16-17, June 22-25, July 7-9, the week of July 14-22, and from August 5 into September is currently available, too.
    Weekly Rate:  $750
    Book Now

    In Colonial Beach, overlooking Monroe Bay, sits Marina Sunset, a two-bedroom unit that sits atop a bay front cottage. The two bedrooms will sleep up to six, and you’ll surely love the pace of the golf cart town. Available all summer!
    Weekly Rate:  $895
    Book Now

    Discover more beach homes available to you and your family along the Chesapeake Bay.

    *Rates and availability accurate at the time of publication. Inquire through the links for updated information.

    Do you own a fully-furnished vacation rental property? Register for a free account to market your home with us. We do not promote home sales, long-term rentals, or real estate companies.



    Beaches, Family | Comments Off

    Battle of the Ironclads 150th Anniversary

    by Casey | Posted on March 7th, 2012

    150th Anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads logo

    Naval warfare forever changed when the USS Monitor met the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimack) in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862. It was the first meeting of two iron ships and ended in a draw, but more importantly, the event resonated worldwide and affected how nations waged war at sea.

    March 9-11 is the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads weekend. History buffs will no doubt want to be immersed in the events that lie ahead, and it’ll be great fun for families, too!

    March 10 and 11 at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News

    • Ironclad BattleQuest - “Union and Confederate ‘spies’ will abound as families explore the encampment, uncover secrets about the USS Monitor AND CSS Virginia, hold audience with Abraham Lincoln, and experience Civil War food before reporting back to their ‘commanding officer.’”
    • Encampment - Union and Confederate units * Sutlers * Period cooking (Saturday only)
    • Re-Enactment Demonstrations - Infantry and bayonet drills * School of the Sailor * Artillery and Calvary demonstrations
    • Indoors - Period crafts and activities * Costumed interpreters * Monitor Center Conservation Tours
    • Interactive Vignettes and Scheduled ProgramsCivil War Through Music * Uncommon Soldiers: Civil War Soldiers in Disguise * Sailor vs. Soldier Life * A Conversation with Mr. Lincoln * Civil War Oddities (Saturday only) * A Slave’s Perspective of the War (Sunday only)
    • Civil War 150 HistoryMobile - Battlefront, Homefront, Journey to Freedom, and Loss-Gain-Legacy – these are the four presentations of the HistoryMobile. See the Civil War from different viewpoints and from the eyes of those who were involved.

    March 10 at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport NewsBattle of the Ironclad Chefs

    • 2nd Annual Battle of the Ironclad Chefs - It’s a cook-ff between a plantation cook and a Union cook on the deck of the USS Monitor! See them cook as they discuss their menu choices, ingredients, and cooking styles. At 6:30 p.m. the food will be judged to determine which chef will be crowned the 2012 Ironclad Chef. Don’t worry, you’ll get to sample!

    All front lawn activities are free and open to the public. Ironclad BattleQuest, indoor activities, special presentations, and Battle of the Ironclad Chefs require Museum admission.

    Adults: $12.00
    AAA, Military, Seniors (65+): $11.00
    Students 13 and up: $10.00
    Children Ages 6 to 12: $7.00
    Ages 5 and Under: Free

    In addition to the special 150th Anniversary events, any trip to the Mariners Museum and The USS Monitor Center yields amazing up-close-and-personal experiences.

    • Visit the Conservation Facility and get a front-row seat to see conservation of the USS Monitor in progress.*
    • Walk down a mock deck to enter the CSS Virginia as she’s being built for battle.
    • Build your own ironclad.
    • Experience the battle yourself when you go into the Battle Theater.
    • Walk on the deck of a full-scale ironclad reproduction.
    • Go below deck to see the sailor’s quarters.
    • Raise the turret with the NOAA and Navy crews in the Recovery Theater.

    *The USS Monitor rests in the Atlantic Ocean off the Outer Banks of North Carolina in a protected sanctuary area, however, her screw propeller, anchor, and hundreds of other artifacts have been retrieved. The revolving gun turret, steam engine, and Dahlgren guns and carriage are visible from a viewing platform.

    Learn more about the Civil War in Virginia.



    Civil War, Destinations, History | Comments Off

    Explore Central Virginia with a Presidents Passport

    by Casey | Posted on March 5th, 2012

    Presidents PassportLong hailed the “Mother of Presidents,” Virginia boasts three United States presidents who called the greater Charlottesville area home.

    Capitalize on the proximity of three presidential estates – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, and James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland – and save money while doing it.

    More than 50 exclusive offers are yours for the taking when you activate your Presidents Passport. Each offer was specifically chosen to ensure an authentic experience highlighting the best of the area. Expect to find savings from 10 to 30% off, as well as “buy one, get one” deals, and freebies with purchases. Below are a sample of the partners offering savings.

    Accommodations

    Wineries, Breweries, Dining & Shopping

    If you want some insider info on navigating the area or taking advantage of other sites along the way, consider visiting the downtown Charlottesville visitor center. Those folks will be happy to give you a few tips!

    Activate your Presidents Passport to begin saving and you’ll put LOVE and history at the heart of your Virginia vacation. Take the plan a step further and create a custom itinerary for yourself or to share with friends and family. Save the to-see’s and to-do’s for your passport and then map it all out. This is a new feature on Virginia.org and we’d love to hear what you think as you plan your Presidents Passport trip. Leave us a comment to let us know!



    Deals & Discounts, Destinations, Family, History, Travel Ideas | Comments Off

    March is for Food Lovers

    by Casey | Posted on March 2nd, 2012

    In addition to March being Virginia Wine & Dine Month, it is also loaded with restaurant weeks!

    Clementine in HarrisonburgResidents and visitors to the Shenandoah Valley have two weeks with special dining deals appeal.

    Beginning this Sunday, March 4 and running through Saturday, March 10, is Taste of Downtown in Harrisonburg. Make your way along “Restaurant Row” for special savings on coffee, ice cream, lunches, and dinners. Lunches range from $5.99 to $10 and dinners range from $10 to $39.
    > Harrisonburg Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    Later in the month, Staunton restaurants are rolling out their best dining deals for Staunton Restaurant Week. Make plans to dine around between March 19 and 25 to take advantage of three-course prix fixe menus priced from $26 to $31 per meal. Presently there are eight participating restaurants.
    > Staunton Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    Park Lane Tavern in HamptonIf you’re headed toward the coast, be sure to spend a little time in Hampton. March 4 through 10 is the Downtown Hampton and Coliseum Central Restaurant Week featuring two-course lunches for $10 and three-course dinners for either $20 or $30. Choose from 14 dining establishments.
    > Hampton Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    On the heels of great dining in Hampton, Suffolk Restaurant Week: A Culinary Showcase rolls out March 17 through 24. You’re invited to “Indulge Yourself” when you visit Suffolk. Three-course lunches are available for $10 or $15, while three-course dinners will run $20 or $30. You choose your meal and your price among 10 participating restaurants.
    > Suffolk Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    Enjoy a weekend away and save on great dining when you take advantage of one of these destinations and their special restaurant deals.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation (even the weekend getaway kind).



    Couples, Family, Food and Wine | Comments Off