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    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
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    Here was yesterday's breathtaking #sunrise yesterday over #JoelSalatin's #farmhouse on #PolyfaceFarm in Swoope, #Virginia. Polyface is a family-owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, organic farm open for tours and visitors. They also supply many local farm-to-table restaurants with #Shenandoah's finest. The outreach done by these loving people is truly moving and admirable. #loveva #goodmorning #photooftheday #vatravel #farmlife
  • Archive for April, 2012

    Art? We have trails for that.

    by Casey | Posted on April 30th, 2012

    If you’re on the hunt for handmade treasures why not throw in a scenic drive and make a weekend of it?¬†Virginia’s artisan trails are immense. Each trail highlights Virginia’s beauty captured in virtually any medium of your choice, as well as right in front of your eyes.

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network is known as ‘Round the Mountain. The network claims 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, vineyards, and more. It’s important to note that The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail intersects and may, in fact, run the same course occasionally as the ‘Round the Mountain trail network, so lend an ear while you treat your eyes.

    To make the ‘Round the Mountain network easier to navigate, the system is broken up into smaller trails.

    From the west and bordering Kentucky and Tennessee is the Wilderness Road Artisan Trail encompassing Lee and Scott Counties. North of that are the Lonesome Pine (Wise County) and  Rivers to Ridges (Dickenson and Buchanan Counties) artisan trails. Creeping west toward the Clinch River and named for it is the Clinch River Artisan Trail of Tazewell and Russell Counties.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson @CameronDavidson.com.

    The Interstate 81 corridor is a busy one. Hop off the rat race and see these trails with much to offer. In Montgomery County (Blacksburg) is the Montgomery County Artisan Trail, but if you venture just west you’ll also encounter the artisans of the Giles Art & Adventure Trail. Moving south along I81 is the New River Artisan Trail in Pulaski, Mountain Crossroads in Bland County and Wytheville, Smyth County Artisan Trail in Saltville, and Countryside Artisan Trail in Abingdon, Damascus, and Bristol. While you’re in Abingdon, check out Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway. In reality, it’s a great place to kick off the whole adventure!

    If you’re already off the beaten path and perhaps traversing the captivating Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find artisans all around you. Beginning in Franklin County around Rocky Mount, you’ll be in the middle of the White Lightning Artisan Trail (yes, THAT kind of white lightning).

    As you move south into the front-porch jam town of Floyd, you’ll also be in the midst of great art on the Floyd County Trail. Harmony Trail¬†goes into Carroll County and the Hillsville area. Southwest is the Woven Mountains and River Bends Trail of Grayson County along the North Carolina border. Back to the east is the last trail of the network – Hidden Treasures¬†- in Stuart and Patrick County.

    As if those trails aren’t enough, the rest of Virginia boasts some art, too. Venture the Discover the Arts Trail in Hampton Roads. It highlights 35 visual arts and 16 performing arts venues around the Historic Triangle.

    In Nelson and Albemarle Counties you’ll find the Monticello Artisan Trail. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop to agriculture and history, the arts along this trail will fulfill a wide array of tastes.

    To ¬†the west and spanning Staunton, August and Waynesboro is The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley. A world-class theatre in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse gives this particular trail a little oomph.

    Lastly, the Western Highlands Artisan Trail includes Alleghany, Bath, Craig, and Highland Counties. From The Homestead to beautiful Humpback Bridge and famous maple syrup, this trail has tremendous scenic value in addition to the handmade arts.

    Visit Virginia.org/ArtisanTrails to download trail brochures and plan your trip. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



    Arts, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Three Days of Music and Sports in Richmond

    by Casey | Posted on April 26th, 2012

    Growing by leaps and bounds as it enters its fourth year, Dominion Riverrock presented by Subaru is now a three-day festival with even more excitement than in years past.

    Dominion Riverrock 2011. Photo by Dena Miller.
    Dominion Riverrock 2011. Photo by Dena Miller.

    With the beautiful skyline of downtown Richmond as the backdrop, athletes, musicians, and even dogs take center stage in a variety of events on Brown’s Island May 18-20. This is the premier outdoor lifestyle event for the East Coast, and spectators have much to see and experience. It’s a smorgasbord of everything there is to love about Virginia’s outdoors¬†brought right into an urban, river front setting.

    New for 2012, Dominion Riverrock will have two stages of live music to highlight more than 20 bands. All concerts are free.

    Friday, May 18

    • Slackline¬†Highline Exhibition, 5 p.m.
    • Ultimate Air Dogs,¬†qualifying, round 1, 5 p.m.
    • Miller Lite Filthy 5K Mud Run, 6 p.m.
    • Native Freestyle Bikes, best trick qualifying, 6-7 p.m.
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, women’s qualifying, 6-7 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: Zati, 6:30-7 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: DJ Phil Dice, 6:30-7 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Native Freestyle Bikes, best trick finals, 7-8 p.m. – 1st place will receive $1,000
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 2, 7 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: Long Arms, 7:15-8:30 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: The Roots Down, 7:15-8:30 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, men’s qualifying, 8-9 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: The Travelin’ McCourys featuring Keller Williams, 9-11 p.m. (Brown’s Island)

    Dominion Riverrock 2011. Images by Tiet Danny, Caroline Leggett, Cory Brodzinski, Scott and Daniel Lin.
    Saturday, May 19

    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 3, 1 p.m.
    • Kayak Boatercross, 1 p.m. – 1st place will receive $450
    • Thule Urban Assault Mountain Bike Race, 1 p.m. – 1st place will receive $400
    • Slackline, qualifying, 1-3 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: The Shack Band, 1-2 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: Everwilde, 1-2 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, men’s quarterfinals, 1:30-3:10 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: The Bush League, 2:30-3:30 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: The Rift, 2:30-3:30 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 4, 3 p.m.
    • Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) Cross, 4 p.m. – 1st place will receive $250
    • FREE CONCERT: The Milkstains, 4-5 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: J3 Project, 4-5 p.m. (Tredegar)
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, women’s quarterfinals, 4-5:40 p.m.
    • Slackline¬†Highline Exhibition, 5 p.m.
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 5, 5 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: The Hot Seats, 5:30-6:3o p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: Grease Trigger, 5:30-6:30 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • James River Scramble 10K Trail Run, 6 p.m. – 1st place will receive $500
    • Native Freestyle Bikes, slopestyle qualifying, 6-7 p.m.
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 6, 7 p.m.
    • Slackline, semifinals, 7-8 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: JJ Grey & Mofro, 7-8:30 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: The Air Circus, 7-8 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, men’s semifinals, 7-8:10 p.m.
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, women’s semifinals, 8:10-9:20 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: Galactic, 9-10:30 p.m.

    Sunday, May 20

    • Slackline¬†Highline Exhibition, 1 p.m.
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 7, 1 p.m.
    • Stand Up Paddleboard¬†(SUP) Enduro, 1 p.m. – 1st place will receive $250
    • Dyno Comp, 1 p.m. – 1st place will receive $500
    • FREE CONCERT: Crucial Elements, 1-2 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: Spaceheaters, 1-2 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Dirt Crit Short Track Mountain Bike Race, 2 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: Beast Wellington, 2:30-3:30 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: Zep Replica, 2:30-3:30 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Kayak Freestyle, 3 p.m. – 1st place will receive $1,000
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, qualifying, round 8, 3 p.m.
    • Blue Ridge Mountain Sports Boulder Bash, men’s and women’s, 3-4:30 p.m. – 1st place will receive $1,500
    • Slackline, finals, 4 p.m.
    • Ultimate Air Dogs, finals, 4 p.m.
    • FREE CONCERT: Farm Vegas, 4-5 p.m. (Brown’s Island)
    • FREE CONCERT: Skydog, 4-5 p.m.¬†(Tredegar)
    • Native Freestyle Bikes, slopestyle finals, 4:30 p.m. – 1st place will receive $1,200
    Richmond Whitewater Rafting
    Richmond Whitewater Rafting

    Dominion Riverrock is free to spectators. Additionally, recreational kayaks will be available for festival-goers who’d like to give one a try on the canal - free! Likewise, SUP, or Stand Up Paddleboard, can be experienced for free¬†on the canal. A Slacklining¬†area¬†(think tightrope balancing at the circus) will be set up at Tredegar for anyone who has an interest in testing their balance. This, too, is free.

    Richmond is the only city that has Class IV whitewater rapids coursing¬†through its limits. Riverside Outfitters invites you to try “Pipeline” – the Class III-IV rapids – on your own whitewater rafting trip. The trips will run every 30 minutes throughout the weekend and will depart¬†from Brown’s Island. Cost is $20 per person.

    The Richmond Region
    Places to Stay
    Places to Eat
    Order your free Virginia is for Lovers Travel Guide. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



    Events, Family, Outdoors | 1 Comment

    Air Shows Delight Young, Young at Heart

    by Casey | Posted on April 24th, 2012

    The loop-de-loop tricks, the buzz of small engines, and the ability to get up close and personal with pilots and their aircraft make for one exciting day of family fun in Virginia.

    WWII vintage planes will attend. Photo by Mike Likavec

    WWII vintage plane at Virginia Regional Festival of Flight. Photo by Mike Likavec.

    This weekend, April 28 & 29, is the Virginia Regional Festival of Flight in Suffolk. It is estimated that hundreds of planes – military, home-built, antique, light sport, ultralights, and powered parachute crafts – will fly-in to the Suffolk Regional Airport for this festival.

    Attendees of the Festival of Flight can expect a flight simulator, skydivers, radio-controlled aircraft demonstrations, and hands-on workshops. Sunday’s feature event will be the Young Eagles flights for children 8 to 17. The flights are free!

    Choreographed flight is nothing new, but have you seen vintage aircraft “dance” their way through a ballet with the Virginia Symphony?

    The Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show will delight all in attendance on Saturday, May 5 in Virginia Beach at the Military Aviation Museum. Experience the Museum before heading out for the show. VIP, general admission, lawn, and special student rates are available.

    The Blue Angels Air Demonstration Squadron

    The Blue Angels Air Demonstration Squadron

    Later in May and also at the Military Aviation Museum, Warbirds Over the Beach WWII Air Show sweeps in with bombers, fighters, and more. Make a weekend of it May 18-20 with a Big Band hangar dance and steak dinner. Dress in your 1940s best!

    Sleek precision is key for the Blue Angels and you’ll have your chance to see them show off at the Blue Angels Air Show over the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, June 1-3, as part of the Patriotic Festival: A Celebration of Our Military. In addition to the military displays and demos, concerts will be performed by country music sensation Miranda Lambert, roots reggae group Steel Pulse, and American Idol 2011 winner Scotty McCreery.

    Any ol’ Sunday you find yourself in Fauquier County, you must go to The Flying Circus Airfield in Bealeton. From 2:30 to 4 from May until the end of October, you’ll see stunts performed by expert pilots in their vintage biplanes. Serious stunts. Like a wingwalker hanging upside down from a plane’s wing. Who in their right mind … ?? It’s a must see!

    Keep an eye to the sky and fulfill your family’s vacation desires in Virginia. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Request your free travel guide at www.virginia.org/TravelGuide/.



    Beaches, Events, Family, Outdoors | 2 Comments

    PHOTOS: Space Shuttle Discovery

    by Casey | Posted on April 20th, 2012

    Space Shuttle Discovery nearly touched noses with Space Shuttle Enterprise as she was escorted by her entourage of astronauts to the forefront of a celebration in her honor on Thursday, April 19, 2012. The space-worn Discovery is now settled in as the crown jewel of the collection at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly.

    Visiting the Museum:
    14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway * Chantilly, VA 20151
    Hours of Operation: 10 AM to 5:30 PM
    Extended Summer Hours (May 25-September 3): 10 AM to 6:30 PM
    Open daily except for December 25
    Admission is free
    Parking is $15; Annual passes available; Free parking after 4 PM
    McDonalds & McCafe are on-site

    Overnight Travel:
    Air and Space Museum Package by Hyatt Place Dulles Aiport South in Chantilly
    Udvar-Hazy Discovery Package by Comfort Inn & Suites Dulles Gateway Hotel in Sterling
    Family Getaway Package by Hampton Inn Dulles Airport South in Chantilly
    Nearby Hotels
    Nearby Dining

    Enterprise awaits Discovery

    Enterprise awaits Discovery. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Discovery flight crew make their way past Enterprise to welcome the new addition.

    Discovery flight crew make their way past Enterprise to welcome the new addition. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    John Glenn arrives at the celebration. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, oldest person to travel in space, and so much more.

    John Glenn arrives at the celebration. Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth, oldest person to travel in space, and so much more. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps

    United States Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Discovery begins her approach to take center stage with Enterprise.

    Discovery begins her approach to take center stage with Enterprise. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Discovery approaches Enterprise

    Discovery approaches Enterprise. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Discovery gets ever closer with her astronaut escort.

    Discovery gets ever closer with her astronaut escort. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Space Shuttles Enterprise and Discovery

    Space Shuttles Enterprise and Discovery. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Nose to nose, Enterprise and Discovery meet for the first time.

    Nose to nose, Enterprise and Discovery meet for the first and last time. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Discovery's flight crew

    Discovery's flight crew. Photo by Casey Higgins.

     

    John Glenn took the stage to address the Welcome Discovery Celebration

    John Glenn address the attendees of the Welcome Discovery Celebration. Photo by Casey Higgins.

     

    John Glenn departs from Discovery

    John Glenn departs from Discovery. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Eileen Collins takes a moment to sign an autograph. Collins was the first female to pilot a shuttle, and it happened to be Discovery.

    Eileen Collins takes a moment to sign an autograph. Collins was the first female to pilot a shuttle, and it happened to be Discovery. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Enterprise and Discovery nose to nose

    Enterprise and Discovery nose to nose. Photo by Dave Neudeck.



    Events, Favorite Shots, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Porter Airlines Lands in Dulles

    by Casey | Posted on April 20th, 2012

    Canadians love Virginia and now they’ll have unsurpassed access to all the Commonwealth has to offer by way of short, round-trip premium flights from Toronto to the Capital Region.

    Earlier this week Porter Airlines made its inaugural flight from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Washington Dulles Airport. It was the first of what will be four daily round-trip flights between Toronto and the Capital Region.

    Guests aboard Porter Airlines will have access to premium in-flight amenities – passenger lounges, complimentary drinks and snacks (including wine and beer), and highly coveted extra leg room.

    With four flight times, getting from Canada to Virginia will be easier than ever. Guests can choose Toronto departure times of 7 am, 11:20 am, 1:55 pm, or 6:15 pm. The 11:20 am flight will be available beginning May 14, 2012.

    To learn more about vacationing in Virginia, see Virginia.org.

    International Visitors from Canada

    Left to Right:  Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade JimCheng; Owner of Porter Airlines Robert Deluce; President of Pulse Communications and Travel Marketing, Inc. Sana Keller; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Margaret McKeough; and Head of Air Service Marketing at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Ann Pina.

    Left to Right: Commonwealth of Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade, Jim Cheng; Owner of Porter Airlines, Robert Deluce; President of Pulse Communications and Travel Marketing, Inc., Sana Keller; Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Margaret McKeough; and Head of Air Service Marketing at Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Ann Pina.



    Uncategorized | 2 Comments