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    #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.
    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
  • Archive for January, 2013

    Outdoor Adventures for 2013

    by Casey | Posted on January 28th, 2013

    Virginia has amazing hiking and biking opportunities, but there are also some pretty huge explorations for true outdoor adventurers this year.

    Great Falls National Park

    Great Falls National Park. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Big Water

    Great Falls National Park is just 15 miles from the nation’s capital, but feels a world away. The most elite whitewater athletes have these class V+ runs on their bucket list. If you’re one of these top-notch aquatic navigators, put in and make work. Spectators have three excellent vantage points to witness the thrills as the Potomac River pours through the Mather Gorge.

    Nothing Dismal Here

    The Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge is an abundant, important habitat for more than 560 species, including several endangered and threatened species. At the center of its 112,000 acres is the 3,142-acre Lake Drummond with water so shallow in places (max depth is only 6′) that amazing cypress trees emerge from the dark waters.  It’s the largest natural lake in Virginia and we suggest you give your kayak oars a work out on it. If you’d rather hike or bike, there are a number of trails available. Download the Map

    Dream to Reality

    Virginia’s first permanent long distance backcountry trail is now a reality. The Virginia Mountain Biking Trail‘s 480 miles of continuous off-road spans Virginia’s Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains from Strasburg to Damascus. Eight major trails are linked into this one climbing 65,000 total feet.

    Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center

    Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center

    Birds’ Eye View

    Hang gliding affords an incredible adrenaline rush and unbeatable views (if you can keep your eyes open). Give it a go from the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center or in Amherst at High Peak Hang Gliding. Instruction is available at both centers.

    Adventure on the Rocks

    Southwest Virginia’s Grayson Highlands State Park offers some of the best bouldering in the state and even rents the gear. Be sure to watch out for the park’s resident wild ponies, which roam free throughout Mount Rogers Recreation Area. In the Shenandoah Valley, Old Rag is easily one of most well-known hikes in Virginia, but it also contains some of the best rock climbing routes in the state, featuring the only granite routes between the Adirondacks and Stone Mountain in North Carolina, according to SummitPost.org.

    Beach Sleep

    Yes, there is an undeveloped beach in Virginia that welcomes primitive camping on the Atlantic coast. False Cape State Park is accessible by foot, bicycle, beach transporter, tram or boat. The wildlife viewing is incredible, as is the sun rise over the Atlantic and the sunset over Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. Keep an eye out for loggerhead sea turtles, peregrine falcons and bald eagles.

    Looking for a few more big ideas? See 30 Adventures to Experience to make your 2013 wish list.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free 2013 Travel Guide. 

     



    Outdoors | Comments Off

    Winter Family Fun in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on January 24th, 2013

    It’s January and the kids are feeling a tinge of cabin fever. Is this true in your house? If so, check out all the great places to sneak a peek at wildlife, burn off energy and reconnect in a fun way during the winter months.

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort


    Virginia’s ski resorts are hopping with activity after receiving a few rounds of fresh, new powder. Not only are there great ski lanes, but there’s also tubing, boarding and activities for tiny tots. A winter zip line will be enticing to your older kids while spas will hit the spot for mom.

    Fans of ice skating? Don’t miss out on all of the rinks around Virginia. There are plenty of indoor rinks to choose from and a few outdoor rinks, too.

    Virginia Beach is one of our favorite summertime hot spots, but it’s pretty nifty in winter, too.

    The Virginia Aquarium & Marine
    Science Center
     boasts seals, huge turtles, crocodiles, sharks,
    komodo dragons, hedgehogs (so sweet!), sting rays, sea horses, otters and a great deal more. Two buildings are connected by boardwalk through a marsh habitat, plus they have a 3D IMAX theater and
    you can pay for a premium experience with the seals or turtles.

    Make a trip in the next few weeks if you can because the Winter Wildlife Watching boat trips are spotting many humpback whales this year and their migration season won’t last much longer. The Oceanfront Inn has a deal that includes a two-night stay plus tickets for the Aquarium, IMAX and the boat trip.

    Similar:

    Norfolk Botanical Garden is beautiful all 365 days it’s open and it’s one of the only botanical gardens that offers tours by foot, tram or boat. To top that, February is “Fun Month” and guests are invited to bring their bikes to tour the gardens. Admission
    will be reduced by $5/person in February
    .

    The Virginia Zoo is located in Norfolk, too, and they have an amazing opportunity for families –Zoo Snoozes. It’s a slumber party with nighttime flashlight tours and more, for just $30/person. Keep an eye on their calendar for the next one.

    Similar:

    Virginia is fortunate to have several great children’s museums. Take your pick for a unique experience at each one:

    Sports fans big and small will want to visit the Virginia Sports Hall of Famein Portsmouth. Not only can you see inductees’ memorabilia, but the interactive stations let you see just how fast your fastball is, shoot some hoops, take the wheel behind a simulated NASCAR engine and more. It’s a great place to burn off some energy, stay warm during the winter and increase your sports trivia knowledge, too.

    Build your trip around an upcoming family fun event. Here are a few of our faves:

    For more inspiration to fill your family’s winter weekends, check out Cool Places for Kids.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free 2013 Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Family, Winter | Comments Off

    Budget-Friendly Winter Travel Packages

    by Casey | Posted on January 23rd, 2013

    Find yourself looking for a quick winter escape that won’t break the bank? Virginia is a great choice for an affordable mountain retreat, historic escape or full-of-fun family excursion.

    The Natural Bridge in Winter

    The Natural Bridge in Winter

    Wintergreen Resort is offering a great skiing deal for you – $79 per person gets you a night of stay and an eight-hour lift ticket, not to mention unlimited use of the Aquatics & Fitness Center and the resort shuttle. Available through March 17. BOOK NOW

    The Natural Bridge should be on everyone’s bucket list, and here’s a great opportunity to see it as many times as you like for a year. Book one night and visit the Bridge, Cedar Creek Nature Trail, Monacan Indian Village, Drama of Creation, Butterfly Garden, Caverns and Wax Museum for just $99 per couple. Bring the kids for an extra $25-$30 (rates based on age). The annual pass will have you back to see the Natural Bridge in every season and then some! Available through March 7. BOOK NOW

    Couples will enjoy a stay at the 1920s General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion. The package for two includes an award-winning “Song of the Mountains” performance at The Lincoln Theatre and a dinner voucher for the boutique hotel’s The Black Rooster restaurant. $145 for two. Available January 31-February 5 and February 28-March 5. BOOK NOW

    Now paging a party of six for a weekend of fun in Roanoke! Stay at Best Western PLUS Inn at Valley View and enjoy a one-night stay, bowling for six with shoe rental, pizza and soda included, private swimming from 10 to 11pm in the indoor pool and breakfast the next morning. It’s a great value for just $152.36 (taxes included). Available through March 1. BOOK NOW: 540-362-2400 x402

    Richmond is a historical destination ripe with culture. Stay at the luxurious Jefferson Hotel (presidents have stayed there, you know) and enjoy a Southern breakfast and valet parking for just $245 for two. The hotel’s location puts you in the center of art, entertainment and tremendous history. Available weekends through March 3.  BOOK NOW

    Waterparks in January. Yes, you read right. Head to Massanutten Resort to enjoy two nights in a two-bedroom condo and eight one-day waterpark passes for just $600. You’ll also receive $18 off your food and beverage purchases at the waterpark. It’s a fun, wet time in January! BOOK NOW

    A family of four can getaway to America’s Historic Triangle for four nights and five days for just $659 through March 31. The price includes accommodations at Embassy Suites Williamsburg, breakfast and complimentary manager’s reception each day, and the American Historic Triangle Pass for each family member. The pass provides entrance for up to seven consecutive days to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Jamestowne Island, Yorktown Battlefield and Yorktown Victory Center. Don’t have a family of four? The price adjusts down to $599 for two. BOOK NOW

    Discover more great packages at Virginia.org to help you plan your next affordable getaway.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free 2013 Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Couples, Deals & Discounts, Family, Winter | Comments Off

    Bite-Sized Fun at Virginia Food Festivals

    by Casey | Posted on January 17th, 2013

    Virginia is well known for its peanuts and ham, but what about tomatoes, strawberries and even oysters? Come taste the great Virginia flavors you’ve been missing out on.

    Highland Maple Festival

    Highland Maple Festival

    The food festivals of 2013 kick off in Highland County (Virginia’s “Little Switzerland”) with the Maple Festival. Take a tour and see the trees tapped with buckets collecting the sweet goodness. Pancake breakfasts and much more make this a memorable trip and it all happens March 9, 10, 16 and 17.

    Virginia’s oyster industry is experiencing a re-birth. On the Eastern Shore in Machipongo, the Barrier Islands Center is hosting an oyster roast on February 23. It’s fresh-from-the-sea goodness with live music, wine and beer. Later, travel to the little town of Urbanna the first weekend in November and you’ll be treated to oyster shucking contests and this succulent of the sea itself, cooked (or uncooked) anyway you like it.

    Tour the town by your taste buds when Blacksburg rolls out its annual Fork and Cork festival April 27. More than 20 wineries and delicious foods from local restaurants will make this a one-day smorgasbord.

    Sweet strawberries are the highlight of the Delaplane Strawberry Festival May 25-26. It’s a day of fun for the entire family with kids’ games, hay rides, fantastic food and delicious strawberries.

    Hanover tomatoes ripen with the warm Virginia summer sun, and on July 13, you’re invited to enjoy the season’s yield and watch cooks compete with their tomato recipes. 35 years and still going strong.

    August is peach season in Virginia and the Peach Festival at Marker Miller Orchard in Winchester promises the cream of the crop. Live music, a cow train for the kids and plenty of peaches in pie, ice cream or cobbler form await you on August 10.

    You can’t be in two places at once, so October 10-12 will be a hard time for those who love Brunswick stew and shrimp. Go with the one you love the most – Suffolk on October 10 for shrimp or Alberta on October 12 for stew. Either choice is a win.

    Dig into our calendar to find more food festivals to fill up on.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free 2013 Travel Guide. 



    Festivals, Food | 1 Comment

    Virginia Slope Reports

    by Casey | Posted on January 16th, 2013

    With potential snow in the forecast this week, it’s a great time to think about hitting the slopes on skis, boards or tubes. All of Virginia’s ski resorts make snow, so even if the beautiful white stuff doesn’t fall naturally, you’ll have powder to play in.

    Massanutten Resort

    Massanutten Resort

    Bryce Resort is located in Basye, atop Bryce Mountain and northwest of Harrisonburg. If you’re driving Interstate 81 at night, you’ll see the mountain lit up for night skiing. The seven-day forecast shows snow Thursday night and again on Monday. As of today, four of the eight trails are open and the average snow depth is 22″. Snowmaking will resume tonight and some forecasters have predicted 9-12″ will fall on Bryce Thursday and Friday.
    Get Bryce Updates

    You’ll find The Homestead in Hot Springs, nestled in the Allegheny Mountains. Conde Nast Traveler recently named The Homestead one of the Top 50 Ski Hotels in the United States and Canada. Pack the bags and head out now to see why! The area forecast shows snow tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, and due to their higher climate, the snow often comes heavier and stays longer. Two trails are open and the base is 16-30″.
    Get Homstead Updates

    Just east of Harrisonburg at a peak elevation of 2,925′ is Massanutten Resort. Six of the 12 trails are open with an average depth of 18″, and 10 snow tube lanes are open. Massanutten boasts the longest vertical slope in Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania at 1,110′. If the forecasts prove accurate, that long, fast lane may have an additional 5-10″ on it soon.
    Get Massanutten Updates

    Wintergreen Resort sits on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Waynesboro. The forecast is looking good for another 6-12″ of snow Thursday and snowmaking will resume tonight to enhance the natural powder. More snow may be in the forecast for Tuesday. Currently seven of the 26 trails are open, as is The Plunge Tubing Park.
    Get Wintergreen Updates

    Bundle up and see what fun you can have at Virginia’s mountain resorts this weekend.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a 2013 Virginia Travel Guide. 

     

     



    Outdoors, Winter | Comments Off