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    Harvest Table Restaurant is one of the most dedicated #farmtotable restaurants in Southwest #Virginia, working with seasonal produce and meats from local and regional sources. This is their veggie #woodfired #pizza served with a St. George #IPA. #vabeer #loveva #vafood #locavore #craftbeer #vacraftbeermonth #harvesttablerestaurant
    A breathtaking Piney #Mountain #sunrise @samanthabrookephoto captured this weekend. Bravo! ūüĎŹ Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here. #epic #photooftheday #fog #magical #wakingupearlypaysoff @ilovecville #cville
    #Peach picking is on at Chiles Peach #Orchard in Crozet, #Virginia (just outside #Cville) now through Labor Day. When you visit, try some of their homemade peach donuts and cider! #PeachCobbler, here I come. #howisummer #loveva #vaoutdoors #pickyourown #locavore #chilespeachorchard
    @jacyjoypals is off for a weekend #vawine getaway! Here's Keswick #Vineyard captured in her #goldenhour glory. Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #roadtripva #photooftheday #sunset #sunrise #drinklocal @vawine
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    Canadians Love Virginia AND Their Free Trips

    by Guest | Posted on September 19th, 2011

    Pilot Yourself to Virginia Winners

    Pilot Yourself to Virginia Winners

    We are¬†sometimes asked if there are ever winners to the free vacation sweepstakes we run. The answer is, “Of course there are!”

    During the past year we gave away three trips to lucky sweepstakes winners from Canada. They enjoyed their Virginia holidays so much that we have to share what they had to say.

    “Just would like to let you know that I am back from my trip to Williamsburg, Virginia and to tell you that everything was absolutely wonderful. Everything went smoothly and we (my husband and I) enjoyed the whole experience from the fabulous shopping spree at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, complimentary dining to the golfing at the Williamsburg National Golf Club. The accommodations at King’s Creek Plantation were beautiful and certainly very spacious. The only thing I would change would be to have another day or two there because it is a long drive from Toronto. We had no idea of the rich history in the area. We took a “ghost tour” of Colonial Williamsburg and went to several of the wineries, one of which has the largest production in the state … Williamsburg Winery. Now that we are back we have told a lot of our friends and relatives about the area and all it has to offer and that we would return again soon.”
    -¬†Susan A. of Toronto, Girlfriend’s Getaway Vacation Prize Winner

    “Virginia Beach is absolutely wonderful!! …and before this I didn’t know Virginia even had a beach!!¬†We have had so much fun in the water.¬† I would rather come here than go all the way to Daytona or Myrtle Beach.”
    - Grant L., Canada’s Wonderland/Virginia Contest winner.

    ‚ÄúWe have arrived safely in Lexington, VA at the Hampton Inn Col Alto. My goodness what a beautiful hotel.¬†So far everything is proceeding perfectly. The skyline drive was spectacular. Skyland Resort was awesome. The only fly in the ointment was the weather. A big storm blew through over night and all horseback riding was cancelled. I don’t know who was more disappointed, me or my granddaughter.¬†The Luray Caverns were truly spectacular. The whole state is very beautiful and I have enjoyed driving here very much. The people are very friendly and even in Virginia our Honda Pilot vehicle with the Virginia logos is attracting a lot of attention.¬†Thanks again for everything, we will definitely visit your lovely state again.
    - Steve & Elizabeth W., Pilot Yourself to Virginia Grand Prize winner

    Whether it’s a free vacation because of a prize, or a vacation¬†paid out of pocket, you will find testimonials like these that fully support the notion that Virginia is for Lovers. Or should I say, “L’amour est au cŇďur de chaque instant en Virginie.” Come see for yourself!

    Jane Govoruhk is the Assistant International Marketing Manager at Virginia Tourism Corporation, avid Hokie and Steelers fan, NASCAR enthusiast, music junkie, and author of this post.

    Related: Kentucky Family Wins Virginia is for Racing Lovers Ultimate Fan Sweeps, Oct 8, 2010

    Sweepstakes | 1 Comment

    Halloween’s a-Comin’!

    by Guest | Posted on September 6th, 2011

    What words come to your mind when you think about Halloween?  Ghosts?  Goblins?  Costumes?  Candy?   Those words probably work for you!   However, when I think about Halloween in Virginia, I think of words like Howl-O-Scream, Halloween Haunt, Halloween Madness, Fright Light Laser Show, and even NASCAR.  You see, my words are actually events. 

    Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

    Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

    Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays here in Richmond.¬†¬† Kings Dominion is about 30 miles north and it constructs a Halloween Haunt¬†every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night.¬† There are haunted mazes and shows and all of the rides are ‚Äúthrilling.‚Ä̬† They do have a non-scary atmosphere during the day but the atmos-fear definitely changes at night!¬†¬†¬†¬†Sixty miles east of Richmond, there is Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.¬† Again, this is on weekend nights but it is amazing. Along with shows, mazes, and lurking creatures, the rides are also open, weather-permitting.¬† See the fright come to life!¬† It‚Äôs worth the scare.¬†¬†¬†

    If you’re looking for a smaller-scale scare, there are plenty of options around the state.  At Big Gem Park in Page County, there’s the Terror Trail.  Children must be accompanied by an adult on this tour since it is one of the scariest you will go on.   There are more than 20 acres at the aptly named Fields of Fear at Cox Farm in Centreville.  This also isn’t recommended for children under the age of 12.   

    Looking for family-friendly?¬† How about a laser show?¬† The Virginia Living Museum has the Fright Light Laser Show that includes¬†music from the likes of¬†Garbage, The Who, and Black Sabbath set to an eclectic mix of terror-istic images.¬†¬†¬†Historic Marion has a trick-or-treat fest all during the day before the ‚ÄúHalloween Madness‚ÄĚ begins at night¬†¬†¬† At Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, the Oatlands after Five Paranormal Tours¬†begin at 5:00pm.¬† These evening tours feature different ghost tales and unexplained happenings fit for the whole family.¬†¬†¬†

    Talk about some scary stuff … high speeds and fast cars! Martinsville Speedway even has a NASCAR race, the TUMS Fast Relief 500, on Sunday, October 30.  The track is the only short-track stop in the Chase!  NASCAR and scary-yes, they pretty much fit right together. 

    So between the large amusement parks and the small town events, this Halloween is sure to be spooktacular around our great state!  For additional events, check out the entire listing here:  Happy hunting for a haunting Halloween!!!

    Jane Govoruhk is the Assistant International Marketing Manager at Virginia Tourism Corporation, avid Hokie and Steelers fan, NASCAR enthusiast, music junkie, and author of this post.

    Events, Fall in Virginia, Family | 3 Comments

    Virginia is for Racing Lovers … including Me!

    by Guest | Posted on August 23rd, 2011

    Did you know that Virginia is for Racing Lovers?¬† Have you ever been to a NASCAR race?¬† It‚Äôs thrilling and one of the best experiences that I have had!¬† I went to the night race this past April at Richmond International Raceway.¬† A pit pass allowed me to be in the middle of it all while watching¬†the preparations by the different crews.¬† It was relatively quiet in the pits.¬† Two hours later, I was covering my ears as the cars passed at more than 100 miles per hour.¬† My friends told me about the pace, the noise, the fans, the experience … but it‚Äôs one that you can‚Äôt describe until you‚Äôre there!¬†¬†¬†

    Richmond International Raceway

    Richmond International Raceway

    These drivers are athletes.  They race at crazy speeds with all these other factors surrounding them.  They sit in the same position for more than four to six hours at a time while risking their lives for our entertainment.  My favorite athlete, I mean, driver, is Denny Hamlin.  He stands for something both on the track and off, and was born right here in Virginia!

     The state itself has many contributors to NASCAR history.  Virginia is the only state that hosts 4 NASCAR races each year.  Virginia is home to Martinsville Speedway, which was actually founded in 1947, one year before NASCAR.  Remember Trevor Bayne, the youngest winner ever, from this year’s Daytona 500?  He drives for Wood Brothers Racing, a sixty year-old family organization founded and based in Virginia for fifty-three years, the oldest continuously operating NASCAR Cup Series team.

     Virginia is currently offering three chances to win tickets to NASCAR races:

    • Hermie Sadler will be signing autographs¬†and offering the chance to win IRWIN Night Race tickets at the Bristol Welcome Center (in Virginia) from 9-10am on Saturday, August 27;
    • Enter to win two suite tickets for the Martinsville Speedway race in October here:;
    • Virginia residents may also enter to¬†win 2 VIP NASCAR experiences with Elliott Sadler and the Virginia Lottery for the Martinsvillle Speedway race in October:¬†

    So at the end of the day, Virginia is for Racing Lovers.  Seriously.  No kidding.  Between Richmond, Martinsville, and the NASCAR history that abounds, the experiences are unequaled.  This weekend I will be cheering for Denny Hamlin at Bristol Motor Speedway.  It’s the IRWIN Tools Night Race but I hope that my experience isn’t a race at all.  

    Jane Govoruhk is the Assistant International Marketing Manager at Virginia Tourism Corporation, avid Hokie and Steelers fan, NASCAR enthusiast, music junkie, and author of this post.

    Events, Sweepstakes | 1 Comment

    The Inside Scoop on Summer Fun in Hampton!

    by Guest | Posted on August 11th, 2011

    Hampton Merry-Go-Round
    Hampton Merry-Go-Round

    Here’s the inside scoop on my hometown Hampton, VA! There are tons of things for you to do in the small city no matter what age you are. Let’s begin with Buckroe Beach. Since I was a little girl, I have loved to go down to Buckroe Beach with my family and friends for a day of fun in the sun! On Tuesday nights we would lay out a blanket, eat snow cones and hot dogs and watch a family-friendly movie after spending all day playing in the water and burying each other in the sand. Buckroe Beach also has a playground with swings and slides that are perfect for the little ones. For my 15th birthday we rented one of the picnic shelters and had a cook out before going to play some volleyball out on the beach. The beach has a great walking and bike path, and features a Bark Park for the little poochies in your life! There is plenty of parking, and guess what… it’s FREE!!!

    The Virginia Air and Space Center is another favorite place to visit! I have been there numerous times over the years, whether it was for school field trips, or leisurely trips to watch a movie in the IMAX Theater it kept me coming back. There are a few permanent exhibits such as the Ham Radio Exhibit, Air & Space Craft and the new Space Gallery. But, my favorite exhibit would have to be the Adventures in Flight gallery where people can put on foam airplane wings, stand in front of a large fan and pretend to be an airplane.

    Be sure to check out the Hampton University Museum as well! Not just because it is located on the beautiful waterfront campus that I attend, but because it is filled with lots of rich history. Founded in 1868, the Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the State of Virginia. The collections feature over 9,000 objects including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art; and objects relating to the history of the University. Within its fine arts collection is the largest existing collection of works in any museum by the artists John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthe and Samella Lewis.

    For the savvy shopper, take a visit the Peninsula Town Center, the new outdoor mall! Peninsula Town Center has a mix of department and specialty retailers and restaurants as well as several landscaped parks, plazas and squares. After a long day of shopping stop by Five Guys for a burger and fries or Bensi’s for some great Italian food. Catch a movie or indulge in some vintage bowling at the beautiful CineBistro that welcomes the 21 and under club before 8pm when it turns into a more sophisticated dine-in theater for the 21 and up.

    Visit for these and other exciting things to do in Hampton.

    This blog entry was written by our summer PR Intern, Lynbea Toombs, who is a Junior at Hampton University.

    Destinations, Travel Ideas | Comments Off