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    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
    Picking #blueberries at Mount Olympus Farm in Ruther Glen. If you visit soon, you'll be able to pick your own blueberries (end of season) AND blackberries (beginning of season). Pull out those homemade #pie and #muffin recipes and get cookin'! Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #eatlocal #pickyourown #blueberry #summer #vatravel #locavore #vafood
  • Archive for the ‘History’ Category

    8 Virginia Caverns to LOVE

    by Casey | Posted on June 18th, 2013

    Connect the dots down the Shenandoah Valley this summer when you visit all eight Virginia caverns. Each has very unique features and its own story to tell.

    Luray Caverns

    Stalacpipe Organ at Luray Caverns

    A constant 50-something-degree temperature makes each cavern a welcome reprieve on a hot summer day. Set your course from north to south along US Route 11 or Interstate 81 to hit these in order.

    1. Skyline Caverns * Front Royal – Skyline is famous for its rare Anthrodites which radiate spike formations resembling flowers. They’re called the Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom. Other cool formations here are The Shrine and Fairyland Lake.

    2. Shenandoah Caverns * Quicksburg – Shenandoah is the only cavern system in Virginia with elevator service to its 17 underground rooms. A can’t-miss is Rainbow Lake with iridescent drip formations of bright colors. Other cool formations are Diamond Cascade, Beyond the Veil and Grotto of the Gods.

    Diamond Cascade at Shenandoah Caverns

    Diamond Cascade at Shenandoah Caverns

    3. Luray Caverns * Luray – Luray is the largest cavern on the East Coast and includes a Stalacpipe Organ. The organ pipes are stalactites stretching 3.5 underground acres. The most impressive structure at Luray is Giant’s Hall – expansive chambers decorated by golden, 10-story-high columns. Other cool formations of Endless are Titania’s Veil, Frozen Fountain and Empress Column.

    4. Endless Caverns * New Market – Endless is called endless for a reason. Numerous expeditions have failed to find the end of this cave system, which is already mapped at more than five miles. Another awesome claim to fame? A fossilized woolly mammoth’s tooth resides here. Cool formations here include Fairy Land, the Lodge Room, and Fresh Bacon Slices.

    5. Grand Caverns * Grottoes – Grand is indeed grand with breathtaking panoramic subterranean beauty. It is also the oldest show cave in the United States, having originally opened in 1806 as Weyers Cave. Parade ranked Grand Caverns number two in the nation based on physical aspects like room size, paths, ratio of growth formations to dormant formations, and overall beauty. Don’t miss the Rainbow Room.

    Anthrodites at Skyline Caverns

    Anthrodites at Skyline Caverns

    6. Natural Bridge Caverns * Natural Bridge – This cavern is the deepest on the East Coast at 34 stories down. Collosal Dome is the prize formation here, but also look for Flowstone Cascade and Wishing Well.

    7. Dixie Caverns * Salem – Dixie was discovered in 1920 by a boy and his dog, just as Endless Caverns were found by boys and a dog in 1879. Dogs have a knack for sniffing out big caves, huh? The Magic Mirror Room is where the magic happens at Dixie. Other cool formation here include the Wedding Bell, Turkey Wing and Fairy Land (fairies sure are popular in the underground world).

    8. Gap Caverns * Ewing – Located in Cumberland Gap National Park and west of Interstate 81, Gap Caverns is home to one of the tallest stalagmites in the world – Pillar of Hercules. Tours are given by lantern light here, so expect  a very pioneering, adventurous feel when you enjoy Gap Caverns.

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    History, Outdoors, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Crazy … for Patsy Cline

    by Casey | Posted on April 4th, 2013

    Winchester, Virginia was the home of Virginia Hensley, the woman the world knows as country music legend Patsy Cline.

    Patsy Cline on the porch of her Winchester home.

    Cline was the first solo female member of the Grand Ole Opry (1960) and the first female Country Music Hall of Fame inductee (1973). Her hit song, “Crazy,” was written by Willie Nelson and is still the number one jukebox hit of all time.

    Patsy Cline’s home, now the Patsy Cline Historic House, is where she lived, slept and spent her “prime years” (1948-53) while pursuing her career. Visitors enter her home, rather than a museum, to find the cupboards stocked with Quaker Oats and other staples in vintage containers.

    A 30- to 45-minute guided tour shows off Cline’s clothes, jewelry, newspaper articles and more in rooms with original furnishings, set up just the way any home would be. Purchase a souvenir from the gift shop and be sure to take a seat on the front porch glider for a photo reminiscent of Patsy’s (above).

    To explore and learn more about Patsy Cline, check out Crazy for Patsy Cline – an itinerary for those wanting to explore all things Patsy in Winchester.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    History, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment

    8 Reasons to LOVE Historic Garden Week

    by Casey | Posted on March 27th, 2013

    New blooms and fresh, sparkling homes and historic sites are on display for one week only, beginning April 20 for the 80th Annual Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

    Garden Week is a time when local garden clubs put away their trowels, gloves and wheelbarrows to welcome aficionados of beauty and sweet smells. If the mere idea of touring beautiful historic – as well as private – homes and gardens isn’t enough to get you out for a stroll, here are eight distinct reasons you’re going to LOVE Historic Garden Week in Virginia.

    1. Dubbed “America’s Largest Open House,” the 8-day event includes various tours highlighting more than 200 homes and gardens.

    2. The tours are spread across 32 Virginia locations reaching from Cape Charles to Staunton and Alexandria to Danville, so there’s probably a tour not too far from you.

    Morven, Charlottesville

    Morven, Charlottesville

    3. Visit a billionaire’s home. Morven, circa 1820, was on the inaugural Historic Garden Week tour. The original gardens were restored in the 1930s and one can expect to see unusual Osage orange trees, the state champion Chinese Chestnut tree and a dove tree. The brick manor home is situated on a 7,378-acre estate that was given to the University of Virginia Foundation by the late billionaire John Kluge. Morven is located less than two miles from President James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville.

    4. Tour the first federal war-housing project established during World War I when you embark on the Newport News-Hampton tour on April 24. The beautifully manicured neighborhoods featured on this tour make for an enjoyable walk.

    5. Warrenton has supreme appeal. Walk in the footsteps of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall as you tour the property he acquired and the home he had built for his son. Also on this tour is the 1833 stagecoach stop for Wells Fargo at Glen Gordon Manor, as well as gardens in the midst of restoration and those professionally landscaped. See them all – open for the very first time – on April 25.

    6. Hit a wide swath of homes and gardens by spending a few days in Richmond. April 23-25 offers a different set of Richmond area neighborhoods to tour each day, with more than 20 sites for your viewing pleasure. Included are ornate gardens, sweeping lawns and mature trees. It is said that some of these neighborhoods are so well hidden, they defy their urban address. You be the judge.

    One of the homes on the Richmond Garden Tour.

    One of the homes on the Richmond Garden Tour.

    7. Get the best of two worlds with the Virginia Beach tour on April 24. Opening the doors of mansions, duplexes and beach cottages, this tour displays both oceanside and landside properties for a “formal to flip-flop” appeal.

    8. If you only have one day to tour and it happens to be Saturday, April 27, consider the Gloucester-Mathews tour where the largest one-day concentration of sites is available – nine. The oldest home on this tour is circa 1800, but also included is Rosewell Ruins, dating from 1725.

    Walking shoes are requested to avoid damage to the floors of the homes you’re touring. Boxed lunches may be available with some tours. Purchase tickets per tour, of if you plan to participate in multiple tours across the state, a $175 statewide pass is available for one person or $300 for two. Individual tours vary from $15 to $40.

    A few policies …

    • No smoking
    • No pets
    • No photography inside the homes
    • Children 17 or under must be accompanied by an adult

     LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Events, History | Comments Off

    More to LOVE on the Road to Revolution

    by Casey | Posted on March 15th, 2013

    A new nation wanted a revolution – a clean break from “security, taxation, representation, and political authority,” reads RoadtoRevolution.org, and it’s in Virginia that you can walk this road to see our forefathers’ marks of progress.

    St. John's Church

    St. John’s Church

    The Road to Revolution Heritage Trail runs from the Mount Vernon home of our first president, George Washington, to the favorite estate and final resting place of the “Orator of the Revolution” himself, Patrick Henry, in Brookneal. A total of 20 establishments dating from 1699 Colonial Williamsburg to President James Monroe’s 1799 Ash Lawn-Highland are found on this trail.

    In early 2013 the trail was expanded, doubling in size. Plan to travel the Road to Revolution by visiting the sites, as well as taking in the annual “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” Anniversary Reenactment at St. John’s Church in Richmond. It’s happening Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 1 p.m. The reenactment is free with a suggested donation of $5. Seating is first-come, first-served.

    Road to Revolution Trail Sites

    Download the Road to Revolution Heritage Trail brochure.

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    * Updated January 14, 2014.



    History | Comments Off

    Black History Month in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on February 6th, 2013

    Virginia’s history is as rich and diverse as the state itself. If you are curious about what’s happening around Virginia for Black History Month, check out the events and trip ideas below:

    Virginia Civil Rights Memorial at Capitol Square

    Virginia Civil Rights Memorial at Capitol Square

    February 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24 in Charlottesville: Waiting on Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s “Great House” – This is a two and a half-hour experience through selected rooms of Monticello. Not recommended for children 12 or younger. Buy Tickets

    February 9, 16 and 23 in Newport News: African American Film Fest – On these three dates a separate movie will be shown. On February 9, see The Bicycle Corps: America’s Black Army on Wheels. February 16 Cuba Gooding, Jr. is on the big screen in Men of Honor. Later, on February 23, Proudly We Served: The Men of the USS Mason will be shown.

    February 9 in Suffolk: “She, Called Moses” – Harriet Tubman led a journey toward freedom, just as Moses did. Hear the tales through this great interactive show built just for families. Buy Tickets

    February 11 in Martinsville: A Game Apart: Mike Wiley as Jackie Robinson – See Mike Wiley recount the life Jackie Robinson – a hero on the field but a second-class citizen off of it. This is a powerful illustration of dedication, perseverance and leadership. Buy Tickets

    February 16 at Colonial Williamsburg: Wolf by the Ear: A Play About Thomas Jefferson and Slavery - A dramatic portrayal of Thomas Jefferson awaiting the results of a pivotal debate in Congress – would Missouri be admitted to the Union as a free state, signaling a move toward the eventual abolition of slavery? The play is accented by live music from the Revolutionary period through the early Republic. Buy Tickets

    February 22 in Portsmouth: Willett Hall presents Freedom Train – The Underground Railroad had one star ‘conductor’ in Harriet Tubman. She personally led more than 300 slaves to freedom over the course of 19 dark-of-night trips. This story is told with period music still sung today, like “Wade in the Water,” “Follow the Drinking Gourd” and others.

    February 23 in Fredericksburg: Virginia Black History Month Gala – The 23rd Regiment United States Colored Troops’ efforts are commemorated more than once a year, but on this special night, keynote speaker Roland Martin makes a presentation over dinner and entertainment is provided by Howard University’s Theater & Arts Department. Expect to also see a Broom Jumping Ceremony and youth orchestra. Book Now

    Virginia’s Black History Attractions
    More Black History Month Events
    Notable African-American Virginians

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    Events, History | Comments Off