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  • Archive for the ‘Couples’ Category

    A Toast to Great Views! 18 Virginia Wineries for Outdoor Sipping

    by Casey | Posted on June 27th, 2014

    Virginia’s vineyards are beautiful, especially this time of year when the vines are heavy with luscious grapes. Savor the view while you also savor the vintage at these wineries boasting impeccable views. Their patios and decks are perfect for summer evening unwinding.

    Early Mountain Vineyards

    Early Mountain Vineyards

    Virginia Tourism staff were asked their favorite wine tasting room and tasting experience, but the responses exited the tasting room in favor of the outdoors …

    “The outside views from Barboursville tasting room are beautiful with the mountains in the distance. We also enjoyed walking the trail to the ruins of the Barboursville Mansion, which are on the vineyard property.” (Barboursville, VA)

    Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

    Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

    King Family Vineyards. I love the range of the wines, the beautiful vistas at the winery, and you even catch a polo match on summer Sundays!” (Crozet, VA)

    “King Family not only has an excellent patio/outdoor situation, but on Sundays during spring/summer they host Polo games on-site. I recently went and was blown away by the huge numbers of people out there attending the games. Everyone had lawn chairs, pop-up tents, huge tailgating spreads, dogs, kids, etc. It was a great Sunday afternoon activity. The view is great right next to the mountains and the polo games were really exciting—especially while enjoying some great VA wine!”

    Chateau Morrisette, of course. The setting right off the Blue Ridge Parkway is wonderful … Best scenic ride winery in the western region, in my opinion.” (Floyd, VA)

    Pippin Hill. Their tasting room is really pretty but the lounge areas on the porch are even better.” (North Garden, VA)

    West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery

    West Wind Farm Vineyard & Winery

    “We went to a winery last Sunday with an incredible view … Pippin Hill.”

    Early Mountain. They have beautiful indoor and outdoor seating.” (Madison, VA)

    Glass House has a tropical conservatory, patio with a view, and they also serve locally made chocolates.” (Free Union, VA)

    Afton Mountain has an outdoor porch with scenic mountain vistas.” (Afton, VA)

    Little Washington Winery

    Little Washington Winery

    “A favorite of mine is the West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery … a dreamy rural setting in the Wytheville hills, this family owned and operated winery provides a most appreciated respite that includes local foods, their wines and soulful local musicians to further enchant the spirit.” (Max Meadows, VA)

    Little Washington Winery. Great view from their deck. It was raining when we were there but they let us take Lucy, our dog, in too.” (Washington, VA)

    These Wineries Were Also Mentioned:

    With more than 260 wineries to choose from all across Virginia, there are most certainly dozens more wineries with outstanding scenic views. Sound off by leaving a comment! We want to know which one(s) you flock to on a summer evening.

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    Couples, Outdoors, Wine | 5 Comments

    12 Beautiful Virginia Resorts

    by Casey | Posted on June 24th, 2014

    Looking for luxury? Family fun? Maybe a little of both? Choose from these 12 Virginia resorts that boast plenty of activities to keep families busy or deliver top-notch amenities for couples.

    For Kids to LOVE

    Massanutten Resort

    Massanutten Resort

    Massanutten Resort is a four season mountaintop haven. This time of year is perfect for the waterpark! Line the kids up on Rockingham Racer to see who can make it to the bottom first, ride the waves at White Caps or get your aquatic play skills on at Splash-a-Nutten. After you’ve gotten a good soak, head to the Family Adventure Park for zip lining, summer tubing, and wall climbing. Accommodations

     

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort is situated on 11,000 acres of the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spaces dedicated to family fun include Discovery Ridge and Ridgely’s Fun Park. The activities included are zip lining, summer tubing, bungee trampoline, a climbing wall, miniature golf, and great indoor arcade and gaming outlets. Archery has been recently been added as a family activity, too!

    Something for Everyone

    Mariners Landing

    Mariners Landing

    Some of the family loves the beach and some love the mountains. Mash those two worlds together when you stay waterside at Mariners Landing on Smith Mountain Lake in Huddleston! The 1,000-acre resort community includes beaches, three pool complexes, gaming center, and of course, water sports for those who wish to rent or bring their own equipment.

    The Tides Inn

    The Tides Inn

     

    Situated along Carter Creek near the Chesapeake Bay in Irvington is The Tides Inn. Families love the swimming pools, beach, and the “learn-to” water sports that the marina affords, while couples can partake of golf, the spa, a Cove Cruise, and the serenity of a peaceful waterside reprieve.

     

    Kingsmill Resort

    Kingsmill Resort

     

    Spanning 2,900 acres along the James River is Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg. A full-service spa, 54 holes of golf, tennis, various eateries, and a full-service marina are all at your fingertips. Families will enjoy the lazy river at the River Pool and access to paddle boards, sea bikes, kayaks, and fishing poles.

     

    Lansdowne Resort

    Lansdowne Resort

    Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg is a AAA Four-Diamond Award winner, and it’s a great choice for families or couples. Amenities include elegant rooms, a luxurious 12,000 square foot destination spa, and 45 holes of golf, courtesy of designers Robert Trent Jones II and Greg Norman. Families can spread out and splash about in the five-pool aquatic complex or sign the kids up for a day camp.

     

    Cozy for Couples

    Boar's Head

    Boar’s Head

     

    Southern hospitality reigns supreme at Boar’s Head in Charlottesville. Recently renovated, the AAA Four Diamond resort is known for its Old Mill Room dining and spa.

     

     

    Primland Resort

    Primland Resort

     

    High up on the mountain in Meadows of Dan is Primland Resort, boasting truly spectacular views. Outdoor enthusiasts will be especially pleased with the Orvis endorsed wingshooting opportunities, hunting expeditions, ATV tours, and more. Primland also has 18 holes of golf and an American Indian inspired spa. Stargazing is quite romantic, and if you’d like to get a better look, head to the Primland Observatory.

    Keswick Hall

    Keswick Hall

     

    Keswick Hall is a Charlottesville area mainstay that will soon boast a brand new Pete Dye-designed golf course. Fossett’s is the signature restaurant that will certainly be your destination after a relaxing spa treatment. Keswick is a two-time Conde Nast “#1 Small Resort in Mainland U.S.” honoree.

     

    Salamander Resort

    Salamander Resort

     

    Salamander Resort in Middleburg is pure extravagance with lavish suites, an opulent spa with a couples spa suite and poolside cabanas, a full-service 22-stall equestrian center, delectable dining with a nearby cooking studio, and more.

     

    The Omni Homestead Resort

    The Omni Homestead Resort

     

     

    The quintessential Virginia destination for couples is The Omni Homestead in Hot Springs, called “the birthplace of Southern hospitality.” Nestled into the Allegheny Mountains, this National Historic Landmark is enhanced with two championship golf courses, shooting, horseback riding, falconry, Jefferson Pools, spa with exclusive adults-only spa garden, Allegheny Springs water recreation area, and carriage rides.

    The Berry Hill Resort

    The Berry Hill Resort

     

    The 1728 National Historic Landmark known as The Berry Hill Resort is found in South Boston. History, tradition and charm are abundant at this luxury resort. Book one of the mini mansions for ultimate privacy! Blackberry Spa will be a delicious treat for a weary body.

    Which resort destination tops your list? Stay at each one for a different flavor of Virginia hospitality and fun!

     

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    Couples, Family, Virginia Destinations | 4 Comments

    Beach Activities to Keep Your Toes in the Sand and Water

    by Stefanie | Posted on May 30th, 2014

    Virginia’s beaches offer a wide variety of activities and adventures to experience this summer. Whether it’s a relaxing getaway or a journey for the adrenaline junkie, now is the perfect time to plan a trip.

    Virginia Beach, offers the best of both worlds for its visitors. Head 15 miles south of the resort area of town and you’ll find Sandbridge Beach. Sandbridge is a peaceful, secluded area, making it a wonderful spot for travelers who are looking for some R&R without the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach’s resort areas.

    Virginia Beach

    Family time spent at the beach

    Sandbridge is a fantastic area of Virginia Beach, but let’s not knock the resort area! Toss around a beach ball, kick around the soccer ball. Take in the sounds of laughter and portable radios. It’s a great spot to bring the kids and experience the ultimate family vacation.

    Looking for a day of excitement? Swing by Rudee Inlet and take a ride out to sea on a banana boat. Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. A banana-shaped boat. Rudee offers other traditional water rentals, but why pass up a piece of fruit to wander around?

    Paddle boarding is one of the best cardio workouts in the water, all while offering an awesome, yet spiritual experience. Rudee’s offers everything from lessons to floating yoga, catering to all skill levels. Beginners can journey to the calm inland water for instruction, while those more experience can head out to sea to enjoy the ocean wildlife.

    While you’re in the area, venture over to False Cape State Park and experience the beach in its most primitive state. The park boasts a 7.5-mile trail, with views of beaches, dunes, maritime forests of oak and pine, wooded swamps, marshes, and the bay—all in one journey. Pitch a tent or rent a cabin and take in the tranquility of nature, gazing under the stars.

    Head east to Portsmouth and find the Chesapeake Diving Center. Go below the surface for some scuba diving expeditions. The Diving Center offers 10 different diving options, from boat and night diving, to digital underwater photography, and wreck dives. The Center offers equipment rentals and all the necessary training to head out on an exhilarating adventure.

    Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

    Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

    The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail is a driving trail with loops off the main trail, linking some of Virginia’s best wildlife-watching areas with walking and biking trails. One of those is the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge. A premier birding and wildlife site, the 1200-acre refuge provides viewing access to significant stretches of salt marsh, grasslands, loblolly pine forests, bayberry thickets, barrier islands, and freshwater and brackish ponds. The refuge has a bird list that comes close to 300 species.

    The Eastern Shore is full of unique experiences, from spots of pure relaxation, to extreme water sports. Kiteboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the country and Cape Charles’ SouthEast Kiteboarding School (S.E.E.) is the only full-service kiteboarding center in Virginia. The Cape Charles beachfront is an ideal learning environment, with flat, shallow water and consistent side shore breezes. For more experienced riders, S.E.E. offers kiteboarding expeditions through the shallow bays and barrier island breaks of the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Discover the spot that the Kiteboarder magazine calls “the best kept secret on the East Coast!”

    Live the Dream! If you are looking for one of the most exciting things to do, want to fly like a bird, and see some of the most beautiful scenery on the east coast, then take a Discovery Hang Gliding Flight at the Eastern Shore Hang Gliding Center. No experience is necessary and all ages 4+ are able to enjoy this pure form of flight. The Center offers Discovery Flights up to a mile high. You and your USHGA certified instructor will soar over the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where you will learn the basics of controlling a hang glider. Your “dream” of flying will come true!

    With so many unique experiences available, it’s easy to plan a perfect seaside escape this summer.

     



    Couples, Destinations, Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Uncategorized, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment

    16 Bed and Breakfasts for Virginia History Explorations

    by Casey | Posted on April 16th, 2014

    Virginia’s most popular history attractions are always within reach, but come a bit closer. Pair your history jaunt with a stay at the closest bed and breakfasts.

    A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast

    A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast

    Historic Jamestowne is the first permanent English settlement in North America. Colonists arrived here in 1607; John Rolfe and Pocahontas were married here in 1614; and the first representative assembly in America met here in 1619. Archaeology walking tours are available daily and the on-site archaeology museum will give you quite the view and understanding of the important ground you tread upon. Within five miles, choose from these four immaculate bed and breakfasts.

    The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg

    The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg

    Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City takes you inside 1775 and the beginning of the Revolution. Meet the townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers, political figures, women, and enslaved that call Williamsburg home. As one can imagine when considering the historic nature of the Williamsburg area, bed and breakfasts are plentiful. Here are a few contenders within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg.

    • Fife & Drum Inn (.6 mile) – Nine distinctive rooms and suites are decorated in the flavor of the 18th century but with a modern twist.
    • Colonial Capital B&B Inn (.8 mile) – Colonial Revival boasts a rich blend of warmth, style, and comfort.
    • Applewood Colonial B&B (.8 mile) – Stately Georgian modeled after early Colonial Williamsburg restoration efforts.
    • The Williamsburg Manor (.8 mile) – Southern hospitality in a fresh and eclectic setting. Recently updated to combine the spirit of Williamsburg with the most modern of amenities.

    Yorktown Victory Center is a museum of the American Revolution chronicling America’s struggles for independence. Exhibits include a rare early broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence dating to July 1776, a predecessor to the handwritten parchment copy signed by members of Congress. Within a mile of the Center are two historic B&Bs to choose from.

    Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

    Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

    Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop Monticello in Charlottesville is a must-see historic destination. It’s the only U.S. presidential and private home on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stay at The Inn at Monticello, just two miles away, to enjoy the home, gardens, and views Jefferson loved so much. It’s an 1850s southern manor with romantic guest rooms and hearty gourmet breakfast.

    Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Estate and Gardens are located in northern Virginia right on the banks of the Potomac River. Visit to see the new Ford Orientation Center, the most famous dentures in the world, heritage animal breeds, Washington’s distillery, and so much more.  Just over six miles away is the charming Gatsby’s House Bed and Breakfast in Old Town Alexandria. The proximity to everything in Old Town is reason enough to stay.

    Montpelier was James Madison’s lifelong home. Take a guided tour of his and Dolley’s house, the expansive gardens, and other points of interest on the 2,650-acre estate. The closest bed and breakfast for your presidential explorations is Inn at Westwood Farm, just 1.3 miles away. Four beautifully appointed rooms are available in the 1910 farmhouse, and the concierge service is renowned.

    James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.

    James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.

    James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland will catch you by surprise. It’s far more modest than the aforementioned presidential homes. In fact, Monroe called his home his “cabin castle.” Tours are offered daily, and the working farm adds to the attraction. Only two miles away is a very comfortable b&b, the only one in Charlottesville that also has a working vineyard – Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast. While it’s not a historic home as others mentioned in this post, it’s very well-appointed with no detail overlooked. You can even take their local winery tour with dinner transportation provided.

    Of note, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Montpelier, and Ash Lawn-Highland are sites along the Road to Revolution Heritage Trail.

    In Ewing, find Wilderness Road State Park, 310 acres that lie astride the Wilderness Road, a route carved by Daniel Boone in 1775. The route, which followed a buffalo trace, opened America’s first western frontier. Most notable in the park is the Karlan Mansion, built in the 1877. Stay seven miles away at the Wilderness Road Bed and Breakfast, and ask for the master suite. The sweeping views from the balcony will leave you breathless. (Author’s Note, 7/9/14: Wilderness Road B&B is now closed.)

    Civil War enthusiasts can visit the location of the war’s end in April 1865 – Appomattox Court House and National Historical Park. The highlight is the McLean House where Generals Lee and Grant crafted and signed the terms of surrender, bringing an end to the bloodiest chapter of United States history. Babcock House Bed & Breakfast Inn is just .2 mile away and includes an on-site restaurant. The B&B is a graceful 1893 manor home with its own historical story to tell.

    Every corner of Virginia seeps history. Find more historic sites and the lovely accommodations near them when planning your next visit.

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    Couples, History, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    25 Beautiful B&Bs with a Winery Just a Mile Away

    by Casey | Posted on April 2nd, 2014

    Vineyards are stunning with rolling hills of green vines. If you love the feeling you have when you visit a winery tasting room and walk the grounds, stay nearby so you don’t lose it. We’ve identified 25 beautiful Virginia bed and breakfasts that are a mile or less away from a Virginia winery. Stay close, sip close.

    Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

    Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

    Central Virginia

    The Farmhouse at Veritas is located in Afton and has two wineries nearby. On site is Veritas Vineyard & WineryAfton Mountain Vineyard is .9 mile southwest. The Farmhouse is a comfortable reflection of its 19th century history.

    Also in Afton is Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast and Cottage, a Civil War-era landmark on the grounds of Flying Fox Vineyard. In fact, the tasting room is just 30 feet away from the main house!

    When you visit Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston you can stay at Orchard House Bed & Breakfast, less than a half-mile away. The home dates to 1874 and boasts a beautiful front porch for rocking and relaxation.

    Check into one of the guestrooms or suites at The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford to sample the best of Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery just about a half-mile away. Hill Top offers “true to the fruit” wines and honey mead; pick blackberries seasonally, if you wish. One of five porches is awaiting your return.

    Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

    Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

    Overlooking the vines of Glass House Winery in Free Union is the Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast. A two-bedroom suite on the upper level affords amazing views of the property and pool. Three lower-level rooms with private baths boast radiant heated bamboo floors; two have private entrances.

    Inn at Crossroads in North Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places and located next door to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Hundreds of rolling acres steal your breath while you spend time on the front porch of this Federal style gem.

    If you happen to love horses in addition to wine, stay at Reba Farm Inn in Bedford where you can saddle up and find great wine just a mile away at Peaks of Otter Winery.

    A visit to Barboursville Vineyards near Charlottesville offers you a choice of two B&Bs. The 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards is on the grounds of the vineyard and features bits and pieces of England, Italy, France and Virginia. Just .9 mile east in Gordonsville is Uphill House Bed & Breakfast, a relatively new home and B&B with English flair. Even closer to Uphill than Barboursville is Horton Vineyards and Winery at .7 mile away.

    Blue Ridge Highlands

    In Blacksburg you’ll find a luxurious retreat at Beliveau Estate Bed and Breakfast, plus Beliveau Winery is right there with it. Each spacious room has a cozy fireplace and private bath. Some have a private entrance and yet others have air jet tubs. Get comfortable with your wine!

    Shenandoah Valley

    In the southern Shenandoah Valley is Fincastle Vineyard & Winery and the vineyard’s bed and breakfast, too. The beauty of 80 acres of woodlands, pasture and vineyards will sweep you away; stay a while.

    Back in Thyme Bed and Breakfast in Raphine is just down the road from Rockbridge Vineyard. The beautiful Victorian is comfortable with three bedrooms and private baths, plus a hearty country breakfast. Sample the wines at Rockbridge and bring a bottle out to enjoy on the swing below the vineyards.

    Villa Veramar B&B sits among the grapes of Veramar Vineyards in Berryville and has romantic rooms with whirlpool tubs, evening wine and cheese platters, and of course, a fine breakfast.

    Northern Virginia

    Forgotten Creek Bed and Breakfast in Amissville is less than a half-mile from Gray Ghost Vineyards and Winery, a winery boasting an extensive list of national and international awards for their blends. Forgotten Creek B&B offers two suites and a farm-fresh quiche for breakfast.

    Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

    Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

    The rustic, country-style retreat of Hillsborough B&B is just about a half-mile away from Hillsborough Vineyards in Hillsboro. A pool with waterfall offer a tranquil setting to enjoy a glass of something beautiful.

    The Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast in Middleburg welcomes you to enjoy their 47 rolling acres from their 1805 historic country inn. It can be home base for visiting Leaves of Grass Vineyards, a very small operation that is open by reservation only, guaranteeing your own personal wine experience.

    Spread your wings a little on the 138-acre Belle Meade Farm in Sperryville, home to Belle Meade Inn, a restored Victorian farmhouse. Practically a stone’s throw away at .2 mile is Sharp Rock Vineyards, which also has its own B&B cottages.

    Settle in at The Blue Rock Inn in Washington. An on-site pub and restaurant make your dining choices easy while Little Washington Winery is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

    The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

    The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

    In Hamilton you’ll fall in love with your surroundings, and Zion Springs Bed & Breakfast is just the beginning. The incredibly spacious suites will leave you asking, “Do we have to go home?” Less than a mile away is The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, a welcoming wood and stone dairy barn-turned-tasting room.

    The folks at Gadino Cellars in Washington are fortunate to have a number of nearby bed and breakfasts for you to choose from. Specifically, take a look at these beauties less than a mile away:

    Chesapeake Bay

    In Irvington, the renowned Hope & Glory Inn, a Top 100 in the World and Top 10 in the US, is less than a half-mile from The Dog and Oyster, a refreshingly unique winery that teams up with Ingleside Vineyard to offer premium and reserve labels alongside their own wines for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience. Hope & Glory offers 25 rooms as well as cottages. National publications are known to gush over this beautiful property.

    Perched above the vines in Hague is The Manor House at General’s Ridge Vineyard. Sip a glass of the house wine from the balcony or porch after enjoying a tasting at General’s Ridge tasting room.

    Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads

    Visit the urban Mermaid Winery in Norfolk and stay in the elegant Bed & Breakfast at Historic Page House Inn, a AAA Four Diamond accommodation. Mermaid offers 12 wine flights for your choosing, all made in small batches from Virginia grapes.

     

    Learn more about Virginia’s extensive wine offerings and the amazing bed and breakfasts awaiting you. Remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver.

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    Couples, Wine | Comments Off