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    In 1881, both the VA and TN sides of Bristol designated the center of the city's main thoroughfare, State Street, as the VA/TN state line. Tomorrow, thousands of people will fill these #downtown streets with music, food, dancing and crafts in celebration of Bristol's heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music! #Virginia #stateline #countrymusic #loveva #vatravel #Tennessee #mainstreet #musicfestival @bristolrhythm #rhythmandroots
    #Downtown #Staunton is filled with amazing #architecture including the Romanesque-Revival Marquis Building seen here. It was designed by T.J. Collins in 1895 (he designed nearly 200 buildings throughout the city in various styles during the #Victorian Era). Note the large umbrella fixed to the corner of the turret! #loveva #virginia #vatravel #mainstreet #vais4lovers #oldschoolva
    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.
  • Archive for May, 2012

    Families & Wineries

    by Casey | Posted on May 18th, 2012

    If ever you were in doubt about whether children are welcome at wineries (a la the ABC store), query no more. Your children are welcome with open arms and greeted with their own “juice” and acres of green to run off steam. Need proof?

    Potomac Point Winery Grape Stomping

    Potomac Point Winery Grape Stomping

    Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane was recently named the number one family-friendly winery by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
    For Mom and Dad: Award-winning wines like the 2009 Petit Verdot (13 medals and counting) and 2010 Chardonnay Reserve (8 medals including a Double Gold from the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle International Wine Competition).
    For the Kids: A juice box, four kid-loving dogs, whimsical artwork, and plenty of open space to run and play as long as you’re watching them.

    Desert Rose Winery in Hume boasts a western feel complete with horses corraled nearby.
    For Mom and Dad: Snobs need not stop by this laid back cowboy atmosphere, but chocolate lovers are most welcome! Enjoy the Starboard paired with boutique chocolate – unbeatable!
    For the Kids: A dedicated Kiddie Korner in the tasting room has plenty to keep them busy – games, books, and more.

    Grayhaven Winery in Gum Spring is a quiet country retreat that welcomes picnic baskets for family relaxation.
    For Mom and Dad: Small batches of carefully crafted wines and Sangria have received high praise from some wine critics. Mark your calendar for their signature event – South African Food & Wine Festival – September 8-9, 2011.
    For the Kids: Playground, nature trails, horses to admire, and four sweet dogs to greet you.

    Molliver Vineyards & Winery in Nathalie is a place the whole family will enjoy with lots of activities. Have an RV? Stay a while on the 134-acre wilderness property!
    For Mom and Dad: Watch sports on the giant projection wall while sipping.
    For the Kids: The family can enjoy hiking, picnicking, swimming, and fishing at the stream or pond.

    Horse & Hound Festival at Peaks of Otter Winery

    Horse and Hound Wine Festival at Peaks of Otter Winery

    Peaks of Otter Winery in Bedford is a a working farm and orchard with great views and a country life atmosphere.
    For Mom and Dad: Fruit wines (my favorite is Light Pear), the fruit trees, picnic areas, creeks, and ponds, make this a great day trip everyone will enjoy.
    For the Kids: Visit with the barnyard animals for a while.

    Potomac Point Winery in Stafford as a Mediterranean feel to it with a Tuscan courtyard, olive oil bar, and authentic decor.
    For Mom and Dad: The bistro menu, extensive wine shop, tasting, and facility tour will occupy as much time as you allow. The view down onto the vines is quite relaxing. Be sure to ask to see the cave (by appointment)!
    For the Kids: The “Little Buds Room” has plenty to keep them busy, but they would enjoy seeing the cave, too!

    Weston Farm Vineyard & Winery in Louisa began with 10 acres of grapes in 2005 and some guidance for the renowned Gabriele Rausse. 2010 was their grand opening.
    For Mom and Dad: Several small-batch wines to choose from, including a Norton, Cabernet Franc, and a Rosso.
    For the Kids: Interact with the rescue horses, miniature donkeys, and resident French bulldogs Charlie and Suzie.

    More Family-Friendly Wineries
    Wine Events
    Virginia Wine Trails

     

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free Virginia Travel Guide



    Family, Wine | Comments Off

    Big Battles Reenacted

    by Casey | Posted on May 17th, 2012

    Virginia is home to more Civil War sites than any other state, nearly 800 in total. History lovers come to Virginia to explore Civil War sites that stretch from the first major battles to the war’s end at Appomattox, and to explore the stories of ordinary people who did extraordinary things during the war.

    Battle of New Market

    Battle of New Market

    To get as-near a Civil War experience as possible, attend a battle reenactment. It just so happens that several major reenactments are this weekend.

    In Spotsylvania this weekend, your family can tour 1860s home life interpretive areas, listen to period music performed by the 2nd South Carolina String Band, gain knowledge of the battle and Virginia’s role from historians, buy Civil War souvenirs, and witness a reenactment of the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House, the second major battle of General Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign. It’s Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20 at Spotsylvania Courthouse Village. $10/Adult; ages 15 and under are free.

    Battle of Fort Pocahontas

    One major battle that is reenacted annually is the Battle of New Market in the Shenandoah Valley. Also held this Saturday and Sunday, this event places an emphasis on the importance of the corps of cadets from Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. The 300-acre battlefield comes to life again as nearly 2,000 reenactors play out the scenes on this 148th anniversary. In addition to the impressive battle scenarios, living history encampments educate attendees. Be sure to visit the Virginia Museum of the Civil War and see the Emmy award-winning “Field of Lost Shoes.” $10 for ages 10 and up; ages 9 and under are free.

    For a unique point of view of the Civil War, attend the reenactment of the Battle at Fort Pocahontas in Charles City this weekend.  The United States Colored Troops built the earth fort as protection from Major Fitzhugh Lee’s approaching forces. The USCT were victorious in their May 24, 1864 stand. See this battle reenacted both Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20.

    See other upcoming battle reenactments at www.Virginia.org/BattleReenactments/ or signature Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and Emancipation events at www.Virginia.org/CivilWar150SpecialEvents/.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Virginia Travel Guide

     



    Civil War, History | Comments Off

    10 Great Summer Festivals

    by Casey | Posted on May 16th, 2012

    Festival season is officially underway in Virginia and this handy list will give you some ideas of how to spend your upcoming weekends.

    Virginia Lake Festival

    Virginia Lake Festival

    1. May 19-20: Monacan Indian Nation Pow Wow in Madison Heights. $7 for adults, $5 for kids. If you’ve never experienced an authentic pow wow before, go to this one. Full regalia, drums, dancing, crafts, American Buffalo, Eagles, great food, and age-old stories make this a memorable event.

    2. May 25-28: 43rd Annual Roanoke Festival in the Park in Roanoke. Free with the exception of evening concerts. This festival has taken a turn towards the arts, making it a great day or more for families to see a variety of creations. Expect to see sand sculptures, fine arts and crafts, cloggers, BMXers, animal acts, and even big names in concert – Gin Blossoms, Lee Brice, and Craig Morgan.

    3. May 31-June 3: 32nd Annual Herndon Festival in Herndon. Centered on families, this festival includes carnival rides, games, kids’ hands-on activity area, a model railway exhibit, and fireworks!

    4. June 1-3: Blackbeard Pirate Festival in Hampton. Arrgh! The pirate ships sail in to Hampton’s waterfront and hand-to-hand battles are waged just off the dock. Immerse yourselves as garbed scallywags meander the grounds singing sea chanties and telling tales. The photo ops are priceless! Fireworks, encampments, character entertainment for little ones at Little Swashbuckler Stage, and even cutlass-swinging lessons.

    5. June 1-3: Patriotic Festival: A Celebration of Our Military in Virginia Beach. Little boys and big boys alike will especially enjoy the power-packed punch this festival delivers. The line-up for this year includes the Discovery Channel’s American Chopper with Paul Junior unveiling his custom military themed chopper, the Washington Redskins, great Monster Energy giveaways, Corvette Museum Racing Tour, Air National Guard simulators, the Blue Angels Oceanfront Air Show, and so, so much more.

    Virginia Covered Bridge Festival

    Virginia Covered Bridge Festival

    6. June 8-11: Norfolk Harborfest® in Norfolk. Days of free entertainment including more pirates, tall ships, Battleship Wisconsin tours, fireworks, live music, Virginia wine sampling for mom and dad, face painting, make-and-take crafts, and appearances by Nick Jr’s Yo! Gabba! Gabba! characters.

    7. June 16: Virginia Covered Bridge Festival in Woolwine. This festival is a little bit of nostalgia for you and a little glimpse of something that isn’t as common as it used to be for the kids. Hop aboard a wagon and take a ride between two of Virginia’s treasured covered bridges – Jack’s Creek and Bob White, browse the antique cars on display, let the kids cheer on the duck race, pet the animals, and bounce around in the inflatables to wear down their energy.

    8. July 19-21: Virginia Lake Festival in Clarksville. Tethered hot air balloon rides, sand sculptors, lots of food and more than 200 vendors to browse, helicopter rides, antique cars, live music, and so much more await your family at this must-attend event at Virginia’s only lakeside town.

    9. July 21-22: Renaissance Festival in Gloucester. Knights and ladies, do attend this medieval-style festival and learn to juggle, be knighted yourself, dance the maypole, and find other fun shennanigans to partake in. Free!

    10. August 11: 5th Annual Smith River Fest in Axton. The outdoorsy family will thrive at this festival that’s all about the river! Enter the river race, learn to tie flies and cast a line, take a guided paddle trip, enjoy the live music,  or go for a float. The kids will be entertained in a number of ways, including the Kids Village with inflatables, climbing wall, and more.

    If your interest in festivals is piqued, go on to Virginia.org and see more! There are beer, wine, and quite a variety of food festivals that you’re sure to enjoy.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Family | 2 Comments

    Smokin’ Hot Summer Deals

    by Casey | Posted on May 15th, 2012

    Are we not all looking for savings these days? It’s gone from couponing in grocery stores to vacation deals, and luckily, there are great vacation deals to be had in Virginia.

    Memorial Day

    That unofficial official start-of-summer weekend is drawing near. Have you hatched an escape plan?

    Butterfly Garden at Natural Bridge

    Butterfly Garden at Natural Bridge

    The renowned natural wonder of Virginia – The Natural Bridge – is the centerpiece of a Memorial Day weekend package. Stay one night at the Natural Bridge Hotel complete with a country breakfast, and then explore the Cedar Creek Trail beneath the bridge as it leads you to the Monacan Indian Village and Lace Falls. Don’t forget about the Drama of Creation – the capstone nighttime event at the bridge – you’ll never see the bridge the same again. After you’ve been mesmerized, check out the new butterfly garden, caverns, wax museum, and toy museum! It’s a family adventure 25% off the normal rate: $149 base price for mom and dad, add $30 for children over 12, $20 for children 5 to 12. Children under 5 are free.
    BOOK NOW

    If peace and quiet are all you’re looking for on a busy travel weekend, slip away to Warm Springs and the tranquil Meadow Villas. Just give Jan a call and tell her Virginia is for Lovers sent you to claim your 10% discount.
     717-951-3955

    Anytime Savings

    • Shenandoah Caverns: Free admission for retired or active military, May 25-28. For others, buy one adult ticket at $23 and your child is free!
    • Tree Streets Inn, a beautiful B&B in Waynesboro, is offering 25% off your second night when you pay the regular rate for the first. Available through June 19.
    • The Tides Inn – a beautiful resort in Irvington – is offering a third night free when you pay the regular rate for the first two.
    • A cabin stay at Montfair Resort Farm in Crozet might be just what you need. If it is, and if you’re a member of the US military, they’ll offer you 15% off their lowest available rate.
    • In lovely Nelson County sits Orchard House Bed and Breakfast. Take advantage of their pampering for two nights between Monday through Thursday for just $160! That’s up to 40% off their weekend rates, making weekdays the way to travel.
    • For spur-of-the-moment travelers, this deal from Stevenson Ridge in Spotsylvania is your reward. Call them within 48 hours of your stay and they’ll give you 15% off! Subject to availability, of course.
    • Smithfield Station is proud to offer 15% off the lowest available rate for active and retired military.
    Gas Deals

    Fourth of July

    Celebrate your own vacation independence while the country celebrates, too!

    Marine Science Consortium Family Camp

    Marine Science Consortium Family Camp

    Remember summer camps? The Marine Science Consortium on the Eastern Shore is offering a week-long family camp over the 4th of July. It’s all-inclusive (meals, lodging, all fees, etc.) with activities to include kayaking, nature hikes, a visit to the NASA Wallops Island facility, seafood feast celebration, arts and crafts, nature hikes, and more! July 1-6, 2012. $399/person for the week.
    BOOK NOW

    Fantastic Family Packages

    Everyone’s bucket list should include a trip to the place where America began – Jamestown. Book two nights at the Fife & Drum Inn in Williamsburg and receive admission to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, and Yorktown Victory Center. $278.40 per person. A three-night stay is $368.65 per person.
    BOOK NOW

    Who doesn’t love dolphins? This exclusive package from The Oceanfront Inn in Virginia Beach offers you a chance to see them! Stay two nights and enjoy a Dolphin Watching Excursion from the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, as well as tickets to the Center and 3D IMAX®  Theater. Rates are $124-$277 + tax per adult. Add $26 + tax per child aged 4 to 11.
    BOOK NOW

    Busch Gardens

    Busch Gardens

    A mother/daughter or even father/daughter getaway has landed in Northern Virginia. One of only 9 stores nationwide, American Girl Doll Store is now available at Tyson’s Corner! Stay with the Courtyard by Marriott in McLean and request the American Girl package to receive a sweet doll-themed goodie bag for your little girl and her doll, $40 gift card to splurge at the American Girl Doll Store, breakfast for two, and transportation to and from the mall. From $199 per night for two.
    BOOK NOW

    Busch Gardens and Water Country USA are two of Virginia’s top family attractions. Plan your three-night stay at the accommodation of your choice (located in Williamsburg, Newport News, or Virginia Beach) and receive a Discovery Ticket for Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, plus free parking at both parks. From $160/person for a family of four. Available through September 3, 2012.
    BOOK NOW

     

    Plan your perfect Virginia family vacation at Virginia.org.
    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.



    Beaches, Deals & Discounts, Family, History, Outdoors | 1 Comment

    Outdoor Fun with the Kiddos

    by Casey | Posted on May 14th, 2012

    Saturdays are great family days anyway, but this Saturday – May 19 – that is especially true. It’s National Kids to Parks Day and there are loads of fun events.

    Fishing at a Virginia State ParkVirginia has 35 state parks and every single one of them is offering special events this Saturday in recognition of National Kids to Parks Day.

    Hop aboard a hay ride at Caledon or Occoneechee; check out the Swamp Stomp at Staunton River; or be among the first to walk the new TRACK Trail at Hungry Mother and Grayson Highlands. TRACK Trail is a family-friendly trail system with activities that introduce kids to the nature around them.

    See more Kids to Parks Day Virginia State Park events at dcr.Virginia.gov.

    In addition, May 19 is one of several 2012 Kids Fishing Days in Virginia. The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries have chosen several locations to stock trout and host special activities.

    • South Fork Holston River at the Riverside Community Center, Smyth County – Food and drinks available for purchase. Kids 12 and under. 9 am to noon
    • Beartree Lake in Washington County – Kids 5 to 15. 9 am to 1 pm
    • Wolf Creek in Narrows Town Park, Giles County – Free lunch, prizes, and t-shirts. Kids 5 to 8 fish from 10 to 11 am; kids 9 to 15 fish from 11 am to 2 pm
    • Big Cedar Creek at Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve, Russell County – Kids 15 and under. Free food and drink. Prizes. 9 am to 2 pm
    • Rural Retreat Lake in Wythe County – Lunch provided by Wythe County Parks, goodie bags to all participants. Prizes. 9 am to 1 pm.
    • Ed Allen’s Campground Marina in New Kent County – Kids 3 to 13. Some rods/reels are available and some bait provided. 9 am to noon.
    Monster Rock Trail

    View from Monster Rock Trail

    More outdoor events that might interest your family this weekend:

    Take your kids outside and share your love of nature with them.
    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Order your FREE  2012Virginia Travel Guide.



    Family, Outdoors | Comments Off