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    #Grape harvesting has begun in some parts of #Virginia and will continue through October, Virginia's #Wine Month. @orecul13 gathered this bounty for #canning purposes. Anyone for some locally made juice or jelly? #loveva #vawine #waynesboro #countryliving #photooftheday #jelly #vafood
    Is everyone excited for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion next month? Some of the performances will be taking place here, at the Paramount Center for The Arts on State Street. This #theater was built in 1931 and restored to its original splendor in 1991. #oldschoolva #loveva #virginia #vatravel #theatre #photooftheday
    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
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    15 Places to Sip and Savor Virginia Craft Beer

    by Casey | Posted on August 28th, 2014

    Vibe is everything. Vibe is the mood, the company, and even the flavors. If you’re looking to experience great Virginia craft beer in an ultra-cool setting, you might check out this list – and please – add to it with your opinion of what makes a great sip-and-savor craft beer experience.

    Breweries with Outdoor Seating and Great Views

    1. Legend in Richmond is situated on the south side of the James River. Their deck has umbrella patio tables and an unobstructed view of the downtown Richmond skyline. Evenings are beautiful.

    Wild Wolf, Nellysford

    Wild Wolf, Nellysford

    2. Blue Mountain in Afton also has umbrella patio tables, but their view is reflected in their name. Settle in with a pizza of fresh local ingredients and a cold Full Nelson Pale Ale to appreciate the blue mountains on display.

    3. Devils Backbone Basecamp is in Nellysford, just down the road from Blue Mountain, thus sharing a very familiar view. The grounds at DBB are expansive, as they play host to festivals and other large events from time to time. And they have an awesome bar area, too.

    4. Also in Nellysford is Wild Wolf, but their set up is like a little town square. The biergarten has a koi pond with a waterfall and a gazebo overlooking it, all situated beneath a magnificent old tree. The on-site restaurant serves up scratch-made delights that you can enjoy on the wrap-around porch, if you desire. The mountain views are outstanding; just see the photo above!

    5. Old Bust Head in Vint Hill has a brand new beer garden – complete with a pergola for shade – to go with their brand new tap room. It’s a happenin’ place, with live music and a lively crowd, plus you never know when beautiful macaws or baby goats may drop by. Be sure to read the label on your bottle as each beer name is tied to a local tale, which the label explains. I wonder if Vixen Irish Red’s story might make me blush …

    Restaurants with a Great View Serving Virginia Craft Beer

    6.¬†Bubba’s Restaurant and Crab House¬†is a waterfront restaurant just off the Lynnhaven Inlet in Virginia Beach. It’s situated such that you can enjoy the sunset on one of the decks and sip a Virginia craft beer with your delicious straight-from-the-sea fare.

    7.¬†Catch 31 is also a Virginia Beach restaurant, and you’ll find it right on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Toes in the sand? They can be within just a few steps.

    Mountain Lake Lodge & Conservatory

    Mountain Lake Lodge & Conservatory

    8. The Waterfront Market in Old Town Alexandria is perched right on the Potomac River. The views are immense and Port City is cold on tap!

    9. Stony Creek Tavern at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke has Virginia craft beer on tap, sweet views, and quite the story to tell, too. Did you know the beloved film, Dirty Dancing, was filmed at Mountain Lake Lodge? Now you know.

    10. In McGahyesville, Massanutten’s Fareways Restaurant and Lounge offers a Tuesday night Beer Lovers’ Dinner, a five-course pairing that includes details from the chef as well as from the resident beer expert. If you’re not into beer tasting at quite that level, you can still enjoy a craft beer anytime at Fareways with a view of the Mountain Greens Golf Course.

    11. Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill offers a great view of the Clarendon / Courthouse neighborhoods of Arlington, and the rooftop truly is a fun place to be. At least two Virginia brews are on tap for your sit-sip-savor enjoyment.

    12. Supper is a brand new Southern restaurant located in the trendy neighborhood of Ghent in Norfolk. The comfort food will beckon your return, but it may be the knowledge of rooftop dining that draws you in. The Norfolk skyline glistens not too far away and the tapped Virginia craft beer is cold.

    13. Continuing with the rooftop theme, try Postbellum in Richmond. Don’t go for the view on this one, but the overall feel. The space includes a long bar, TVs, pub and patio tables, booths (!), and lights strung above. There’s plenty of room and an unobstructed view of blue skies or stars, whichever your preference.

    James River Brewing, Scottsville

    James River Brewing, Scottsville

    Breweries Cloaked in History and a Story to Tell

    14.¬†James River Brewing in Scottsville is located in a 19th century tobacco factory alongside Mink Creek, a tributary to the James. The tasting room has a rustic, down-home feel with timber accents and barrels for tables. Out back, by the creek in the beer garden, you’ll find a wooden swing in the shade, waiting for you to linger with a Green Eyed Lady.

    15. Jefferson Street Brewery is housed in the same Craddock Terry shoe factory as the Craddock Terry Hotel in Lynchburg. Learn a little something about the history of the facility while sampling the latest suds.

    So where do you go for a great Virginia craft beer? Leave a comment to tell us about the best vibe you’ve found and why it’s great.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Beer, Travel Ideas | 0 Comments

    Five Ideas for Traveling in September

    by Casey | Posted on August 27th, 2014

    September is a busy month for families, but just another day in the life for those who are child-free. Here are some broad travel ideas to suit each crowd.

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach

     

    1. The Beach. The crowds have diminished and the weather is still warm enough for a dip or sunbathing, not to mention the rates begin to scale back, which means you can maybe stay a day or two longer.

    Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park

    Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park

    2. The Mountains. Autumn foliage won’t peak in the Blue Ridge until mid-October, but if you travel ahead of time, you can scope out the perfect look-out points to watch those colors creep across the Alleghenies and into the Valley. Regardless of fall’s hues, the mountains are just plain beautiful and perfect any time of the year.

    Shopping in Alexandria

    Shopping in Alexandria

    3. Shopping. Families who have put off back-to-school shopping will find end-of-summer deals everywhere, not to mention the extra savings that outlets yield. Additionally, those in search of furniture must consider a trip to Green Front Furniture Company in Farmville.

    Colonial Williamsburg

    Colonial Williamsburg

    4. History. You choose your style, speed, and which period you’d like to explore. Virginia has many historical touch-points of interest, and September is a nice weather month to be out exploring.

    State Fair of Virginia

    State Fair of Virginia

    5. Festivals and Fairs. Speaking of nice weather, get on your walking shoes for a stroll around a festival, or dust off the lawn chair for a music festival. Oh, and the State Fair of Virginia is this month!

     

    See the events calendar for September to further round out your plans.

     

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or view the eGuide.



    Travel Ideas | 0 Comments

    Eight Boutique Hotels & Vintage Stays in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on August 26th, 2014

    Attention to detail, upscale finishes, and impeccable customer service are all things you’d expect to find in a boutique hotel, and according to online reviews and media, these Virginia stays excel.

    The Craddock Terry Hotel is quickly recognized by the large red heel on the front. Once a shoe factory producing nearly 100,000 pairs per day, this brick warehouse is now a very fashionable, 44-room luxury accommodation in downtown Lynchburg. The urban, industrial feel is not lost. Each room boasts incredible mountain or river views thanks to the 9-foot-tall windows, and exposed brick and beams serve as sturdy, beautiful reminders of the buildings’ past. As a finishing touch, you’re going to love receiving your complimentary continental breakfast ¬†in an old-fashioned wooden shoeshine box. Whimsy is in style at Craddock Terry!

    >> Travel Packages

    Morrison House

    Morrison House

    Nestled off King Street in Old Town Alexandria is¬†Morrison House,¬†a well-appointed Kimpton property graced with Federal Period reproduction pieces. Acclaim for the hotel includes a four-star rating from Mobil, four-diamond rating from AAA, and it was named one of the “Top 30 Hotels in the South” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler in 2013. Morrison House has 45 guestrooms and suites, and a bed and breakfast feel to its intimate atmosphere. Complimentary wine, coffee and tea are served daily. “Elegant” is perhaps the best word to describe this gem of Old Town.

     

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The Charlotte Hotel in Onancock is a sweet find on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With just eight rooms, you’ll have plenty of peace in this 1907 reprieve. Trip Advisor reviewers have called it “delightful,” “charming,” and “a tiny slice of paradise.” To add to the comfortable stay, a restaurant featuring house-made menu items gives you a true taste of the Shore.

     

    General Francis Marion Hotel

    General Francis Marion Hotel

    The Roaring Twenties are all the rage at the General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion, Virginia. While “thoroughly modern” for today’s travelers, the General Francis does indeed date to 1927 and boasts the period ambiance one would expect. Pieces of its historical past include the original terrazo floors, the registration desk, and switchboard. The hotel was honored with the Gabriella Page Historic Preservation Award by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Do be sure to enjoy a libation at The Black Rooster, their on-site restaurant that gives a wink back to the black rooster being code for “drinks served here” during Prohibition.

     

    Linden Row Inn

    Linden Row Inn

    Richmond seeps history and the 1840s Linden Row Inn embodies it, from its architecture of seven integrated Greek Revival row houses to its garden, where a young Edgar Allen Poe played, courted, and perhaps named the “enchanted garden” in his poem To Helen. The Parlour Suites and the Main House Rooms have fabulous old 12-foot ceilings with windows just as high, while the Parlour Suites also boast pocket doors, gasolier lighting, and marble fireplaces. The Garden Rooms are located in the carriage houses, spaces the Inn calls “cozy and intimate enclaves.” Without a doubt, your authentic Richmond experience begins at Linden Row Inn.

    >> Travel Packages

     

    The Georges. Photo by Gordon Gregory.

    The Georges. Photo by Gordon Gregory.

    Newly opened but historically preserved and treasured is The Georges in historic downtown Lexington. Named for George Washington and George C. Marshall of Washington and Lee and Virginia Military Institute fame, The Georges is an 18-room boutique hotel occupying two buildings across from one another on Main Street. An on-site restaurant and casual piano bar are just the beginning of how scrumptious this property is. Guests will be delighted with a breathtaking view as distinct as the room in which they find themselves. Luxury linens and bath necessities add to the desire to linger that this retreat will certainly impose.

     

    Suites at 249

    Suites at 249

    The Suites at 249 are found in the historic district of Culpeper inside renovated row buildings, but just like the aforementioned properties, the six Suites embrace the history they lie within. Exposed brick and hardwood floors make these modern, expansive suites a very comfortable home base from which to explore. The one thing that makes the Suites different from the others is the lack of concierge or bellhop to call upon. Once you check in, you come and go as you please by way of coded, keyless entry for both the front door and your room. This could be the perfect place for the couple who wants nothing more than to be left alone.

     

    Bolling Wilson Hotel

    Bolling Wilson Hotel

    In Wytheville is the newly renovated¬†Bolling Wilson Hotel, a 30-room gem set to open Fall 2014. Named after Wytheville-born¬†Edith Bolling Wilson, President Woodrow Wilson’s wife, the property is a contributing building on the National Register of Historic Places. Guests can expect to find beautifully restored and preserved architecture in the lobby with classic high ceilings, arched windows, and intricate moulding. Additionally, an on-site southern restaurant with outdoor dining and a rooftop patio promise a memorable experience.

    There’s nothing like a place that has a great story to tell, and these eight properties are just a tip of the iceberg. Discover more lovely places to stay through the links below.



    Couples, History, Travel Ideas | 0 Comments

    It’s Time for a Celebracation! Six Ideas for a Celebratory Vacation in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on August 20th, 2014

    Milestones are worth celebrating. They’re also on the rise as a top reason to travel. Have you considered a celebration vacation? Anniversaries – yours, your parents – are a perfect example of a celebration worth vacationing for. Here are six ideas for a monumental memory-making getaway.

    1. POUR ON THE ROMANCE¬†with a lavish escape at one of Virginia’s premier luxury destinations. Your style and ideal view or location will dictate your choice among these highly rated stunners. Newly rated and added to the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotels list are Clifton Inn, which Forbes calls “Virginia’s All-American Inn,” The Lodge and Cottages at Primland Resort, and The Williamsburg Lodge at Colonial Williamsburg.

    Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotels

    Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotels

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    2. BE THE COWBOYS AND GIRLS you always wanted to be with an all-inclusive ranch stay. You bring the chaps, hats and boots; these wranglers will do the rest, including manning the chuck wagon.

    Shangrila Guest Ranch. ©Todd Wright

    Shangrila. ©Todd Wright

    Shangrila Guest Ranch in South Boston offers trail riding, and all drinks and food are included in your rate. Check out their multi-day trail ride. The first night will be spent in a secluded cabin or glamping tent. Evening two will find you under the stars in a handmade tipi, and evening three concludes at a rustic lodge. The multi-day escape is offered at select times each year, so plan ahead for this special excursion.

    Reba Farm Inn

    Reba Farm Inn

    Reba Farm Inn in Bedford is a 300-acre resort-like escape that does offer horseback riding, but isn’t quite as “whole hog” as Shangrila, if you want a more tame experience. Inquire about their anniversary package and ask for the Spring House Cottage upgrade with a trail ride to make it a truly memorable time. One night with the upgrade and 90-minute trail ride is $275 and includes a four-course dinner and three-course breakfast.

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    Waterman's Cabin. Courtesy SouthEast Expeditions.

    Courtesy SouthEast Expeditions.

    3. ACCESSIBLE BY KAYAK ONLY,¬†the authentic 100-year-old waterman’s cabin off the Eastern Shore is unlike any other Virginia experience. It’s the perfect situation for a couple who wants solitude and to remain undisturbed, though your guide will come cook your breakfast, if you like! The cabin is only available a few weekends per year, so the opportunity to stay here is pretty exclusive. From $595 per person for two nights.

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    4. COOK WITH SOME OF THE BEST chefs when you book a package the includes a cooking class. What’s more gratifying than cooking for and with someone you love?

    Chef's Garden at Salamander Resort.

    Salamander Resort.

    Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg has a cooking studio and hosts a Visiting Chef Series, bringing chefs from New York City, Washington, D.C. and other vibrant foodie locations. Ask about their Dreaming of a Culinary and Wine Experience package which includes a cooking class plus two recipes to take home, a wine flight, and of course, a luxurious overnight at Salamander. Rates from $452 per person.

    The Inn at Meander Plantation in Locust Dale offers a Cooking School package with Chef Suzie Blanchard. Enjoy the comfortable accommodations of the inn, plus get your hands in the flour. You’ll stay two nights, cook up something fabulous, receive a recipe book, and take home an apron, too. A delicious wine-paired dinner will be the highlight of your last day. Rates from $1050 per couple.

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    ©Jeff Greenough

    ©Jeff Greenough

    5. CONQUER A MOUNTAIN when you set off on one of Virginia’s great hikes. The pay-offs are tremendous and you’ll be enamored to have done it with the one you love.

    You’ll find the General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion to be a fantastic home base for your Mount Rogers excursion. Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia at 5,729 feet, and the Appalachian Trail runs across it. It’s high enough that there’s an alpine feel to it, with minimal vegetation. The views are stupendous.

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    6. SLEEP WHERE PRESIDENTS HAVE SLEPT for a real historic getaway. While the most well-known homes are not available for overnight stays, some of the others and associated properties certainly are.

    Belle Grove Plantation. Courtesy Rich Johnson Photography.

    Belle Grove Plantation. Courtesy Rich Johnson Photography.

    Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast in King George is the birthplace of President James Madison. The mansion sits along the Rappahannock River, dates to 1791 (the plantation dates to 1670), and boasts four master suites. It’s a popular wedding venue thanks to both its history and its beauty.

    North Bend Plantation in Charles City dates to 1801 and was the home of William Henry Harrison’s sister, Sarah Harrison, and the current owner is Sarah’s great nephew. Beyond that, Mr. Copland is the great, great grandson of Edmund Ruffin, the man who fired the first shot of the Civil War on behalf of the South. Many of the furnishings are original; a stay here is a special treat.

    To lay your head where modern day presidents have rested theirs, try The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, previously mentioned for its Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel rating. According to their website, “Twelve US Presidents, including Harrison, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge, Taft, both Roosevelts (Theodore and Franklin Delano), Truman and Reagan, both Bushes (George H. W. and George W.) and Obama have been guests at The Jefferson Hotel.”

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    Just what would your ideal celebration vacation look like? Leave an idea or two in the comments section!

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or download it!



    Couples, Travel Ideas | 0 Comments

    Sweet Southern Virginia Wine

    by Casey | Posted on August 19th, 2014

    Anyone traveling Routes 29 or 58 in Southern Virginia will quickly know they’re in the Southern Virginia Wine Region. In July, the Southern Virginia Wine Region road signs were unveiled on select primary and secondary roads, making that region the 13th to receive such signs. In total, there are 16 wine regions and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

    Rosemont. ©Justin Eubanks

    Rosemont. ©Justin Eubanks

    According to VirginiaWine.org, “Southern Virginia has a warm to temperate climate with good soil for winemaking in selected areas where the topography is ideal. In this area of Virginia along the North Carolina border, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Grigio and Vidal Blanc are the varietals you‚Äôll find along with a few wines made from grapes and other fruits native to the area.”

    Southern Virginia Wineries

     Learn more about Virginia Wine, and order or download a Virginia Travel Guide to assist in your adventures!
    Virginia is for Lovers.



    Couples, Wine | 0 Comments