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Eight Boutique Hotels & Vintage Stays in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on August 26th, 2014

Attention to detail, upscale finishes, and impeccable customer service are all things you’d expect to find in a boutique hotel, and according to online reviews and media, these Virginia stays excel.

The Craddock Terry Hotel is quickly recognized by the large red heel on the front. Once a shoe factory producing nearly 100,000 pairs per day, this brick warehouse is now a very fashionable, 44-room luxury accommodation in downtown Lynchburg. The urban, industrial feel is not lost. Each room boasts incredible mountain or river views thanks to the 9-foot-tall windows, and exposed brick and beams serve as sturdy, beautiful reminders of the buildings’ past. As a finishing touch, you’re going to love receiving your complimentary continental breakfast ¬†in an old-fashioned wooden shoeshine box. Whimsy is in style at Craddock Terry!

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Morrison House

Morrison House

Nestled off King Street in Old Town Alexandria is¬†Morrison House,¬†a well-appointed Kimpton property graced with Federal Period reproduction pieces. Acclaim for the hotel includes a four-star rating from Mobil, four-diamond rating from AAA, and it was named one of the “Top 30 Hotels in the South” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler in 2013. Morrison House has 45 guestrooms and suites, and a bed and breakfast feel to its intimate atmosphere. Complimentary wine, coffee and tea are served daily. “Elegant” is perhaps the best word to describe this gem of Old Town.


The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

The Charlotte Hotel in Onancock is a sweet find on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With just eight rooms, you’ll have plenty of peace in this 1907 reprieve. Trip Advisor reviewers have called it “delightful,” “charming,” and “a tiny slice of paradise.” To add to the comfortable stay, a restaurant featuring house-made menu items gives you a true taste of the Shore.


General Francis Marion Hotel

General Francis Marion Hotel

The Roaring Twenties are all the rage at the General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion, Virginia. While “thoroughly modern” for today’s travelers, the General Francis does indeed date to 1927 and boasts the period ambiance one would expect. Pieces of its historical past include the original terrazo floors, the registration desk, and switchboard. The hotel was honored with the Gabriella Page Historic Preservation Award by the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. Do be sure to enjoy a libation at The Black Rooster, their on-site restaurant that gives a wink back to the black rooster being code for “drinks served here” during Prohibition.


Linden Row Inn

Linden Row Inn

Richmond seeps history and the 1840s Linden Row Inn embodies it, from its architecture of seven integrated Greek Revival row houses to its garden, where a young Edgar Allen Poe played, courted, and perhaps named the “enchanted garden” in his poem To Helen. The Parlour Suites and the Main House Rooms have fabulous old 12-foot ceilings with windows just as high, while the Parlour Suites also boast pocket doors, gasolier lighting, and marble fireplaces. The Garden Rooms are located in the carriage houses, spaces the Inn calls “cozy and intimate enclaves.” Without a doubt, your authentic Richmond experience begins at Linden Row Inn.

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The Georges. Photo by Gordon Gregory.

The Georges. Photo by Gordon Gregory.

Newly opened but historically preserved and treasured is The Georges in historic downtown Lexington. Named for George Washington and George C. Marshall of Washington and Lee and Virginia Military Institute fame, The Georges is an 18-room boutique hotel occupying two buildings across from one another on Main Street. An on-site restaurant and casual piano bar are just the beginning of how scrumptious this property is. Guests will be delighted with a breathtaking view as distinct as the room in which they find themselves. Luxury linens and bath necessities add to the desire to linger that this retreat will certainly impose.


Suites at 249

Suites at 249

The Suites at 249 are found in the historic district of Culpeper inside renovated row buildings, but just like the aforementioned properties, the six Suites embrace the history they lie within. Exposed brick and hardwood floors make these modern, expansive suites a very comfortable home base from which to explore. The one thing that makes the Suites different from the others is the lack of concierge or bellhop to call upon. Once you check in, you come and go as you please by way of coded, keyless entry for both the front door and your room. This could be the perfect place for the couple who wants nothing more than to be left alone.


Bolling Wilson Hotel

Bolling Wilson Hotel

In Wytheville is the newly renovated¬†Bolling Wilson Hotel, a 30-room gem set to open Fall 2014. Named after Wytheville-born¬†Edith Bolling Wilson, President Woodrow Wilson’s wife, the property is a contributing building on the National Register of Historic Places. Guests can expect to find beautifully restored and preserved architecture in the lobby with classic high ceilings, arched windows, and intricate moulding. Additionally, an on-site southern restaurant with outdoor dining and a rooftop patio promise a memorable experience.

There’s nothing like a place that has a great story to tell, and these eight properties are just a tip of the iceberg. Discover more lovely places to stay through the links below.

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It’s Time for a Celebracation! Six Ideas for a Celebratory Vacation in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on August 20th, 2014

Milestones are worth celebrating. They’re also on the rise as a top reason to travel. Have you considered a celebration vacation? Anniversaries – yours, your parents – are a perfect example of a celebration worth vacationing for. Here are six ideas for a monumental memory-making getaway.

1. POUR ON THE ROMANCE¬†with a lavish escape at one of Virginia’s premier luxury destinations. Your style and ideal view or location will dictate your choice among these highly rated stunners. Newly rated and added to the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotels list are Clifton Inn, which Forbes calls “Virginia’s All-American Inn,” The Lodge and Cottages at Primland Resort, and The Williamsburg Lodge at Colonial Williamsburg.

Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotels

Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotels


2. BE THE COWBOYS AND GIRLS you always wanted to be with an all-inclusive ranch stay. You bring the chaps, hats and boots; these wranglers will do the rest, including manning the chuck wagon.

Shangrila Guest Ranch. ©Todd Wright

Shangrila. ©Todd Wright

Shangrila Guest Ranch in South Boston offers trail riding, and all drinks and food are included in your rate. Check out their multi-day trail ride. The first night will be spent in a secluded cabin or glamping tent. Evening two will find you under the stars in a handmade tipi, and evening three concludes at a rustic lodge. The multi-day escape is offered at select times each year, so plan ahead for this special excursion.

Reba Farm Inn

Reba Farm Inn

Reba Farm Inn in Bedford is a 300-acre resort-like escape that does offer horseback riding, but isn’t quite as “whole hog” as Shangrila, if you want a more tame experience. Inquire about their anniversary package and ask for the Spring House Cottage upgrade with a trail ride to make it a truly memorable time. One night with the upgrade and 90-minute trail ride is $275 and includes a four-course dinner and three-course breakfast.


Waterman's Cabin. Courtesy SouthEast Expeditions.

Courtesy SouthEast Expeditions.

3. ACCESSIBLE BY KAYAK ONLY,¬†the authentic 100-year-old waterman’s cabin off the Eastern Shore is unlike any other Virginia experience. It’s the perfect situation for a couple who wants solitude and to remain undisturbed, though your guide will come cook your breakfast, if you like! The cabin is only available a few weekends per year, so the opportunity to stay here is pretty exclusive. From $595 per person for two nights.


4. COOK WITH SOME OF THE BEST chefs when you book a package the includes a cooking class. What’s more gratifying than cooking for and with someone you love?

Chef's Garden at Salamander Resort.

Salamander Resort.

Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg has a cooking studio and hosts a Visiting Chef Series, bringing chefs from New York City, Washington, D.C. and other vibrant foodie locations. Ask about their Dreaming of a Culinary and Wine Experience package which includes a cooking class plus two recipes to take home, a wine flight, and of course, a luxurious overnight at Salamander. Rates from $452 per person.

The Inn at Meander Plantation in Locust Dale offers a Cooking School package with Chef Suzie Blanchard. Enjoy the comfortable accommodations of the inn, plus get your hands in the flour. You’ll stay two nights, cook up something fabulous, receive a recipe book, and take home an apron, too. A delicious wine-paired dinner will be the highlight of your last day. Rates from $1050 per couple.


©Jeff Greenough

©Jeff Greenough

5. CONQUER A MOUNTAIN when you set off on one of Virginia’s great hikes. The pay-offs are tremendous and you’ll be enamored to have done it with the one you love.

You’ll find the General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion to be a fantastic home base for your Mount Rogers excursion. Mount Rogers is the highest peak in Virginia at 5,729 feet, and the Appalachian Trail runs across it. It’s high enough that there’s an alpine feel to it, with minimal vegetation. The views are stupendous.


6. SLEEP WHERE PRESIDENTS HAVE SLEPT for a real historic getaway. While the most well-known homes are not available for overnight stays, some of the others and associated properties certainly are.

Belle Grove Plantation. Courtesy Rich Johnson Photography.

Belle Grove Plantation. Courtesy Rich Johnson Photography.

Belle Grove Plantation Bed and Breakfast in King George is the birthplace of President James Madison. The mansion sits along the Rappahannock River, dates to 1791 (the plantation dates to 1670), and boasts four master suites. It’s a popular wedding venue thanks to both its history and its beauty.

North Bend Plantation in Charles City dates to 1801 and was the home of William Henry Harrison’s sister, Sarah Harrison, and the current owner is Sarah’s great nephew. Beyond that, Mr. Copland is the great, great grandson of Edmund Ruffin, the man who fired the first shot of the Civil War on behalf of the South. Many of the furnishings are original; a stay here is a special treat.

To lay your head where modern day presidents have rested theirs, try The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond, previously mentioned for its Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Hotel rating. According to their website, “Twelve US Presidents, including Harrison, McKinley, Wilson, Coolidge, Taft, both Roosevelts (Theodore and Franklin Delano), Truman and Reagan, both Bushes (George H. W. and George W.) and Obama have been guests at The Jefferson Hotel.”


Just what would your ideal celebration vacation look like? Leave an idea or two in the comments section!

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Sweet Southern Virginia Wine

by Casey | Posted on August 19th, 2014

Anyone traveling Routes 29 or 58 in Southern Virginia will quickly know they’re in the Southern Virginia Wine Region. In July, the Southern Virginia Wine Region road signs were unveiled on select primary and secondary roads, making that region the 13th to receive such signs. In total, there are 16 wine regions and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs).

Rosemont. ©Justin Eubanks

Rosemont. ©Justin Eubanks

According to, “Southern Virginia has a warm to temperate climate with good soil for winemaking in selected areas where the topography is ideal. In this area of Virginia along the North Carolina border, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Grigio and Vidal Blanc are the varietals you‚Äôll find along with a few wines made from grapes and other fruits native to the area.”

Southern Virginia Wineries

 Learn more about Virginia Wine, and order or download a Virginia Travel Guide to assist in your adventures!
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Virginia Beer Trails & Tours

by Casey | Posted on August 18th, 2014

Ready for a ride on the Virginia craft beer bandwagon? If so, please do one of two things: 1) Designate a driver or 2) Take a chauffeured tour. Here’s how you can responsibly sip, sample and enjoy Virginia craft beer.

Virginia's Blue Ridge Beer Loop

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beer Loop


Virginia’s Blue Ridge Beer Loop was unveiled just in time for August Virginia Craft Beer Month and includes six breweries around the Roanoke Valley. The Loop is a self-guided tour, which enables you to take your time and truly enjoy that one beer you find and love.

  • Big Lick Brewing Co. – Roanoke – opening Labor Day weekend!
  • Callaway Brewing Co. – Callaway
  • Chaos Mountain Brewing – Callaway
  • Flying Mouse Brewery – Troutville
  • Parkway Brewing Co. – Salem
  • Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers – Roanoke

Here’s Something …¬†When you visit all six breweries this month (and have your passport stamped) you’ll be entered to win prizes!¬†Download the Brochure and Map

Spread your craft beer experience over a couple of days and throw in a winery (10 to choose from), a distillery and a cidery to make it a well-rounded Virginia tasting. An example is the Red, White and Brew Trail in Nelson County:

  • Blue Mountain Barrel House
  • Blue Mountain Brewery
  • Devils Backbone Brewing Company
  • Wild Wolf Brewery

Some of the Red, White and Brew sites are also on the Nelson 151 Trail. See the Map

In a similar way, the Brew Ridge Trail incorporates many of the sites mentioned above, plus hops over to Charlottesville to pick up Starr Hill and South Street breweries. Additional attractions and places to stay are also listed for consideration.


Richmond Brewery Tours

Richmond Brewery Tours

Richmond Brewery Tours has been doing the driving for craft beer enthusiasts for two years, and there’s no sign of business slowing down. Craft beer is exploding in the Richmond region, with new breweries seeming to pop up all the time. The 14 passenger bus delivers you and your friends to three Richmond breweries for tastings and tours. Special tour events, like “Brews & Burlesque” are a hit with locals and visitors alike. Regular public tours are available Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.¬†Book Your Tour

Reston Limousine is running the NoVA Brew Bus to Mad Fox Brewing, Port City Brewing and Forge Brew Works on September 6, departing from Reston Town Center. Get behind-the-scenes tours, tasting, and even lunch at Mad Fox when you book this all-day craft beer excursion. Book Your Tour

Additional Upcoming Tours:


The Mark Addy Inn

The Mark Addy Inn

Holladay House Bed and Breakfast in Orange is offering private tours for two to six in a luxury Cadillac Escalade. Tour sites can include breweries, wineries or cideries. This is an add-on to your stay with rates from $225 for six.

Stay with The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford and get a taste of the aforementioned Red, White and Brew Trail. This package is good for two nights until August 28 (better hurry!), and includes their three-course breakfast, plus a bottle of red Virginia wine, a bottle of white Virginia wine, and a six-pack of Virginia craft beer to take home. Six VIP vouchers are included for wine and/or craft beer tours and tastings, plus a $50 discount on a four-hour chauffeured tour. Rates start at $355 for two (room included). Book Now

Belle Hearth Bed and Breakfast in Waynesboro invites you to stay two nights and receive a welcome basket of wine or beer and other goodies. Your stay will include a chauffeured tour to three wineries and/or microbreweries. Rates from $380 (room included). Offer good through November 30, 2014.

Now that Staunton has two craft breweries to boast, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel has put together a craft beer package for your visit. Stay a night and receive a six-beer flight at Redbeard, two pints at Shenandoah Valley Brewing, and a free tasting at Hops retail store, plus a gift certificate to Shenandoah Pizza, breakfast, and parking. Rates from $199 for two. Book Now

Where will your love of craft beer take you? Check out to see what you’re missing.

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Late Summer Travel Packages

by Stefanie | Posted on August 7th, 2014

Don’t start pulling out the sweaters yet! We have quite a while until we’ll need those, but before the cool air starts coming in, these vacation hot spots are great for your late summer escape.


Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding

Bunk and Bridle 4-night Package, Reba Farm Inn РAug. 17-20 
-Starting at $400/person plus taxes.

Virginia has its own “dude ranch” located in Bedford County, with¬†75 horses on 300 acres near the Peaks of Otter. Become an East Coast Cowboy at Reba Farm Inn/Saddle Soar Equitainment with the¬†“Bunk and Bridle” package.¬†This travel package is for the true horse lover who wants to learn more and/or improve their horsemanship; or the novice, a great introduction to common sense horsemanship, and includes:

  • Four nights of lodging at the Inn
  • Meals (some meals will be served at the Inn, others at the barn and one out on the trail)
  • Hands on activities with horses and lots of riding


Salamander Resort

Salamander Resort

Restore and Discover Path, Salamander Resort & Spa
-Starting at $543 per person, per night.

Take some “me” time and enjoy an escape to Salamander Resort, and enjoy a soothing weekend pampering yourself. This package includes:

  • Deluxe accommodations
  • Heart-healthy breakfast
  • Fitness center & indoor pool access
  • Participation in group fitness and exercise sessions
  • 50-minute spa service of choice each day
  • $125 wellness credit per night, per person to be used toward a resort activity
  • Complimentary car service within a 5-mile radius
  • Seasonal welcome gift


Hokie Football Overnight Stay Package, Blacksburg – dates are for all home Va. Tech games
-Starting at $238.00 per night

Stay with the Holiday Inn University Blacksburg & Lane Stadium for one of Virginia Tech’s home football games and receive:

  • Free shuttle to and from the football field (9am-2am)
  • Free tailgate near the stadium
  • Free parking
  • A special, unique gift for each game


Virginia Golf Package at the Tides Inn – Thru Aug. 31
-Starting at $380 per night, based on double occupancy

Located on a private peninsula in the Northern Neck, near Chesapeake Bay, Tides Inn is home to the Golden Eagle Golf Course designed by George W. Cobb. Surrounded by woodlands, the course features exciting elevation changes, well-placed bunkers, signature holes, and water elements that all levels of golfers can enjoy.  Golden Eagle at the Tides Inn is the perfect getaway for golf with a group, as a romantic escape, or a trip with the whole family. Package includes:

  • Deluxe room accommodations
  • Full breakfast daily, per person, at the restaurant or room service
  • Unlimited daily golf at the Golden Eagle course, with cart, club storage and range balls
  • Unlimited use of the practice facility at the Little Eagle course
  • Golden Eagle souvenirs


Maury River Kayaking

Maury River Kayaking

Twin River Rafting Adventure Package, Natural Bridge – Thru Aug. 31
-Starting at $159

Stay at the Natural Bridge Park Historic Hotel and enjoy a river excursion with friends and family in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Enjoy all the benefits of a Natural Bridge Family Hotel Package including:

  • Natural Bridge and Caverns tickets
  • Standard room for 2 adults and 2 children
  • Served, hot breakfast
  • A single trip each for the River Paddle or Tubing Adventure


Williamsburg Flex Vacation Package, Williamsburg Plantation Resort – Thru Sept. 1
-$1,859 total

A great end of summer vacation for the family! The Williamsburg Flex Vacation Package includes:

  • 2 bedroom/2 bath condo, equipped with a kitchen, living and dining area
  • Unlimited visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and more


American Music Festival, Virginia Beach – Aug. 29-Sept. 1
-$319 per night; special rates for Thursday, Aug. 28 and Monday, Sept. 1

Enjoy 3 days of rock, jazz, country, R&B and more at the 2014 American Music Festival, presented by Chevrolet. Featured artists include Three Dog Night, Barenaked Ladies, Daughtry, Third Eye Blind, just to name a few. Package includes:

  • 3-night stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront
  • 2 Passport Pins for the festival


Yoga at Primland Resort

Yoga at Primland Resort

Summer Hydration, Primland – Thru Sept. 21
-Starting at $1,015
Having one of those summers? Plan a relaxing trip to Primland Resort and enjoy the Summer Hydration package. This is the season of warm summer winds with the sun at its zenith. Abundant warmth and light beam confidence and strength. experience summer through its element – nourishing water as it opens us to our natural resources. The Summer Hydration package treatments have been especially selected to represent the nourishment and replenishment of the summer season. Package includes:

  • 3-day, 2-night stay at the resort
  • Breakfast and dinner each day
  • Yoga sea salt scrub
  • Stone of eternal youth facial
  • Harmony massage


Civil War Experience, Fredericksburg – Thru 2014
-Starting at $205

Travel back in history and walk in the footsteps of Grant, Lee and the thousands of Americans affected by the Civil War. This historic package includes:

  • 2-night stay at a Fredericksburg-area hotel (selected upon booking)
  • Admission to the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center and the White Oak Civil War Museum
  • Admission to all National Military Park Battlefields, a VIP dining card and more


For the Birders Travel Package, Mountain Rose Inn
-Starting at $569

Experience birding in luxury with this package at the Mountain Rose Inn that is just for bird lovers who might want to also be guests at our Inn. Experience birds of many varieties on the Inn’s property. You can even get face-to-face with a ruby-throated hummingbird during the summer months as you sip a glass of sherry & enjoy an afternoon snack on the Inn’s front porch. Package includes:

  • 3-night stay
  • Breakfast of choice and picnic lunches.


Fishing at Cornerstone Farm, Red Oak
-Starting at $450/couple

Whether you are young or young-at-heart, fishing is a relaxing pastime. You’ll discover the fishing is great sport on Cornerstone’s large private stocked pond. Cast a line for largemouth bass, crappies, catfish and more in our spring-fed pond for early morning or late afternoon fun. After dinner, enjoy the warmth of a evening bonfire while sharing stories and roasting¬†marshmallows. This package includes:

  • 2-night stay
  • Snack tray and beverages
  • Country breakfasts, light lunch, full evening meals
  • 1 evening bonfire roasting marshmallows
  • On-site pond fishing (bait and tackle included)


Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville

Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville

A Winelover’s Retreat, Orchard House Bed & Breakfast
-Starting at $285/couple

Enjoy a weekend in the country, sipping on Virginia’s finest wines. Package includes:

  • 2-night accommodations
  • 1 bottle of local Virginia wine and cheese platter
  • Full country breakfast each morning
  • Complementary soft drinks, coffee and tea
  • Complementary snack basket in room
  • Self-guided tours of local wineries and breweries


Creeper Trail Bike Shuttle Package, Summerfield Inn Bed & Breakfast
-Starting at $224

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile long Rails-to-Trails footpath and recreational trail used for hiking, birding and cycling. The Summerfield Inn Bed & Breakfast package includes:

  • 2-night accommodations
  • 1/2 day bicycle rental for 2
  • Gourmet breakfast


Family Fun Package at Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach
-Starting at $356

Have a complete vacation experience with the Hilton Garden Inn Family Fun Package. Enjoy a family outing on the beach during the day and then have a night out on the town! Along with the breathtaking views of the Atlantic, this package also includes:

  • Tickets to Beach Movie Bistro (enjoy a full menu of dining options while you watch a movie!)
  • $50 dining card to be used at any of the hotel’s 5 Virginia Beach Boardwalk restaurants




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