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    Took a walk through #Maymont in #Richmond this afternoon. The flowers are in full #bloom and the weather was perfect! If you haven't made it to a local #garden this #spring, you should consider attending Historic Garden Week starting this weekend. It runs the 26th through the 3rd statewide. Check out www.Virginia.org/historicgardenqeek for more info #loveva #flower #rva #visitvirginia #tulip #photooftheday @rvanews @rvais4lovers @maymontrva
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    Get your outdoor #zen on with #yoga in the #stables at Salamander #Resort. You might even be joined by the #barn #cat, Pumpkin! #loveva #virginia #earthday #vaoutdoors #repost #photooftheday#pet #stable @salamanderresort
    Happy Earth Day, Virginians! Strive to get out of the office today, experience #nature, appreciate her beauty and offerings, and make a commitment to preserving her health (and ultimately ours). For we are all one with nature. #virginia #loveva #earthday #repost #sunrise #goodmorning #visitvirginia #earth #conservation #vais4lovers Photo compliments to @dadofash. Virginia is for nature lovers 🌾🌸🌿
  • Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

    15 Fall Festivals for Family Fun

    by Casey | Posted on September 6th, 2013

    The kids are back in school and already longing for a break. What to do? Head to one of these golden opportunities we call fall festivals, of course!

    In no particular order, here are 15 of Virginia’s best fall festivals for families. Get out your calendar and let’s go.

    Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon

    Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon

    1. October 26-27 – Don’t miss the Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon for wagon rides, a straw bale maze, corn husk doll demonstrations, apple roasting, and plenty more 18th century shenanigans. Festival is included with Mount Vernon admission: Adults $15; children 6 to 11 $7 and children 5 and under are free. Buy Now

    If you think you’d like a riverboat ride with that, the Potomac River sightseeing cruises are half price during this time, too! Purchase your tickets through the Potomac Riverboat Company and admission to Mount Vernon (and the festival) is included!

    2. October 5 – The AT&T Virginia Children’s Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Norfolk, and you should be part of the fun! Geared completely toward kids ages 10 and younger, this festival includes more than 100 activities, storytelling, lots of hands-on fun, costumed characters, and fun shows. Food vendors are on hand. $3 per person.

    Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival

    Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival

    3. Sundays September 21 – November 3 – Head to Fredericksburg for the Belvedere Plantation Harvest Festival, featuring acres of pick-your-own pumpkins, hay rides, a maize maze, zip lines for little ones, a jumping pillow, pig races, barnyard animals and more. Fresh cider, pies, local honey and other wares are available, too. Children under two are free. Friday nights: $12/person. Weekends: $17/person. All-You-Can-Carry Pumpkins: $29.99 Buy Now

    4. September 21 – If you love apples, you’re going to love the Apple Butter Celebration in Shenandoah National Park. From hot pots of boiling apples and apple foods to apple crafts, this is your place to be. Both you and the kids will enjoy live music, cloggers, face painting (yes, even you!), crafts and pony rides (okay, maybe not you). The event is free, but Skyline Drive access fee is $15 per vehicle.

    New Town Art Festival

    New Town Art Festival

    5. September 21 – The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville is hosting the Reptile Day Family Festival that will include more than 200 snakes and other reptiles. It’s the perfect place for kids who like to see and learn about cobras, rattlesnakes, alligators and other cool critters. $5/adult and $3/child.

    6. September 28 – Have a budding artist in your midst? Head to the New Town Art Festival in Williamsburg. $10 will get you the 4×4 creative space and sidewalk chalk, too! Prizes will be awarded for the theme “Take Flight.” It’s a great place to browse accomplished artists’ creations as well as create your own as an individual or family.

    7. October 10-13 – The Suffolk Peanut Festival is celebrating its 36th anniversary this year and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. Check out the demolition derby and tractor pulls in addition to the amusement rides, fireworks and, of course, peanuts. Free admission; $10 parking.

    Harrisonburg International Festival

    Harrisonburg International Festival

    8. September 28 – Give your kids a sense of appreciation for diversity when you attend the Harrisonburg International Festival together. Harrisonburg is comprised of many ethnic groups, bringing their traditions to you through dance, culinary arts, language and hand-crafted treasures. Taste foods from Ethiopia, Mexico, India, Thailand, Europe, Puerto Rico, and Central America, while performing arts are representative of the Aztec, Filipino, Indian, Irish, Chinese, and Kurdish communities. Free admission; plenty of food and crafts available for purchase.

    9. October 11-13 – The Richmond Folk Festival brings more than 30 diverse performing groups to seven stages over the course of three days. Check out the family area that boasts special characters and performers of its own, not to mention unique pirate-themed craft stations. Make-and-take an eye patch, a pirate hat, a telescope, a pirate flag, and maps. Free admission.

    Bland County Festival of Leaves

    Bland County Festival of Leaves

    10. October 11-13 – Have a knight or princess in your house rather than a pirate? If so, go to Newport News for the Harvest Faire. Medieval-themed family fun awaits! Visit the 15th century encampment, witness combat between knights, watch archers master their mark, and participate in pumpkin tossing and other period games. Feel free to come in costume! $15/adult Saturday, $10/adult Sunday or $20/adult for the whole weekend. Kids 6 to 12 are $10 for the weekend or $5/day. Buy Now to save on admission. Camping available.

    11. October 19 – The Harvest Festival in the Village of Aldie was Loudoun County’s Tourism Event of the Year in 2010 and it’s a great event for families. Historic Aldie Mill is the gorgeous backdrop for face painting, moon bounces, pony rides, blacksmith demonstrations, and the highly anticipated Firequacker Duck Race. Civil War reenactors from the 17th Mississippi Regiment will be on hand, and you can also look forward to grinding demonstrations inside the mill. This is a free event with an optional $5 parking donation recommended.

    12. October 12-13 – The Bland County Festival of Leaves is a free event that spreads across the fairgrounds and Court House lawn in Bland. It’s everything you’d expect a fall festival to be – great food, beautiful crafts, hayrides, entertainment, and many opportunities for kids to have a great time.

    Arborfest

    Arborfest

    13. October 12-13Arborfest is the annual fall festival of the State Arboretum of Virginia in Boyce. The grounds will be absolutely stunning (photo op!), but a cool draw or two for the kids? Make their own scarecrow ($5) and enjoy hay rides. For you? Nearly 40 vendors will be on hand with native plants for sale, as well as home and garden decor. Free guided tours. Admission is $10/vehicle.

    14. October 19 – Head to another beautiful arboretum – the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens at James Madison University – for the Children’s Harvest Festival in Harrisonburg. Built for kids, the entertainment includes dance exhibitions and lessons, crafts, singers, instrument performances and lessons, story time, trail tours, seed collection activities, free horse-drawn wagon rides and more!

    Ashland Train Day

    Ashland Train Day

    15. November 2Ashland Train Day is a railroad destination event for the whole family. Expect railroad music and songs, a miniature children’s train ride, games, tons of model trails from LEGO to wooden and electric, model train racing, a moon bounce, and a whole lot more. Feel free to wear your engineer bibs and a bandana! This is a free event.

    It was hard to pick just 15 festivals for this list, so I encourage you to see the full festival directory to discover more.

    Here’s to a fantastic fall for your family from ours!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    *Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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    Events, Fall in Virginia, Family, Festivals | 3 Comments

    Book Now! 15 Summer Travel Deals & Packages

    by Casey | Posted on July 22nd, 2013

    If you have a few days to get away and are looking to save a few bucks, too, this list is for you. Happy travels!

    Accommodation Deals

    SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

    SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

    Lynchburg – Care to make a deal? Email The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, pitch them an offer they can’t refuse and within 48 hours they’ll reply to say ‘deal’ or ‘no deal.’ They’re looking for a per night rate for a stay of two nights or longer. Good luck! Valid through December 29.

    Newport News – Stay at the Marriott Newport News at City Center and your kids (up to four of them, ages 12 and under) eat free – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Valid through September 8.

    Pearisburg – Book two nights at the Inn at Riverbend and take 50% off your third night. The Inn overlooks the New River and Appalachian Mountains. Don’t miss this offer! Valid through July 31. Book Now with offer code IARBSSM13.

    Stephens City – Book a stay for any Sunday through Thursday (non-holiday) between now and December 19 at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring and receive 20% off the regular rate.

    Virginia Beach – SpringHill Suites (oceanfront) invites you to stay three nights or longer and they’ll knock $25 off the daily rate. Breakfast is included. Book Now

    Warm Springs – Celebrate your birthday by going away! Stay at the Meadow Villas at Warm Springs ON your birthday and get a second night for 30% off. Call 717-951-3955 to make a reservation. Valid through December 20.

    Waynesboro – Receive 20% off your second and/or third night when you stay midweek (Tuesday-Thursday) at Tree Streets Inn. Valid through August 29.

    North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

    North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

    Attraction Deals

    Charlottesville – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello should be on everyone’s history #bucketlist. If it’s on yours, you’re going to love this. Teenagers (ages 12 to 18) receive a 33% discount on their ticket between now and September 2. Adult rate: $24; children 6 to 11: $8; children 6 and under: free.

    Manassas – Civil War enthusiasts (or those just getting started with Civil War history) will appreciate a $15 Civil War Experience Pass that gives you entrance to six historic sites. It’s a 50% savings over single admissions for each site. Valid through December 31.

    Swoope – North Mountain Outfitters is offering half-day guided trail rides for two for 50% off between now and September 30. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an accomplished rider, you’ll love what you find. Reservations required. Call 540-886-7768.

    Williamsburg – Boo! Creep along on a Spooks and Legends Original Haunted Tour of Williamsburg a bit cheaper. Tell them you saw their deal on Virginia.org and they’ll discount each ticket by $2. Note, this tour is is geared toward adults. Call 757-784-6213 to make your reservation. Valid through December 31.

    Packages: Stay and Enjoy!

    Lynchburg – August is Virginia Craft Beer Month and the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival will be held August 24. Want to go? Need a place to stay? The Craddock Terry Hotel is offering a two-night stay for two with festival admission, tasting glasses, tasting tickets, and transportation to and from the festival. Must be 21 or older. Package starts at $249. Valid August 23-25. Book Now

    Pembroke – Stay three nights at Mountain Lake Lodge and get the fourth night free, but better than that is you’ll also receive a $100 activities credit to enjoy all of the family fun Mountain Lake has to offer. BRAND NEW: Treetop Adventures Aerial Adventure Course * Harvest Restaurant * Stony Creek Tavern * Mountain Lake Outfitters
    Valid through September 7. Book Now

    Richmond – Love jazz? Stay at The Jefferson Hotel August 9-11 and enjoy the Richmond Jazz Festival as part of your stay. Two tickets for each day of the festival, a traditional Southern breakfast for two each morning and three nights in luxury for $305/night. Book Now

    Virginia Beach – Stay at The Oceanfront Inn and receive the pin that gets you into all of the American Music Festival concerts during Labor Day weekend. A three-night stay is required. Valid August 30 through September 2.

    And these aren’t all! Find dozens more deals at Virginia.org.

     



    Arts, Beaches, Beer, Deals & Discounts, Family, Festivals, History, Outdoors | Comments Off

    8 Incredible Virginia Summer Music Festivals

    by Casey | Posted on July 1st, 2013

    The words summer and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re matches made in heaven and very enjoyable when experienced together.

    Galax Fiddlers' Convention

    The Galax Fiddlers’ Convention is a competition/concert/jam session rolled into one.

    If you haven’t yet done so, dust the cobwebs from your folding chairs and throw them in the trunk. You’re going to need them for these eight amazing summer music festivals in Virginia.

    1. The world’s largest and oldest fiddler’s convention is found in Galax, and you can count on it being around for years to come. Held every summer during the second week of August, the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention welcome musicians and fans from around the world. In fact, Galax is called the World’s Capital of Oldtime Mountain Music. Go see and hear what you’ve been missing out on August 5-10 when the 78th annual convention convenes.

    Listen to the FloyFest playlist on Spotify

    2. Seven stages and more than 50 artists are scheduled for this year’s FloydFest, a four-day celebration of art and music spread over 80 acres on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 170.5. Visit the Global Village for arts workshops and demonstrations from 100 vendors and artisans. Plenty of food, a Children’s Universe and so much more! Scheduled artists include Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lumineers (ho hey!), John Butler Trio and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

    Listen to the Red Wing Roots Festival playlist on Spotify3. Red Wing Roots Festival is a brand new music festival, but it’s big and has huge potential. Don’t miss this inaugural event at Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon July 12-14. The biggest draw of this event is the volume of entertainment. Expect four stages with 40 bands, including big names like The Del McCoury Band, The Sam Bush Band, Tim O’Brien, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Steel Wheels. A kid’s stage will include special performances and workshops.

    Richmond Jazz Festival

    The Richmond Jazz Festival showcases top artists in an intimate, casual atmosphere.

    4. The Richmond Jazz Festival has quickly become the premier event of its kind. This year the festival welcomes giants of jazz like Jill Scott, Michael McDonald, Chick Corea & The Vigil, Terrence Blanchard, and Dr. John & The Nite Trippers. Don’t miss this one. It’s August 9-11 in Richmond.

    5. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs is celebrating its 50th season this summer and promises to pack a punch. The kicker to this festival is that it’s not consecutive days, but spread throughout the summer season, giving you more chances to enjoy the tunes. Of note are Kris Kristofferson on August 3, Marty Stuart on August 9 and Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul on August 31.

    6. The Verizon Wireless American Music Festival at Virginia Beach brings in bands representing multiple American genres from all over – local, regional and national. Five stages will welcome more than 30 bands this Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 1). The major headliners are Third Eye Blind, Barenaked Ladies and Daughtry, but other well-known groups like Fuel, Smash Mouth, Carbon Leaf and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are also on the bill.

    7. Chamber music lovers will adore Staunton Music Festival, a nine-day celebration occurring August 16-24. Nearly 30 concerts by more than 60 of the world’s finest chamber musicians will perform at historic venues throughout downtown Staunton. Expect to hear pieces from the Renaissance through today with world premiers by composers-in-residence. Who wouldn’t love to be present for a world premier?!

    Listen to the Interlocken Festival playlist on Spotify8. Extend your summer into the second weekend of September (September 5-8). It will be so worth it because that’s when Lockn’ Music Festival takes over Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington. It’s a four-day music festival with artists like Gov’t Mule, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Crowes, John Fogerty, The String Cheese Incident, Punch Brothers, Widespread Panic and Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band.

    Find more fantastic festivals and events.

    *Note: These aren’t ranked, simply numbered. Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite or tell us if we missed one that’s on your list.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or subscribe to our enewsletter.



    Festivals, Outdoors | 7 Comments

    Mmm! Food Festivals!

    by Casey | Posted on May 10th, 2013

    If you’ve been looking for a tasty way to spend a Saturday, look no further. It’s strawberry season and that’s just the beginning of the deliciousness that awaits you in Virginia.

    St. Stephen's Strawberry Festival

    St. Stephen’s Strawberry Festival

    Love to try various types of barbecue or do you already have a favorite? If you’re a taster at heart, be sure to add these events to your calendar.

    Greek flavors are right at home in Virginia. Here’s where you can enjoy souvlaki, dolmades and spanakopita in a festival environment.

    Sweet strawberries! It’s that time of year and here’s where you can get the fresh-picked goodness. Take some home, but definitely find a strawberry shortcake for immediate gratification.

    Southern comfort foods abound in Virginia, and you can certainly expect to find some at a festival near you.

    Festivals sure are a scrumptious way to spend your summer! Find more at Virginia.org.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.



    Festivals, Food | Comments Off

    Good Times at Virginia State Parks

    by Casey | Posted on April 8th, 2013

    You’ll find tons of fun at Virginia State Parks this spring and summer with festivals, concerts and more.

    Pork, Peanut and Pine FestivalWilderness Road State Park will host the annual reenactment of the Raid at Martin’s Station, May 10-12. It’s your chance to see the frontier of 1776, complete with Cherokee warriors and colonial militia.

    Love a beautiful classic car? Head to Douthat State Park in Millboro on May 18-19 for the Douthat Lake Run Car Show, complete with live music.

    Pocahontas State Park, located in Chesterfield, hosts music a music series each summer. This year brings country music sensations Justin Moore (May 23), Creedence Clearwater Revisted (June 13) and Lee Brice with Josh Thompson (July 10). On July 31, catch O.A.R. and keep an eye peeled for a few more concerts to be added.

    O.A.R.

    Gathering in the Gap is an annual event held at Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap. Gathering is a celebration of Southwest Virginia’s music heritage – bluegrass, old-time, blues and Americana. Don’t miss it! May 25.

    The tastiest event at any Virginia State Park is the Delaplane Strawberry Festival at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane. It’s held May 25-26 and includes great entertainment, fun for kids and of course, strawberry deliciousness.

    Chippokes Plantation State Park in Surry hosts the annual Steam and Gas Engine Show on June 1. This 23rd annual showing will feature tractor pulls, sawmill demonstrations, and a variety of “hit-and-miss” engines, and antique tractors and cars.

    Later at Chippokes, catch the Pork, Peanut and Pine Festival. It will be held July 20-21 and celebrates the region’s treasured resources on one of America’s oldest continually farmed plantations.

    Wayne Henderson

    Virginia’s luthier legend, Wayne Henderson, hosts the annual Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition at Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson each year. This year’s date is June 15. See Wayne and many more traditional musicians perform.

    Try your hand a fairy stone hunting during the Family Summer Fun Day at Fairy Stone State Park in Stuart on June 22. Free hot dogs and sodas while supplies last, and a DJ from WZBB99.9 will keep the day rocking with a live broadcast.

    The Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival is always a big draw for Hungry Mother State Park in Marion. The juried arts and craftsmen will take their places on July 19.

    Need  a place to stay while you’re enjoying the fun? Check out Virginia State Park cabins. Book early and plan for a week-long getaway.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide or sign up for our e-newsletter.



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