Travel Ideas and Stories - Virginia's Travel Blog
ShareRSS  
  •  

    Where is the LOVE?

    Click for a map of the LOVEwork locations.

    Take a photo with LOVE.
    Tag it #LOVEVA and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

    See LOVEwork Photos

  • Create your own digital photo reel. 

  • Instagram

    Latest Posts
    #Grape harvesting has begun in some parts of #Virginia and will continue through October, Virginia's #Wine Month. @orecul13 gathered this bounty for #canning purposes. Anyone for some locally made juice or jelly? #loveva #vawine #waynesboro #countryliving #photooftheday #jelly #vafood
    Is everyone excited for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion next month? Some of the performances will be taking place here, at the Paramount Center for The Arts on State Street. This #theater was built in 1931 and restored to its original splendor in 1991. #oldschoolva #loveva #virginia #vatravel #theatre #photooftheday
    Testing out Instagram's new #hyperlapse app at Lewis Ginter #Botanical #Garden in Richmond. What do you think? #loveva #virginia #rva #lewisginter #orchid #vatravel #vaoutdoors @lewisginter @visitrichmondva
    If you haven't notice, fields of #sunflowers are in bloom throughout the state. This one calls Lickinghole Creek Craft #Brewery it's home in Goochland. This is both an awesome photo and tasting op. ūüėČ #loveva #virginia #vabeer #vacraftbeermonth #sunflower #photooftheday #drinklocal #craftbeer Photo creds to @lickingholecreekcraftbrewery
  • Archive for the ‘Destinations’ Category

    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‚Äôs seasonal spa package, the Winter ‚ÄúRefresh,‚ÄĚ 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

     Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide.



    Couples, Destinations | Comments Off

    Show Off Your #FallinVA Pics!

    by Casey | Posted on October 2nd, 2013

    We can see that the colors are starting to show on the western side of the Commonwealth; keep ‘em coming!

    If you’re not up to speed on what we’re looking for (and highlighting here), include #FallinVA as a hashtag on your Instagram photos to show off the view wherever you are in Virginia. We’re collecting our faves and displaying them here, on our Facebook page, and even in our Fall Foliage Reports. We can’t wait to see what you see!

    Click the photo for more information about the location.

    Pocahontas State Park by @daven10

    Pocahontas State Park by @daven10

    Crabtree Falls Trail by @samanthabrookephoto

    Crabtree Falls Trail by @samanthabrookephoto

    Depot Grille in Lynchburg by @jjriddick

    Depot Grille in Lynchburg by @jjriddick

    Lynchburg river view by @akpink

    Lynchburg river view by @akpink

    Red in Locust Grove by @dizzytaco

    Red in Locust Grove by @dizzytaco

    Early fall colors in Middleburg by @visitmiddleburg

    Early fall colors in Middleburg by @visitmiddleburg

    Shawnee Springs Market by @aponyrider

    Shawnee Springs Market by @aponyrider

    Be sure to follow us on Instagram, too, as we often re-share our favorites there!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Virginia is for Lovers.

    SEE OUR FIRST FALL FOLIAGE REPORT OF THE SEASON!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE



    Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Favorite Shots | Comments Off

    14 Places to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on September 27th, 2013

    If you’ve been following along for any amount of time, you might have caught on that we ask “the locals” for recommendations every now and again. This group has been helpful in identifying the best BBQ joints, the best breakfasts, and more. Today, we present to you their suggestions for the best places to enjoy the fall foliage in their area.

    Humpback Rocks

    Humpback Rocks

     

    Humpback Rocks – Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 6

    - “360 degree views of the Shenandoah Valley. Migrating birds can often be seen here in the fall, especially hawks.”
    - “Take the trail up from the Humpback Gap parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the rocky ledges above for amazing 360 degree views on top of the slanted rock. Just north at Milepost 5.8 is the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center with a mountain farm exhibit.”

     

    Hiking Crabtree Falls Trail

    Hiking Crabtree Falls Trail

    Crabtree Falls – 11581 Crabtree Falls Highway, Montebello

    - “Enjoy a 2 1/2 mile hike up along the falls, with 4 overlooks to the cascading falls. You can hike further to the Appalachian Trail or head back down to relax for lunch at one of the picnic tables available next to the parking lot or view the Tye River from an arched wooden bridge that crosses over it.”
    - “Just a few miles west of Crabtree Falls on Rt. 56 West is the Montebello State Fish Hatchery, the Montebello Country Store and Montebello Camping & Fishing Resort, and then just a few miles further is the Blue Ridge Parkway for panoramic fall foliage views!”

     

    The gorge at Balcony Falls

    The gorge at Balcony Falls

    Balcony Falls Overlook – Route 501, Glasgow, on the Rockbridge/Amherst County Line

    - “Kayaking, Canoeing, Hiking, FISHING!! Confluence Outfitters offers guided fishing through the gorge here and it is the most beautiful place to see the leaves changing and catch fish at the same time!”
    - “Devil’s Marbleyard is close by.” (Devil’s Marbleyard is a 3-mile round trip hike that highlights boulders the size of cars.)

     

    North Mountain Trail – Fire Road 447 off I-64, exit 43 in Rockbridge County. Drive in 6.7 miles to the parking lot at Route 770.

    - “The trail features stream habitats, interesting rock formations, varied forest types, opportunities for wildlife viewing and panoramic views as it rises in elevation from 1,700 feet to 3,200 feet. At mile 3, narrow rock stairs descend between huge boulders. Once on the crest of the mountain, there are excellent views to the east of Lake Robertson and the Peaks of Otter.”

     

    Hungry Mother State Park

    Hungry Mother State Park

    Back of the Dragon – Route 16 between Tazewell and Marion

    - “The 32 mile stretch of highway has several pull-over areas.”
    - “The vistas are incredibly beautiful in the Fall. The colors are amazing. Wildlife is abundant.”
    - “Watch for lots of sports cars and motorcycles. Dubbed “Back of the Dragon,” the winding curves extend over three mountains and 260 curves.”
    - “On the north side of the Back of the Dragon (Route 16), the historic town of Tazewell is located. Travelers can enjoy the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, dine at places such as The Blue Dandelion, or Your Grate Escape is a treat. Cavitt’s Creek Park/Lake Jack Witten offers full service camping, fishing, paddle boat rides. On the south side of the Back of the Dragon is Hungry Mother State Park and the historic town of Marion, Virginia.”

     

    Burkes Garden – Tazewell

    The Channels Natural Area Preserve

    The Channels Natural Area Preserve

    - “Driving around the 12 mile “bowl,” there are several places to pull off. Public restrooms are located at the Community Center.”
    - “Stop by the Lost World Ranch for a camel ride or sit on the Burke’s Garden General Store‘s front porch and enjoy a homemade piece of pie, or even have a sandwich with freshly baked bread. Go to the Appalachian Trail and take a hike.”

     

    The Channels Natural Area Preserve – Route 80 on the Russell/Washington County Line

    - “It is a fantastic hike with views for miles.”
    - “The Channels itself is a sandstone rock formation.”
    - “Near The Channels is Laurel Bed Lake, which sits atop the Clinch Mountain Range in the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Area. On the drive up to Laurel Bed there are numerous waterfalls along Big Tumbling Creek as well as foliage and Mountain Laurel.”

     

    Patrick Henry's Red Hill - Quarter Place Cabin

    Patrick Henry’s Red Hill – Quarter Place Cabin

    Patrick Henry’s Red Hill – 1250 Red Hill Road, Brookneal

    - “As you are driving down Red Hill Road, entering the National Memorial to Patrick Henry you will be immersed in the colors of Autumn. The 525 acres consists of thousands of trees and scenic views of the Staunton River Valley. We have the nation’s largest Osage Orange tree on the property that towers over the reconstructed home of Patrick Henry. Guests have the option to walk down two trails that showcases an abundance of trees in their Autumn splendor. The views are absolutely breathtaking at Patrick Henry’s Red Hill in the Fall.”
    - “There is a great winery just up the road, Sans Soucy Vineyard that has a beautiful tasting room and charming vistas. A unique and delicious option for lunch, the Drug Store Grill, is in the town of Brookneal about 5 miles away.”

     

    Devil's Bathtub & Waterfall

    Devil’s Bathtub & Waterfall

    Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens – 780 University Blvd. Harrisonburg

    - “The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a treasure in the fall. You can bring food and have a picnic, walk the trails, bird watch, spot stunning florals and fauna, enjoy the peaceful new fountain feature, and more.”
    -¬†The entire space is worth a view! It encompasses 125 acres of urban botanical preserve. It provides an ideal combination of naturalized botanical gardens and forest.”

     

    Bark Camp Lake – Jefferson National Forest at High Knob, Scott County

    - “Yes, there are trails to walk plus you can take non-motorized boats (canoes, kayaks) picnic area plus a small amphitheatre.”
    - Nearby are “Devil’s Bathtub, Falls of Little Stony and Hanging Rock Park.”

     

    Hidden Valley Lake – Routes 19 and 690 on the Washington/Russell County Line

    - “This area is great for hunting and fishing during the fall. There is a boat landing to launch your boat.”
    - “Hiking is wonderful in this area but there are some steep grades so it is not for all ages. The elevation level is perfect to take in the mountain scenery and enjoy the breath taking views of SWVA.”
    - “This wildlife area is an attraction all together with lots of different options for an entire day trip. It is truly located in the middle of nowhere but peace and quiet.”

     

    The Virginia Creeper Trail near Abingdon, VA

    The Virginia Creeper Trail

    Abingdon Vineyard and Winery – 20530 Alvarado Road, Abingdon

    - “The Winery is a wonderful place for a tasting while enjoying the wonderful landscaping with trees and the creek.”
    - “The Virginia Creeper Trail is located near the winery. You can ride your bikes over to the winery for a tasting and lunch.”
    - “The Alvarado area is also great for kayaking and canoeing down the creek/river. There is also a small general store located next to the trail that serves ice cream and snacks. This area is a gem hidden along the VA Creeper Trail.”

     

    Tobacco Heritage Trail – Town of Victoria

    - “Take a picnic, hike, bike or ride a horse down the trail; geocache; visit the Brunswick Museum & Historic Society or downtown shops.”
    - “The Colonial Center in South Hill. It is a beautifully renovated vaudeville theatre that has an art gallery and lots of great local talent starring in community theatre productions. Also, eat at the Horseshoe Restaurant in South Hill. It got its name from being an old horse powered mill. Yummy twists on traditional diner food. Close to the Colonial.”

     

    Old House Vineyards – 14706 Lee Highway, Culpeper

    - “Wine tastings, fishing, picnicking, relaxing on the fire pit patio, outside brick pizza oven. Vineyard is nestled and surrounded by mountain views on all sides. Beautiful FALL sunsets!”

     

    Looking for a weekend or longer getaway? See our series of eight posts detailing just that:

    Part 8 - Part 7 - Part 6 - Part 5 - Part 4 - Part 3 - Part 2 - Part 1

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Virginia is for Lovers.

    SEE OUR FIRST FALL FOLIAGE REPORT OF THE SEASON!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE

     



    Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Locals, Outdoors | 3 Comments

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 8 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 26th, 2013

    Absorb the rich history and heritage of Virginia this fall while being surrounded by flashes of orange and yellow. Most assuredly, a walk along cobblestone streets brings a piece of Virginia’s patriotic past to your present. Huzzah! These 48-hour getaways are made for those who thrive in beautiful surroundings with a story to tell.

    In Richmond, History is Always in Season

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Architecture takes center stage in the capital city, and fall foliage makes it all the more breathtaking. Among your must-sees are Agecroft Hall, a 15th-century English Tudor-style home rebuilt in Richmond in 1925;  Virginia House, a 12th-century house transported from England to Richmond in 1925, redesigned and rebuilt with gardens by Charles Gillette; and Maymont, a Victorian estate and mansion furnished with rare, shiny things, and surrounded by lush gardens and stately trees.

    As you admire the town, dine around and enjoy the tastes, too. The Dairy Bar is a milkshake hot-spot while Can Can Brasserie is a fine place for dinner in bustling Carytown. Just on the outskirts of downtown proper and on the banks of the James is The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing. Sunsets from the deck are breathtaking.

    Rest for a while at Linden Row Inn, The Jefferson Hotel, or perhaps Grace Manor Inn. All have their own unique story to tell, and you’ll feel right at home.

    The rest of your hours can be spent traversing beautiful places in greater Richmond, like Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Meadow Farm Museum. Or, take a trip down plantation lane, or Route 5, as it’s more commonly known. Along the James River are the James River Plantations – Belle Air, Berkeley, Edgewood, North Bend, Piney Grove at Southall’s Plantation, Shirley, Sherwood Forest, and Westover. Some are open to the public and others are not. Please call ahead if you’d like to make a visit.

    Fredericksburg Fall Haunts

    FoodE Courtyard

    FoodE Courtyard

    Loaded with Civil War history, as well as presidential history, the Fredericksburg area has fall fun in store with historic haunts. Touting several farm-to-table restaurants, you’ll have no trouble finding a great place to eat. It’s the decision that’s tough. Will it be Bistro Bethem, FoodE, or ¬†maybe Poppy Hill Tuscan Kitchen?

    Get down to serious shenanigans of a historic kind with the Ghosts of Fredericksburg Tour. It’s a 90-minute, leisurely paced walking tour complete with a costumed guide wielding a lantern.

    Rest comfortably at Hampton Inn and Suites¬†or Wytestone Suites, where the mulit-room accommodations allow the family to spread out. Shut-eye will be key for what lies ahead …

    Hit the history hard, but in the daylight this time. In your midst is Fredericksburg Battlefield and National Cemetery, the Confederate Cemetery, St. George’s Church, and Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop. Sprinkle in stops along the way, like lunch at Virginia Barbeque and a sweet treat at Goolrick’s Pharmacy.

    Looking to skirt around some history and add a dash of adrenaline-burning fun for the kids? Belvedere Plantation is your place. Pick your own pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, visit with the animals at the petting zoo, and even take a turn in the Maize Maze.

    Heart of Appalachia Driving Tour

    Breaks Interstate Park

    Breaks Interstate Park

    Get in touch with coal mining heritage, mountain music heritage, and the beautiful natural wonders of Southwest Virginia when you spend 48 hours driving through autumn’s color.

    The Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum in Tazewell County was an operational mine from 1882 to 1955 and is the only exhibition coal mine designated a National Historic Landmark. Swing through for photos or call to arrange a tour if you’re with 11 or more people.

    Nearby, the Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park shares their 14 log cabins to display life from the 1800s – when this area was considered the “wild, wild west.” Speaking of “the west” being here in Southwest Virginia, don’t miss Breaks Interstate Park, dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the South.” It’s right on the Virginia/Kentucky border and the overlooks will absolutely, unequivocally take. your. breath. away. In fact, settle in for the night in one of their luxury cabins, and enjoy dinner at the Rhododendron Restaurant on-site.

    Tap into the music and arts heritage of the area with stops at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, the John Fox Jr. Museum (author of Trail of the Lonesome Pine and other novels), and the June Tolliver House & Folk Art Center in Big Stone Gap.

    If you want to further extend your stay or add in some outdoor sites, consider Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Gap Caverns, Wilderness Road State Park, or Natural Tunnel State Park. Each is an immensely beautiful and important stop.

    LOVE's a Trip - 48 Hour Fall Getaways

     

    If you’re looking for more suggestions on places to spend 48 hours of your time this fall in Virginia, see these previous posts from our series of eight:

    Part 7 - Part 6 - Part 5 - Part 4 - Part 3 - Part 2 - Part 1

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
    Virginia is for Lovers.

    SEE OUR FIRST FALL FOLIAGE REPORT OF THE SEASON!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE



    48 Hours, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, History | 1 Comment

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 7 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 24th, 2013

    October Virginia Wine Month kicks off next week and we have a few wine-themed getaways that will go perfectly with your leaf peeping!

    A Wine Getaway in Northern Virginia

    Sunset view from the deck at Grandale Farm Restaurant.

    Sunset view from the deck at Grandale Farm Restaurant.

    How about starting in Berryville at Veramar Vineyard? It’s 100 acres of ¬†breathtaking beauty. Upcoming events at Vermar include Chili Day on October 5 and Italiano Pasta Day on October 19. If you’re visiting at another time and are looking for lunch, try Village Square Restaurant in the heart of downtown Winchester. Two recommendations for staying the night are Smithfield Farm Bed & Breakfast in Berryville or Old Waterstreet Inn in Winchester.

    On day two, take Route 7 into Loudoun County to sip more wine at Loudoun Valley Vineyards in Waterford and Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery in Leesburg. For dinner, plan to enjoy a wonderful farm-to-table dish at¬†Grandale Farm Restaurant. This restaurant has been touted by Travel + Leisure among other publications; you won’t go wrong.¬†Want to call it a night here? Book a place at Goodstone Inn & Estate or Red Fox Inn.

    Day three equals more wine! Hit Fauquier County’s Wine Trail to visit Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane and others along the way. Cheers!

    MAP this trip!

    Paddle Your Glass Off on the Eastern Shore

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The world’s first kayak winery tour was launched by and from SouthEast Expeditions in Onancock to Chatham Vineyards. The idea has been such a hit that Holly Grove Vineyards is now on board, too! If you’re an avid kayaker, both vineyards can be kayaked to and enjoyed in a full-day tour. And at the end of that day? A great dinner and sunset view at Mallards at the Wharf followed by a comfortable, peaceful night’s sleep at either Charlotte Hotel, The Inn at Onancock¬†or¬†Spinning Wheel Bed & Breakfast.

    In the morning, enjoy breakfast in Exmore at Yellow Duck Bakery Cafe¬†or Exmore Diner¬†before heading to Williamsburg. Fall is beautiful across the entire Commonwealth, but to experience some of our nation’s founding history amid the foliage is stunning. Spend some time at Colonial Williamsburg and include lunch at one of the period taverns. Buy yourself a fancy hat and blend right into the 18th century! Then it’s on to Williamsburg Winery¬†for a tasting and tour. Stay the night nearby at Colonial Gardens B&B, Liberty Rose B&B Inn, or A Williamsburg Sampler B&B.

    Ways to Spend Another Day:

    MAP this trip!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.

     

     



    48 Hours, Couples, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Wine | Comments Off