A new nation wanted a revolution – a clean break from “security, taxation, representation, and political authority,” reads RoadtoRevolution.org, and it’s in Virginia that you can walk this road to see our forefathers’ marks of progress.
Earlier this year the trail was expanded, doubling in size. Plan to travel the Road to Revolution by visiting the sites, as well as taking in the annual “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” Anniversary Reenactment at St. John’s Church in Richmond. It’s happening this Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 1 p.m. The reenactment is free with a suggested donation of $5. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Virginia’s theme parks are preparing to open for the spring and summer season – one as soon as this Sunday. If your family LOVEs to get outside and enjoy the fresh air, as well as get the first coaster-induced adrenaline rush of 2013, here are a few fun things you should know.
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia opens this Sunday, March 17 at 10 a.m. If you’re an annual pass holder, you get in a day early! Pass members will be treated to a preview day this Saturday, complete with a Black Forest picnic. Reserve your spot.
The newest ride at Busch Gardens is Verbolten. It opened mid-season 2012, so if you visited the park early last year, you missed out on this gem. It’s an indoor/outdoor multi-launch coaster that departs from a German tourist center. With various scenarios, you never know which path your autobahn will take.
Don’t miss the inaugural Busch Gardens Food & Wine Festival. It’s happening every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 31 through June 23. As you make your way through the park you’ll encounter foods and beverages authentic to each country of Busch Gardens with a few extras thrown in, like sangria from Spain. The Festival experience is in addition to your park admission. Each of-age guest will be able to pre-load a card to swipe at each station, taking cash-fumbling out of the equation.
Sesame Street Forest of Fun Preschool Pass – Register online and redeem at the park by May 31, 2013 for your preschooler (ages 3-5) to enjoy unlimited admission to both Busch Gardens and Water Country USA through September 2, 2013. Valid for Virginia residents only.
Fun Card – The single day admission for Busch Gardens is $70 and the Fun Card is $70. If there’s the slightest chance you’ll go again before September 2, 2013, get the Fun Card and enjoy unlimited admission.
2-Park Summer Flex Card – So you love Water Country USA just as much as you love Busch Gardens. Luckily, there’s a card for that. Buy this card and enjoy seven days of consecutive use between the two parks. It’s $80 online – a $39 discount.
Meal Deal Package – One price ($22) gives you two meals – a lunch and a dinner. That’s a 40% savings available online only.
Kid’s Dining Certificate – One kid’s meal and a fountain drink for $5.99. It’s not discounted, but it goes to show that you can feed the kids without breaking the bank.
Kings Dominion in Doswell, Virginia, opens Friday, March 29 at 10:30 a.m., rolling out a brand new, re-imagined Planet Snoopy. Eight new rides bring the total to 18 and doubles the space at nearly 14 acres. That makes it the world’s largest PEANUTS themed children’s area. Check out the webcam to monitor the process.
If the all-new kid fun isn’t enough to pull you to KD, maybe the largest entertainment line-up in years will do the trick. Seven brand new offerings take the total to 10, giving you plenty of options to sit and take a break. Expect to see a BMX-style show that will include semifinalists from Season 7 of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” and a new “On Broadway” musical revue that brings you the classic shows from New York City.
Everyone Pays Kids Price Offer – Buy your single-day ticket online and pay the kid’s rate of $39.99. That’s a $22 savings for adults and only available online for a visit by June 16, 2013. Note that you have to pick your date of visit to complete the purchase.
Silver Season Pass – Visit KD as much as you want until September 2, 2013 for only $72. The regular adult single-day admission is $61.99 at the gate, so for just $10 more you can come back again and again. This pass is valid for ages 3 and over. A perk to being a Silver Season Pass holder is the 10% discount on in-park dollars, called Beagle Bucks.
The big event is the Virginia International Tattoo, occurring April 25-28 at the Scope Arena in Norfolk. Presented in the grand tradition of the world’s oldest tattoos, this Tattoo is an all-American show of patriotism and pride. The dynamic cast of more than 850 hails from several countries and offers something for everyone. Count on marching bands, massed pipes and drums, military drill teams, Celtic dancers, choirs and as always, surprise guests!
Coppelia, performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet, is receiving great acclaim. Daily Express (UK) calls it, “mischievous and vivid,” while The Stage (UK) says it’s, “staged and so beautifully danced … Cheer for BRB, they are at their peak.” See the performance at Chrysler Hall in Norfolk April 19-21.
Mature audiences will be treated to Meow Meow, a cabaret performer. This show is suggested for ages 16 and older. Meow Meow is hailed a “dazzlingly multi-talented performer” by The Age (Australia). See her March 19-24 at Robin Hixon Theater in Norfolk.
Families LOVE Spring Break in Virginia, and the choices for fun are many – have fun at one of the theme parks, hit the beach if you can’t wait ’til June to put your feet in the sand or explore a city or two. Travel packages and deals make it easier to get away to Virginia for a day or longer.
If each member of the family has a different favorite activity, that’s okay at The Homestead. This famed Hot Springs, Virginia resort invites you to come play for as little as $279 per night. Each member of the family can choose an activity (archery, Jefferson Pools, trail riding, etc.) and enjoy discounts on KidsClub and additional activities. Book Now
Introduce your children to trains or give them the chance to expand their existing interest with a special stay at The Hotel Roanoke in Roanoke, Virginia. Their Train Lover’s offer includes deluxe accommodations for one night with a full breakfast and tickets to the O. Winston Link Museum and Virginia Museum of Transportation. Book Now
Spread Spring Break to include the grandparents with this overnight experience in Fredericksburg. You choose your hotel with two rooms included. The parents will enjoy tickets for dinner and a show at Riverside Dinner Theater while the grandparents and kids have a $100 shopping spree at Spotsylvania Towne Center (gift card good for dining, bowling and movies, too). Bring the family back together the following day for a private three-hour Colonial History Tour by Horse and Carriage. Priced from $659. Book Now
Anxious for the theme parks to open? You’re in luck! Busch Gardens opens for two weeks during Spring Break (March 23-April 7) and Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg has an outstanding family package to get you there. Your family of four can stay two nights, enjoy Summer Fun Tickets to Busch Gardens, daily breakfast, access to the Resort pools and sports club, and complimentary transportation to and from the park. Rates start at $375 per night. Book Now
With all of the Virginia Beach resort area as your playground, sometimes you just need an excellent nightly rate without the frills of a package. Check out the $89 weekday and $199 weekend rates from Fairfield Inn & Suites. All rooms are oceanfront, a complimentary continental breakfast is included with your stay and the indoor pool is perfect for this time of year. Rates valid through May 23, 2013. Book Now
If you’ve already secured a room and are just looking for something fun along the way, we found a few deals for you.
Treat your taste buds to some of Virginia’s local cuisine. The Commonwealth has a range of restaurants to experience, but make sure you do not miss out on one of the things Virginia does best – southern food. Many dishes featured in these southern comfort food restaurants are inspired from recipes that have been passed down for generations. Make the most out of your Virginia dining experience with these sophisticated, down-home southern comfort food dining selections.
Lee Ann Whippen of Wood Chicks BBQ in Chesapeake
Whistlepig Bistro – Glade Springs This restaurant stands by a great name with an even greater philosophy – “Real Food, Ya’ll.” The Whistlepig Bistro offers a variety of dishes with a southern twist. Many have enjoyed the juicy burgers and outstanding cornbread, to name a few of their southern delights.
The Virginia Diner – Wakefield You may have tried the Virginia Diner’s gourmet peanuts, but have you tried their warm peanut pie? This restaurant has much more to offer than just peanuts, however. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, The Virginia Diner has a wide range of southern delicacies to choose from.
Comfort – Richmond This restaurant’s name tells all. Comfort is a place to enjoy traditional southern comfort food prepared from local farm-grown produce and made-from-scratch cooking. Pair any of the southern dishes with an all-American beverage from the fully stocked bar.
Lynne’s Family Restaurant – Mathews Lynne’s Family Restaurant offers down-home cooking in a casual atmosphere. This is a perfect place for the whole family with many homemade dining options. Not only is lunch and dinner prepared, but Lynne’s also provides a wonderful country breakfast spread.
Smithfield Inn Restaurant and Tavern – Smithfield Offering southern hospitality for over 250 years, Smithfield Inn has been serving up southern dishes to dedicated locals and repeat visitors to the area for years. Not only are the good-eats attractive, but the location is as well. The restaurant provides casual, al fresco, and formal dining experiences.
Wood Chicks BBQ – Chesapeake Barbeque is a southern dish enjoyed by many, and Wood Chicks BBQ’s smoked meats have earned award-winning recognition. Food Network, TODAY Show, People Magazine, WAVY TV10 and National BBQ News all agree that this is a restaurant you should not miss.
Mountain Art Works – Haysi Not only does Mountain Art Works serve as a restaurant, but as a gallery as well. Enjoy the homey décor with antiques and memorabilia on display while dining on hand-patted burgers, homemade gravy and biscuits, or your choice of many more southern comfort delights.
Bistro Bethem – Fredericksburg Bistro Bethem has not only been praised for its delicious dishes, but for its dining experience as well. The menu provides seasonal and daily specials, offering an upscale twist on southern comfort foods. The atmosphere is one for the fine diner who desires tastes from the south.
Local Roots – Roanoke Local Roots prides itself on having S.O.L.E.—Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical products. This restaurant provides its customers with farm-to-table cuisine, serving dishes created from the best products from the best farms.
Molasses Grill – Halifax A blend of southern traditions and modern tastes, Molasses Grill serves up amazing dishes to its satisfied customers. The menu consists of fresh dishes from the sea and land, with many options for vegetarians too. The daily specials, homemade baguettes, and freshly made desserts make this a culinary hot spot.
There are many more Virginia restaurants that feature southern delicacies. Find them at www.virignia.org.