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    Welcome to planet #MountVernon! Actually, @ianaberle has used the #TinyPlanet App to get this really cool effect. While George Washington's home looks on top of the world here, in reality it sits high above the beautiful Potomac River near Alexandria. #LoveVA #georgewashington #president #planet #virginia #vatravel #photooftheday @mount_vernon @visitalexva
    It's #ThirstyThursday again during #Virginia #CraftBeer Month. Swing by your local #VA #brewery for your favorite pint or growler of #vabeer. Celebrate by tagging your photos with #vacraftbeermonth. #Cheers to @kmariedeegan with this great evening shot at @ardentcraftales. #loveva #drinklocal #rva #howisummer #photooftheday #thewaytoendanevening
    @shondagraphy has been capturing some really awesome nightscapes of #Richmond, including this one of the Cauthorne Paper Co Apartments on the #canal. Do you see the #geese gathered on the bank of the water and along the #traintracks? Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here! #dusk #photooftheday #urbanwonderland #reflection #rva @visitrichmondva
    Here's a view of Carter Mountain #Orchard and #Vineyard in Charlottesville with their country store in the background. Now through the end of fall you can #pickyourown apples and taste their home-made apple cider and donuts. Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #eatlocal #cville #photooftheday #howisummer #vawine @cartermountain #cartermountainorchard @vawine
  • Archive for July, 2012

    Mid-Summer Travel Savings

    by Dave | Posted on July 12th, 2012

    It’s summer and great vacation deals for you and your family are at your fingertips here in Virginia. To make planning a getaway easy, we’ve pulled together some of the best and most exciting family vacation savings here for you, with many more found on www.Virginia.org. So what are you waiting for? Book a package deal and come see why we say love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.

    Kids at Virginia Beach

    Kids playing at Assateague Island National Seashore

    • Unplug the Kids in Shenandoah National Park: Enjoy two nights in the park at Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge with breakfast and dinner included for the kids; a fun filled Scavenger Hike Adventure book and admission to Luray Caverns. Starting at $359 Details
    • Williamsburg Flex Vacation: Take a family getaway with a whole lot of fun and flexibility. Experience all the adventure Williamsburg and the Historic Triangle have to offer: three living- history museums, two national park sites, and one amusement park. 3 Days / 2 Nights from $514 Details
    • 3 Night Summer Getaway in Virginia Beach: Save up to 15% Looking to take a mini-vacation? Come check out the newly renovated Holiday Inn & Suites, North Beach. Enjoy a 3 night stay in our two room suites.
      Details
    • The Homestead Experience Package: The Homestead invites guests to plunge into the family fun with complete abandon at a great nightly rate. You choose the activities to include in the package – all for one price! From $275 Details
    • Dolphin Discovery Package: 2 nights oceanfront accommodations Dolphin Watching boat excursion Admission to Virginia Aquarium, IMAX and Special Family Pack Welcome Gift. Starting at $124
      Details
    • August “beat the heat” Villa mountain escape!: Come on down to Meadow Villas in the beautiful Allegheny mountains. Take the vacation you want and enjoy 30% off ANY available villa when you mention this August “beat the heat ” special from Virginia.org.
      Details
    • Celebrating Summer Package: Summer is always special at Keswick Hall. Package includes: Superior room, $50 credit to be used anywhere in the resort and parking. Details
    • A Natural Bridge Summer Family Escape: Book the Summer Family Escape Package to put the natural wonder at your front door & get a great deal on a room. Details
    • Busch Gardens Package: Great Deal! 1 night’s accommodations in a one king or two double-bed room 2 single day admission tickets to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Details
    • Hilton Garden Inn Richmond Downtown Civil War Package: Includes breakfast for two, two tickets to Museum of Confederacy, two tickets for tour of Confederate White House and more. From $151.90
      Details
    • Summer Couple’s Getaway: Plan a “Summer” getaway to Shadow Mountain Escape! Enjoy a deluxe Timberframe cabin – celebrate Romance with your special someone! From $370. Details
    • “Concert Under the Stars” Wolf Trap Picnic Package: Enjoy great food and drinks while being swept away by world-class music and entertainment underneath clear, crisp skies. From $139 Details

    For more great travel package and discount offers, visit Virginia.org/DealsAndPackages/.



    Beaches, Civil War, Deals & Discounts, Travel Ideas | 2 Comments

    Dinos and Gators in Newport News

    by Casey | Posted on July 10th, 2012

    When the temps get too hot to handle, find your family fun indoors at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.

    T-Rex, a part of the Dinosaurs! exhibit at Virginia Living Museum.

    T-Rex, a part of the Dinosaurs! exhibit at Virginia Living Museum

    Their latest exhibit, Dinosaurs!, features a roaring robotic T-Rex who reinforces his dominance while a Corythorsaurus tends her nest of eggs and a Pteranodon soars above. With the Triceratops, Stegosaurus, Mosasaurus and Elasmosaurus nearby, you’ll likely feel like you’ve stepped into The Land of the Lost.

    Add more dinos to your Cretaceous fun with a trip to the Abbitt Planetarium where you can experience four different dinosaur digs from around the world in Dinosaur Prophecy (recommended for ages 10 and older).

    Dinosaurs! exhibit is available from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. daily through September 3, 2012. Dinosaur Prophecy is available at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily through September 3, 2012.

    Albino American alligator at the Virginia Living Museum through September 3, 2012.

    Albino American alligator at the Virginia Living Museum through September 3, 2012.

    While you’re at the VLM, check out the albino Alligator – a resident this summer only! The gator comes from Alligator Farm Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Florida, and is one of less than 100 known true albino American alligators, a species that numbers five million. If you believe in luck and legends, peer into his eyes for good luck.

    If you care to spend some time with the American alligators after the Museum closes, check out Gator Bites - a 45-minute program that includes a pizza party, feeding of the alligators, photos, and the opportunity to touch a gator. Gator Bites is offered Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. and is limited to 15 people. Available through August 28, 2012.

    VLM Admission

    • $17 per adult
    • $13 per child aged 3 to 12
    • Free for children 2 and younger
    • Abbitt Planetarium is an additional $4 per person.
    • Gator Bites is an additional $25 per person and must be purchased in advance.

    Hours

    • Daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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



    Family | Comments Off

    Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival

    by Casey | Posted on July 5th, 2012

    Innovation 2012 is the theme of this year’s Wintergreen Performing Arts Summer Music Festival, set to kick off Friday, July 6 and run through Sunday, August 5. The focus of innovation will include innovators – both familiar and unfamiliar – who have moved us in new directions in dance, music, theatre, film, food, wine and the visual arts.

    From a musical standpoint, attendees to these events can expect to hear the works of Ludwig van Beethoven  as well as brand new pieces written by student composers in settings that vary from the Evans Center at Wintergreen Resort to the Big Red Barn at Rodes Farm in Nellysford. From classical and intimate to new and center stage, there’s a setting and a performance for everyone.

    Gisele and Fabio Witkowski perform August 1 at Wintergreen Resort's Evans Center

    Gisele and Fabio Witkowski perform August 1 at Wintergreen Resort's Evans Center

     

    Key Events

    • 7/6: Opening Night Reception and Performance
    • 7/7 and 7/8: Classics – Anton Bruckner, Remo Pignoni, Carlos Guastavino, Pedro Saenz and Paul Schoenfield
    • 7/8: Coffee Concert – Michel Richard de Lalande, Bohulsav Martinu, Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber, Theobald Boehm and Charles Ives
    • 7/11: Wild Wednesday – Astor Piazzolla
    • 7/12: Barn Bach – Johann Sebastian Bach
    • 7/13: Chamber Music – David MacBride, Joseph Haydn, Michael White, Igor Stravinsky and Robert Schumann
    • 7/15: Coffee Classics – Ludwig van Beethoven, Claude Debussy, Edgard Varese, MacBride and Charles Martin Loeffler
    • 7/18: Wild Wednesday – Jazz – influences of Thelonius Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock and more.
    • 7/19: Mozart’s Magical Mystery Tour
    • 7/21: Under the Big Top: A Happening
    • 7/21 and 7/22: Classics – Schumann, Joseph Rheinberger, Charles Gounod
    • 7/22: Coffee Concert – Eric Ewazen, MacBride, Schumann
    • 7/23: Art Song and Opera - Johannes Brahms, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, George Frideric Handel, Carl Maria von Weber and Richard Wagner
    • 7/25: Wild Wednesday – Jazz – influences of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis and more.
    • 7/28 and 7/29: Classics – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Brahms
    • 7/29: Coffee Classics – Ewazen and Debussy
    • 7/30-8/4: Where Chaos SleepsWorld Premiere of the play by Peter Coy.
    • 7/31: Barn Bach – Bach
    • 8/1: Wild Wednesday – Edvard Grieg, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Barber, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Francisco Mignone
    • 8/2: Thrilling Thursday – Bowen McCauley Dance presents “Lucy’s Local Playlist,” choreography inspired by the music of ten Greater Washington, DC bands and artists.
    • 8/4 and 8/5: Classics – Bowen McCauley Dance presents choreography to Beethoven, Max Bruch and Stravinsky.
    • 8/5: Coffee Classics – Featuring the Academy Chamber Players and Academy String Orchestra under the direction of Joseph J. Nigro, guest conductor.

    Download the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival Ticket Booklet for a complete schedule and details.

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



    Arts, Events, Festivals | Comments Off

    Fireworks!

    by Casey | Posted on July 3rd, 2012

    Tomorrow is the big day – the day we celebrate our Independence – but today actually has a few surprises of its own. If you love fireworks, here are a few destinations to get your fix in advance.

    Genworth Financial

    Genworth Financial

    Richmond

    Southwest Virginia

    Hampton Roads

    Shenandoah Valley

    • Community Fireworks in Winchester – Come enjoy the fireworks display to celebrate Independence Day! The Winchester Royals baseball game will take place at 6pm, too.
    • Summer Jam at Massanutten Resort - This event features live bands, kids activities, an expansive beer garden, delicious food, and a show-stopping fireworks display to finish up the night!

    Southern Virginia

    • Fireworks at South Boston Speedway - See the NASCAR Whelen Late Model 200/ Limited 100/ Pure Stock 50 followed by FIREWORKS!
    • Martinsville Speedway Celebration - Carnival rides from 5 pm – 11:30 pm! The “Paintin’ The Town Tour” featuring a trio of all-star acts, Darryl Worley, Bo Bice and David Lee Murphy starts at 8 pm. Then, grab a chair, let down the tailgate and wait for the largest fireworks show in the area to begin. Free admission; donations welcome.
    • South Hill’s Picnic in the Park – Food, music, fun and fireworks for the entire family.

    For the complete list of fireworks and Independence Day events, visit Virginia.org/July4th or click the map below.

    Click for an Interactive Map for July 4th



    Events, Family | Comments Off

    Happy 200th, John Jasper

    by Casey | Posted on July 2nd, 2012

    Amid the fireworks and celebrations of Independence Day, might we remember (or come to know) a leader from our past who would be 200 years old this July 4th?

    John Jasper

    John Jasper

    John Jasper was born into slavery in Fluvanna County on July 4, 1812 as the youngest of 24 children. On July 4, 1839 at the age of 25, Jasper underwent a religious transformation on the steps of Richmond’s Capitol Square. It was a day that changed his life, as he would spend the next 25 years preaching sermons at slave funerals.

    At the age of 50 Jasper was emancipated. He was a brick cleaner, repairing the Civil War-burned city of Richmond, and still serving at a high demand as a slave funeral pastor.

    On September 3, 1867, John Jasper and ten friends held services in an abandoned stable on Brown’s Island in Richmond, founding the Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, a strong community of faith that is still present today. It was at the age of 66 (1878) that John Jasper reached a peak in his career, delivering “De Sun Do Move” to the Virginia General Assembly. The sermon was so well received, Jasper was requested to deliver it more than 250 times.

    In addition, Reverend John Jasper was one of only a few black ministers in Richmond who were authorized by the United States Freedmen’s Bureau to legalize ex-slave marriages, which were not legally recognized prior to early 1866* in Virginia.

    John Jasper died on March 30, 1901. His death was the noted headline of the day, overshadowing the burning of the famed Jefferson Hotel.

    Learn more about John Jasper and other influential people of his time at WalkInTheirFootsteps.com.

    * National Archives. Spring 2005, Vol. 37, No. 1



    Civil War, History | Comments Off