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    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
    A #foggy #hike along Stony Man Trail in Shenandoah National Park sounds (and looks) so refreshing! @packdsuitcase snapped this one while trekking the trail this weekend. Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here! #hiking #vaoutdoors #mistymountain #photooftheday #howisummer #snp @vastateparks
    Congratulations to Devils Backbone Outpost for taking the best in show yesterday at the #Virginia Craft Brewers Fest with their Turbo Cougar. If you haven't tried it, this is a resounding recommendation! #loveva #craftbeer #vabeer #drinklocal #vabrewers #devilsbackbonebrewery #congrats #blueridgemountains #trophy #winning @devilsbackbonebrewingcompany
  • Virginia’s Coastal Spring Drives

    by Casey | Posted on March 4th, 2014

    If you’re completely over the winter season and long for spring like I do, you’ll love the notion of beautiful spring drives through Virginia. Beginning in Coastal Virginia, these drives include history and beauty, and leave you feeling a little more carefree.

    This is the first of a four-part series which will lead you to some of the best destinations in Virginia by way of the slower route.

    Colonial Parkway

    Colonial Parkway

    Colonial Parkway is a 23-mile run through America’s Historic Triangle, connecting Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, and Yorktown Victory Center. The drive is maintained by the National Park Service and is free from commercial development. Dogwood, Redbud, and more bloom along the drive, and the James and York Rivers are additional highlights.

    Cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to access Coastal Virginia’s Eastern Shore and then it’s Route 13 all the way to Maryland … with a stop-off or two as you go. Really take your time and enjoy what’s just out of sight:

    ~ Kiptopeke State Park
    ~ Cape Charles – the only public bayside beach on the Shore
    ~ Onancock – “The Coolest Town in the South,” per Budget Travel
    ~
    Historic Railway Museum, Parksley
    ~ Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - wild ponies!
    ~ Asssateague Island National Seashore and Assateague Lighthouse

    Westover Plantation

    Westover Plantation

    Often romanticized (thank you, Gone With the Wind), and ever historic, plantations are plentiful along the James River and Route 5 from Williamsburg to Richmond. Not all are open to the public all the time, so call ahead if visiting one is part of your plan. Or, purchase the Civil War Trace ticket to visit the grounds and tour just a few of them.

    Route 10 from Smithfield to Chippokes Plantation State Park runs on the south side of the James River. Enjoy a waterside meal at Smithfield Station and then explore the shops of this historic ham hamlet before heading northwest to Bacon’s Castle, the 1665 Jacobean mansion and oldest brick structure in British North America. Bacon’s Castle is so named for Nathaniel Bacon of ”Bacon’s Rebellion” in 1676. Nearly 350 years of history are interpreted at the site by way of tours of the 9,600 square foot mansion and 40-acre plantation. Just down the road is Chippokes Plantation State Park, a working farm that dates to 1617. Tour the antebellum mansion and check out the antique farm and forestry equipment, too. If you have time to spend, stay overnight or take to the trails for hiking and biking.

    Which coastal route is your favorite to drive at a leisurely pace and enjoy a day or weekend? Leave a comment to let everyone know.

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