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    Here's a beautiful shot of @castlehillcider in Keswick posted by @merchcolony_cville. This is currently the only #cidery in the world to be fermenting and aging in buried terra cotta amphorae called kvevri. Plan a trip to try some of the world's finest right here in #Virginia. #loveva #vacider #drinklocal #cville #vatravel #castlehillcider #vaweddings
    A #bushel of #bluecrabs for the pot! @aklshnkovj and her #Virginia self-caught #seatotable meal courtesy of the Chesapeake Bay. 👍 #loveva #seafood #crabs #vafood #eatlocal #vacrabs
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    Here was yesterday's breathtaking #sunrise yesterday over #JoelSalatin's #farmhouse on #PolyfaceFarm in Swoope, #Virginia. Polyface is a family-owned, multi-generational, pasture-based, organic farm open for tours and visitors. They also supply many local farm-to-table restaurants with #Shenandoah's finest. The outreach done by these loving people is truly moving and admirable. #loveva #goodmorning #photooftheday #vatravel #farmlife
  • Author Archive

    Earth Day Weekend

    by Tom | Posted on April 17th, 2012

    It’s hard to believe Earth Day is over 40 years old, but since 1970 people all around the country have been celebrating the environment and inspiring others to conserve and recycle.

    Museum of Natural HistoryVirginia has such a great variety of outdoor assets, it’s no surprise that we celebrate Earth Day with gusto. Visitors and locals will find this year’s Earth Day weekend (April 21-22) honored in every kind of environment, from beach to river to lake to mountain.

    No one does outdoor better than our Virginia State Parks, and this year every state park in the Commonwealth will host special activities and programs, including shore-line clean-ups, wagon rides, educational opportunities and more. Find the closest state park to you on our state park page.

    For a more commercial but still festive atmosphere, there are any number of celebrations, festivals, and events designed to support our environment while also giving families a great weekend of fun and entertainment. Here are a few:

    • Newport News – Apr 21 – Earth Day Celebration at the Virginia Living Museum
    • Broadlands – Apr 22 – EarthDay@ Loudoun Family Festival
    • Virginia Beach – Apr 22 – Earth Day Celebration at Mount Trashmore
    • Richmond – Apr 21 – Richmond Earth Day Festival
    • Abingdon – Apr 21 – Abingdon Earth Day Celebration
    • Martinsville – Apr 28 – Earth Day Celebration

    Earth Day LogosAttending an Earth Day event will hopefully inspire you to think green more often in the coming year too. And if you want to be a great earth-friendly traveler, Virginia has taken up the cause with its innovative Virginia Green program. From hotels to restaurants, golf Virginia-Green Logocourses to wineries, engaged travel-related businesses are signing up to track their carbon footprint, increase their recycling, better manage their energy usage and generally become better stewards of the environment. If you’re looking to get green or greener as you travel, check out the Virginia Green page with links to earth-friendly lodging, dining, attractions, events, and even meeting space.

     



    Events, Family, Outdoors | 1 Comment

    Celebrating Virginia’s Naval History

    by Tom | Posted on March 30th, 2012

    Virginia’s sailing history goes back as far as its founding, so when an opportunity comes to showcase that sailing heritage, we’re all in.

    Opsail Virginia 2012 logoThis summer visitors can get on board for OpSail 2012 Virginia™, a week long commemoration of the War of 1812 and celebration of the world’s great tall ships. From June 1st to June 12th, numerous sailing vessels, including current U.S. Navy ships, will ply the waters around Norfolk and Hampton Roads. Many of these ships hail from foreign ports and will bring with them their cultures and international experience to share with guests.

    Piggybacking on Norfolk’s annual Harborfest®, events will include the traditional Parades of Sail, ship tours, fireworks, concerts and festivals, educational events and even more programs.

    Here’s just a sampling of some of the major events in and around the Hampton Roads/Eastern Shore of Virginia:

    Norfolk – June 9 – Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers will play a free concert at Town Point Park on the waterfront.

    Hampton – June 1-3 – Blackbeard Pirate Festival

    Virginia Beach – June 1-3 – Blue Angels Air Show – Patriotic Festival

    Yorktown – June 1-3 – Yorktown Maritime Weekend

    Norfolk – June 6 – Virginia Arts Festival Finale & OpSail 2012 Opening Night Gala

    Norfolk – June 8-11 – Norfolk Harborfest®

    Cape Charles – June 8-12 – Tall Ships Cape Charles

    Tall Ship Sunset

     

     



    Events, Family, History, History | Comments Off

    Family Friendly New Years Eve

    by Tom | Posted on December 22nd, 2011

    Winchester New Years Apple

    Winchester New Years Apple

    Technically, “First” Night should be “Last” Night, especially for those of us who don’t make it past 12 anymore. But ever since the family-centric movement started in Boston in 1976, these celebrations have popped up in hundreds of cities around the country.

    If you’re looking for a family-friendly, arts and culturally-based event on the last night of December, look no further than a First Night.

    Of course, your kids need the stamina to stay up that late, but you’re sure to find a high-quality, beer-bottle-free good time. Just don’t forget the right “bottles” for your little ones.

    Some notable First Nights in Virginia:

    For a more complete list of First Night and New Years events in the Old Dominion, check out this page on Virginia.org.



    Events, Family, The Holidays, Winter | 1 Comment

    Honoring Veterans in the Commonwealth

    by Tom | Posted on November 2nd, 2011

    While it’s not the flashiest holiday on the calendar, Veterans Day is right up our alley. Nothing says Virginia more than tradition, history, and honoring those who have blazed a way to a better future.

    In fact, it was a notable Virginia-born president, Woodrow Wilson, born in Staunton, Virginia, who got the ball rolling with Armistice Day in 1919. Originally designed to honor those who served in World War I and to celebrate the end of “The Great War”, the holiday finally came to rest in the 1970′s as Veterans Day on the 11th of every November, the same day as the original WWI Armistice signing.

    National Museum of the Marine Corps

    Servicemen greet a young visitor to the National Museum of the Marine Corps

    And there’s probably no better place in the country for sheer volume of closely-located sites honoring our military heroes. Within a weekend (maybe without getting out of your car) you can easily visit  the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Arlington National Cemetery, the Air Force Memorial, the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, and the Tomb of the Unknowns.

    This of course doesn’t even begin to account for the number of Civil War sites and historic homes like Mount Vernon sprinkled liberally up and down the I-95 corridor. You can’t swing a ceremonial parade saber without hitting a Virginia site honoring her veterans.

    Veterans Day events and sites are not exclusive to the Washington D.C. region, either. Nearly every Virginia city and town has a parade or similar event celebrating our men and women in uniform past and present. You can find many of them here at http://www.virginia.org/VeteransDay.

     
     



    Uncategorized | Comments Off

    War Between the Grapes

    by Tom | Posted on September 27th, 2011

    If you are that special breed of traveler who is a fan of Civil War history and wine tasting, the Virginia Wine Board and 23 Virginia wineries have got a regiment-sized diversion for you.

    When your metal-detector Monitor Vs Virginiastarts to get heavy, or you’re just tired of playing another battlefield casualty, stop by a participating winery and sample one of the dozens of specially-labeled wines commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and Emancipation. There are themes for everyone, from James River Cellar’s Monitor Vs. Virginia red, marking the famous ironclad battles, to Democracy Vineyards’ 2010 Emancipation Merlot in celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, to Casanel Vineyards’ 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, which pays tribute to all the men and women on both sides who suffered and sacrificed so much for their cause.

    Virginia Winery Passport

    Virginia Sesquicentennial Winery Passport

    To keep track of all the great wines and stories you’ll experience, the Virginia Wine Board has created a handy and detailed Virginia Sesquicentennial Winery Passport. This compact little book contains descriptions of all the featured vintages,  descriptions of the battles and people commemorated, and a fold-out map with the locations of nearby Civil War sites. To make your visit complete your passport also leaves space for that all-important stamp.

    While you still have several years to fill your Passport (and glass), this October is Virginia Wine Month, an ideal time to get started and “Find Your Perfect Crush”. Ask for Virginia wine at your favorite restaurant or visit a wine festival; chances are good there’s a Civil War site waiting to be explored just minutes away.



    Civil War, Fall in Virginia, Food and Wine | 2 Comments