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    Where is the LOVE?

    Click for a map of the LOVEwork locations.

    Take a photo with LOVE.
    Tag it #LOVEVA and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

    See LOVEwork Photos

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    Testing out Instagram's new #hyperlapse app at Lewis Ginter #Botanical #Garden in Richmond. What do you think? #loveva #virginia #rva #lewisginter #orchid #vatravel #vaoutdoors @lewisginter @visitrichmondva
    If you haven't notice, fields of #sunflowers are in bloom throughout the state. This one calls Lickinghole Creek Craft #Brewery it's home in Goochland. This is both an awesome photo and tasting op. ūüėČ #loveva #virginia #vabeer #vacraftbeermonth #sunflower #photooftheday #drinklocal #craftbeer Photo creds to @lickingholecreekcraftbrewery
    Here's a view of Damascus Old Mill #Inn. Since 1910 the Old Mill has stood along the South Fork #River, serving the community of Damascus as a grist/saw mill until 1965. Now you can rent rooms overlooking the river and this beautiful man-made #waterfall stretching across the South Fork. The river (and falls) are four to five times wider than what you see here. It's breathtaking to stand in the middle of the riverbed like this with the water roaring past. #LoveVa #Virginia #sunset #swva #southforkriver #vaoutdoors #vais4lovers
    What a beautiful capture of a #foggy #Virginia Blue Ridge #sunrise by @jingram623. These are the #majestic mountains of Tazewell. Keep tagging your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #photooftheday #epic #fog #vablueridge
  • Archive for June, 2013

    Adventures in the Air

    by Casey | Posted on June 18th, 2013

    Many people love a beach sunrise, sand between their toes and a refreshing ocean breeze. It’s a beautiful thing, for sure, but have you experienced Virginia’s beaches from the air? Imagine what that looks and feels like. Better yet, find out!

    Adventure Parasail

    Adventure Parasail

    Parasailing

    Parasailing is an activity whereby a person is harnessed to a boat and the boat accelerates to allow the sail to open and the person to be lifted in the air.

    Q: Why parasail?

    A1: Dolphins. They’re plentiful and playful, and you’ve never seen them like this before.

    A2: You don’t have to get wet if you don’t want to.

    A3: You can try it with a friend if you’re a little nervous.

    A4: You don’t need any experience.

    The view and the ride are exhilarating and it’s doubtful that you’ll be sorry you did it. Consider it a #BucketList item and give it a whirl, just so you can say that you did!

    Adventure Parasail can fly you and a friend or two, if you want, as high as 1,200 feet over the Atlantic Ocean and Virginia Beach oceanfront.  The captains at Adventure are United State Coast Guard certified and they have a perfect safety record.  Reservations

    Hang Gliding

    Hang gliding  can be performed several ways. Sometimes one jumps from a cliff while harnessed to a non-motorized aircraft (the hang glider). Another way to hang glide is to be harnessed in to the glider and then be towed by a small specialty aircraft. This is known as aerotowing.

    Q: Why hang glide?

    A1: The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a pretty magical place. It’s an important stopover on the Atlantic Flyway, so birds are incredibly abundant.

    A2: You’ll fly with a partner, so no need to be nervous. It’s called tandem flight.

    A3: You don’t need any experience.

    The diversity of the Eastern Shore is incredible – open fields, wooded areas, the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. At heights of 2,500 feet to a mile, it’s an experience and views like you’ve never had before. Each flight is 12 to 15 minutes long and ages four and older are eligible for flight. Contact the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center in Weirwood to get gliding. Call 914-772-6242 to further inquire or make a reservation.

    Plan your adventure in the air this summer! Comment below to suggest other awesome Virginia adventures.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.



    Outdoors, Video clips | 1 Comment

    8 Virginia Caverns to LOVE

    by Casey | Posted on June 18th, 2013

    Connect the dots down the Shenandoah Valley this summer when you visit all eight Virginia caverns. Each has very unique features and its own story to tell.

    Luray Caverns

    Stalacpipe Organ at Luray Caverns

    A constant 50-something-degree temperature makes each cavern a welcome reprieve on a hot summer day. Set your course from north to south along US Route 11 or Interstate 81 to hit these in order.

    1.¬†Skyline Caverns¬†* Front Royal – Skyline is famous for its rare Anthrodites which radiate spike formations resembling flowers. They’re called the Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom. Other cool formations here are The Shrine and Fairyland Lake.

    2.¬†Shenandoah Caverns¬†* Quicksburg – Shenandoah is the only cavern system in Virginia with elevator service to its 17 underground rooms. A can’t-miss is Rainbow Lake with iridescent drip formations of bright colors. Other cool formations are Diamond Cascade, Beyond the Veil and Grotto of the Gods.

    Diamond Cascade at Shenandoah Caverns

    Diamond Cascade at Shenandoah Caverns

    3.¬†Luray Caverns¬†* Luray – Luray is the largest cavern on the East Coast and includes a Stalacpipe Organ. The organ pipes are stalactites stretching 3.5 underground acres. The most impressive structure at Luray is Giant’s Hall – expansive chambers decorated by golden, 10-story-high columns. Other cool formations of Endless are Titania’s Veil, Frozen Fountain and Empress Column.

    4.¬†Endless Caverns¬†* New Market – Endless is called endless for a reason. Numerous expeditions have failed to find the end of this cave system, which is already mapped at more than five miles. Another awesome claim to fame? A fossilized woolly mammoth’s tooth resides here. Cool formations here include Fairy Land, the Lodge Room, and Fresh Bacon Slices.

    5.¬†Grand Caverns¬†* Grottoes – Grand is indeed grand with breathtaking panoramic subterranean beauty. It is also the oldest show cave in the United States, having originally opened in 1806 as Weyers Cave. Parade¬†ranked Grand Caverns number two in the nation based on physical aspects like room size, paths, ratio of growth formations to dormant formations, and overall beauty. Don’t miss the Rainbow Room.

    Anthrodites at Skyline Caverns

    Anthrodites at Skyline Caverns

    6. Natural Bridge Caverns * Natural Bridge РThis cavern is the deepest on the East Coast at 34 stories down. Collosal Dome is the prize formation here, but also look for Flowstone Cascade and Wishing Well.

    7. Dixie Caverns * Salem РDixie was discovered in 1920 by a boy and his dog, just as Endless Caverns were found by boys and a dog in 1879. Dogs have a knack for sniffing out big caves, huh? The Magic Mirror Room is where the magic happens at Dixie. Other cool formation here include the Wedding Bell, Turkey Wing and Fairy Land (fairies sure are popular in the underground world).

    8. Gap Caverns * Ewing РLocated in Cumberland Gap National Park and west of Interstate 81, Gap Caverns is home to one of the tallest stalagmites in the world РPillar of Hercules. Tours are given by lantern light here, so expect  a very pioneering, adventurous feel when you enjoy Gap Caverns.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.



    History, Outdoors, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    The Great American Backyard Campout

    by Casey | Posted on June 17th, 2013

    This post was updated June 23, 2014.

    Centered around one night, June 28, the Great American Backyard Campout can happen anywhere – your own backyard, a neighborhood park or in one of Virginia’s 36 State Parks.

    Bear Creek Lake State Park

    Bear Creek Lake State Park

    Why camp? Virginia State Parks offers, “Camping is an affordable family vacation or weekend getaway experience – a family of four can go camping for less than the cost of a movie.” The National Wildlife Federation suggests, “The nature of childhood has changed. There’s not much nature in it.” Put down the electronics and let’s vacation on the cheap while introducing our kids to amazing outdoors they may have never previously experienced.

    For families who are new to camping, a special group camping experience is offered at the following Virginia State Parks:

    Each one of Virginia’s 36 state parks is participating in the Great American Backyard Campout, and each one has something unique to offer for the weekend.

    Check out Camping 101 at Sky Meadows (Delaplane) and Canoeing 101 at Twin Lakes (Green Bay).

    Holliday Lake State Park

    Holliday Lake State Park

    Try beginner level archery, geocaching and campfire making at Bear Creek Lake (Cumberland).

    Don’t have a tent? Don’t buy one. Head to Holliday Lake (Appomattox), Belle Isle (Lancaster), or Grayson Highlands (Mouth of Wilson) to borrow one of theirs for the night. Limited availability.

    A Children’s Fishing Tournament and special Fossil Walk are highlights of the day at Chippokes (Surry).

    All of the fixin’s are provided for a grand s’mores roast at Fairy Stone (Stuart).

    Into pirate lore (or are the stories real?!)? Head to First Landing (Virginia Beach) for free programming that includes some pirate talk (arrgh!), seashell artwork, marine life programs and more.

    Grayson Highlands State Park

    Grayson Highlands State Park

    A hot new Virginia State Park destination is High Bridge Trail (Farmville). Bike the high bridge, but also earn a certificate and official High Bridge State Park patch for completing a meteorology course. Boy Scouts can earn their weather merit badge with this course.

    Leesylvania (Woodbridge) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a cake at the Marina! A live band and fireworks will make it a fun night to remember.

    Take a free chair lift ride at Natural Tunnel (Duffield) for a special Lighting of the Tunnel event. An astronomy program and other activities are also planned.

    A guided biking and kayaking trip awaits you when you stay at New River Trail (Foster Falls). Bring your fishing poles (if you want) and a lunch to enjoy along the way. Several stops will be included to introduce you to macro invertebrates, birding and survival skills. For ages 10 and over. Registration is $25/person. Call 276-699-6778.

    A two day encampment by C.S.A. Marine historical interpreters will await you at Sailor’s Creek (Rice). Black powder firing demonstrations and storytelling are highlights.

    Where are you headed this Saturday night? We can only hope it’s into Virginia’s great outdoors. Learn more about Virginia Great Outdoor Month at Virginia.org/GOM and find an upcoming Virginia State Park event to attend.

    The Great American Backyard Campout is an event sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation to encourage families to unplug, spend a night in the outdoors, get active and “Be Out There.”

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter. 



    Outdoors | Comments Off

    4 Summer Road Trip Ideas for Families

    by Casey | Posted on June 14th, 2013

    Do you ever hit the road without a real destination and just make it all up as you go along? My family does. We have a general idea, but no real agenda. If you’re looking to freely travel in the same fashion, I’ve come up with a five summer road trip ideas for just that purpose. Travel on!

    Ocean View Fishing Pier

    Ocean View Fishing Pier

    1. The Beach. Families can enjoy a great, affordable beach vacation when they’re willing to head to a lesser-known beach like Ocean View in Norfolk. The rates are lower and vacancies are more readily available. See the Trip

    2. Roadside Wonders. Quirky little things that are probably genuine Roadside America icons are cool for any family road trip. These gems give Dad a reason to stop the car so everyone can stretch.

    Trip Idea: Going Old School in Fredericksburg
    Trip Idea: Stay, Shop, Dine and Play in Arlington
    Trip Idea: Wonders of the World
    Trip Idea: Richmond History and Comfort
    >> See more trip ideas like this.

    Cape Henry Lighthouses

    Cape Henry Lighthouses

    3. Beacons in the Night. If you have a thing for lighthouses, you’ll be happy to learn that Virginia has five. It will be quite the adventure to enjoy them all, which makes them road trip worthy. You might consider stretching out the three-day idea¬†when smaller ones are in tow.

    4.¬†LOVEworks for your family photo ops. Every vacation or weekend getaway should include photo opportunities. They’re great for the scrapbook and these particular photo ops are really endearing, if I do say so myself. Map the LOVEworks across Virginia and set out to find each one, take a photograph with it, and then head on to the next. Don’t forget to share socially and hashtag #loveva!

    Trip Idea: Southwest Virginia LOVEworks from Abingdon
    Trip Idea: Shenandoah Valley LOVEworks from Waynesboro
    >> See all of the LOVEworks locations and create y0ur own trip.

    Where will the road take you this summer? Build your own trip on Virginia.org.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter. 

     



    Beaches, Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 2 Comments

    7 Lesser Known Virginia Waterfalls

    by Casey | Posted on June 12th, 2013

    The vast majority of Virginia’s waterfalls are products of mountain streams – mountain streams that are carrying a great deal of water after a good, soaking rain. At the time of this writing, the conditions are perfect for lacing up your hiking boots, grabbing your camera and experiencing a waterfall with someone you love.

    We’ve given you waterfall ideas before – those that are beautiful with fall foliage,¬†those that shimmer in winter, and those that are paired up with fantastic hikes. Today we give you even more. Plot them out and head for the hills after a good rain.

    Fallingwater Cascades Hiking Trail

    Fallingwater Cascades Hiking Trail

    Shenandoah National Park¬†has quite a few waterfalls and most are showing off right now. You’ll find several mentioned in the links above, but here are five more we haven’t previously mentioned.

    1. Rose River Falls is accessed from MP 49.4 on Skyline Drive. The Rose River Loop Trail is 2.6 miles round trip, but the jewel that awaits is a cascade that has the potential to grow to four cascades with the recent rainfall.  MAP

    2.¬†Jones Run Falls¬†can be accessed from MP 84.1. Take Jones Run Trail, a 3.4-mile roundtrip hike, to the 42-foot cascading Jones Run Falls. It’s a serene setting with flat rocks for a time-out.¬†MAP

    3. Cedar Run Falls is actually two separate cascades that are accessed from MP 45.5 at Hawksbill Gap Parking. Make it an out-and-back hike if you’re less than enthused about the 8.2-mile strenuous circuit. If a strenuous workout excites you, you’ll be rewarded with the very popular series of falls in Whiteoak Canyon. MAP

    4. Lewis Falls is 2.2 miles from the parking lot at MP 51.4. The trail can be considered difficult with a stream crossing and rocky, steep areas, but it leads to an observation point and an 81-foot-high waterfall. MAP

    5. Doyles River Falls are two cascades (28′ and 63′) along the Doyles River Trail. Park at MP 81.1 and look for the blue-blazed, moderately difficult trail. It’s 3.2 miles out-and-back to the lower falls (63′) or 2.7 miles for the upper (28′). MAP

    The Blue Ridge Parkway has its share of waterfalls. Try these two in Virginia.

    1. Apple Orchard Falls is accessed from MP 78.4 at Sunset Fields Overlook, just north of Peaks of Otter. The trail is considered strenuous at a steep 1.4 miles downhill hike (uphill on the way back!), but the 200′ falls are calling …

    2. Fallingwater Cascades can be accessed from MP 83.1 and is a moderate 1.6-mile out-and-back trail. It’s also designated a National Recreation Trail -¬†a designation given to existing trails that contribute to health, conservation, and recreation goals in the United States.

    A hike for waterfalls is a perfect getaway. Be safe on slippery surfaces, wear sturdy shoes and bring your bug spray.

    Check out more great hikes and things to do at Virginia.org/GOM

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.



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