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
    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
    Here's a view of Damascus Old Mill #Inn. Since 1910 the Old Mill has stood along the South Fork #River, serving the community of Damascus as a grist/saw mill until 1965. Now you can rent rooms overlooking the river and this beautiful man-made #waterfall stretching across the South Fork. The river (and falls) are four to five times wider than what you see here. It's breathtaking to stand in the middle of the riverbed like this with the water roaring past. #LoveVa #Virginia #sunset #swva #southforkriver #vaoutdoors #vais4lovers
    What a beautiful capture of a #foggy #Virginia Blue Ridge #sunrise by @jingram623. These are the #majestic mountains of Tazewell. Keep tagging your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #photooftheday #epic #fog #vablueridge
  • Archive for the ‘Food’ 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 РArtfully Chocolate - Part art gallery, part chocolatier, part cocoa bar and completely fabulous!

    Arlington РArtisan 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 РThe Royal Chocolate - Indulge from cases filled with store made chocolates using Belgian Chocolate Рtruffles, creams, caramels, chocolate and caramel coated pretzels, not to mention the famous chocolate covered apples!

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

     

    Chocolate Events

    February 7 РWinchester РChocolate Escape РThirteen 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 РOak Grove РA 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‚Äôs wine-crafter, Rachel Lagergren and Wilbur‚Äôs 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.
    Request a free Travel Guide.



    Events, Food, Food and Wine | 1 Comment

    5 Food and Drink Experiences for 2014

    by Casey | Posted on January 29th, 2014

    Whether your palate makes you a gourmand or not, there are fun food and drink experiences for everyone this year.

    1. Slurp up the favorite delicacy of the Chesapeake Bay - Crassostrea virginica (eastern oyster) Рduring this, the 40th anniversary of its shell being named the official shell of Virginia. Seven oyster regions yield a variety of flavors, pushing Virginia to become the Oyster Capital of the East Coast.

    - Virginia Oysters
    - Oyster Festivals

    Texas Tavern

    Texas Tavern in Roanoke, VA is famous for their hot dogs. Ask for a “hot, with.”

    2. It’s been 20 years since Legend Brewing Co. in Richmond began handcrafting their¬†legendary lagers and ales, making it Central Virginia’s oldest microbrewery. Their patio overlooking the James River boasts a great view of downtown Richmond and is an awesome place to be on a sunny day.

    - Virginia Craft Beer

    3. Eat cheap but really well when you take a tip from¬†Southern Living. Their January 2014 issue includes “The South’s Best Cheap Eats Under $10″ and we weren’t surprised to find Pasture‘s Pimento Cheese (Richmond), Peter Chang China Cafe’s Dan Dan Noodles with Beef (Richmond), Sally Bell’s Kitchen‘s Boxed Lunch (Richmond) or Texas Tavern‘s “Hot, With” (Roanoke) among the recommendations.

    - 10 Pies Worth the Drive
    - 22 Places to Eat Like a Local
    - 22 Great Breakfast Spots
    - 17 Virginia BBQ Joints You’re Going to LOVE

    Fresh vegetables create a beautiful primavera at Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA.

    Fresh vegetables create a beautiful primavera at Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview, VA.

    4. If you’re a connoisseur of fine Virginia wines, you’ll be elated to learn that 2014 potentially ushers in EIGHT new wineries in locations such as Delaplane, North Garden, Orange, Amissville, Barhamsville, Berryville, Lovettsville, and Purcellville. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Wineville!

    - Virginia Wine

    5. Love the local flavors. From farmers’ markets to five-star restaurants, the taste of what’s real, authentic, and right out the back door simply can’t be beat.

    - Farm to Table Dining
    - Culinary Virginia

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide.



    Beer, Food, Food and Wine, Travel Ideas | 1 Comment

    Hot Dining in the City – Virginia Restaurant Weeks

    by Casey | Posted on January 13th, 2014

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

    Bubba's Seafood Restaurant

    Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant

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

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

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

    Bodega on Granby

    Bodega on Granby

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

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

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

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

    Virginia is for Lovers.



    Couples, Deals & Discounts, Food | Comments Off

    7 Last-Minute Thanksgiving Feasts

    by Casey | Posted on November 26th, 2013

    Behind the eight ball with regard to Thanksgiving dinner? Never fear. Here are seven places serving hot, traditional Thanksgiving meals for you and your family to enjoy. Reservations may be required; call in advance of your trip.

    Lansdowne Resort

    Lansdowne Resort

    Bedford РPeaks of Otter Thanksgiving Buffet - The Thanksgiving Day buffet will include fresh salad and homemade salads, turkey, honey glazed ham, hand-carved prime rib, seafood scampi medley, and herb roasted pork tenderloin. Traditional sides, desserts and bread included. $28.95/adult; $15.95 for children 12 and under. Menu

    Glen Allen – Thanksgiving at Wyndham Virginia Crossings – Treat your family to a special Thanksgiving of pine nut crusted pork cutlets, turkey, seared salmon, pomegranate and brown sugar glazed ham, roasted acorn squash soup, surry sausage cornbread stuffing, steamed prawns, and the “Holiday Beverage Extravaganza.” $42/adult; $21 for children 6-12. Menu

    Leesburg – Thanksgiving Lunch Buffet at Lansdowne Resort – This is a Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings! Herb-roasted turkey, rubbed prime rib, smoked fresh ham, duck breast, and many more favorites will be awaiting your arrival. Reserve Now

    Peaks of Otter

    Peaks of Otter

    Luray – Thanksgiving Day Buffet in Shenandoah National Park – Celebrate with a bountiful buffet. More than 12 relishes, soups, salads, starters and sides are available for five entree selections and seven dessert selections, plus bread and beverages. $29.95/adult; $14 for children 6-12. Menu

    Natural Bridge – Natural Bridge Thanksgiving Buffet – Give yourself a break this year. Make the afternoon with friends & family a relaxing, easy, memorable get together. Enjoy a scrumptious meal and live entertainment at the Natural Bridge Hotel. $25.95/adult; $12.98 for children 5-12

    Newport News – Thanksgiving at the Boxwood Inn – This historic inn is the perfect place to gather and enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal. Come for the oven roasted turkey, beef tenderloin, sliced ham, traditional stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn pudding, and so much more! $28.95/adult; $14.95 for children under 10. Menu

    Wintergreen – Thanksgiving on the Mountain at Wintergreen Resort – The holiday season of family traditions at Wintergreen Resort begins with Thanksgiving. Traditional feasts, the grand illumination of the courtyard, holiday workshops, and more.

    >> Thanksgiving Weekend Events
    >> Thanksgiving in the Mountains

    From our family to yours, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

    Virginia is for Lovers



    Family, Food, The Holidays | Comments Off

    10 Pies Worth the Drive

    by Casey | Posted on November 8th, 2013

    Have you ever loved a specific dish so much that you drove well out of your way just to enjoy it? My parents did that for a cup of coffee once, and my mother-in-law drove across the Commonwealth to get a hot, fresh Smithfield ham biscuit once, too. I’m convinced a renowned slice of pie will garner the same craving and willingness to go. Let’s try it out!

    Old Chickahominy House

    Old Chickahominy House

    Our trusted source of “locals” have filled us in on their favorite places for pie, and we’d love to hear about yours, too. Let your mouth water and then leave a comment.

    Updated July 17, 2014 to include more pies! Scroll down!

    The Old Chickahominy House in Williamsburg has been serving southern breakfast and lunch specialties since 1955, but it’s the homemade chocolate pie that Terri raves about. She says it’s “the creamiest, chocolatiest filling in a flaky crust that’s the most delicious pie you’ll ever put into your mouth.”

    Visit to try a slice. If you love it, place an order for Thanksgiving. Choose from coconut, buttermilk, chocolate, apple crumb, “no sugar added” apple, cherry crumb, pecan, and sweet potato.

    If you find yourself in Abingdon (which I hope you do), put JJ’s Restaurant and Sports Bar on your list of “musts.” They call themselves “Abingdon’s classiest little dive,” but Tenille’s note really says it all. “They serve chocolate, coconut, butterscotch, and peanut butter. Their pies are homemade by a 70 year old lady, who makes them everyday fresh and ready to eat. These are the pies that your grandmother made but never gave you the recipe.

    Tenille didn’t stop there. She has another pie hot-spot in Abingdon, Chick-N-Little. She says this family-owned restaurant offers great food at a cheap price, plus “they have the BEST homemade pies.”

    Mom's Apple Pie

    Mom’s Apple Pie

    “This was the best sour cherry pie that I’ve ever had,” proclaims Jane in regard to Mom’s Apple Pie in Leesburg. Jane learned that the owner grows her own fruits for the purpose of crafting amazing pies. With Thanksgiving in mind, Jane assures, “You can buy about 15 flavors daily, either by the slice or whole. I recommend buying the whole pie … or even five!!!”

    River City Grill in Radford offers breakfast all day, plus lunch and dinner. Deb promises they’ll serve you the “most amazing chocolate chess pie ever, rich and decadent.”

    Meringue lovers, Betsy has found your heaven. Pat’s Kountry Diner in Lebanon is named for, well, Pat. She makes a mean coconut pie with “piled high meringue,” according to Betsy, that’s pure “melt in your mouth goodness!”

    The Cabin Point Mercantile in Spring Grove specializes in the sweet stuff. They’re a bakery creating homemade brownies, cakes, fudge, cookies, and of course, pie! Kimberly is a fan of the cheesecake pies, writing, “cheesecake pies are amazing, pie crust with a layer of cheesecake topped with all types of flavors – pineapple, cherry, peach, strawberry, blueberry, blackberry! Amazing!”

    Proper Pie Co.

    Proper Pie Co.

    The Horseshoe Restaurant in South Hill is no stranger to our local recommendations. It was mentioned in the 14 Places to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Virginia, as well as one of 22 Places to Eat Like a Local. In the 22 Places article, the peanut butter and chocolate walnut pies were touted. For this article, it was the chocolate walnut that rose to the top again. All of the desserts at Horseshoe are made from scratch daily.

    With a name like Pie Gourmet, one would expect top-of-the-line pie. Fortunately, Pie Gourmet in Vienna delivers just that. In fact, Washington Post calls it “a gem among local bakeries.” Enjoy a range of fruit pies, cream pies, cheesecake, dessert pies, and even dinner pies, like lasagna.

    Relatively new to Richmond’s food scene is Proper Pie Co., serving New Zealand-style savory pie as well as sweet pies. Think Mince & Cheese finished with a slice of Blueberry Apple.

    Hill High Country Store in Round Hill has a lot to offer, including more than 30 fresh-baked pies daily. You’ll find local foods, produce, wine, and an all-day deli with chef specialties. Take the trip for lunch and top it off with a great slice of pie.

    ********** MORE GREAT PIES! **********

    Red Truck Bakery, Warrenton

    Red Truck Bakery

    Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton was highlighted in Esquire for their mincemeat pie. Additional mentions have come from the likes of The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Garden & Gun, and Southern Living, among others.

    Virginia is known for peanuts and one of the best peanut dishes to try is the Peanut Pie at Virginia Diner in Wakefield. Guy Fieri visited for his Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show on Food Network (Regional Favorites episode).

    As Jane commented below, the Blue Door Cafe at Draper Mercantile in Draper has a very special day of the week you won’t want to miss. Fridays are Pie Day! They’re happy to take your request for a particular pie and reserve it for you. Fruit and cream pies are $12.95 ($2.95/slice) while pies with nuts or quiches are $13.95 ($3.25/slice).

    Of Southern Kitchen in New Market, Linda wrote that her husband “absolutely loves their coconut cream pie.” Give it a try the next time you’re traversing the Valley!

    Share your favorite pie! Leave a comment and spread the love.

    Virginia is for Lovers.



    Food, Locals | 3 Comments