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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
    A #bushel of #bluecrabs for the pot! @aklshnkovj and her #Virginia self-caught #seatotable meal courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay. đź‘Ť #loveva #seafood #crabs #vafood #eatlocal #vacrabs
    #Demon Street at Busch Garden's Howl O' Scream! Walk with me... #loveva #halloween #skull #demonstreet #buschgardens #howloscream #virginia #haunted #hyperlapse @buschgardensva
    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 August, 2012

    Trip Heartmann Stars in New Virginia Coloring Book

    by Casey | Posted on August 31st, 2012

    Moms and dads, we have a new way to help you keep the kids entertained while on the road. It’s a free resource at Virginia’s Welcome Centers – a coloring book called “The Vacation Adventures of Trip Heartmann – the Loveable Heart who LOVEs Virginia”.

    The Vacation Adventures of Trip HeartmannThe book follows Trip Heartmann on adventures in every region of the state – from surfing to dancing, to camping, sight-seeing and canoeing. Kids can read along about Trip’s adventures, get creative with the story and learn more about how exciting travel can be.

    The Vacation Adventures of Trip Heartmann will be available for free at Virginia Welcome Centers starting today, August 31 or by request when ordering a free, Virginia is for Lovers Travel Guide at

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.

    Family | Comments Off

    “Lincoln” Poster Revealed

    by Casey | Posted on August 22nd, 2012

    The official poster for the movie “Lincoln” was released today. This movie was filmed in Virginia.

    LincolnSteven Spielberg directs two-time Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln,” a revealing drama that focuses on the 16th President’s tumultuous final months in office. In a nation divided by war and the strong winds of change, Lincoln pursues a course of action designed to end the war, unite the country and abolish slavery. With the moral courage and fierce determination to succeed, his choices during this critical moment will change the fate of generations to come.

    Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathaim, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook and Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln” is produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. The DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, in association with Participant Media, releases in U.S. theaters exclusive on November 9, 2012, with expansion on November 16, 2012.

    Learn more about movies filmed in Virginia at

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.

    Civil War, Filmed in Virginia, History | 1 Comment

    Crazy for Patsy

    by Casey | Posted on August 22nd, 2012

    Virginia “Ginny” Patterson Hensley would be 80 years old this September 8. “Who is that?” you’re no doubt asking. It’s Patsy Cline, of course, and her home in Winchester, Virginia - the only tourist site in the country dedicated to the iconic singer – is now a museum open for touring and paying respects.


    Patsy on the front porch of 608 S. Kent Street, now The Patsy Cline. Historic House

    Patsy on the front porch of 608 S. Kent Street, now The Patsy Cline Historic House.

    In Patsy’s Footsteps: Winchester

    The Patsy Cline Historic House (608 S. Kent Street) opened to the public this year. She resided in the modest home with her mother and first husband from 1948 to 1953 and returned intermittently until 1957.

    John Handley High School (425 Handley Blvd.) is where Patsy struggled to earn an education. She dropped out at age 16 to help support her family. Working the soda fountain at Gaunt’s Drugstore (S. Loudoun St. & Gerrard St.) was one of Patsy’s jobs during her teenage years.

    WNC-92.5 FM Studio (520 N. Pleasant Valley Road) is where Patsy made her very first radio appearance.

    The home you’ll see (but can’t tour) at 720 S. Kent Street is the one in which Patsy married Charles Allen Dick. You can also see the Winchester Star at 2 N. Kent Street, which is where Charles worked as a linotype operator.

    Patsy’s parents, Samuel Lawrence Hensley and Hilda Virginia Patterson Hensley, are interred at National Cemetery (401 National Avenue). Shenandoah Memorial Park (1270 Front Royal Pike) is where you’ll find Patsy’s final resting place. Folks leave pennies on her headstone for good luck.


    A glimpse inside The Patsy Cline Historic House.

    A glimpse inside The Patsy Cline Historic House.

    A Little About Patsy

    Ginny took the stage name Patsy when a radio personality gave her a chance to tour regionally with his band, Melody Boys and Girls. When she married Gerald E. Cline in 1953, she became Patsy Cline.

    Patsy’s first 45 single, released in 1954, was not successful, but in 1955 she was able to take the stage with Jimmy Dean on a 30-minute music variety television program in the Washington DC area. The spotlight moment launched her onto Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts in 1957 where she took the prize with “Walkin’ After Midnight”. The beginning of her musical career met the end of her marriage.

    In September 1957 Patsy married Charles Allen Dick. The birth of their first child put her career on hold for a time, but in 1959 the family moved to Nashville. In 1960 Patsy became a regular on the Grand Ole Opry and in 1961 “I Fall to Pieces” topped the country charts and landed at number 12 on the pop charts.

    An automobile accident critically injured Patsy in June 1961, but she made it back into the studio by August to record “Crazy” – a song written by Willie Nelson that would rise to number two on the country charts and number nine on the pop charts. In December, “She’s Got You” was recorded and would become her second number-one country hit.

    Over Patsy’s career she was seen performing with Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and George Jones. She landed appearances on American Bandstand and played Carnegie Hall. By 1963 she had more than 100 recordings under her belt.

    March 5, 1963 was Patsy’s last day as the plane she was aboard crashed in Tennessee. Her remains were buried in Winchester.

    Like many performers lost too soon, Patsy’s notoriety came after her death:

    • Country Music Hall of Fame, 1973 – first solo female elected
    • Virginia Folk Music Association’s Virginia Country Music Hall of Fame, 1981
    • National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award, 1995
    • Grammy Hall of Fame, 1992 for “Crazy” and 2001 for “I Fall to Pieces”
    • United States Commemorative Stamp, 1993
    • Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1999
    • “Crazy” is the number one jukebox hit of all time.

    For more information or to pick up a map of the Winchester area, visit the Winchester-Frederick County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1400 S. Pleasant Valley Drive.

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

    Destinations, History | 3 Comments

    Commemorating Second Manassas

    by Casey | Posted on August 20th, 2012

    Virginia is home to more Civil War sites than any other state, nearly 800 in total. Experience a bit of that history up close and personal this weekend as the 150th Anniversary of the Second Battle of Manassas is commemorated at the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

    Manassas National Battlefield Park

    Manassas National Battlefield Park

    According to the National Park Service, “The campaign and battle of Second Manassas demonstrated the impact of an expanding war, both in terms of the size of the armies that fought here and in the numbers of casualties resulting from the battle. The campaign showed the effects of a widening Union war effort, resulting in increasing impacts upon civilians and consideration of emancipation as a war aim. The campaign also marked the rise of Robert E. Lee as a battlefield commander: his success at Second Manassas opened the opportunity to the Confederate army to carry the war into the North, leading directly to the Maryland Campaign and the Battle of Antietam.”

    Ways to experience the history of the Battle of Second Manassas:

    • August 25
    • August 26
      • Thoroughfare Gap: A Walking Tour. Led by historian Jim Burgess. 90 minutes. Chapman (Beverly) Mill. 3 p.m.
      • Manassas Junction and Its Railroads: From Union Lifeline to Confederate Prize. One hour talk. Manassas Museum – 9101 Prince William Street, Manassas. 7 p.m.
      • Living History and Weapons Demonstration. Artillery firing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cavalry demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. Infantry firing at 12 and 2 p.m. Brawner Farm.
    • August 28
      • Tour: Brawner Farm – The Battle Begins. Guided walking tour with a park historian, tracing the routes of the opposing battle lines at the beginning of the Second Battle of Manassas. Brawner Farm Interpreter Center. 7 p.m.
    • August 29
      • Tour: Standoff at the Railroad. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Focuses on the morning fight near Sudley Church on August 29, 1862. Sudley Church (Tour Stop 5). 10 a.m.
      • Tour: Breakthrough at the Railroad. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Highlights the attacks on the Confederates along the Unfinished Railroad. Tour Stop 6. 90 minutes. 2 p.m.
      • Tour: Battling for the Rocky Knoll. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Uncovers the struggle of the afternoon battle behind the Unfinished Railroad. Sudley Church (Tour Stop 5). 4 p.m.
      • Tour: Clash at Groverton Crossroads. Guided walking tour with a park historian. See what dusk at Groverton might have looked like as you hear about the August 29, 1862 evening fight. Tour Stop 9. 7 p.m.
    • August 30
      • Tour: Robinson Farm: Behind Union Lines. Guided walking tour with a park historian. Learn what the battle experience was like for free African-American James Robinson and his family. Visitor Center. 60 minutes. 11 a.m.
      • Tour: Slaughter at Deep Cut. Guided walking tour with a park historian. The largest Union assault by the troops under Fitz John Porter will be detailed. Tour Stop 7. 90 minutes. 2 p.m.
      • Tour: Counterattack at Chinn Ridge. Guided walking tour with a park historian. The Confederates battle back. New York Monuments (Tour Stop 9). 90 minutes. 4 p.m.
      • Tour: Battling Until Sunset: The Struggle for Henry Hill. Guided walking tour with a park historian. The final phase of Manassas-Sudley Road and on Henry Hill. Visitor Center. 90 minutes. 7 p.m.
    • August 31
      • Tour: On the Battle Lines: Sudley Church at Second Manassas. Guided walking tour with a park historian along the Unfinished Railroad to key battle sites and Sudley Church. Hear how the battle impacted the community. Vespers service at Sudley Church following the tour, including period music and guest speaker. Sudley Church (Tour Stop 5). 90 minutes. 6 p.m.
    • September 1
      • Second Manassas Lecture Series. Visitor Center Auditorium.
        • 11 a.m. – Alan Gaff, author of Brave Men’s Tears
        • 1 p.m. – Stephen Potter, editor of Archaeological Perspectives on the American Civil War
        • 3 p.m. – John Hennessy, author  of Return to Bull Run: The Campaign and Battle of Second Manassas
        • 7 p.m. – James I. Robertson, Sr. – author of Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, The Legend
      • Living History and Weapons Demonstration. Artillery firing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cavalry demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. Infantry firing at 12 and 2 p.m. Brawner Farm (Tour Stop 1).
    • September 2
      • Second Manassas Lecture Series. Visitor Center Auditorium.
        • 11 a.m. – John Matsui, author of the forthcoming book The First Republican Army
        • 1 p.m. – Scott C. Patchan, author of Second Manassas: Longstreet’s Attack and the Struggle for Chinn Ridge
      • Living History and Weapons Demonstration. Artillery firing at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Cavalry demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 pm. Infantry firing at 12 and 2 p.m. Brawner Farm (Tour Stop 1).

    Manassas National Battlefield Park is located at 6511 Sudley Road in Manassas, Virginia.

    Manassas National Battlefield Park

    Manassas National Battlefield Park

    Know Before You Go:

    • Park Map
    • Admission is $3 per person (16 and older) for three days’ entry to Manassas National Battlefield Park.
    • Henry Hill Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the exception of special events as mentioned above.
    • “Manassas: End of Innocence” is a 45-minute film that covers both the First and Second Battles of Manassas. Shown on the hour beginning at 9 a.m. in the Henry Hill Visitor Center.
    • Park Rules: No climbing on monuments or cannons * Pets must be leashed * Alcohol and metal detectors are prohibited * Park in designated areas only * Bicycles are prohibited on trails

    Visit the Civil War 150 HistoryMobile August 24-26 at the Manassas Visitor Center to see the Civil War from a variety of points of view – young and old, enslaved and free, soldiers and civilians. To explore real lives of the Civil War online, visit - unexpected stories of real people who did extraordinary things.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Virginia Travel Guide.
    Learn more about the Civil War in Virginia.

    Civil War, Events, History | Comments Off

    Let the Wine Flow in September

    by Casey | Posted on August 17th, 2012

    Those who love a good glass of wine can find it every day of the week in Virginia. Winery tasting room staffs offer guests samples, explain how the wine was created, what smells and flavors should be recognizable in each and what food might pair well with each. Additionally, many of Virginia’s wineries host special events. Here are a few you can look forward to in September.

    Rockbridge Vineyard

    Rockbridge Vineyard

    September 1

    • Celebrate the Labor Day Weekend at Fox Meadow Winery. Expect red, white and blue food pairs with the wine. Sept 1-3. Standard tasting fee of $5-$6 applies.

    September 2

    • First Sunday of the Month Brunch at Prince Michel features wine tastings, self or guided tours, and of course, the brunch buffet. $25/adult; $12.50/child 12 and younger. 10:30-2:30
    • Yappy Hours at Keswick Vineyards is a time when dog owners can bring their pooch. Tastings are conducted both inside and outside. Leash your pet at all times. Held every Sunday 9-5.

    September 3

    • Labor Day Lunch at Chateau Morrisette sounds like a great way to spend the day. The restaurant is open 11 to 2 and the winery is open 10 to 5.

    September 7

    • Live Music Fridays is exactly what it sounds like. Go to Potomac Point Winery every Friday for music, wine and dining. $24.00/person. 6-9 p.m.

    September 8

    • Music, wine and the great outdoors. That’s Starry Nights at Veritas Vineyards & Winery. Bring your blanket or lawnchair and have a relaxing evening under the stars. 7-11 p.m.
    • The Squealing Black Dog & Swine Festival at Chateau Morrisette promises to be a great time - BBQ pit masters, sauce competition, R&B, Blues and Country music, great wine, vendors and more. $25/person. 11 to 6.
    • Sans Soucy Vineyards invites you to their 3rd Annual Shrimp & Wine Festival featuring five wineries, great food, live music, and plenty of arts and crafts. $15 in advance; $20 at the gate. Designated drivers are $10. Children 16 and under are free. Noon to 6.
    • The South African Food & Wine Festival, now in its 7th year, is held at Grayhaven Winery. Exotic eats and Grayhaven’s wine are what’s up. The upbeat live music by JuxtaPower won’t let you sit still, so be ready for a great weekend in Gum Spring. General Admission: $20 in advance; $30 at the gate. + Wine Tasting: $25 in advance; $35 at the gate. Children 17 and under are free. 11-6
    • Blue Ridge Vineyards hosts a Summer Concert series twice per month, where guests can relax with fantastic music and even better wine. Hear the sounds of Preacher Woody & MWB Band from 5 to 9 p.m. Later, on September 22, SOLREVOLT brings the fun.

    September 14

    • Have a seat on the deck at Lexington Valley Vineyards for their monthly Wine and Wags – a good Friday afternoon wind down with your best pet and a nice glass of wine. Noon to 6.

    September 15

    • DuCard Vineyards’ fine wines are paired with a fabulous dinner during the Harvest Winemaker’s Dinner. Music, as well as opportunities to meet the chef and the winemakers, will make this a memorable night. $79/person. 6:30-9:30 p.m.

    September 16

    • Taste Rockbridge Vineyards’ wine for free during Sunday Uncorked. Visit between 2 and 5 p.m. and enjoy a live band, too. If you like it, come do it again on September 30!

    September 22

    • Afton After Hours is what Afton Mountain Vineyards calls their once-a-month Saturday evening wine and music event. No tastings, but wine for sale by the glass and bottle. 6:30-9 p.m.

    September 28

    • Taste something new. North Mountain Vineyard is hosting a Bavarian Dinner right on time for Oktoberfest. 6:30-8:30 p.m. $25 pre-paid reservations only.

    September 29

    • As the moon rises, DuCard celebrates! Sit a spell drinking great wine and waiting for the harvest moon to rise. 6:30-9:30 p.m.

    Learn more about Virginia’s wineries and pinpoint their locations on our new map at

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

    Couples, Festivals, Wine | Comments Off