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    Check out this awesome #aerial of the CSX A-Line #Train #Bridge (circa 1919) you've probably seen when driving on the Powhite Parkway crossing #JamesRiver! Props to @vintage_rva for the incredible capture. Tag your #VA photos with #LoveVa for a chance to be featured here! #trainbridge #drone #flyinghigh #rva
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  • Archive for the ‘History’ Category

    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 РSee 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 РEnjoy 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

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

    Virginia’s Craft Beer History

    by Casey | Posted on August 22nd, 2013

    In recent years Virginia’s craft beer industry has seen a major resurgence. August Virginia Craft Beer Month was born in 2012 with nearly 40 breweries. It’s now a year later and that number has jumped to over 60. Plus, we know of at least two more opening this fall.¬†So when did this craft beer movement start in Virginia?

    All the way back at the beginning of exploration …

    According to BeerAdvocate.com, the History of American Beer begins in 1587 as “Virginia colonists brew ale using corn,” and then in 1607 the “first shipment of beer arrives in the Virginia colony from England.” Apparently the English beer didn’t last long, as the history goes on to reflect “American ‘Help Wanted’ advertisements appear in London seeking brewers for the Virginia Colony” in 1609.

    Beer & Founding Fathers

    George Washington's Gristmill

    George Washington’s Gristmill

    Beer can be traced through Virginia’s history with asterisk moments like George Washington’s beer recipe[1] and evidence that beer and ingredients to produce it were forms of payment to his Mount Vernon employees.[2]

    Or how about Thomas Jefferson? In 1812, a retired Jefferson successfully crafted his first home brew from local hops and malt. He had a fine teacher in his wife, Martha, a small-batch brewmaster during their early years of marriage. By 1814 Jefferson was malting his own grain in his own brewhouse at Monticello. Others, including James Madison, began to take notice and sent their staff to Monticello to learn the trade.[3]

    Shop Local

    Today we’re all about buying and shopping locally. That’s not a new concept, as George Washington wrote to the Marquis de Lafayette on January 29, 1789, “I use no porter or cheese in my family, but such as is made in America; both these articles may now be purchased of an excellent quality.”[4]

    Legends Brewing Co. Brewery

    Legends Brewing Co. Brewery

    Handcrafted beer has been in Virginia since the beginning, though breweries have come and gone along the way. Virginia’s first modern day microbrewery was Chesbay – Chesapeake Bay Brewing Company – in Virginia Beach (no longer operational). Chesbay Double Bock won gold at the very first Great American Beer Festival in 1987. That’s quite an acclaim and a legacy for Virginia craft beer.

    Though not old by my standards, Virginia’s oldest craft brewery is Legend Brewing Company in Richmond, which was established in 1994. If you’re quick on your math, you’ll note that 2014 will be Legend’s 20th anniversary. Mark that down and plan to pay a celebratory visit.

    Suds on the Rise

    Virginia is making frothy waves across the beer industry with acknowledgements from the likes of Travel Channel as one of the “Top 7 Beer Destinations.”¬†Explore for yourself with our handy Beer Map, or check out our recent articles for inspiration:

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    [1] Washington, George.¬†“To Make Small Beer.”¬†1757.
    [2] Thompson, Mary V. Research Historian, Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens.
    [3] Lucas, Ann. 1995. Adapted from an essay originally published in Spring Dinner at Monticello, April 12, 1995, in Memory of Thomas Jefferson (Charlottesville, Va.: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, 1995).  References added by Kristen Lochrie, May 2012.
    [4] “George Washington to Marquis de LaFayette, 29 January 1789“¬†The Writings of George Washington Vol. 30:154.



    Beer, History | Comments Off

    RevQuest at Colonial Williamsburg. What is it?

    by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2013

    I’ve heard of RevQuest: Save the Revolution! at Colonial Williamsburg and noticed that it’s presented each year with a different tagline. However, I have never taken the time to learn what it’s all about. What do you say we learn together?

    RevQuest at Colonial Williamsburg. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.

    RevQuest in action. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.

    RevQuest is an online/onsite alternate reality that’s built for families to become immersed in the history of the Revolution. By participating in RevQuest, we can have a new appreciation for our history. Had different choices been made in the 18th century, the direction our nation took could be vastly removed from what we know today.

    Each RevQuest player (Quester) is challenged to save the revolution by deciphering codes found throughout the Historic Area … via text message. (THIS is why kids [and their parents] love RevQuest. It’s a 21st century treasure hunt!) Questers must also avert crises along the way that could change the course of history.

    RevQuest is now in its second year and third iteration. Prior episodes were Sign of the Rhinoceros and The Lion and the Unicorn. Knowing that the game changes every year (or twice a year) is all the invitation you need to try to save the Revolution again and again.

    The current RevQuest challenge is The Black Chambers. The setting is 1781, nearly five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Join the spy ring – the “Crossbones Club” – to solve the enemy’s secret messages and help save the Revolution.

     

     

    What You Need to Know:

    • RevQuest: The Black Chambers is included with your paid admission to Colonial Williamsburg. Buy Tickets
    • RevQuest: The Black Chambers continues through September 1, 2013, so don’t miss out!

    Next Steps:

    • After purchasing tickets online or in person, go to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center to pick up your orders.¬†
    • The first mission begins at 9:30 a.m. and the last at 2:30 p.m. Solving the mystery should take around two hours if you play it straight through.
    • Get a head start online to obtain the location of secret instructions for a side mission when you visit.

    Need help with making your travel plans? Check out this¬†Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free Offer¬†from Colonial Williamsburg. The deal is¬†valid through August 29¬†and requires a minimum three nights’ stay. Rates are from $78 per adult per night at the¬†Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites. You’re welcome!

    Reviews about RevQuest:

    Stay at Colonial Williamsburg

    Stay at Colonial Williamsburg

    Now that I’ve explored RevQuest online and am inching ever closer to finding the location for my side mission, I’m ready to pay a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. Not only has this sparked my interest, but it will surely entice my children.

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    Family, History, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment

    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 РStay at the Marriott Newport News at City Center and your kids (up to four of them, ages 12 and under) eat free Рbreakfast, 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