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    Picking #blueberries at Mount Olympus Farm in Ruther Glen. If you visit soon, you'll be able to pick your own blueberries (end of season) AND blackberries (beginning of season). Pull out those homemade #pie and #muffin recipes and get cookin'! Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #eatlocal #pickyourown #blueberry #summer #vatravel #locavore #vafood
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  • Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

    All Mom, All Weekend

    by Casey | Posted on May 7th, 2012

    Has Mother’s Day crept up on you? If so, you’re in luck. We did the digging so you can be the hero!

    What kind of Mom are you looking to honor this weekend?

    The Outdoorsy Mom

    In Roanoke, take her geocaching on Saturday. An event called Caching in on Scenery begins at the Green Ridge Recreation Center at 11 a.m. You can search for treasure on foot or in your vehicle using a GPS. Don’t have a handheld GPS? A limited number will be available, but a $150 refundable deposit is required to rent it for your hunt.

    Thousands of shorebirds use the Eastern Shore to rest and feed midway through the spring migration. The International Migratory Bird Celebration will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Expect workshops, bird walks with experts, guided tours of Assateague Lighthouse, and activities for the kids.

    Butterfly release at Flying Flowers.
    Butterfly release at Flying Flowers.

    The Traditional Mom

    Moms who love flowers and gardening will enjoy the Garden Fair Saturday and Sunday at the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce. Let her pick out the plants that make her smile at this huge sale. Spend the day – there are special events, fun for the kids, and food will be available. $10 per car.

    The whole family can sweep mom off her feet with a special carriage ride through the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens in Harrisonburg. Both Saturday and Sunday a pair of beautiful Belgiums will be leading the way. Saturday’s rides are from 6 until 9 p.m. for mom’s who love the cool evening sunsets. Sunday rides are from 1 until 4 p.m. $10 per adult; $7 per child; or secure a private carriage for $58. 540-568-3194

    In Wytheville on Saturday, a butterfly release is planned at Flying Flowers. Flying Flowers at Beagle Ridge Herb Farm is Southwest Virginia’s only walk through butterfly house. Please register as soon as possible for this popular event. $10 for adults; $5 for children. Call 276-621-4511.

    The Wine & Dine Mom

    Quite a few Mother’s Day wine events are available across the Commonwealth – some are celebratory brunches and others are free tastings for mom.

    Additionally, she may like to sit down to a very nice meal. Reserve your space at Cooper’s Landing Inn & Traveler’s Tavern in Clarksville for Sunday brunch.

    The Art-Loving Mom

    “Where for art thou, Romeo?” Oops! Wrong play, but if mom loves Shakespeare, you need to take her to Staunton on Sunday. The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 2 p.m. Admission is $12 to $45.

    The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will be presenting their final performance of the season Saturday at 8 p.m. at George Mason Center for the Arts. Moms who appreciate classical music will love the FSO’s performance of The English, The French, and The Piano – a collection of Purcell, Debussy, Ravel and Elgar.

    In Norfolk, the Attucks Jazz Series is underway. Enjoy a smooth evening with Denise Donatelli in this legendary venue. 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person.

    See More Weekend Events

    Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free 2012 Virginia Travel Guide.



    Arts, Events, Family, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Sweepstakes, Wine | Comments Off

    Art? We have trails for that.

    by Casey | Posted on April 30th, 2012

    If you’re on the hunt for handmade treasures why not throw in a scenic drive and make a weekend of it? Virginia’s artisan trails are immense. Each trail highlights Virginia’s beauty captured in virtually any medium of your choice, as well as right in front of your eyes.

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network is known as ‘Round the Mountain. The network claims 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, vineyards, and more. It’s important to note that The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail intersects and may, in fact, run the same course occasionally as the ‘Round the Mountain trail network, so lend an ear while you treat your eyes.

    To make the ‘Round the Mountain network easier to navigate, the system is broken up into smaller trails.

    From the west and bordering Kentucky and Tennessee is the Wilderness Road Artisan Trail encompassing Lee and Scott Counties. North of that are the Lonesome Pine (Wise County) and  Rivers to Ridges (Dickenson and Buchanan Counties) artisan trails. Creeping west toward the Clinch River and named for it is the Clinch River Artisan Trail of Tazewell and Russell Counties.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson @CameronDavidson.com.

    The Interstate 81 corridor is a busy one. Hop off the rat race and see these trails with much to offer. In Montgomery County (Blacksburg) is the Montgomery County Artisan Trail, but if you venture just west you’ll also encounter the artisans of the Giles Art & Adventure Trail. Moving south along I81 is the New River Artisan Trail in Pulaski, Mountain Crossroads in Bland County and Wytheville, Smyth County Artisan Trail in Saltville, and Countryside Artisan Trail in Abingdon, Damascus, and Bristol. While you’re in Abingdon, check out Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway. In reality, it’s a great place to kick off the whole adventure!

    If you’re already off the beaten path and perhaps traversing the captivating Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find artisans all around you. Beginning in Franklin County around Rocky Mount, you’ll be in the middle of the White Lightning Artisan Trail (yes, THAT kind of white lightning).

    As you move south into the front-porch jam town of Floyd, you’ll also be in the midst of great art on the Floyd County Trail. Harmony Trail goes into Carroll County and the Hillsville area. Southwest is the Woven Mountains and River Bends Trail of Grayson County along the North Carolina border. Back to the east is the last trail of the network – Hidden Treasures - in Stuart and Patrick County.

    As if those trails aren’t enough, the rest of Virginia boasts some art, too. Venture the Discover the Arts Trail in Hampton Roads. It highlights 35 visual arts and 16 performing arts venues around the Historic Triangle.

    In Nelson and Albemarle Counties you’ll find the Monticello Artisan Trail. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop to agriculture and history, the arts along this trail will fulfill a wide array of tastes.

    To  the west and spanning Staunton, August and Waynesboro is The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley. A world-class theatre in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse gives this particular trail a little oomph.

    Lastly, the Western Highlands Artisan Trail includes Alleghany, Bath, Craig, and Highland Counties. From The Homestead to beautiful Humpback Bridge and famous maple syrup, this trail has tremendous scenic value in addition to the handmade arts.

    Visit Virginia.org/ArtisanTrails to download trail brochures and plan your trip. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



    Arts, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    16th Annual Virginia Arts Festival

    by Casey | Posted on April 5th, 2012

    Incredible artists, commissioned works, extraordinary collaborations, and unforgettable performances … it’s all waiting for you at the 16th Annual Virginia Arts Festival, April 16-June 6.

    For 16 years, this acclaimed festival has brought the world’s great artists to performance venues throughout the Hampton Roads area, making this beautiful region – already beloved for its beaches, pristine waterways, wildlife, and historical attractions that date back to the earliest days of our country – a cultural destination for travelers from around the world.

     

    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones

    Key Events:

    April 16: Renée Fleming

    April 24: Béla Fleck & The Flecktones – The Original Line-Up

    April 27-29: Virginia International Tattoo

    May 5: Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show Spectacular

    May 12: Al Pacino: One Night Only

    Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show Spectacular

    Flying Proms Symphonic Air Show Spectacular

    May 19: Virginia Beer Festival

    May 25: Harlem Renaissance Orchestra

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

     

    See the full schedule of events, preferred lodging partners, dining options, and more at www.Virginia.org/VAArtsFestival/.

     

     



    Arts | Comments Off

    Seasonal Sounds Ring Out in Northern Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on November 29th, 2011

    Tune in to the sounds of the season when you plan an overnight stay in Northern Virginia. From carols to classics, the evenings are magical. All that’s missing is you!

    Dailey & Vincent

    Dailey & Vincent. Photo Credit Jim McGuire

    This Saturday, December 3, Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent take to the stage at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax. Not familiar with Dailey & Vincent? The New York Times calls them, “the most celebrated new bluegrass act of the past few years,” and they’ve had two albums debut at #1 on the Billboard charts. The performance is from 8 to 10 p.m. and tickets are $24-$48. Family-friendly. Youth through high school are half price when accompanied by an adult.

    Also this Saturday is A Convergence Christmas in Alexandria featuring the 7 Sopranos and Harpist Mark Martin. In addition to the performance is a dramatic reading of “The Gift of the Magi,” and a carol sing-a-long. Tickets are $15 and the event begins at 4 p.m.

    The Master Singers of Virginia are traveling to spread their “Festival of Lessons and Carols” production. Hear these talented voices at Our Savior’s Way Lutheran Church in Ashburn on December 10 from 8 to 9 p.m., Church of the Epiphany in Herndon on December 11 from 7 to 8 p.m., or Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville on December 17 from 7 to 8 p.m. All performances are $18/adult and $15/student or senior. If purchasing at the door, add $2 to the price.

    Grammy nominee Natalie MacMaster will be performing traditional and contemporary Celtic melodies and Christmas carols at George Mason University on December 17 from 8 to 10 p.m. The Los Angeles Times hails, “MacMaster’s a ball of fire, performing jigs and reels with unstoppable, foot-tapping energy and ballads with irresistible, keening passion.” Tickets are $25-$50. Family-friendly. Youth through high school are half price when accompanied by an adult.

    Nearby Lodging:

    Fairfax
    -  Hampton Inn Fairfax City
    -  The Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel
    -  Courtyard Marriott Fair Oaks

    Alexandria
    -  Hilton Garden Inn Arlington/Shirlington
    -  Best Western Pentagon - 25% Off Deal!

    Ashburn
    -  Hilton Garden Inn Dulles North

    Herndon
    -  Staybridge Suites Chantilly Dulles Airport
    -  Courtyard Dulles Airport Chantilly

    Upperville
    -  Blackthorne Inn & Restaurant
    -  The Ashby Inn & Restaurant

     

    For more great upcoming musical performances or to extend your stay, visit Virginia.org.  LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



    Arts, Events, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Give Artsy this Season

    by Casey | Posted on November 28th, 2011

    Stroll through Virginia’s galleries to find the perfect piece for the aficionado or hard-to-buy-for on your list. You’ll be amazed at the handiwork the Commonwealth’s artisans conjure up. From ironworks to canvases and hot glass, the gift opportunities are spectacular.

    Torpedo Factory

    Torpedo Factory

    Thursday, December 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. the artisans of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria will host an Open House. The event is Hawaiian themed, so please dress accordingly while you shop the studio for affordable, original artwork. Live music and refreshments cheer up the atmosphere, and the Center would be most grateful if you’d bring  a non-perishable food donation for the Carpenter’s Shelter – Northern Virginia’s largest homeless shelter.

    First Friday is an event you’ll find (sometimes only during the warmer months) across Virginia. Take advantage of this monthly gathering and get some of your shopping out of the way. This Friday’s First Friday and other special Friday night events include:

    - Olde Towne Portsmouth, 5-8 p.m.
    - Old Town Winchester, 6-9 p.m.
    - Uptown Martinsville, 5-11 p.m.
    - The Artisan Center in Martinsville, 4-8 p.m.
    - Crafter’s Village Arts & Crafts Show in Rocky Mount, 2-8 p.m.

    This weekend, December 2-4, visit The Art League in Alexandria for their special Ceramic and Pottery Show and Sale.

    The Del Ray Artisans Gallery, also in Alexandria, is hosting their 16th Annual Holiday Market this weekend, too. Twenty artists offer pottery/ceramics, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts, and glass products for your shopping pleasure.

    Appalachian Arts Center

    Appalachian Arts Center

    In Waynesboro you’ll find the P. Buckley Moss Museum. Pat Buckley Moss will be at her nearby home, The Barn, this weekend signing prints and meeting her collectors. If you’d like to purchase a gift and have it personalized as a Christmas gift, this is your only chance! Hours for meeting Pat are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shop the Museum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

    The Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd is hosting its 17th Annual Winterfest Arts and Crafts Festival this Friday and Saturday. Feel free to bring the kids – there are activities for them!

    Visit the studio of potter Nan Rothwell this Saturday and Sunday as she hosts an Open House. A portion of the proceeds from the weekend will benefit Las Vidas Mejoradas, public health projects in the Peruvian Andes.

    Other Notables:

    - Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway, Abingdon
    - Appalachian Arts Center, Cedar Bluff
    - Sun’s Traces Gallery, Barboursville
    - Nancy Thomas Gallery, Williamsburg
    - Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts
    - Sunspots Studios & Glass Blowing, Staunton

    For more arts and crafts shopping opportunities, visit Virginia.org.



    Arts, The Holidays | Comments Off