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Archive for November, 2013

Adieu #FallinVA – 7 Final Fall Instagrams of 2013

by Casey | Posted on November 13th, 2013

It’s been great watching fall progress via your Instagram photos. Thank you for sharing them with the #FallinVA hashtag, and enjoy these final seven that have been taken over the past three days in Virginia.

Click an image to learn more about the location.

Lake Merriweather from View Rock at Goshen Pass by @lynchburgexplorer

Lake Merriweather from View Rock at Goshen Pass by @lynchburgexplorer

Wythe County by @lynzy30

Wythe County by @lynzy30

The Appalachian Trail by @bestetson

The Appalachian Trail by @bestetson

Ravens Roost on the Blue Ridge Parkway by @racin_camerabug.

Ravens Roost on the Blue Ridge Parkway by @racin_camerabug

The James River near Jamestown by @jlochoa

The James River near Jamestown by @jlochoa

Hiking the backcountry in Shenandoah National Park by @danielleemerson

Hiking the backcountry in Shenandoah National Park by @danielleemerson

Follow us on Instagram (@VisitVirginia) and tag your images #LOVEVA to show off the places you’re visiting and enjoying in Virginia.

Virginia is for Lovers.



Fall in Virginia, Favorite Shots, Outdoors | Comments Off

5 Heartwarming Holiday Getaways for Dining and Shopping

by Casey | Posted on November 13th, 2013

Last week we offered you Five Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays and this week we continue with five more for you to ponder. If you love the idea of taking a break to get some shopping done or to just break away and enjoy the moment, you might like these.

Christmas in Orange

Christmas in Orange

Getting away to the country is quite relaxing, especially during the Christmas season. Sparkling storefronts and lamp poles induce memories of simpler times. Find such places when you spend a few days in Orange County.

  • Stay: The Inn at Willow Grove, Holladay House Bed and Breakfast, Inn at Westwood Farm
  • Dine: Elmwood at Sparks, Pomme, Stonefire Kitchen, Palladio Restaurant
  • Visit: James Madison’s Montpelier, The Market at Grelen, Four County Players, Barboursville Vineyards
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

Locally-owned shops reign supreme in Richmond, but if you’re seeking big-name stores, those are nearby, too! You’re going to love the cobblestones, the unique shops and vintage boutiques, and an amazing flare for food that only Richmond can offer.

  • Stay: The Jefferson Hotel, The One Bed and Breakfast, The Berkeley Hotel
  • Dine: Fresca on Addison, Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant, Tobacco Company, Pasture, Comfort, Can Can Brasserie
  • Visit: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Maymont, Segway of Richmond, Children’s Museum of Richmond, Ice Skating, Carytown
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Ice Skating in Fairfax County

Ice Skating in Fairfax County

Bring on the glitz and add the cheer when you take in a little shopping and a little history in Fairfax County.

  • Stay: a wide choice of top hotel brands are available
  • Dine: Clyde’s, Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, Härth
  • Visit: Reston Town Center, Wolf Trap, Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, Woodlawn Plantation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, Workhouse Arts Center, Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Galleria, Fairfax Square
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Winter in Rappahannock County

Winter in Rappahannock County

If you love the nostalgic feel of Currier & Ives, Little Washington is your destination. A thriving arts community and the world renowned Inn at Little Washington are the claim to fame in this little slice of heaven in Rappahannock County.

  • Stay: Gay Street Inn, Heritage House Bed & Breakfast, Middleton Inn Bed and Breakfast
  • Dine: The Inn at Little Washington, The Blue Rock Inn Restaurant
  • Visit: Geneva Welch Gallery, The Theatre at Washington, Virginia, the five Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg is the quintessential holiday destination in Virginia for so many reasons. The shops, the Colonial decor, and a simple but tangible cheer that can’t help but emanate.

 

This is the second post in our Heartwarming Getaways series. Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

Virginia is for Lovers.



48 Hours, Family, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

10 Classic Virginia Experiences

by Casey | Posted on November 12th, 2013

Looking for a well-rounded list of things to do, see and experience during the holiday and winter seasons? Consider this one of them.

1. Hike a portion of  the Appalachian Trail. Start in Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Yorktown Victory Center

Yorktown Victory Center

2. Navigate America’s Historic Triangle – Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. All of America is rooted in the happenings of this area, from the 1607 landing at Jamestowne to the new nation ideas bred at Williamsburg and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown. That’s a lot of history in a pretty tight radius.

3. If seeing sites that include words like biggest, endless, deepest or tallest are on your bucket list, we can help you mark them off. Virginia has eight caverns, including the largest in the eastern United States, one that has no end, the deepest, and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world.

4. One key annual holiday event allows you to drive the longest boardwalk in the country - the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s the McDonald’s Holiday Lights on the Beach, part of Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights connecting seven twinkling cities.

100 Miles of Lights - Virginia Beach

100 Miles of Lights – Virginia Beach

5. There’s nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can find them across Virginia. Check out our Main Streets and then look in places you wouldn’t suspect, like Richmond‘s Shockoe Slip, the Freemason District of Norfolk and Old Town Alexandria.

6. Have a whale of a time on board a boat bound for winter wildlife viewing off the coast of Virginia. The team at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is happy to take you into the Atlantic for a chance to see the fin and humpback whales migrating this time of year.

7. Eight United States Presidents have hailed from the Commonwealth and you can visit their homes and libraries as well as the places they dined, studied and enjoyed the social scene.

8. More than 230 wineries, 60+ craft breweries, and a quickly growing number of cideries and distilleries are toasting the holidays and inviting you to warm from within. Designated drivers are mandatory.

9. Strike a chord in the birthplace of country music – Bristol - and travel The Crooked Road to see and hear music history and tradition at places like Carter Family Fold and the Ralph Stanley Museum.

10. Zip line through a snowy winter wonderland at Wintergreen Resort. It’s 900 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Don’t forget to wear a ski mask. Brrr!
What would you add to a list of quintessential things to do in Virginia? Leave a comment!
Virginia is for Lovers.



The Holidays, Winter | 3 Comments

10 Pies Worth the Drive

by Casey | Posted on November 8th, 2013

Have you ever loved a specific dish so much that you drove well out of your way just to enjoy it? My parents did that for a cup of coffee once, and my mother-in-law drove across the Commonwealth to get a hot, fresh Smithfield ham biscuit once, too. I’m convinced a renowned slice of pie will garner the same craving and willingness to go. Let’s try it out!

Old Chickahominy House

Old Chickahominy House

Our trusted source of “locals” have filled us in on their favorite places for pie, and we’d love to hear about yours, too. Let your mouth water and then leave a comment.

The Old Chickahominy House in Williamsburg has been serving southern breakfast and lunch specialties since 1955, but it’s the homemade chocolate pie that Terri raves about. She says it’s “the creamiest, chocolatiest filling in a flaky crust that’s the most delicious pie you’ll ever put into your mouth.”

Visit to try a slice. If you love it, place an order for Thanksgiving. Choose from coconut, buttermilk, chocolate, apple crumb, “no sugar added” apple, cherry crumb, pecan, and sweet potato.

If you find yourself in Abingdon (which I hope you do), put JJ’s Restaurant and Sports Bar on your list of “musts.” They call themselves “Abingdon’s classiest little dive,” but Tenille’s note really says it all. “They serve chocolate, coconut, butterscotch, and peanut butter. Their pies are homemade by a 70 year old lady, who makes them everyday fresh and ready to eat. These are the pies that your grandmother made but never gave you the recipe.

Tenille didn’t stop there. She has another pie hot-spot in Abingdon, Chick-N-Little. She says this family-owned restaurant offers great food at a cheap price, plus “they have the BEST homemade pies.”

Mom's Apple Pie

Mom’s Apple Pie

“This was the best sour cherry pie that I’ve ever had,” proclaims Jane in regard to Mom’s Apple Pie in Leesburg. Jane learned that the owner grows her own fruits for the purpose of crafting amazing pies. With Thanksgiving in mind, Jane assures, “You can buy about 15 flavors daily, either by the slice or whole. I recommend buying the whole pie … or even five!!!”

River City Grill in Radford offers breakfast all day, plus lunch and dinner. Deb promises they’ll serve you the “most amazing chocolate chess pie ever, rich and decadent.”

Meringue lovers, Betsy has found your heaven. Pat’s Kountry Diner in Lebanon is named for, well, Pat. She makes a mean coconut pie with “piled high meringue,” according to Betsy, that’s pure “melt in your mouth goodness!”

The Cabin Point Mercantile in Spring Grove specializes in the sweet stuff. They’re a bakery creating homemade brownies, cakes, fudge, cookies, and of course, pie! Kimberly is a fan of the cheesecake pies, writing, “cheesecake pies are amazing, pie crust with a layer of cheesecake topped with all types of flavors – pineapple, cherry, peach, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry! Amazing!”

The Horseshoe Restaurant in South Hill is no stranger to our local recommendations. It was mentioned in the 14 Places to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Virginia, as well as one of 22 Places to Eat Like a Local. In the 22 Places article, the peanut butter and chocolate walnut pies were touted. For this article, it was the chocolate walnut that rose to the top again. All of the desserts at Horseshoe are made from scratch daily.

Proper Pie Co.

Proper Pie Co.

With a name like Pie Gourmet, one would expect top-of-the-line pie. Fortunately, Pie Gourmet in Vienna delivers just that. In fact, The Washington Post calls it “a gem among local bakeries.” Enjoy a range of fruit pies, cream pies, cheesecake, dessert pies, and even dinner pies, like lasagna.

Relatively new to Richmond’s food scene is Proper Pie Co., serving New Zealand-style savory pie as well as sweet pies. Think Mince & Cheese finished with a slice of Blueberry Apple.

Hill High Country Store in Round Hill has a lot to offer, including more than 30 fresh-baked pies daily. You’ll find local foods, produce, wine, and an all-day deli with chef specialties. Take the trip for lunch and top it off with a great slice of pie.

Share your favorite pie! Leave a comment and spread the love.

Virginia is for Lovers.



Food, Locals | 3 Comments

5 Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays

by Casey | Posted on November 6th, 2013

As the season of holidays creeps ever closer, find ways to make the most of your time together and make it memorable. Why not consider an overnight or two in a Virginia destination known for its merriment and cheer?

 

The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

Spend the holidays in Abingdon! This picturesque small town will fill your heart with holiday joy. World class art venues, cultural events and historical sites are all wrapped up in Christmas lights.

  • Stay: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Copper Lantern Inn, River Garden Bed and Breakfast
  • Dine: Babycakes Cupcakery and Abingdon Tavern
  • Visit: Barter Theatre, Holston Mountain Artisans, Wolf Hills Brewery, Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

Escape to a cozy winter weekend in Harrisonburg, where holiday events on Main Street highlight the beauty of the season.

  • Stay: Joshua Wilton House, Stonewall Jackson Inn, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
  • Dine: Shank’s Bakery, Clementine Cafe, Corgans’ Publick House
  • Visit: You Made It!, Winter Farmers’ Market, Forbes Center for Performing Arts
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria

From charming King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, the area presents lively, entertaining holiday opportunities for the whole family.

  • Stay: Morrison House, Lorien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Monaco
  • Dine: Fish Market Restaurant, Hard Times Cafe, Caboose Cafe & Bakery
  • Visit: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Woodlawn, Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria Black History Museum
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Downtown Culpeper

Downtown Culpeper

Enjoy the spirit of a classic Virginia Main Street when you and the girls make it a shopping weekend in Culpeper.

  • Stay: Thyme Inn, Suites at 249, Hazel River Inn B&B
  • Dine: Hazel River Inn Restaurant & Pub, Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Foti’s
  • Visit: Mount Pony Theatre, Belmont Farm Distillery, Old House Vineyards
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Virginia Living Museum

Virginia Living Museum

Capture the memories as you indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul in Newport News, the heart of Coastal Virginia, this holiday season.

  • Stay: Newport News Marriott at City Center, Boxwood Inn, The Pequod Inn
  • Dine: Crab Shack on the James, The Lunch Bell
  • Visit: Virginia Living Museum, 100 Miles of Lights, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Looking for more great holiday getaways? This is the first in a series! Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

Virginia is for Lovers.
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48 Hours, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Winter | 12 Comments