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    Have you hiked Roaring Run Trail in Eagle Rock, #VA? An excellent family #hike, the trail passes rock walls, cascading water, five foot bridges and even a natural water slide before ending at Roaring Run Falls. At the head of the trail is Roaring Run Furnace, ruins of a 19th century furnace operation. Roaring Run #Creek is also known for trout fishing. #VAOutdoors #waterfall #loveva #repost #roaringrun #virginia #perspective #photooftheday Kudos to @spezzaroo for the beautiful photo!
    Hot diggity dog! It's National Hot Dog Day, so we thought we'd share this beef brisket, apple jicama slaw, poblano #BBQ #footlong #hotdog from the Continental Westhampton for #lunch. Grab a hot dog at your local joint and celebrate! #loveva #vafoood #nationalhotdogday #rva #craftbeer #vabeer @rvanews
    Can you imagine waking up and walking out on the porch to find yourself amongst the trees with a sweeping view of the Dan River Gorge's Blue Ridge Mountains? That's exactly what you'll experience when staying the night at Primland #Resort's Golden Eagle #Treehouse! Photo props to @visitvbr. Don't forget to share your tree top stay with us by tagging #LoveVA! #repost #Virginia #porch #mountain #goodmorning #photooftheday #primlandresort @primlandresort
    Road trippers and warriors may recognize the Hampton Roads #Bridge Tunnel at sunset, though it looks different when you're not behind the wheel of a car. Beautiful shot by @slayerlovnhippy! Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #repost #dusk #photooftheday #bridgetunnel #vatravel #moon #hamptonroads
  • Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

    Chocolate Lovers’ Delight

    by Casey | Posted on February 6th, 2014

    Chocolate is a tempter. Indulgent, smooth, delicious. Fulfill your sweet cocoa desires with a visit to a Virginia chocolatier or an upcoming event.

     

     Chocolate Artisans

    The Ultimate Chocolate Experience by Chocolate Spike

    The Ultimate Chocolate Experience by Chocolate Spike

    Alexandria – Artfully Chocolate - Part art gallery, part chocolatier, part cocoa bar and completely fabulous!

    Arlington – Artisan Confections - Specializing in high-quality, hand-made chocolates that are elegant in both design and flavor.

    Blacksburg – Chocolate Spike – Artistic chocolate endeavors by by Genie Ranck, producer of exciting creations.

    Charlottesville – Gearhart’s Fine Chocolates - An artisanal chocolate shop in Historic Downtown Charlottesville that specializes in handmade confections of uncompromising quality.

    Dayton – Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe - Homemade in the heart of Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley: old fashioned creme fudge, chocolate creme truffles, and “sugar free” chocolates, just to name a few.

    Glass House Winery

    Glass House Winery

    Free Union – Glass House Winery – You read right. A winery that not only excels at wine making, but also makes their own in-house chocolates. Win-win.

    Harrisonburg – Chocolate Occasions – See for yourself how the goods are made, then take home a box or two!

    Lexington – Cocoa Mill Chocolate Co. - Offering a wide assortment of chocolates in dark, bittersweet, milk and white. Also featuring turtles — hand poured caramel over fresh pecans topped with milk chocolate; butter cremes, hand rolled truffles … the list goes on!

    Louisa – Cooper Vineyards – Drink your chocolate! Noche Chocolate is a Virginia Norton dessert wine infused with chocolate. It’s also an award-winning wine (2012 Silver Virginia Governor’s Cup and others).

    Richmond – Chocolates by Kelly - See chocolatiers make world-class chocolates right before your eyes. Take a class, buy a gift, try something new and exciting, or taste a treat that’ll make you feel like a kid again!

    Richmond – Gearhart’s Fine Chocolate - Voted one of Chocolatier Magazine’s “Top 20 Artisan Chocolatiers” in the U.S., Tim Gearhart combines Single-Bean Venezuelan Chocolates, fine local and exotic ingredients, and passionate craftsmanship to create chocolates of unparalleled depth and complexity.

    Virginia Beach – The Royal Chocolate - Indulge from cases filled with store made chocolates using Belgian Chocolate – truffles, creams, caramels, chocolate and caramel coated pretzels, not to mention the famous chocolate covered apples!

    Williamsburg – MAD About Chocolate - A chocolate cafe by Marcel Desaulniers, author of Death by Chocolate and nine other cookbooks.

     

    Chocolate Events

    February 7 – Winchester – Chocolate Escape – Thirteen participating downtown restaurants are offering a $2 chocolate sampling menu while and 16 retailers have chocolate themed deals and offers available.

    February 8 – Warrenton – 4th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza – This is a chocolate tasting fundraiser in memory of a 22 year old who lost her life to Leukemia. Six samples for $10.

     

    Chocolate and Wine

    February 7-15 – Bridgewater – Wine & Chocolate Pairing in the Tasting Room at Bluestone Vineyard – Eight wines paired with eight Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe chocolates for $12.

    February 8 – Oak Grove – A Taste of Wine & Chocolate at Ingleside Vineyards - Indulge in the finest Ingleside wines with an elegant chocolate experience. Reservations required.

    February 11 – Norfolk – Chocolate Wine Pairing at Mermaid Winery – Four pairings for $20. Reservations required.

    February 14 – Stanley – Valentine Chocolate and Wine at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard – Join in the chocolate fondue and wine! Get a plate of dipping goodies and a glass of wine for $15.

    February 14-16 – Middleburg – Wine and Chocolate Weekend at Greenhill Winery and Vineyards – Handcrafted nut-free/gluten-free chocolates by locally owned Simply Nut Free will be paired with four Greenhill wines.

    February 14-16 – Purcellville – Breaux Vineyards’ Chocolate & Cabernet Tasting – Hand-rolled truffles and imported chocolate are paired with Breaux cabernet. $30; reservations suggested.

    February 15 – Floyd – Valentine’s Weekend Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Chateau Morrisette –  Chateau Morrisette’s wine-crafter, Rachel Lagergren and Wilbur’s Chocolates Master Chocolatier, Dona Peters will give an expert presentation of five wines paired with Wilbur Chocolates. $40 per person; reservations and pre-payment required.

     

    Where do you find your favorite chocolate? Leave a comment to tell us!

    Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Events, Food, Food and Wine | 1 Comment

    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.



    Couples, Deals & Discounts, Events, Family, The Holidays, Winter | Comments Off

    Historic Home Tours for the Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on December 4th, 2013

    Virginia’s historic homes are beautifully decorated this season. Truly, this is one of the key times to see your favorite historic home in all its period glory. Candlelight, fresh swags of greenery, pineapples, and really stunning Victorian spreads await.

    Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon

    Saturdays and Sundays in December George Washington’s Mount Vernon opens for candlelight mansion tours between 5 and 8 p.m. Fireside caroling and other festivities make it an appealing family affair. $22/adult and $15/child 11 and younger.

    “Roaring 20′s” is the Christmas theme at Oatlands in Leesburg, so expect to see plenty of glitz along with the greenery and numerous Christmas trees in this 1804 mansion. Tours are offered every 30 minutes daily through December 30. $12/adult; $10/senior; $8/child 6-16.

    Special candlelight tours are offered December 15, 20, 21, 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. Cookies, cider and musical performances are included.  Rates are the same as the daily tour.

    Celebrate the season at Maymont in Richmond and revel in Victorian holiday splendor! Major & Mrs. Dooley’s spectacularly decorated Gilded Age home brings the wonders and festivities of Christmas past to life. Tours are offered every half-hour daily (except Mondays) through January 5. $5 suggested donation.

    December 6 – Come to Richmond to find out how people celebrated Christmas during the Victorian Era. Take a guided tour of the White House of the Confederacy, specially decorated for the holidays!$5 admission.

    December 6, 7, 13, and 14 – Experience centuries of Christmas traditions at James Madison’s Montpelier during the Christmas candlelight tours. Visitors are greeted by the gracious hostess Dolley Madison in the Mansion’s Drawing Room as she speaks about early 19th-century Christmas customs. Linger in the duPont Gallery, enjoying light refreshments, wine, and wassail while listening to harp music and Christmas carolers. $25 in advance; $35 at the door; $10 for children ages 6 to 14.

    Monticello

    Monticello

    December 7 – Get a glimpse of Christmas from the Colonial period through World War II when you experience Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge. Candlelight tours on the half-hour with a visit from Santa in the cabin. Santa is free for everyone; tours are $10/person with the exception of children younger than 6, who are free.

    December 7 – Celebrate the holidays at Bacon’s Castle in Surry to learn about 17th century English Christmas traditions and decorations. Guided tours of the mansion and hot mulled cider will be offered all day. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $8/adult; $6/senior; $5/student; children 6 and under are free.

    December 7, 13, 14, 20-23 and 26-30 – Head to Charlottesville to take advantage of the unique opportunity to explore Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello after dark with a special small-group house tour. The tours, which include the Dome Room, offer visitors an intimate look at how the holidays were celebrated in Jefferson’s time, plus the rare opportunity to experience Monticello after dark. Tours begin at 5:30, 5:45 and 6:00 p.m. $45 in advance. Reservations required. Not recommended for children younger than 6. Portions of the tour are not handicapped-accessible.

    Avoca

    Avoca

    December 7 and 8 – Seasonal holiday decorations and local entertainment will be featured at Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg as part of their annual holiday open house. Refreshments will be served. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    December 7 and 8 – Don’t miss the annual Christmas weekend at Walton’s Mountain Museum in Schuyler. They’re decorated inside and out, with cookies and cider for your warmth and joy. These two days are the only two of the year when visitors are permitted to go beyond the roped areas.

    December 7, 8, 14 and 15 – See the lavishly decorated Victorian house, Avoca Museum in Altavista, celebrating Christmas memories with light refreshments and hot cider, Santa on Saturday afternoons, and a silent auction to benefit education programs. $5/adult; $4/senior.

    Liberia Plantation

    Liberia Plantation

    December 14 – Enjoy holiday candlelight, music and refreshments at Liberia Plantation in Manassas, the 1825 house that hosted both Confederate and Union forces, as well as President Lincoln. The house will be decorated as it would have been in the 1860s when the Weir family occupied it. Tours begin at Manassas Museum where guests will be bussed to Liberia. $15/adult; $7.50/child 12 and younger.

    December 14 - Take a candle lit tour of the main house and slave quarter at Ben Lomond every half-hour between 5 and 7 p.m. to learn how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays and how they resisted the institution that kept them enslaved. $7/person; free for children younger than 6. Reservations suggested.

    December 14 and 15 – Celebrate an 18th century Christmas holiday at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown in Beaverdam. Enjoy the decorations, food, and holiday surprises. $5/person.

    Poplar Forest

    Poplar Forest

    December 14 and 15 – Historic Berkeley Plantation in Charles City welcomes you to learn how the Harrison family celebrated Christmas during the 18th century. Partake in the festive atmosphere created by colonial music and decorations of fresh greenery and natural arrangements from Berkeley’s gardens. Costumed guides will add a special treat to your holiday season with stories about Christmas hospitality over 200 years ago. Holiday refreshments will be served. $11/adult; $7.50/student; $6 for ages 6 to 12. Reservations required.

    December 15 – Enjoy period inspired holiday decorations and music, living history interpreters in the kitchen, storytelling, various children’s activities and demonstrations from craftspeople when you visit Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat in Forest. Free with non-perishable food donation.

     

    For more festive events and opportunities, visit Virginia.org/HolidaysInVirginia.

    Virginia is for Lovers.



    Events, History, The Holidays | Comments Off

    New for Christmas Town 2013

    by Casey | Posted on November 25th, 2013

    The lights glisten, dance and twinkle at Busch Gardens during their annual Christmas Town event. In a matter of three weeks the park is transformed to remove the frights of Howl-O-Scream and introduce merriment for Christmas Town, which just opened Friday, November 22. Here’s what you can expect and what’s new this year.

    Carolers in England. Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Carolers in England

    About Christmas Town

    Nearly seven million lights bring a holiday feel to the countries of Busch Gardens beginning at 3 p.m. and lighting the night through 9 or 10 p.m. (see schedule below)

    The tone is set by the carolers of England as you enter the park and then you’re on your way to The Polar Pathway. This area offers a moment of serenity. Pose on a polar bear as you by pass.

    Meander on toward Holiday Hills, a 1950′s retro area laced with big bulbs, plastic, and vintage-style Coca-Cola billboards. Take a whirl on Peppermint Twist or Snowman Summit. Dasher’s Diner serves up your childhood favorites if you find that you’re hungry.

    Holiday Hills, Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Holiday Hills

    Depart Holiday Hills for Italy where The Battering Ram, The Flying Machine and DaVinci’s Cradle are all operational. Ristorante Della Piazza is serving dinner and you can take in a beautiful show called “Miracles” at Il Teatro di San Marco Theatre. The ballerina in your midst will love this one!

    Soak in the moment as you cross the bridge and look to your left for the “Peace on Earth” art suspended from the train trestle. It’s perfect for a family photo.

    As you approach Oktoberfest you’ll notice that Mach Tower has been dubbed Nacht Tower for Christmas Town. Glide up and sail back down before or after your spin on Verbolten. Der Wirbelwind and Der Autobahn are operational in Germany, and you’re invited to a fantastic dinner and “Deck the Halls” show at Das Festhaus. Toy solders and Frosty the Snowman are just a few of the fun characters you’ll find inside.

    O Tannenbaum is a sight to behold as lights dance in animation on the 50-foot Christmas tree. If your timing is right, a choir will sing to you from the balcony of Das Festhaus. Find more gifts – many handcrafted by Virginia artisans – to take home from Mistletoe Marketplace.

    Ho, ho, ho! Santa’s near! The North Pole is home to Santa’s Workshop, of course, as well as the Kinder Karussel and gift shops. By the way, it snows at Santa’s workshop, making the experience all the more amazing.

    New France has fun shops for carved candles, metal art, and paint-your-own pottery, not to mention the comfort food of Trappers Smokehouse. Le Catapult is ready to give a spin, too. (Careful with eating and spinning!)

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    Tinted in blues and purples is France, and this is where you’ll find the Ice Palace: A Penguin Paradise. The penguins of Sea World San Antonio made their way to Virginia for your enjoyment. The line can get long to see these sweethearts, so plan accordingly. New to France are the King, Queen and Court Jester. They’re available for photo ops and interacting with them is a ton of fun!

    The walk to Ireland is a peaceful one complete with the nostalgic smell of Christmas trees. At Abbey Stone Theater you’ll find “Gloria!,” the re-telling of the first Christmas. Magi, a manger, and amazing musical and dance talent bring home the true meaning of Christmas. If you purchase the add-on for Santa’s Fireside Feast, Ireland is where you’ll rendezvous with the Jolly ol’ Elf.

    Highland Stables. Busch Gardens Christmas Town. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    Highland Stables

    Before you know it, you’re to Highland Stables where white and blue stars twinkle just out of reach and the famous Clydesdales are waiting.

    Christmas Town is nothing if not stunningly beautiful. Each country has its own flavor (literally), and as cliche as it sounds, there is absolutely something for everyone. Both secular and non-secular shows, fantastic dining, and some of your favorite Busch Gardens rides will make you want to come again.

    Visiting Christmas Town

    ADMISSION
    Single-Day: $30
    Christmas Town Fun Card (unlimited visits): $30
    Busch Gardens Annual Pass Holders: $20

    HOURS
    3 to 10 p.m.: November 29-30, December 6-7, 13-14, 16-23, 26-31
    3 to 9 p.m.: December 1, 8, 15, 24

    TRAVEL PACKAGES
    Colonies at Williamsburg:  Three nights, four tickets to Colonial Williamsburg and Christmas Town: $719.99
    Choose Your Own Hotel: Two nights, unlimited visits to Christmas Town: rates from $35/person/night
    Embassy Suites Williamsburg: Two-three nights, four tickets to Christmas Town, cooked-to-order daily breakfast: $529-$597

    Download a Christmas Town map!

    Have you been to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens? We’d love to hear your favorite experience! Leave a comment.

    Virginia is for Lovers



    Events, Family, The Holidays | Comments Off

    12 Places to Craft for Christmas

    by Casey | Posted on November 21st, 2013

    Some have green thumbs and others have fingers that can make something extraordinary from scraps. Is that you? I enjoy the challenge of crafting during the season of merriment and have identified 12 places for you to knock out some Pinterest inspiration and get your Picasso on.

    Let's Paint, Virginia Beach

    Let’s Paint, Virginia Beach

    Paint-your-own pottery is a hit for those who don’t own a potter’s wheel and a kiln. Walk in, pick the piece you’d like to paint, and get to it. Some studios offer a flat fee where the price tag on the piece includes firing. Others offer a flat firing fee that applies to all of the pieces you paint that day.

    • All Fired Up has three locations in the metro Richmond region – Midlothian, Carytown and Short Pump
    • Color Me Mine is another Richmond paint-your-own business.
    • You Made It! LLC in Harrisonburg is open daily for your painting pleasure.

    Keep your eye on art centers for class offerings geared toward adults or kids. You’ll find glass fusing, whittling, basketry, glass blowing, watercolor painting and more. You just need to know where to look!

    Blow your own ornament at Sunspots in Staunton.

    Blow your own ornament at Sunspots in Staunton.

    • Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center is located in Covington and has a Whittling Make-and-Take class for adults on November 23.
    • ArtSquare in Leesburg has many classes to offer, but of note is the Holiday Card Workshop for ages 10 and up on December 8.
    • Arts Depot in Abingdon has a Terra Cotta Angel workshop for all ages. Two dates: November 23 and December 7.
    • Bay School Community Arts Center is all about teaching. Sign up for a wide selection of upcoming classes: No-Sew Christmas Stocking, Christmas Tree Basket, Kids Gingerbread House and more.
    • Let’s Paint is located in Virginia Beach within Barclay Towers Resort on the oceanfront.
    • The Portsmouth Arts and Cultural Center is offering an Ornament and Tile Workshop November 29 and 30.
    • Sunspots Studios & Glass Blowing in Staunton invites you to blow your own glass ornament daily, by appointment.
    • The Glass Palette in Charlottesville is a studio where people of all ages can come in and fuse their own glass creations every day of the week.
    • The Jacksonville Center for the Arts in Floyd has a wide variety of classes coming up: Needle Felting, Solid and Blown Glass Ornaments, Metal Ornament Experience and more.

      The Glass Palette, Charlottesville

      The Glass Palette, Charlottesville

     

    If you’re really not the crafty type but appreciate the art of others, explore our Arts Directory to locate an established painter, carver, potter, or other tradesperson for your holiday gift giving.

     

    Virginia is for Lovers.



    Events, Family, The Holidays | Comments Off