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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 6 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 19th, 2013

Stretch your time and your legs as you meander around Virginia this fall. Spend a few days away with those you love most, doing what you love most. Together is where it’s at.

Lake Drummond - Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Great Dismal to Back Bay

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Canal Trail in Chesapeake is a stunning (mostly bug-free) attraction each fall, when the colors peak late October to early November. Bring your camera to possibly capture beautiful wildlife and incredible sunrises and sunsets.

Between the Refuges:

- Northwest River Park - 763 acres of paddle sports, fishing and hiking
- Mount Pleasant Farms – Don’t miss their Fall on the Farm weekends in October!
- Cullipher Farm Market – Two corn mazes and u-pick pumpkin patch
Surf & Adventure Co. Lunchbox Kayak Tour of Back Bay – 2-3 hrs; no experience required
- Blue Pete’s Seafood Restaurant – Award-winning She-Crab Soup; outdoor seating; local hang-out

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an 8,000-acre coastal habitat in southern Virginia Beach. Dunes, woodland, beach and marsh areas are home to loggerhead sea turtles, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and approximately 10,000 snow geese at peak fall migration.

Map This Trip


Assateague Island

Lighthouse Touring: Mathews – Virginia Beach – Assateague

Assateague Lighthouse has received a semi-extreme makeover. See her in all her fresh, red-and-white-striped glory this fall, along with a few sister lights, starting at New Point Comfort in Mathews.

New Point Comfort Lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse still standing in the Chesapeake Bay and the tenth oldest in the United States. Appreciate it from the observation walkway at the southern end of Route 600, or paddle your way out for an up close and personal view.

Between the Lights:

- New Point Comfort Nature Preserve
- Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve
- Linda’s Diner
- Fort Monroe Casemate Museum
- Bubba’s Marina and Seafood Restaurant

Both Cape Henry Lighthouses in Virginia Beach can be seen at Fort Story military base with a government-issued form of identification for everyone aged 16 and older, plus the vehicle registration and insurance card. Admission to climb the old Cape Henry Lighthouse is $5 for 13 and older; $3 for 12 and under. Must be 42″ tall to climb; children may not be carried.

Between the Lights:

- First Landing Cross
- Surf Rider Restaurant
- Citrus Breakfast & Lunch
- Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
- Exmore Diner
- Island Creamery
- Don’s Seafood
- Assateague Explorer Pony Watching/Wildlife Cruises

Finally, Assateague Lighthouse! It’s a beauty at 142′ tall. Visit anytime you wish, but if you enjoy celebrations, might I suggest October 5, 2013? The grand re-opening will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include music, fun for the kids, free lighthouse climbs and more. The lighthouse will be re-lit at approximately 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

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Douthat State Park

Douthat State Park

Hot Springs Rustic and Resort

Take your fun to the mountains this fall as you experience what is possibly the best of both worlds: state park to luxury resort.

Start at Douthat State Park in Millboro where the hiking and fishing are fine. Book a cabin or pitch a tent. It’s a great place to appreciate the beauty around you. Stay a night or two, then pack it up and go upscale at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

Mountain Adventures:

- George Washington National Forest
- Cascades Golf Course
- Allegheny Springs
- The Wine Shop at Hot Springs
- The Gallery at Seven Oaks
- Garth Newel Music Center
- Sam Snead’s Tavern

Map This Trip

Looking for more great ways to get away in Virginia? Look no further than the other posts in this 48 Hours series.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.


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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 5 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 16th, 2013

Let’s go for a scenic drive across Virginia, and take our time doing it. You game? Here, in part 5 of the 48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia series, we’ll take a look at a few options that include some of Virginia’s most beautiful scenic drives.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Star City of the South ~

Roanoke is often called the “Star City of the South,” thanks, in large part, to the 100-foot-tall lighted beacon on Mill Mountain. The view from up there – just one of hundreds of scenic sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway – is one that might just leave you breathless. In fact, it’s the site of many marriage proposals, if you have something romantic in mind.




Fall in Fairfax County ~

George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

If you’ve never driven the George Washington Memorial Parkway, you must. There are so many beautiful stops along the way, not the least of which is the gorgeous Potomac River and our nation’s capital across the way.




Tides of History ~

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Colonial Parkway is the way to travel the Historic Triangle. From the 1607 landing at Jamestown to the colonial seat of government in Colonial Williamsburg, and on to Revolutionary War victory in Yorktown, there’s so much beauty and so much history along this one stretch or road.




Find more ways to spend 48 hours this fall in Virginia:

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 4 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 12th, 2013

The great outdoors are calling your name. You must climb, paddle, run, or ride. But where? Enter the beautiful season of fall where the mercury slowly dips to moderate numbers and the shorter days are loaded with excitement.

Leaf Peeping in Lynchburg

Lynchburg is serving up fantastic outdoor recreation and you really don’t want to miss out on it.

Start with the Liberty Mountain Trail System. It’s more than 65 miles zig-zagging across 5,000 acres and up to more than 1,360 feet.

Next up could be a lazy kayak trip with James River Float Company. After all that strenuous mountain work, this might be the perfect attraction.

Since you’ve gotten up close and personal with the foliage on the trail and admired its brilliance from the water, where else to see it but from the air? Call up Precision Windsports, Inc. They’ll get you up and flying in a light sport aircraft for a unique leaf-peeping vantage point.

Craddock Terry Hotel (Stay 2 nights; get 3rd 50% off!)
Federal Crest Inn B&B
Kirkley Hotel

Main Street Eatery
Shoemakers Fine Dining
The Crown

Rise Up Climbing
Jefferson Street Brewery
Upcoming Events

New Adventures at Mountain Lake

This beautiful mountain reprieve tucked away in Giles County is the 1986 filming location for the incredible (am I biased?) Dirty Dancing featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. While the urge to stay at “Kellerman’s” is a persistent annual draw, Mountain Lake Lodge & Conservancy has been revamped for a new generation of family fun.

You should know …

  • 2,600 acres with 22 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails
  • Rafting, canoeing, kayaking and fishing on-site
  • A new aerial and zip line adventure course, geocaching, and archery lessons are just some of the outdoor offerings
  • Dining on site at Harvest or Stony Creek Tavern
  • Stay on site in either the Main Stone Lodge, Chestnut Lodge, the Front Lawn Cottages & Historic Rustic Cabins, or in a Blueberry Ridge Mountain Home.

Also Nearby:
Blackberry Morning Retreat
Walker Creek Retreat
Inn at Riverbend (Quick! Stay 2 midweek nights; get 3rd 50% off!)
Cascades National Recreation Trail

Saddle Up in Southern Virginia

Shangrila Guest Ranch

Shangrila Guest Ranch

South Boston is your destination and horseback riding at Shangrila Guest Ranch is your pleasure for these 48 hours. An all-inclusive ranch, you’ll be more than comfortable in their log cabin, old home place or packhouse. If you’d rather try another accommodation, they’ll still let you saddle up with their beautiful horses. Ride, regardless of experience, for an hour or all day …  just make an appointment!

Explore South Boston and Halifax, but be sure to try the barbecue at Smokin’ Jakes. That definitely has to be on your list.

Also Nearby:
Berry Hill Resort
Oak Grove Plantation B&B
The Prizery
Bob Cage Sculpture Farm

Mountain Explorations in Southwest Virginia

The Blue Ridge Parkway is pure outdoor recreation. Start anywhere you like and you’re golden. For this purpose, let’s shoot down near Meadows of Dan and make a plan.

Blue Ridge Tree Climbing

Blue Ridge Tree Climbing

Pick things up with Blue Ridge Tree Climbing, LLC. Instructor Bob Wray is inspiring, stating, “If you cannot remember the meaning of childhood magic, or do remember and want to get it back, then I suggest you simply climb a tree again.”

Find rest in a cozy little cabin nestled among Christmas trees at River Walk Cabins, or delight in the views from Woodberry Inn, where there’s a restaurant on site.

There are plenty of trails nearby, including Sweet Mountain Laurel Loop, Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail, and the entirety of the Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve.

Also Nearby:
Mabry Mill and Restaurant
Saddle Up Farm
Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant

Find more ways to spend 48 hours this fall in Virginia:

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.


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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 3 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 10th, 2013

Beautiful wineries, apple orchards, riverside vantage points … there are so many places to fall in love with Virginia’s fall foliage as you move east across the state. If you can’t travel as much as you’d like to this fall, you’ll certainly have plenty of items to mark off of next year’s list.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Getaway to Central Virginia’s Wineries

Centered around Charlottesville, this is 48 hours you’ll likely want to extend. On the docket around this esteemed university and law school town are the 30 wineries of the Monticello Wine Trail - Birthplace of American Wine. Here you will find some of the most renowned names in Virginia wine, including Gabriele Rausse, often called “The Father of the Modern Virginia Wine Industry.”

A must for any visit to Charlottesville is a stop at the only home to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.


The Dinsmore House Inn

The Dinsmore House Inn



Cooper's Landing Inn

Cooper’s Landing Inn

Getaway to Southern Style Romance in Lake Country

Clarksville is a quiet lake town in Southern Virginia with beautiful foliage, sunrises and sunsets. Here, tranquility reigns supreme. Center yourself in an accommodation that feels most comfortable. Is it a luxurious bed and breakfast like Cooper’s Landing Inn, or perhaps a cozy cabin at Occoneechee State Park?

These 48 hours are easily spent enjoying the beautiful outdoors on nature trails around Kerr Lake or on a boat from Clarksville Marina. Or you can venture out for some history, scenic views and great food.

Occoneechee State Park Cabin

Occoneechee State Park Cabin


Natural Beauty: Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Spend 48 hours hitting some of the best stops the Eastern Shore of Virginia has to offer, starting at the southern tip and Kiptopeke State Park – a premier stop for migratory birds traveling the Atlantic Flyway.

Nearby, find the quaint, bay-side town of Cape Charles. Refuel at Cape Charles Coffee House and peruse the shops. Call it a night at Hotel Cape Charles, Bay Haven Inn or Cape Charles Bay View Bed & Breakfast, but not before a great dinner at Kelly’s Gingernut Pub, AQUA or Bay Creek Railway.

As you head north up the Shore, check out these points of interest:

There are more getaways where these came from!

Check out, as well as Parts One and Two of this series. More great ideas are coming your way, so be sure to subscribe to receive the latest post via email.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.


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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 2 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 5th, 2013

Ready to hit the road for a fun fall weekend? Actually, your 48 hours can be any day of the week you choose. In fact, I’d recommend you try for a mid-week jaunt, as mid-week rates are typically cheaper than weekend. Why not give it a go?

Explore Natural Tunnel State Park

Natural Tunnel State Park Cabin and Lodge

Natural Tunnel State Park

Deep in the Heart of Appalachia is a state park that boasts a chair lift that’s perfect for foliage peeping – Natural Tunnel State Park. The park’s 10 mountain ridge cabins are welcoming, comfortable, and offer an amazing vantage point for those who love fall’s colors. All you need to bring is your food, condiments, toiletries and clothes; the rest is provided. Plenty of availability! $113-$390 depending on cabin size.  Book Now

The 10-story natural tunnel is the main attraction here, with the aforementioned chair lift being a great highlight. The eight walking trails are easy; the longest is just over a mile. Two trails are open to cyclists. Of interest is Tunnel Trail to Log Cabin Trail where an original Carter Family Log Cabin sits.

Read more …


Autumn on the Crooked Road

It’s a winding road dotted with musical gems and talented artisans. Make Floyd your starting point as it’s the home of the famed Floyd Country Store and its Friday Night Jamboree. If you pick, bring your instrument to join in (it doesn’t have to be a Friday night for a pickin’ session)!

Aerial view of Abingdon in the fall. Image by

Aerial view of Abingdon in the fall.

In Galax, partake of the “Best Dessert in the South,” the banana pudding at The Galax Smokehouse. Really. Virginia Living Magazine said so. Then it’s on to an amazing vantage point from on high – A Place By the Parkway. It’s just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 214.

If you’re feeling like getting some easy exercise, head to Damascus, the midway point of the Virginia Creeper Trail. You’ll want to go west toward Abingdon and coast down hill. You’re welcome.

In Abingdon, make Heartwood one of your main destinations. It’s a fantastic place that offers a really great meal and many pretty handmade pieces, including jewelry, quilts, soaps, and more. Maybe they’ll ship some treasures home for you? Then it’s back to Damascus where a well-deserved, Southern Living-praised slice of chocolate cake awaits you at Creeper Trail Cafe.

What else?


More of Where Those Came From

Primland Resort

Primland Resort

Like the ideas of Natural Tunnel, Abingdon, Floyd and the Blue Ridge Parkway? Expand them a bit these additional places to stay, eat and have fun.

Southwest Virginia will be quilted in the colors of fall before you know it. Don’t miss it and don’t miss more of our 48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia series. Read PART ONE and watch for part three coming soon!

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

48 Hours, Couples, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Outdoors, Wine | 1 Comment