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    It's #ThirstyThursday again during #Virginia #CraftBeer Month. Swing by your local #VA #brewery for your favorite pint or growler of #vabeer. Celebrate by tagging your photos with #vacraftbeermonth. #Cheers to @kmariedeegan with this great evening shot at @ardentcraftales. #loveva #drinklocal #rva #howisummer #photooftheday #thewaytoendanevening
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    Here's a view of Carter Mountain #Orchard and #Vineyard in Charlottesville with their country store in the background. Now through the end of fall you can #pickyourown apples and taste their home-made apple cider and donuts. Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #eatlocal #cville #photooftheday #howisummer #vawine @cartermountain #cartermountainorchard @vawine
    @the_atl_aaron found some #beach treasure while combing #Chincoteague on a recent tour of the Eastern Shore. "He was a warrior in his time." What oceanfront gem is your favorite to find? #LoveVA #vatravel #crabshell #photooftheday #beachcombing #Virginia
  • Archive for the ‘Couples’ Category

    10 Places to Saddle Up in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on March 28th, 2014

    The vantage point is a little different and the experience is entirely different from the back of a horse. Saddle up and explore Virginia’s countryside and seaside with these unique opportunities.

    Marriott Ranch

    Marriott Ranch

    Offering the only service of its kind in Virginia and seemingly, the country, Virginia Beach Horseback invites you to the Virginia Beach oceanfront for a horseback ride on the sand or a swim with the horses. Corralled at 31st Street, come down between noon and 6:30 p.m. until June for a ride down to the pier and back. In summer, try their new Swimming on Horseback option Wednesday through Thursdays at North Bay. All riders are prepped on how to control the horses; no experience required. Rates from $40 to $100. Reservations are not required, but suggested.

    The 4,200-acre working cattle farm known as Marriott Ranch is located in Hume, not far from Washington, D.C. Make a reservation for their popular 90-minute trail ride offered every day except Monday or take advantage of their special rides and overnight packages, such as the City Slicker package that includes horsemanship skills, cattle handling techniques, meals, and overnight at The Inn at Fairfield Farm (from $385/person). Or perhaps the Dinner Ride of a 90-minute trail ride and a cowboy steak dinner ($99/person) sounds nice? Additional rides include day-long rides, river and mountain rides, and cattle drives.

    Shangrila Guest Ranch

    Shangrila Guest Ranch

    In South Boston you’ll find tucked away the Shangrila Guest Ranch, an all-inclusive horseback riding destination. Couples and families alike will appreciate the variety of accommodations (a three-bedroom homeplace, a sweet little log cabin, or the packhouse lodge). The ranchers at Shangrila will also work with you for corporate retreats at The Rusty Spur, and there’s a special Cowgirls Week in May that may be perfect for a bridal or reunion retreat. If you don’t have long to stay and play, reserve your spot for an hour-long ride or the full day; they’re happy to oblige. Rates from $40/hr for a trail ride to $125/person for a daytime excursion with lunch. Inquire for lodging rates and other opportunities.

    Additional Places to Saddle Up:

    More Information:

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    11 Virginia Retreats for Wellness

    by Casey | Posted on February 25th, 2014

    More often than some would like to admit, a weekend away would be a welcome salve to the aches and drudgery of everyday life. Make this your year of self-pampering. Take the sick days that you never use and treat yourself to calm and relaxation.

    Marriott Ranch. Photo by Tammy McMillan Photography.

    Marriott Ranch. Photo by Tammy McMillan Photography.

    RETREAT

    Booking quickly and available for just one weekend, the Wellness Rejuvenation Package at Marriott Ranch in Hume includes two nights’ lodging, meals, wine with dinner on Saturday, one yoga session each day, boot camp drill session, a massage, hands-on cooking class, informal wine pairing education with dinner, and a fireside discussion with yoga instructor and fitness trainer, Monica Fernandi. Available March 7-9, 2014. $485 per person plus tax (double occupancy) or $685 plus tax (single occupancy).

    Virginia’s newest resort, Salamander Resort in Middleburg, offers a special focus on equestrian activities and the well-being of riders. The Spa includes treatments for equestrians, mothers-to-be and couples, while their specialty programs include Yoga in the Stable and Yoga on Horseback, each 30 minutes long. Yoga in the Stable has you facing the sunrise and working poses to improve balance, flexibility, strength and posture while Yoga on Horseback needs no explanation. Rates from $20 to $150 per person.

    Lansdowne Resort near Leesburg boasts its AAA Four Diamond Spa Minerale, an attractive centerpiece of the Pamper and Putt package built for two. Stay a night, swing one round of golf and relax through one 50-minute massage. Rates from $318.

    The Spa Garden at The Omni Homestead Resort.

    The Spa Garden at The Omni Homestead Resort.

    Set in Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, The Spa at The Omni Homestead offers guests the chance to relax in Virginia’s hot springs through the Spa Garden area. Traditional and Homestead-specific spa treatments are available, as well as daily yoga and other fitness classes. The Omni Homestead has two overnight spa packages, one with a $200 spa credit, and another with a $400 spa credit plus a 15% spa retail discount.

    Ultimate girl pampering is yours at The Martha Hotel & Spa in Abingdon. Book the “A Whole New You” package for a gourmet salt glow, 50-minute loosen-up massage, skin deep facial, aromatherapy soak and spa pedicure with your stay for $450. Guys have a package built for them, too. “Gentleman’s Indulgence” is a 50-minute loosen-up massage, facial and foot treatment for $280.

    Check into Boar’s Head, Charlottesville’s only AAA Four Diamond resort, and enjoy the Winter Spa Package: an overnight stay and a $125 gift card to be used toward one of six seasonal spa services. Rates from $299. Available through March 31, 2014.

    Yoga at Primland Resort

    Yoga at Primland Resort

    The Spa at Primland Resort in southwest Virginia provides guests with a complete list of spa and wellness services including yoga and meditation classes, a mother-daughter spa package and healing ritual services. Primland’s seasonal spa package, the Winter “Refresh,” is a two-night, mid-week package available Sunday through Thursday. The package includes overnight accommodations, two breakfasts, two dinners, one lunch, a serenity massage, stone of eternal youth facial, secret canyon wrap and float and one yoga class. Available through March 20, 2014. Rates from $1427.

    A DAY BREAK

    The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg offers a menu of services rooted in five centuries of history. Try the 19th Century African Traditional Bath & Strengthening Massage Spa Experience. It reflects the African healing traditions that combined herbs, roots and fresh waters to enrich life and attract positive energy. The modern-day version is 120 minutes and includes Maize and Herbal Body Brushing, Root and Herbal Soaking Bath, and a Shea Butter Massage. $125 per person or $565 per couple.

    The Spa at Colonial Williamsburg

    The Spa at Colonial Williamsburg

    Yoga at Virginia Mountain Vineyard in Fincastle is a 60-minute instructional class followed by healthy foods and wine tasting. A reservation is required and don’t forget your mat or blanket. $35 per person. Available April 13 and August 10, 2014.

    The James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg is the site of Yoga in the Garden, a drop-in class open to all ages and skill levels. Bring your mat and $8 per person to participate. Saturdays May 3 through June 28, 2014.

    Historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg invites you to join in an Integrated Yoga session the first Sunday of each month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Posture, deep relaxation, breathing, and meditation are in order, as is a meditative walk in the garden. $20 per person; bring your mat, walking shoes and water.

    DISCOVER MORE

    Virginia Spas
    Resorts & Spas

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    10 Romantic Destinations in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on February 3rd, 2014

    Valentine’s Day is approaching and we have a great list of destinations for you and your sweetheart to spend a night or weekend. Make your getaway reservations as soon as possible.

    A great dining experience is an integral part of a destination’s appeal, and I was happy to find that OpenTable recently sifted through 19,000 restaurants’ five million reviews to name the 2014 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. Wouldn’t you know it? Virginia has several nods on the list, which are included in the first four destinations below.

    Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

    Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

    1. Middleburg – The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant sits in the midst of Virginia’s hunt country and offers a fine farm-to-table menu of French Country cuisine.

    Stay and Play:

    Goodstone Inn itself offers six distinctive dwellings.
    ~ Salamander Resort opened in August 2013 and can easily be described as lavishly luxurious.
    ~ Salamander Spa
    ~ Barrel Oak Winery Fine Art Gallery & Tasting Room

    More about Middleburg

    2. BoyceL’Auberge Provencale French Restaurant is ZAGAT rated and holds AAA Four Diamond status.

    Stay and Play:

    ~ L’Auberge Provencal Bed and Breakfast has been recognized by USA Today as one of Seven Irresistible Country Retreats.
    ~ The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail

    More about Boyce

    Keswick Hall

    Keswick Hall

    3. Vienna/Fairfax CountyCafe Renaissance blends French with Italian and gives it a modern twist.

    Stay and Play:

    ~ The Ritz-Carlton caters to your needs with a full service spa and upscale dining.
    ~ Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

    More about Fairfax County

    4. Virginia Beach – Boasting two recommendations on the OpenTable list, Virginia Beach is a fantastic romantic destination any time of year. The Cellars is located in an authentic 1860′s farmhouse cellar, making it a truly unique experience. The menu is described as French County with a Southern flare.

    The second Virginia Beach restaurant on the list is Salacia, the only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse in Virginia.

    Stay and Play:

    ~ Church Point Manor Bed and Breakfast is the historic farmhouse in which you’ll find The Cellars. It’s full of beautiful antiques and only a mile from the Chesapeake Bay.
    ~ Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is home base for Salacia and is one of the most upscale resort hotels in Virginia Beach. Check out the Sky Bar, too.
    ~ Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

    More about Virginia Beach

    5. Charlottesville – Livability offers a list of Top 10 Romantic Cities and this historic area of Virginia happens to sit at number four.

    Stay and Play:

    ~ Clifton Inn is a luxury boutique hotel of Relais & Chateaux esteem. Fewer than 20 uniquely appointed rooms and suites are available, and world-class dining is at your fingertips.
    ~ Keswick Hall is a “country house hotel” with 48 rooms, and is part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection.
    Jefferson Vineyards
    ~ Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

    Lorien Hotel and Spa

    Lorien Hotel and Spa

    6. Alexandria – Amazon has released its annual list of Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., including Alexandria at number five.

    Stay and Play:

    ~ Morrison House is a romantic, small hotel with big acknowledgements: Mobil four-star and AAA Four Diamond.
    ~ Lorien Hotel and Spa is a luxury boutique hotel that is sensibly sophisticatd. Adjacent dining at BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier is a delight.
    ~ Potomac Riverboat Company

    Additional romantic destinations you might consider:

    7. Richmond: The Jefferson Hotel and Lemaire Restaurant
    8. Washington: Inn at Little Washington and Inn at Little Washington Dining
    9. Williamsburg: The Williamsburg Inn and Cafe Provencal
    10. Orange: The Inn at Willow Grove and Elmwood at Sparks

    What’s your romantic style? Leave us a comment!

    Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Couples, Virginia Destinations | 3 Comments

    Hot Dining in the City – Virginia Restaurant Weeks

    by Casey | Posted on January 13th, 2014

    January in Virginia has foodie appeal as six cities roll out their chef’s best dishes for restaurant weeks. Make these dining opportunities the center of your weekend getaway.

    Bubba's Seafood Restaurant

    Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant

    The first to kick off the good eating is Virginia Beach Restaurant Week running January 12 through 19. More than 60 establishments are offering two- and three-course meals at special $10, $20 and $30 price points. Participants include local favorites like Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant, and award winners like Lynnhaven Fish House (“Best Seafood Restaurant” in Hampton Roads by Portfolio Magazine).
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Alexandria Restaurant Week boasts a distinctive collection of 50 dining establishments offering exclusive menus at a $35 fixed price. Participate in the lunch and dinner festivities from January 17 through 26 at comfort food hot spots like King Street Blues in Old Town, or La Bergerie, an award winning French restaurant (Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, 2002-2012).
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Nestled in the southern Shenandoah Valley against the Blue Ridge Mountains is Roanoke, a destination celebrating its annual Downtown Roanoke Restaurant Week January 17 through 26. Variety is the key to success for this culinary event. Expect to dine for $10, $20 or $30 at 14 or more establishments, including the casually elegant Blues & Jazz themed Blue 5, and Table 50, a fine dining experience in the middle of Historic Roanoke City Market.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Bodega on Granby

    Bodega on Granby

    Norfolk claims to have “the area’s most eclectic and delicious array of restaurants,” so why not try them out? Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week begins January 19 and runs through January 26. Three-course dinners will be available from more than 15 establishments for $20, $30 or $40, with some also offering $10 lunches. Eat light Spanish and Mediterranean tapas at Bodega on Granby or soak in the historic surroundings as you enjoy a hearty steak or seafood dinner at Omar’s Carriage House.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    The inaugural Newport News Restaurant Week is actually two weeks long and serves up prix fixe dinners and lunches from January 19 through February 2. Among the 17 participating establishments are Fin, a seafood restaurant utilizing fresh, local ingredients, and Harpoon Larry’s Oyster Bar & Fish House, a Newport News mainstay named “One of the Best 23 Seafood Dives in the U.S.A.” by Coastal Living Magazine.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Charlottesville invites you to please your palate without draining your wallet during the semi-annual Charlottesville Restaurant Week, January 27 through February 2. Thirty-three restaurants are offering menus that include either $16, $26 or $36 menus. Try a bite of Louisiana at Fig, offering New Orleans Jambalaya and other Cajun-spiced delights. Or maybe you’ll enjoy the French-Virginia infused flavors at L’etoile.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    While this is the run-down for January, restaurant weeks are spaced out with other cities offering their finest wares at other times of the year. See the list.

    Virginia is for Lovers.



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    60 Films in 60 Days at the VMFA

    by Casey | Posted on December 10th, 2013

    The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond  rolled out their first of “60 Films in 60 Days” on November 29 to coincide with their beautiful new exhibit, Hollywood Costume, on display through February 17. At a very reasonable $5 per person, seeing a film every now and again is an easy and affordable way to entertain guests into the New Year.

    Superman ©Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Costume Design: John Bloomfield

    Superman ©Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Costume Design: John Bloomfield

    With titles like The Birds, The Matrix, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Titanic, and Twilight Saga: New Moon, there’s certainly a film to appeal to most everyone.

    Films are shown at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and 1:30 p.m. the other days of the week.

    See the Schedule

    Prior to the movie, take your ticket stub to Amuse for a discount on lunch or dinner. Additionally, your receipt from Amuse will get you $1 off another film. Just take it to the Visitor Services desk for redemption.

    Virginia is for Lovers.



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