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    In 1881, both the VA and TN sides of Bristol designated the center of the city's main thoroughfare, State Street, as the VA/TN state line. Tomorrow, thousands of people will fill these #downtown streets with music, food, dancing and crafts in celebration of Bristol's heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music! #Virginia #stateline #countrymusic #loveva #vatravel #Tennessee #mainstreet #musicfestival @bristolrhythm #rhythmandroots
    #Downtown #Staunton is filled with amazing #architecture including the Romanesque-Revival Marquis Building seen here. It was designed by T.J. Collins in 1895 (he designed nearly 200 buildings throughout the city in various styles during the #Victorian Era). Note the large umbrella fixed to the corner of the turret! #loveva #virginia #vatravel #mainstreet #vais4lovers #oldschoolva
    Check out this awesome #aerial of the CSX A-Line #Train #Bridge (circa 1919) you've probably seen when driving on the Powhite Parkway crossing #JamesRiver! Props to @vintage_rva for the incredible capture. Tag your #VA photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here! #trainbridge #drone #flyinghigh #rva
    Sip away the end of #summer at North Gate #Vineyard in Pucellville before the crush begins! They have live music every Friday evening (TGIF: Thank Grape It's Friday), making it an ideal time to stop by for a taste. Next month is #Virginia #Wine Month, when a lot of vineyards across the state will be harvesting their #grapes. Photo props to @emkittie! #VAwine #howisummer #winetime Tag your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to get featured here.
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    Virginia: Bon Appétit Appalachia!

    by Casey | Posted on August 5th, 2014

    Virginia’s Appalachia is ripe for the tasting, and Bon Appétit Appalachia! maps out fresh, local flavors for your road trip indulgences. Please your palate at 65 sites within Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands, Heart of Appalachia and Shenandoah Valley. For the ultimate tasting adventure (a bucket list by itself, really!), eat your way through the entire 205,0000-square-mile region along the Appalachian Mountains (Mississippi to New York).

    Cuz's Uptown Barbeque

    Cuz’s Uptown Barbeque

    When you spend three days along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Floyd, you can indulge in a delish dish from Bon Appétit Appalachia! farm-to-fork restaurant Oddfella’s Cantina, as well as the restaurant at Chateau Morrisette Winery. Extend your stay or mix in tastings from additional Appalachian wineries, including Abingdon Vineyard and Winery and MountainRose Vineyards.

    When in Lexington be sure to see the historic Natural Bridge as you sip and savor your way around. Rockbridge Vineyard, Lexington Valley Vineyard and Southern Inn Restaurant are all Bon Appétit Appalachia! stops.

    The Bon Appétit Appalachia! initiative is vast. Forks up and napkins down for all of the fantastic flavors that await!

    The Palisades Restaurant

    The Palisades Restaurant

    A SAMPLE OF FARM TO FORK RESTAURANTS

    A SAMPLE OF CRAFT BREWERIES & SPIRITS

    A SAMPLE OF WINERIES & VINEYARDS

    Additionally, the map outlines farm tours, festivals, and farmers markets that deliver fresh tastes and first-hand culinary experiences. Download the map (22 Virginia sites) or navigate online to see all 65 Virginia sites.

    Virginia: Bon Appétit Appalachia!



    Beer, Food, Food and Wine, Virginia Destinations, Wine | 4 Comments

    The Best of Virginia: Cities & Towns

    by Casey | Posted on July 29th, 2014

    When you love a place, you rally behind it to make sure everyone knows how great it is. Vote-offs like “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel are annual favorites, and Virginia towns have been included in two of the last three votes. A real pride of place, however, takes over when a publication names the town or city closest to your heart as “best” or “favorite” without any public input. The accolades that these Virginia towns and cities have garnered are well deserved. Do add them to your travel bucket list to see the sweet gems you’ve been missing out on.

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Abingdon

    • Best Performing Arts Town -The South’s Most Creative Small Towns, Garden and Gun, 2011

    Alexandria

    • Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., Amazon.com, 2014
    • Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013
    • Best Small Cities for Art Lovers, Nerdwallet, 2013

    Blacksburg

    • #14, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Bristol

    • Best Music Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles

    • #4, Perfect Little Beach Town, Southern Living

    Charlottesville

    • #1, Happiest American Cities, Harvard Gazette, 2014 (per National Bureau for Economic Research)
    • #1, Top 5 College Towns in America, Travelers Today, 2014
    • Top Five Destinations Every American Should Visit, Orbitz Worldwide, 2014
    • #9, America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #1, America’s 5 New Foodie Cities, Wine Enthusiast, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, America’s Best Small Towns for Food, TheDailyMeal.com, 2013
    • #14, America’s Favorite Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, Top College Towns, TravelChannel.com
    • #2, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Chincoteague

    • #1, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    • #6, 8 of the Best Small Town Getaways in the U.S., WallStCheatSheet.com, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Culpeper

    • One of America’s Top 10 Small Towns. Crampton, Norman. The 100 Best Small Towns in America.
    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Floyd

    • 50 Great American Places to Visit this Summer, Men’s Journal, 2013

    Fredericksburg

    • #9, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Harrisonburg

    • Best Beer Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • #5, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Lexington

    • Best Small Towns to Visit, Smithsonian Magazine, 2013
    • #14, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • 10 Coolest Small Towns in America, Budget Travel, 2009

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Lynchburg

    • 50 Best Places to Live & Play, National Geographic, 2007
    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Middleburg

    • Best Small Town Weekend Getaways, Southern Living
    • #6, 20 Best Day Trips in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014

    Richmond

    • Frommer’s Top Destinations for 2014, Frommer’s, 2014
    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • Top 10 Valentine’s Day Getaways, WorldPropertyChannel.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Smithfield

    • #41, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Staunton

    • America’s Best Main Streets, Fordor’s Travel, 2014
    • America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • America’s Greatest Main Streets, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • Best Small Towns in America, Smithsonian Magazine, 2012

    Virginia Beach

    • Top 10 Summer Destinations, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Top 20 Destinations for Fourth of July Travel, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Best Cities for Summer Drives, NBCNews.com, 2013
    • Top 10 Art Beaches, Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • 8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways, Budget Travel, 2013
    • 7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in the U.S., EscapeHere.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • #2, Best Historic Destinations in the USA, US News & World Report, 2014-15
    • #3, 10Best: Best Historic Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #3, 10Best: Places to Explore American History, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in Virginia in 2014, Smithsonian Magazine
    • #4, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • These Old Towns are the Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013 (Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement)
    • #7 Best Weekend Getaways, US News & World Report
    • #8, 8 Affordable Family Vacations, US News & World Report

    Which Virginia city or town is your favorite and why? Leave a comment to let us know!

    Related

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    Destinations, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 3 Comments

    $10 or Less: Virginia Fun for Kids

    by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2014

    Make your dollars go further when you can mix in some affordable fun with your family vacation! The attractions mentioned within this post are priced at $10 or less for admission (parents, too!). Enjoy!

    LOVE at Maymont. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    LOVE at Maymont. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    ~~ FREE ~~

    Parks and wilderness areas are go-to destinations for nature lovers, but consider some of Virginia’s cooler community parks, like Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach. It’s 165 acres and offers a street course skate park with a deep bowl and competition-sized vert ramp for your skater dudes. While free, a pass application must be completed and submitted when you come to the park. Details

    Buzzing through the metro Richmond area? Have a picnic lunch at Three Lakes Park and Nature Center in Henrico. The Nature Center includes a 50,000 gallon aquarium along with live exhibits of native wildlife.

    Maymont is another fantastic Richmond destination. At 100 acres, the gardens are extensive. Do visit the Children’s Farm. Find a LOVEwork there!

    Bluebird Gap Farm is a 60-acre farm in Hampton. It’s home to about 150 animals and includes a picnic area with charcoal grills, a nature trail and large playground.

    If you have a child who is into the Transformers movies, he or she needs to see the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was filmed right there and your kid will recognize Blackbird immediately.

    Bluebird Gap Farm

    Bluebird Gap Farm

    More Free:

     

    ~~ $10 or LESS ~~

    A genuine Old School Virginia roadside attraction is Dinosaur Land in White Post. More than 50 dinosaurs have graced this attraction for 50 years. Great #selfie opportunities! $6 per person aged 11 and older; $5 per person 2 to 10.

    Regardless of the season, Snowflex in Lynchburg is a fun destination for those who love to ski and snowboard. Seriously! Ski or snowboard for $5-$7 per hour. If you require equipment, the rental fee is $12 per person, per day. Complete a waiver before your arrival. Details

    Speaking of a winter sport, why not ice skate year ’round, too?

    The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville always has something fun and creative going on – something to keep your child’s attention. Watch for “Night at the Museum” sleepover opportunities! Admission is $5 per adult and $3 per child.

    The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth includes state-of-the-art interactivity that’s built for family fun. Check out the Hall of Fame inductees and play a bit of their sports while you’re there! $7 per person; children 2 and under are free.

    The 18-hole Perils of the Lost Jungle miniature golf course in Herndon is one the Top 5 Miniature Golf Courses in America as rated by Newsweek, Men’s Journal has called them one of the Best Miniature Golf Courses in America, and The Putting Penguin rated them #1 in the country! You can experience this adventure for just a couple coins on top of $10 (what’s 50 cents?). Adults are $10.50 and children 12 and under are $9.50.

    • Similar:
      • Glow-A-Rama, Buchanan – indoor blacklight mini golf
        • $8 per adult and $7 per child

    Claude Moore Colonial Farm National Park in McLean lets your kids get hands-on with history in a pre-American Revolutionary War setting (a small, low-income 1771 farm). Special events include the heritage animals that call the farm home, harvesting tobacco, tidying up with autumn chores, and more. Farm site admission is $3 per adult and $2 per child. Admission for Market Fair (a special event with select dates) is $7 per adult and $3 per child.

    When in Lynchburg, check out Amazement Square: The Rightmire Children’s Museum, home of the Amazement Tower, the tallest indoor, interactive climbing structure in the United States. Admission is $9 per person unless you plan to visit on a Family Fun Night (second Saturday of each month), in which case the fee is just $3 per person!

    Hunt Club's Petting Farm

    Hunt Club’s Petting Farm

    Who doesn’t love a zoo? Head to Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Zoo to see more than 175 animals. Inquire about the special Breakfast with the Animals experience (additional fee). Admission is $7.50 per adult and $5 per child.

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    Family, Travel Ideas | 4 Comments

    The Best of Virginia’s Outdoors

    by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2014

    National accolades for everything from ice cream to small towns, hot dogs and whatever else you can think of keep rolling in for Virginia areas and businesses. While it’s hard to keep up with all that’s fabulous and acclaimed, we thought we’d give it a shot by sharing the more recent accolades. This post, The Best of Virginia’s Outdoors, is the first in a series you can look forward to. Be sure to subscribe to our posts to avoid missing the upcoming articles.

    BEACHES

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach & Boardwalk

    • #4, 10 Last-Minute Beach Getaways for Summer, Fodor’s Travel, 2014
    • #6, America’s Best Boardwalks, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #6, 10 Under-the-Radar Beaches in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014
    • One of the 20 Most Awesome Boardwalks in America, Budget Travel, 2014
    • The 10 Best Boardwalks in America, Men’s Journal, 2014
    • Best Beaches for Memorial Day Weekend, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Southern Beaches, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #7, 9 Best Boardwalks in the U.S., Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • #9, 10 Best Boardwalks in the U.S., National Geographic, 2013
    • 10 Uncrowded Atlantic Beaches for Summer, USAToday.com, 2013
    • One of America’s Most Awesome Boardwalks, Budget Travel, 2013

    Assateague Island National Seashore

    • #23, 2014 Best Beaches in the U.S., TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice
    • #6, Best U.S. Island, USA Today Travel Reader’s Choice, 2014
    • One of the 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in America, Budget Travel, 2014
    • The Best Campgrounds in the Country, Men’s Journal, 2014
    • Among the Best Beaches on Earth, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • Top 25 U.S. Beaches, TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice
    • Top 10 Things for Families to Do in Virginia, Trekaroo.com, 2012

    Chincoteague Island

    • #7, Top 10 Beaches in the U.S., TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice
    • #3, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • America’s Best Beach Town, AOL.com, 2010

    BICYCLING

    Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon

    • #6, 10 Best Rails to Trails, Travel + Leisure, 2003

    Arlington

    • #23, America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities, Bicycling.com, 2012

    Capital Bikeshare, Arlington

    • #11, The 16 Best Bike Shares in the World, TheActiveTimes.com, 2013

    Harrisonburg

    • America’s Top Mountain Bike Towns, TheActiveTimes.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • Recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community, League of American Bicyclists, 2013

    GARDENS

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond

    • #2, 10 Best Public Gardens in North America, USA Today, 2014
    • #21, 30 Must-See U.S. Public Gardens, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014
    • 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling For, BBC Travel, 2013
    • Best Botanical Gardens in the U.S., Travel Channel, 2013

     

    GOLF

    Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan

    • #13, Top 100 Public Courses in America, Golf Digest, 2012
    • The Boutique Mountain Golf Resort in the U.S., Golf Odyssey, 2011
    • #22, Best Courses, Golfweek, 2010
    • Resorts to Watch, Golf Magazine, 2010
    • Best New Public Course in America ($75 and over bracket), Golf Digest, 2008
    • One of the Top 10 New Courses in the World, Travel + Leisure, 2007

    Golden Horseshoe Golf Club at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg

    • America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, Golf Digest, 2012, 2011, …
    • Top 100 Resort Courses, Golfweek, annually 2007-2012
    • Top 100 You Can Play, GOLF Magazine, 2012, 2011, 2010, …

    HIKING

    Appalachian Trail

    • #5, 7 Adventure Trips You Need to Take this Summer, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Cape Henry Trail at First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach (PDF)

    • #9, 30 Great American Hikes, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park

    • #6, 30 Great American Hikes, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014
    • #29, 31 Great American Day Hikes to Do Before Summer Ends, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    RIVERS

    Shenadoah River. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Shenadoah River. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Shenandoah River

    • Class I, 50 of the Best Rivers in the Southeast, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

     

    SKI RESORTS

    Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville

    • 10 Best Ski Resorts for Summer Fun, Fodor’s Travel, 2014

     

    STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS

    High Bridge Trail State Park, Farmville

    • #17, 36 Stunning U.S. State Parks, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield

    • #21, 36 Stunning U.S. State Parks, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Shenandoah National Park, Luray

    • #30, The Absolute Best National Park, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    COMMUNITIES RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR OUTDOOR OPPORTUNITIES

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

    Richmond

    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Learn more about Virginia’s outdoors at Virginia.org/Outdoors.

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    Outdoors, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Five Can’t-Miss Summer Events

    by Casey | Posted on July 23rd, 2014

    Some events know no end and we LOVE them! Annually occurring festivals are marked on our calendars a year ahead of time. They’re something to look forward to and yet another opportunity to make memories with the ones we love. Here are five upcoming “late” summer events that you can’t miss. Start a new tradition or chime in via the comments to tell us your favorite parts of these five.

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    1. The Chincoteague Pony Swim from Assateague to Chincoteague Island has been happening at the end of July for nearly 90 years. That’s quite the tradition, and there are families who never miss it, making an annual pilgrimage to see the crossing, the parading, and the auctioning of the years’ foals. While you’re in town, be sure to visit Island Creamery, hailed the #1 ice cream parlor in America by TripAdvisor users.

    2. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is one of the mid-Atlantic’s longest running outdoor music festivals. This year’s session began on July 18 and continues with dates through August 31. Remaining on the schedule are acts like United States Air Force Strings, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, The Oak Ridge Boys and Eddie from Ohio. Centered around Shenandoah County’s Orkney Springs, the setting is bucolic with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop. Buy Tickets

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    3. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna is the place for summer concerts and family performances! This summer has included Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ben Folds, Diana Ross, Pilobolus, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sara Bareilles, The Fray and Lionel Richie with CeeLo Green. Yet to come (and tickets available for!) are  Sarah McLachlan, Darius Rucker, Heart, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Boney James and Eric Benet, YANNI, The Band Perry, Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy and Colbie Caillat. Every summer season brings great acts that you won’t want to miss. Buy Tickets

    4. The still new but ever growing Virginia Craft Brewers Festival is held each August at Devils Backbone Brewing Company against Wintergreen Mountain in Roseland. Now in its third year, more than 40 of Virginia’s craft brewers have signed on to offer tastings and tout their upcoming flavors. You won’t want to miss the awarding of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. Devils Backbone has taken home the cup each year so far. Their Smokehaus Lager won in 2013 and their Schwartz Bier won in 2012. Buy Tickets and/or Reserve a Campsite

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    5. Epicurience Virginia took by storm the culinary and wine scenes of Virginia, DC and environs when it debuted last year. Held at the beautiful, historic Morven Park in Leesburg, this event brings together the best tastes Virginia has to offer in an opulent atmosphere across three days at the end of August. The Grand Tasting is the second day and it’s the event you don’t want to miss with chef demonstrations and opportunities to meet Virginia winemakers and tastemakers. The rest of the weekend includes a Fabulous 1940s Party at Oatlands Plantation and various fine dining experiences. Buy Tickets

    >> Upcoming Festivals
    >> Virginia Craft Beer
    >> Virginia Wine
    >> Culinary Virginia

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    Arts, Events, Festivals, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off