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  • Archive for the ‘Destinations’ Category

    Rip It & Grip It! Epic Mountain Biking Trails

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 28th, 2014

    Rotor Meltdown at Carvins Cove

    Rotor Meltdown at Carvins Cove

    Experiencing the great outdoors is one of the best things to do in Virginia. How about experiencing the great outdoors on a mountain bike? We’re not talking about a leisurely stroll through the woods. We’re talking about rampin’ tree stumps, mud in your face, rocky terrain mountain biking. There’s epic mountain biking trails all over, so if you’re a mountain biker looking for some new tracks, check out some of these!

    Virginia Mountain Biking Trail
    After a decade of exploring, preparing and linking sections of trail together, guides with¬†Shenandoah Mountain Touring, with encouragement from the IMBA, have made Virginia’s first permanent long distance backcountry trail a reality. The continuous off-road Virginia Mountain Biking Trail spans the length of Virginia’s Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains from¬†Strasburg¬†to¬†Damascus. It links eight major trail systems in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, consists of primarily singletrack trails, covering 480 miles and climbing 65,000 feet. Hard-core mountain bikers can be one of the first to tackle this new epic trail that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine¬†recently said is “poised to be the South’s sweetest stretch of singletrack.”

    Southern Traverse Trail – Harrisonburg
    Ride into history on the Southern Traverse Epic trail located in Virginia’s George Washington National Forest. The trailhead is near the Confederate Breastworks, an army camp created to stop Union troops from reaching Shenandoah Mountain.¬†With 3,000 feet of climbing over 32 epic miles, this ride promises to test your courage and endurance. The backbone of the Southern Traverse is the south end of the Shenandoah Mountain Trail, an 11-mile singletrack ridge-ride. The ridge is accessed by a doubletrack climb that ascends 1,800 feet through a picturesque hardwood hollow. The snaking trail follows the ridge south and is an amazing melody of smooth and fast downhills, and technical rock gardens.

    Carvins Cove Natural Preserve – Roanoke
    Carvins Cove has a wide variety of single track trails, ranging from fast, smooth flowing trails to technical, rocky terrain. The Appalachian Trail follows the park boundary along the northern half of the park. The short, but difficult singletrack trail features bench-cut areas that run along the steep hillsides, which require special attention. There are two double black diamond trails and 5 black diamond tracks throughout the Natural Preserve.

    Fountainhead Regional Park Mountain Bike Train – Fairfax Station
    Often described as a rollercoaster for mountain bikes, the Fountainhead Regional Park Mountain Bike Trail System offers mountain bikers one of the most popular trails in the region. For an advanced mountain biker, the abundance of fast single track, banked turns, bridges, ledges, steep climbs, and fast descents will keep your eyes locked on the trail ahead of you. Once you have completed one loop, or all three loops, you will be hooked and begging to do it again.

    Freedom Park – Williamsburg
    Choose “Trail C” of the six mountain biking trails at Freedom Park and experience the premiere Freeride Trail, boasting dozens of TTFs (Technical Trail Features), including dirt rollers, berms, log skinnies, teeter totters, A-frames, table-tops, gap jumps, gravity pits and more. “Trail D” is the park’s most difficult trail at five miles long and is the most overall technical cross-country terrain. Be prepared for sudden changes through hardwood and pine forests, several sets of switchbacks, and many short but twisty (and rooty) uphill sections with sharp turns.

    George Washington National Forest
    There’s certainly no shortage of epic biking in the George Washington National Forest. Offering 24 black diamond and two double-black diamonds, this place is a mountain biker’s mecca. Try out the short, painful ascent to the Blue Ridge line with the 0.9-mile Blue Loop Trail or the 1,2-mile Upper Torry Ridge Trail, a Rocky Ridge Ride with stunning views. Both are going to give you the double-black diamond experience on a short track. BE CAREFUL! Of the 24 single black diamond trails, riding the Virginia Endurance Series is a must! This 44.3-mile epic ridge showcases three phenomenal trails, including Lookout Mountain Loop, Wolf Ridge Loop and Narrowback Mountain Loop. The series includes back country, ultra-mega, hand crafted, all day joy rides. Slightly over half of the trail is single track with heights reaching 3,287′.

    Bryce Mountain Bike Park (Bryce Resort) – Basye
    The fairly new Bike Park at Bryce Resort features seven lift-accessed trails. The new Quad Lift eliminated the need to paddle uphill, allowing maximum time for downhill thrills. Or take ride up and taking in the scenery of the surrounding mountains. The Park’s advanced trails reach up to two miles, with one black diamond and three double black diamond trails.

    Virginia Creeper Trail

    Virginia Creeper Trail

    Virginia Creeper Trail – Damascus
    There are several single-track trails along the Virginia Creeper Trail and if you’re looking for some epic thrills, take the Iron Mountain Trail. Along the trail is¬†Beech Grove, also known as the ‚ÄúMotorcycle Trail.” This is one of the more technical trails on the mountain, starting out as a smooth, buff, single track, with a couple of nice switchbacks near the top. After about a quarter mile it turns into a gnarly rock garden, with some larger rocks and water bars, as well as a couple of creek crossings. After you cross a ‚ÄúFrench drain,‚ÄĚ the last 100 yards is a wide open double track with some nice opportunities to catch a little air!

    Dragon’s Back Trail – Salem
    This 12-mile, single track, black diamond trail sounds like a mountain biker’s dream. The trail system includes three different trails, all boasting different terrains and qualities. Beginning at Turkey Trail, bikers will pedal the rocky, gravel roads to the bottom of the Deer Trail, which is a very steep, very narrow, single track grunt to the top of the ridge line.¬†The 2.5-mile Grouse Trail features rocky to switchback terrain. As you climb closer to the top, the trail becomes extremely rocky, making it very difficult to climb. Located less than 20 minutes from downtown Roanoke, Dragon’s Back takes riders on a back country journey.¬†This spiny ridge trail is very technical and often requires some hiking with your bike, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

    York River State Park – Williamsburg
    York River State Park 16 miles of designated single-track trails, as well as 15+ miles of double-track, multi-use trails. The Marle Ravine Trail is the original 6.5 mile, single-track loop at the park. This trail runs counter-clockwise and it is the most challenging trail at the park. The trail offers challenging roots, switch backs, short, steep ascents, flowing descents, and four wooden bridge crossings. The John Blair Trail is the newest trail in the YRSP trail system. This bi-directional trail traverses eastward crossing the park’s existing fire roads, allowing single-track access to some of the most beautiful areas of the park.

    Upper County Park (James City Co.) – Toano
    The 3.7-mile loop trail at Upper County Park is a technical one, with tight turns and off camber sections. Aerobically, this trail is one of the most challenging around, where many climbs come one after the other with few flat areas to recover. You will find it hard to take you hands off the bar to grab a water bottle or even your hydration pack hose. The trail sees little use, so expect a few sticks and branches and a narrow tread through low bush, which covers much of the forest floor along the trail.

    Pocahontas State Park – Chesterfield
    The Lakeview I, II & III trails in Pocahontas State Park, are nothing to approach lightly! Expect to experience a creek crossing, lots of small logs, some expose rocky shelves, some basic rock gardens and a lot of climbing and descending.  Expert offshoots add more rocky features, log skinnies, jumps and some technical, bouldered sections. Without including the red offshoots, Lakeview 1 is roughly a six mile loop from the parking lot.  Lakeview II extends this to about 8.5 miles and Lakeview III extends it to a total of 11.5 miles.

     

    boasts a 13.7-mile loop.¬†The trail is an extensive, difficult loop of connected trails with additional loops to explore. The trail incorporates portions of the Old Mill Bicycle Trail and connects to many other trails in the park. This trail circumnavigates the entire portion of the park north of State Route 655. For most of its length the Fendley Station Trail passes through mixed hardwood forest and some of the more remote park areas. Pocahontas also boasts a single and double diamond each. With the single-diamond Morel Ravine Trail, expect many rock gardens, uphill log crossings and other technical features. The double-diamong Lil’ West VA Trail is the hardest in the park, with advanced man-made features like teeters, skinnies, narrow wooden bridges and extensive rock gardens.

    expect to experience a creek crossing, lots of small logs, some expose rocky shelves, some basic rock gardens and a lot of climbing and descending.  Expert offshoots add more rocky features, log skinnies, jumps and some technical, bouldered sections.  Without including the red offshoots, Lakeview 1 (blue on this map) is roughly a six mile loop from the Heritage Center parking lot.  Lakeview 2 (green on this map) extends this to about 8.5 miles and Lakeview 3 (red on this map) extends it to a total of 11.5 miles.

    Douthat State Park – Clifton Forge
    Douthat State Park  is pure mountain splendor. Located in a remote pocket of the Allegheny Mountains, it features a pristine lake as its centerpiece. Fat tire enthusiasts come for the 40 miles of singletrack with challenges for all levels. Experts find favor with many of the long sustained climbs and payoff screaming descents, but there is plenty of variety for everyone to make this one of the best mountain biking destinations in Virginia.

    Elizabeth Furnace

    Elizabeth Furnace

    Elizabeth Furnace – Strasburg
    This is a tough ride. If you’re new to the sport, you’ll probably hate it unless you turn around at Strasburg Reservoir and stay away from Signal Knob and the Green Mountain climb. People come here all the time to tame the steeps and conquer the rocky descents on their high-end full suspension bikes. They usually fail. So why do so many cyclists keep coming back year-round, winter, spring, summer and fall? Simply put,¬†Elizabeth Furnace¬†is home to some of the best all-around mountain bike trails in all of Northern Virginia. It’s steep. It’s dangerous. It’s long. It’s fast. It’s a blast.¬†Trail Surface: Mountainous, rocky singletrack and forest roads.

     

    For more trails and resources, check out these sites:

     

    There’s plenty of epic mountain biking trails around the Commonwealth. What’s your favorite? Share!

     

     



    Destinations, Outdoors, Outdoors, Tour & Travel, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    The Crooked Road: Far from Straight & Narrow

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 27th, 2014

    You don’t have to stay on the straight and narrow to get to The Crooked Road. This 333-mile trail of pure Virginia Heritage Music is going to take you on a journey through the history of the origins of country, bluegrass, gospel and more.

    “A place of beauty, a place of song. This is The Crooked Road.”

    As you travel, pull of at any of the 26 Crooked Road wayside exhibits, where you can learn more about the music and musicians who have made their mark in each location.

    Home of the Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol brings musicians, scholars and fans alike to pay homage to country music’s past. The familiar melodies of the historic Bristol Sessions in 1927 still echo through the only city that can celebrate its unique title of the Birthplace of Country Music.¬†¬†The Bristol Sessions were not the first country music recordings, but they were the first country music recordings to be mass produced and distributed. Because of the influence these sessions had on the music industry, the 1927 Bristol Sessions are also known as the ‘Big Bang’ of country music.

    Johnny Cash once said, “The Bristol Sessions is the single-most important event in the history of country music.”

    The Carter Family Fold is a rustic, 1,000 seat music shed offering traditional Appalachian music.

    The Carter Family Fold is a rustic, 1,000 seat music shed offering traditional Appalachian music.The Carter Family Fold is a rustic, 1,000 seat music shed offering traditional music.

    There’s nine major venues throughout the trail, each telling the story of The Crooked Road’s history.

    Jams are abound throughout the trail. Stay the night around one of the venues and take in the excitement of the music.

    Plan a trip around some of the eclectic annual festivals along The Crooked Road, including:

     

    Heartwood Artisans Center

    Heartwood Artisans Center

    Experience The Crooked Road’s treasure that is Heartwood. It’s the gateway to Southwest Virginia, homeplace of traditional music and serves up the best of regional craft.

    Explore the rich musical heritage of Southwest Virginia at Heartwood ‚Äď and glimpse the frontiers of fusion with other traditions and instruments.¬†Heartwood is also a performance place for the frontiers of this music, as performers explore new instruments, fuse with other musical traditions or push their horizons toward new forms of expression in special concerts and other events. Every Thursday night, enjoy live music and Heartwood’s special BBQ menu. Its restaurant serves up lunch, Thursday BBQ, Sunday breakfast, and a coffee and wine bar.

    Shop at The Crooked Road store for artisan crafts, apparel, handmade instruments, music and more.

    Nine major venues, more than 60 affiliated venues and 26 wayside exhibits. The Crooked Road will lead you on an adventure through the history of country music.

     

     

     



    48 Hours, Arts, Destinations, Events, Festivals, History, History, Outdoors, Tour & Travel, Uncategorized, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    Blue Ridge Parkway 101: Cruisin’ Through the Heart of Virginia

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 19th, 2014

    It’s often called one of the most scenic byways in the world. Spanning 469 miles along the Appalachian Mountains, the¬†Blue Ridge Parkway extends from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Planning a trip to the Parkway? Here’s some things to explore along the way.

    Cruisin' the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Cruisin’ the Blue Ridge Parkway

    With 15 entry points to the Parkway, hopping on it is easy, and once you’re on there are more than 30 visitor information stops to guide to your destinations. There are developed sites along the Parkway to make it easy to stop, park, stretch, visit restrooms and exhibits, hike and get a bite to eat.

    Beginning at Waynesboro, the start of the Parkway, the exploring begins. Stop by the Plumb House Museum, where you can tour the streets of the Battle of Waynesborough, home to many Civil War artifacts and more. Also check out the Waynesboro Heritage Museum.

    Devil's Backbone Brewing Co. along the Nelson 151 Trail

    Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. along the Nelson 151 Trail

    Venture a little further south to Nelson, where you’re going to need to plan some time to explore all it has to offer. Hop on the Nelson 151 Trail– your destination for Virginia wine, craft beer, local food, and of course– outdoor recreation. The Trail features seven wineries, three breweries/restaurants, all the while providing easy access to and from the Parkway.

    The Red, White and Brew Trail, also located in Nelson, boasts 10 wineries, four breweries, one hard apple cidery and one distillery.

    Stay nearby at Orchard House Bed & Breakfast or Wintergreen Resort.

    Swing by the Jefferson Heritage Trail and explore where Thomas Jefferson left his mark on the arts, architecture, education, and of course, wines of Virginia. Inspired by his contribution to the growth of the modern American wine industry, the Jefferson Heritage Trail honors his legacy while creating an exciting journey for all who visit.

    Experience the wonder that is the Natural Bridge. This National Historic Landmark has a rich history, dating back hundreds of years and was once owned by Thomas Jefferson. The caverns of Natural Bridge descend 34 stories into the deepest caverns on the East Coast.

    Roanoke/Vinton hangs along the Parkway, with four entrances to the area. If you want to get a taste of a metropolitan-esque area, make a stop in Historic Roanoke for plenty of lodging, shopping a farmers’ market and cultural tours.

    HIKING

    There are more than 50 hiking trails along the Parkway, so no matter where you are, there’s something nearby. From easy to strenuous, to 0.1 – 19 miles. While you’re on your hike, be sure to check out the natural landmarks along the way.¬†White Rock Falls Trail¬†is a 2.5-mile hike, where the highlight is the impressive gorge, which has a waterfall and natural wading pool.

    Crabtree Falls

    Crabtree Falls

    Looking for some more hiking spots with waterfalls?

    The James River is the Parkway’s lowest elevation (650′ above sea level) and is a historical transportation route through the mountains and represents a major geological and cultural component of the Blue Ridge section. The 3.5-mile Otter Creek Trail¬†follows the creek from the Otter Creek Campground down to the James River Visitor Center.¬†At the visitor center, the James River Canal Trail will take you to the restored James River and Kanawha Canal Lock that was built between 1845-51. When completed, the canal had 90 locks and went from Richmond to Buchanan, Va..

    LODGING
    Two sites along the Parkway provide opportunities for overnight accommodations from spring through the fall foliage season. Many visitors also enjoy the various camping sites along the Parkway and a chance to sleep under the stars.

    Peaks of Otter Campground off milepost 86 offers 132 sites, nestled between the bases of two dominating mountains, with Abbott Lake being one of the main attractions. The lake is always stocked with small mouth bass and bluegill. Set up a tent in the shade below the trees and roast some hot dogs and marshmallows. marshmallows around the fireРa perfect way to enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars

    A historical must-see along the parkway!  This is the place you want to stay to get the full experience of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  These are charming little cabins, in a beautiful, natural setting. Located at Milepost 174 near Meadows of Dan, Rocky Knob Cabins has small, rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the early days of Parkway construction.

    Check out more lodging opportunities along the Parkway, including camping, bed & breakfasts, hotels and more.

    Take a break at milepost 176 for some spectacular views, mountain-top chalets, elegant dining and a wide variety of recreational activities at Primland Resort. Primland also offers fishing, hunting, golf and so much more to take advantage during your stay.

    Humpback Rocks encompasses 800 acres along the Blue Ridge Parkway between MP 5 and 9.3 just outside Waynesboro. This area is perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural resources anywhere along the Parkway corridor. The prominent rock outcrop was a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. A portion of the historic trace still exists. Stop by the Visitor Center and mountain farm exhibit at MP 5.8. The farm includes a single-room log cabin and a series of outbuildings that represent elements of regional architecture of the late 19th century. Costume interpreters provide demonstrations of weaving, basket making and gardening.

    Mabry Mill

    Mabry Mill

    Mabry Mill in Meadows of Dan is not to be missed! With a blacksmith shop, wheelwrights and a whiskey still. Demonstrations are available through the fall and enjoy old-time bluegrass music on Sundays.

    These gems give visitors a glimpse of traditional mountain life in the early days of settlement.

     

    OVERLOOKS

    Wine tasting at Chateau Morrisette

    Wine tasting at Chateau Morrisette

     

    WINERIES/VINEYARDS
    Two are along the Parkway in Virginia, each boasting unique selections. Chateau Morrisette Winery in Floyd is nestled above the Rock Castle Gorge Wilderness Area and is known for some of Virginia’s most popular wines. Enjoy their timberframe winery, while sipping their wines and enjoying their savory cuisine. Chateau offers seasonal events, including the Black Dog Concerts and Winemaker’s Dinners, all in an elegant, old world atmosphere. Find the winery off MP 171.5.

    Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards, ironically located at the foot of the Peaks, grow many fruits for their wine, where apples are their main crop. The winery turn their fruits not only into wine, but ciders and butter as well.¬†You will find many types of fruit wines and blends, and may remind you of “grandma’s wines”. These wines are excellent with snacks, as an after dinner wine or just sipping. The apple cinnamon heated is great for the holidays. The winery also features a party wine with hot peppers and a mellow pear selection.

    Milepost Services

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is an American treasure located right here in the Commonwealth. Where else are you going to find so much to do on one parkway? History, hiking, scenic views, wineries, breweries and much more. The Parkway is the perfect way to experience Virginia and all it has to offer.



    Destinations, Family, Outdoors, Tour & Travel, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    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

     

     

     



    48 Hours, Beaches, Beer, Civil War, Couples, Deals & Discounts, Destinations, Events, Family, Golf, History, Outdoors | 0 Comments

    The Best of Virginia: Cities & Towns

    by Casey | Posted on July 29th, 2014

    When you love a place, you rally behind it to make sure everyone knows how great it is. Vote-offs like “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel are annual favorites, and Virginia towns have been included in two of the last three votes. A real pride of place, however, takes over when a publication names the town or city closest to your heart as “best” or “favorite” without any public input. The accolades that these Virginia towns and cities have garnered are well deserved. Do add them to your travel bucket list to see the sweet gems you’ve been missing out on.

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Abingdon

    • Best Performing Arts Town -The South’s Most Creative Small Towns, Garden and Gun, 2011

    Alexandria

    • Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., Amazon.com, 2014
    • Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013
    • Best Small Cities for Art Lovers, Nerdwallet, 2013

    Blacksburg

    • #14, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Bristol

    • Best Music Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles

    • #4, Perfect Little Beach Town, Southern Living

    Charlottesville

    • #1, Happiest American Cities, Harvard Gazette, 2014 (per National Bureau for Economic Research)
    • #1, Top 5 College Towns in America, Travelers Today, 2014
    • Top Five Destinations Every American Should Visit, Orbitz Worldwide, 2014
    • #9, America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #1, America’s 5 New Foodie Cities, Wine Enthusiast, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, America’s Best Small Towns for Food, TheDailyMeal.com, 2013
    • #14, America’s Favorite Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, Top College Towns, TravelChannel.com
    • #2, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Chincoteague

    • #1, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    • #6, 8 of the Best Small Town Getaways in the U.S., WallStCheatSheet.com, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Culpeper

    • One of America’s Top 10 Small Towns. Crampton, Norman.¬†The 100 Best Small Towns in America.
    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Floyd

    • 50 Great American Places to Visit this Summer, Men’s Journal, 2013

    Fredericksburg

    • #9,¬†America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Harrisonburg

    • Best Beer Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • #5, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Lexington

    • Best Small Towns to Visit, Smithsonian Magazine, 2013
    • #14,¬†America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • 10 Coolest Small Towns in America, Budget Travel, 2009

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Lynchburg

    • 50 Best Places to Live & Play, National Geographic, 2007
    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Middleburg

    • Best Small Town Weekend Getaways, Southern Living
    • #6, 20 Best Day Trips in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014

    Richmond

    • Frommer’s Top Destinations for 2014, Frommer’s, 2014
    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • Top 10 Valentine’s Day Getaways, WorldPropertyChannel.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Smithfield

    • #41, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Staunton

    • America’s Best Main Streets, Fordor’s Travel, 2014
    • America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • America’s Greatest Main Streets, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • Best Small Towns in America, Smithsonian Magazine, 2012

    Virginia Beach

    • Top 10 Summer Destinations, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Top 20 Destinations for Fourth of July Travel, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Best Cities for Summer Drives, NBCNews.com, 2013
    • Top 10 Art Beaches, Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • 8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways, Budget Travel, 2013
    • 7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in the U.S., EscapeHere.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • #2, Best Historic Destinations in the USA, US News & World Report, 2014-15
    • #3, 10Best: Best Historic Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #3, 10Best: Places to Explore American History, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in Virginia in 2014, Smithsonian Magazine
    • #4, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • These Old Towns are the Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013 (Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement)
    • #7 Best Weekend Getaways, US News & World Report
    • #8, 8 Affordable Family Vacations, US News & World Report

    Which Virginia city or town is your favorite and why? Leave a comment to let us know!

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    Destinations, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 3 Comments