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    #Grape harvesting has begun in some parts of #Virginia and will continue through October, Virginia's #Wine Month. @orecul13 gathered this bounty for #canning purposes. Anyone for some locally made juice or jelly? #loveva #vawine #waynesboro #countryliving #photooftheday #jelly #vafood
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  • Archive for the ‘Locals’ Category

    Mouth-Watering Wood Fire Pizza Spots

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 26th, 2014

    Just thinking about the ooey, gooey, melty, cheesiness that is a pizza pie is enough to make the mouth water. And if it’s not, check out the following  spots that will do the trick.

    And don’t forget! It’s craft beer month, so while you’re digging into some great wood-fired pizza, wash it all down with a nice cold one.

     

    Pizzeria Orso – Falls Church
    Once hailed as Washington’s best pizza by the Washington Post, Pizzeria Orso specializes in authentic Neapolitan pizza. Featuring an enormous custom-made volcanic brick oven, handcrafted in Italy by Forno Napoletano, the restaurant boasts 14 specialty pies, including classic options like margherita or their Orso pie. Feeling like something different? How about the Smashing Pumpkin: cream sauce, bufala mozzarella, smoked blue cheese, roasted pumpkin, pear, garlic, arugula and shaved grana. Or The Fun Guy with wild mushrooms, mozzarella, fontina and parmesan. The excellent wine and beverage program introduces exceptional, value-oriented Italian wines as well as a number of craft beers– including nine that are brewed right here in Virginia.

    One of many Thyme Market's specialty pizzas

    One of many Thyme Market’s specialty pizzas

    Thyme Market – Culpeper
    Bringing a taste of the traditional European market to the heart of historic downtown Culpeper. Thyme Market is an oasis of gourmet prepared foods – both to go or to be enjoyed on their patio. The kitchen is centered on their wood-fired pizza oven, which turns out delectable thin-crust pizzas with tasty toppings such as chorizo, artichoke, peppadew, shiitake mushrooms and goat cheese.

    Venture Kitchen & Bar – Hampton
    Placing in the top three among Coastal Virginia Magazine’s Best Of Awards 2014, Venture Kitchen & Bar won the bronze for best new restaurant, bronze for best overall restaurant and silver for best signature drink. Their pizza and bread dough are made fresh, in house, and boasts a not-quite-Neapolitan pie. Not only do they make their own bread and pizza doughs, Venture smokes their own sausage. So what’s good on the menu? How about the vegetarian Eggplant pie, with caramelized eggplant & onions, tomato sauce, seasoned ricotta, fresh thyme and mozzarella. And of course, their most popular Everybody’s Pizza (it’s not called that for nothin’!) topped with basil pesto, artichoke hearts, bacon, mozzarella and parmesan. Venture offers eight draft beer options– four are local craft– and more than two dozen bottled.

    Dogtown Roadhouse – Floyd
    Dogtown Roadhouse has six classic, but with a twist!, wood-fired pizzas on its menu. An interesting pie to try is The White, with fresh grapes, almonds, gorgonzola cream sauce and house cheese blend. Prepared in a ceramic oven and bubbling with cheesy goodness, Dogtown’s pies have become a mainstay in Floyd. Craft brews from around the country accompany the crispy pies.

    Mad Fox Brewing Co. – Falls Church
    Featuring  gluten-free crust options, Mad Fox Brewing Co. accommodates any palate. Some favorites on the menu include the Eye of the Tiger: zucchini, ricotta, caramelized onion, garlic base, oregano and pecorino. And there’s the Almost Famous: ham, pineapple, pepperoni and jalapeno… yum. Wash it down with their own Mad Fox Beer.

    Fire Works Wood Fired Pizza – Leesburg
    With pies called the Guadalajara and Black Sheep, those along should pique your interest about Fire Works Wood Fired Pizza. Fire Works uses the freshest ingredients possible, while supporting six different local growers and producers. Still need some convincing? Fire Works pizza is free-formed– the dough is made daily with fine milled Italian “Caputo” flour, filtered water, sea salt and yeast. They burn oak and use nitrate-free pepperoni and sausage. Whichever you choose, rest easy knowing when it arrives on the table, it’s going to be a fresh, wood-fired pizza you’ll be coming back to for more. Check out their Tap Takeovers in September and October, as well as 12 different craft beers on draft– four Virginia-made.

    Check Auckerman at Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza

    Check Auckerman at Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza

    Bella Luna Wood-Fired Pizza – Harrisonburg
    Did you know Bella Luna is Harrisonburg’s first farm-to-table pizza restaurant? Well, it is! Neapolitan-inspired, thin-crusted pizza is baked at 900 degrees in a traditional wood-fired oven, just as it was over 200 years ago in Naples, Italy. Dough is hand-made fresh daily, using only four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. Guests may watch as pizza chefs press out the dough, top it with artisanal ingredients and slide it into the wood-fired oven. Bella Luna’s handmade pizzas feature seasonal produce, cheeses and meats, delivered daily from family farms in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia.

    Monza – Manassas
    They’ve got a mind of their own! When Monza‘s wood-fired pizza come out of the oven, they come out. Monza serves up something for everyone. Try the Seafood: mozzarella, calamari, shrimp, scallops and rose cream sauce. Or the Buffalo Chicken with hot sauce, blue cheese, mozzarella and chicken. You have 10 to choose from, so choose wisely! Or just come back to try them all. Monza has several big screen TVs for watching sporting events and more than 100 craft beers available.

    Fork in the Market – Roanoke
    DEATH BY CHEESE. Just one of their nine gourmet pizzas on Fork in the Market‘s pizzas. How about a spin on the classic Philly Cheese Stake sandwich? The Philly pie serves up all the greatness that is the Philly sandwich, right on a pizza… it’s like two worlds collided to create this amazing concoction. Eyes are immediately drawn to the final item on the menu, the Mac Daddy. Yes, it exactly what it sounds like, sans a father. This amazing pie is topped with oven-baked mac and cheese and topped with cheddar and bacon, with olive oil parmesan sauce. If that doesn’t entice the palate, what will?

    The Brick at Black Bear Bistro – Warrenton
    The Brick at Black Bear Bistro rolled out onto the pizza scene in merely a year ago and has taken it by storm! The pizzeria’s owners achieved their dream of perfecting the crust that is prevalent in Italy and away they went. Eleven eclectic pies are on the menu, including the Fattoria with vodka sauce, farm-fresh eggs, shredded mozzarella, arugula, then tossed in olive oil. The Brick features gluten-free and vegan cheese options, as well as seven local craft beers on tap.

    Blue Mountain Brewery Restaurant – Afton
    How does hand-rolled thin crust infused with herbs, olive oil and honey sound? That’s the foundation of Blue Mountain Brewery‘s delicious wood-fired pizzas. You may think five measly options on the menu isn’t much, but try these on for size… Our Famous Veggie is topped with cilantro pesto sauce, zucchini, squash, roasted mushrooms, caramelized red onions, goat cheese, mozzarella and fresh cilantro. Or how about this one? The Bratwurst with Apples and Onions pie comes with Double H Farm bratwurst (from Nelson Co.), caramelized onion, apples, mozzarella, fresh marinara and balsamic reduction. And of course, wash down the deliciousness with one of their 20 seasonal drafts.

    Brixx Wood Fired Pizza – Charlottesville
    It says it in the name! Brixx Wood Fired Pizza has 23 amazing pizzas on their menu. How do you choose just one?! Brace yourself… some of these unique pies are going to get the stomach growling. First in line, the Mexican: black bean spread with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, wood-roasted chicken, roma tomatoes and sliced fresh jalapenos topped with sour cream. Feeling like some Asian cuisine? Done. The Sweet Thai Chicken pie has wood-roasted chicken, tossed in a sweet chili sauce, goat cheese and mozzarella, roasted red peppers, pistachios and drizzled with Thai satay dressing. Not only is the pizza outstanding, the restaurant has the Brixx Masters of Beer Appreciation program. Who doesn’t love that? There’s 24 craft beer options from around the world, and of course, Virginia!

    Stuzzi Pizza Napoletana

    Stuzzi Pizza Napoletana

    Stuzzi – Richmond
    Stuzzi is a restaurant that brings a slice of Italy to you! Their Neapolitan recipe follows all the standards required for their wood oven goodness to come straight to you. And of course, wash it down with some local brews, like Hardywood.  Stuzzi also has gluten free options for both their pizzas and pasta.

    Rivermont Pizza- Lynchburg
    If you’re looking for a great pizza, fantastic craft beer, authentic wood-fired pizza, AND a thriving live music scene, Rivermont Pizza is for you! The menu is locally-sourced and changes seasonally. You’ll love the housemade mozzarella!

    Aziza’s on Main – Richmond
    Try this on for size… not only are there fantastic wood fire pizzas, Aziza’s on Main serves up a menu of Lebanese and Mediterranean fare as well. Visitors sing the praises of their wood-fired pizzas, topped with the freshest possible ingredients. Try out their Red pie, complete with red sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms and basil. It’s no wonder Style Weekly honored Aziza’s as the 2013 Restaurant of the Year!

    There’s so much deliciousness to choose from! No matter where you are, or where you travel, there’s always a great pizza spot to try out.

    What are some of your favorites?

     

     

     



    Food, Locals | 0 Comments

    Donut Spots that Satisfy

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 18th, 2014

    If you have a breakfast time (or any time) sweet tooth, you’re going to want to swing by these donut shops that pack in unique flavors and toppings! You nominated and here they are:

     

    Beach-themed donuts from Paradise Donuts

    Beach-themed donuts from Paradise Donuts

    Paradise Donuts of Virginia - Norfolk 
    Paradise Donuts is a family-run donut shop, located in the heart of Downtown Norfolk. Their family friendly establishment serves not only incredible donuts but lunch as well. Donuts are baked fresh in-house on a daily basis. Paradise Donuts is famous for their Maple Bacon or Old Fashioned donuts!

    Pure Eats – Lexington
    Pure Eats donuts are legendary! Order a fresh, house-made donut and you’ll never want to leave! Coconut lover? Try out the Almond Joy. Other favorites include the decadent chocolate peanut butter and the light, but always delicious margarita-flavored! Pure Eats doesn’t have a set menu, so you’ll be surprised of the flavors each time you visit!

    The Apple House - Linden
    Good food, friendly staff and beautiful surroundings make The Apple House a landmark to visit in Virginia. Come visit for your gift needs and be sure to try out the famed apple butter donuts!

     O’Doodledoo’s Donuts - Suffolk
    Hand made, hand decorated, fresh, funky, one of a kind donut shop! This is a real “Hole in the Wall!”  O’Doodledoo’s makes more than 200+ flavors and rotate their menu daily.  Try the famous red velvet cream cheese donuts or a delicious sour cream old fashioned.  Known for gourmet donuts at budget prices, find out what everyone’s talking about! The Oreo extreme, peach cobbler, key lime pie, or chocoholic–yep those are all donuts too! Come quick– once the donuts are gone, so are they!

    O’s Donuts - Norfolk
    With 13 different types of donuts and eight different toppings, it’s easy to see why O’s Donuts are a Norfolk favorite. AND custom colors are available too! Try out a cool twist on a sundae, with the Uh O: A fresh, warm donut, tossed in cinnamon sugar, sliced open with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the middle. And topped off with hot fudge and whipped cream, of course!

    Carol Lee Donuts - Blacksburg
    Cake donut? Yes, please. Carol Lee Donuts boasts seven different types of cake donuts, including Devilsfood cake glazed and blueberry cake. Or try out one of their yeast-raised donuts, including maple iced with peanuts and toasted coconut. Grab a freshly brewed cup of coffee to wash it all down!

    Happy Day Donut custom creation

    Happy Day Donut custom creation

    Happy Day Donuts – Chesapeake
    The name says it all! Start your day off right with a Happy Day donut. They pride themselves on crafting their donuts with only the highest quality ingredients, so you can rest east knowing they’re always fresh and always tasty. Happy Day always has about 22 donut selections, including their 16 “daily flavors.” And don’t forget about creating your own masterpiece! Choose anything from Boston cream to cinnamon apple, to red velvet, samoa, snickers and more! You also get to choose your own toppings– from 45 possible combinations! Wash it all down with a cup of Happy Day’s custom roasted coffee, roasted to order.

    Sugar Shack Donuts – Richmond
    “I’m pretty sure we’ve found the Holy Grail, and this is it.” Sugar Shack Donuts prides itself on fresh, all nature and local ingredients. Seven house donuts are available, including the quintessential glazed and strawberry iced. They also have six specialty creations, caramel apple cake, anyone?! Try out their monster donuts, featuring peach fritters and Maggie Walker’s signature Dragon Tails. What’s the Dragon Tail? You’ll have to stop in and see for yourself!

    Blackbird Bakery – Bristol
    The Blackbird has become a favorite bakery shop for the locals in Bristol and has developed the reputation as one of the top bakeries in the tri-cities area. When you visit the bakery, you will feel as though you stepped back to a time when neighbors and shop owners knew each other on a first name basis. One of the first things you will notice is the pleasant, friendly and inviting atmosphere that awaits you when you step through the door. Baked fresh daily, when you take the first bite, you will realize that the products are handmade with only the freshest and finest ingredients.

    The Dunk & Deli Co. – Abingdon
    Known for their made fresh daily donuts, Dunk & Deli prides itself on freshness and quality, as well as efficient and friendly service. Join them in their comfortable, sit-down atmosphere and relax with friends and family or call ahead for convenient take-out service!

    Triple Oak Bakery – Sperryville
    Triple Oak Bakery is a dedicated gluten free bakery using local and organic products whenever possible.

    Spudnut Coffee Shop - Charlottesville 
    Spudnuts is an old school donut shop that makes donuts with potato flour, hence “spud”nuts. An institution in Charlottesville!

    Duck Donuts – Virginia Beach 
    Duck Donuts makes their donuts made-to-order and fresh as can be! Their base donuts are made with these key ingredients: wheat & corn flour, soybean oil, nonfat dry milk, egg yolks, and beta carotene. Rest assured when you come to Duck Donuts, you’re receiving the best! Ten coating choices are available, as well as five topping choices.

    Great Country Farms – Loudoun
    Great Country Farms is best known for their cider donut. These apple cider donuts, made with cinnamon and sugar, are baked fresh at the farm and melt in your mouth when you catch them hot. Visitors enjoy them year-round before visiting the farm’s animals, u-pick areas and fresh market.

    Emily’s Donuts & Cafe – Williamsburg
    Emily’s Donuts & Café is more than the new local face of great donuts. The yeast donuts are unlike anything else in town. The process of creation takes nearly three hours from start to finish. There are classic “ring” donuts — meant to be glazed and topped, and solid donuts, perfect for filling with out-of-this world combinations! Emily’s Donuts boasts baking 7,000 donuts every week! Clearly these donuts are in demand — especially with seasonal flavors, like their scrumptious Key Lime Donuts made with real Key Lime infused filling and topped with a not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting.

    Country Style Donuts – Richmond
    “Deliciously addictive since 1968!” That’s the motto of Country Style Donuts in Richmond. Swing by early in the morning to grab some delicious holes before they run out! Try out the peanut-covered glazed, toasted almond or blueberry chip. Or why not try them all! Country Style has 38 varieties of donuts and is open 24 hours.

     

    Check out some more delicious nominations:

     

     

     



    Food, Locals | 0 Comments

    Local Brews and Local Oysters: A Match Made in Heaven

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 4th, 2014

    Ahhh, the oyster. It’s found its home in Virginia, quickly becoming the Capital of the East Coast. Now apply that “ahhh” to craft beer. They pair so well, don’t they? So guess what? It’s craft beer month! Get excited. Here’s some spots that are going to give you the best of both worlds.

    Rappahannock Restaurant

    Rappahannock Restaurant

    RAPPAHANNOCK OYSTER CO.
    Rappahannock Oyster Company is going to give you flavors from all over the Virginia coastline. The Rappahannock River Oysters are the most common, but have you ever heard of Stingray Oysters and Olde Salts? The oysters at these spots are going to give you three diverse flavors: sweet and buttery, sweet and crisp, and a bold, sea-side brininess. You’re going to find these babies at Rappahannock in Richmond, Rappahannock Oyster Bar, in D.C., and Merroir in Topping. And don’t forget, these restaurants are going to have some of Virginia’s best craft beer selections.

    99 MAIN RESTAURANT – Newport News
    The elegant 99 Main restaurant offers the sophisticated diner an exquisite dining experience with a creative French flair. Order the roasted oysters appetizer, topped with horseradish and house-made bacon. Pair it with Legend Brown Ale and you’ve got yourself a nice starter meal. Don’t be afraid to order a couple more brewskis.

    SMALL’S STEAKHOUSE & OYSTER BAR – Norfolk
    Small’s Steakhouse and Oyster Bar has four different oyster options from its raw bar AND three additional options for an entrée! If you’re in the area, put Small’s on the list for a great oyster experience. Try out the oyster grits and quench your thirst with three local breweries on tap.

    The Shanty in Cape Charles

    The Shanty in Cape Charles

    SHANTY – Cape Charles
    Located on the Bay in Cape Charles Town Harbor, the Shanty focuses on fresh local seafood in a fun environment. Swing by on boat, car, golf cart or foot. There’s cornhole for the kids, live entertainment on weekends and amazing sunsets over the bay. Order some raw or steamed oysters, a fried basket, or an oyster po’ boy, and wash it down with Starr Hills’ the Love or five other Virginia craft beer options.

    BIG EASY GRILL & OYSTER BAR – Norfolk
    Big Easy Grill & Oyster Bar offers some of the biggest oyster selections around. Start off with Oysters Rockefeller, pick out some raw or steamed samplers or platters. And guess what? When it’s time for the main course, Big Easy features the O-Rock Burger, topped with bacon, spinach, parmesan and gouda. They have the oyster po’ boy and their house specialty: fried oysters. Take back an oyster shooter or their vast selection of craft brews. You have some serious oyster and craft options at Big Easy. So if you have an empty stomach and want to fill it up, head over to Big Easy.

    HANK’S OYSTER BAR – Alexandria
    Hanks’ menu changes daily, with fresh seafood selections throughout their menu. Hank’s Oyster Bar serves their oysters on the half shell, as a po’ boy sandwich and a fried oyster dinner. Hank’s Oysters are always served up fresh, so don’t forget you can get them raw or steamed! Try out the Port City Monumental IPA while you’re there.

    Legends Brewing Co. Brewery

    Legends Brewing Co. Brewery

    BERRET’S SEAFOOD RESTAURANT & TAPHOUSE – Williamsburg
    Berret’s Taphouse offers one of the largest selections of local microbrews in the area, including Wild Wolf and Legend. Pair them with unique raw bar selections, like spicy buffalo oysters on the half shell and daily chef’s choice items. The taphouse menu includes the po’boy sandwich and a seafood platter, which includes crab cakes and shrimp.

     

    Try out all the delicious oyster spots and craft beer/breweries Virginia has to offer!

     

     



    Beer, Family, Food, Locals, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

    Enjoy Local Shopping in Virginia’s Historical Districts

    by Stefanie | Posted on July 16th, 2014

    It’s hard to believe that summer is more than halfway over. But don’t fret! Now is the perfect time to score some great deals on everything from clothing to furniture. And with that also comes the unveiling of fall’s newest lineups. We’re not in primetime season yet, so there are deals out there to get a leg up on the latest trends. As we wallow through this transitional phase, take advantage of all the unique shopping districts around the Commonwealth.

    And don’t forget, TAX-FREE shopping weekend is Aug. 1-3!

    Carytown Shopping

    Carytown Shopping

    Carytown, Richmond
    Known as the Mile of Style, Carytown offers everything you need to eat, shop, and play. Its sidewalks are lined with unique boutiques, restaurants, specialty shops, spas and more. Enjoy the eclectic collection of award-winning, locally-owned businesses. Spend the day in the area voted “Best Shopping Neighborhood in Virginia” by the readers of Southern Living magazine. While you’re here, visit Carytown landmarks, including Cary Court, the oldest outdoor shopping center on the East Coast and catch a film at the Byrd Theatre, Richmond’s movie palace since 1928. Carytown hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the Watermelon Festival, Chalk up the Town, Craft Beer Festival, Food & Wine Festival, Carytown Fashion Show and more, of course!

    Old Town Alexandria
    The go-to D.C. destination for boutique shopping is Old Town Alexandria, with The Wall Street Journal praising, “The King Street area has some of the best stores and galleries in the region.” Nearly 80 percent of the restaurants and retailers in the King Street corridor are independently owned, including the chic shops of the Old Town Boutique District, while nearby, Del Ray’s Mount Vernon Avenue is another haven for eclectic, locally owned storefronts. Fashionistas flock to Alexandria for high end shoes and unique clothing finds, while home décor shops and antique galleries burst with statement pieces. Delight in tasty treats from olive oils to award-winning hot chocolates, pick up pet friendly goodies, or peruse handmade jewelry at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. While you’re there, take in the sites and attractions of George Washington’s hometown and more.

    The Pink Scottie in Historic Petersburg

    The Pink Scottie in Historic Petersburg

    Old Towne Petersburg
    A devastating fire in 1815 wiped out the old towne of Petersburg, a collection of wooden warehouses and homes along the Appomattox River. Today, Old Towne is a district of antique galleries, boutiques, craft shops, restaurants, cafes and a mix of renovated residences. With cobblestone streets and national landmarks throughout, take in a truly unique shopping experience.

    Historic Roanoke City Market
    The Historic Roanoke City Market is the oldest such market in continuous use in Virginia, dating back to the 1800s. While you’re picking up from fresh, local produce, the Historic Market building also offers fantastic shopping opportunities. The entire Market District includes unique shopping, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, antique shops, museum shops and plenty more to discover.

    Shopping in Smithfield
    Smithfield’s Historic District, lined with Colonial, Federal and Victorian homes, offers antique collectors and shoppers a plethora of options. The Antiques Emporium, Heritage Antiques, Laura and Lucy’s, Olde House Antiques, Mansion House Art & Antique Gallery, and Wharf Hill Antiques offer everything from toys to treasures, furniture to fixtures, and memorabilia to music.

    Hugh Mercery Apothecary Shop in Historic Fredericksburg

    Hugh Mercery Apothecary Shop in Historic Fredericksburg

    Historic Downtown Fredericksburg
    Set foot into some of the most interesting periods in America’s past with a stroll among more than 350 original 18th and 19th century buildings in Fredericksburg’s 40-block National Historic District. While here, visitors can also step into over 100 shops, chef-owned restaurants and boutiques, concentrated in the downtown area and along a four-block “antique row” near the river.

    Leesburg Historic District
    Leesburg’s Historic District provides a charming backdrop for shopping, dining, walking tours, visiting art galleries and buying those one of a kind items or the stylish ‘must have’ accessories… handbags, jewelry, clothing and more. Antiques and home furnishing stores are plentiful. The streets are lined with brick sidewalks, authentic, historic architecture and wonderful flowering trees and flower baskets. Discover the charm and the great buys.

    Shockoe Slip, Richmond
    Shockoe Slip’s neighborhood has become a prime example of urban restoration and historic preservation. What was once the only trading area in Richmond is now the city’s most fashionable shopping and dining district. The Slip’s restored warehouses and taverns house a unique assortment of exclusive apparel stores, galleries, restaurants and hotels.

    Capo's Music Store in Downtown Abingdon

    Capo’s Music Store in Downtown Abingdon

    Abingdon Historic District
    Specialty shops, boutiques, art galleries and more line the streets of historic downtown Abingdon. Spend a day wandering the cobblestone sidewalks and discover historic landmarks like the State Theatre of Virginia, all the while browsing unique antique shops, music stores, the Abingdon Olive Oil Co. and more.



    Deals & Discounts, Events, Family, History, Locals | 1 Comment

    30 Freshwater Swimming Holes

    by Casey | Posted on July 14th, 2014

    Summer calls for a dip in the water, and we have fresh mountain streams and rivers that you’ll find most refreshing on a hot day. Our list has been compiled through various avenues of research, including tips from local residents. If they love these swimming holes, you’re sure to as well!

    Dismal Falls

    Dismal Falls

    If you are unfamiliar with mountain streams, let me tell you that they’re cold. Pack a picnic and refresh yourself in the Maury River at one of these public access points in Rockbridge County:

    Swim or wade at the base of a waterfall!

    Choosing your James River access point can be tricky, as this gem can roar mightily in certain areas, especially after a heavy rain upstream. Try these locations, but never swim alone.

    Splash around in the oldest river in North America, the New River.

    Blue Hole – many river towns have a special swimming hole they dub “Blue Hole.” Aforementioned Goshen Pass is sometimes known as Blue Hole by locals and here are two more:

    • A site James Madison University students and Harrisonburg locals call “Blue Hole” is located on Dry River off Rawley Pike (Route 33) in Rockingham County. A large boulder makes a fantastic jumping platform into this deep swimming hole.
    • University of Virginia students love their own “Blue Hole” on Moormans River near the Sugar Hollow Reservoir in Crozet. This swimming hole is within the boundaries of Shenandoah National Park.

    Dunlap Creek flows beneath the renowned Humpback Bridge in Alleghany County. When the water’s high enough, it’s a great place for a dip. Otherwise, dipping your toes works, too, at this beautiful, historic site.

    Dunlap Creek flows beneath Humpback Bridge.

    Dunlap Creek flows beneath Humpback Bridge.

    Craig Creek Recreation Area is 130 acres in Botetourt County that’s available for camping, picnics, and of course, swimming! The water is gentle and perfect for families.

    Blackwater Creek at Hollins Mill in Lynchburg is shallow for wading in to cool off on a hot summer day and is also an access point for the Blackwater Creek Natural Area and Trail.

    While there’s no designated swimming area (like a beach) at Shenandoah River Raymond R. “Andy” Guest Jr. State Park on the Shenandoah River in Warren County, you can wade out and splash around or tube to your heart’s content.

    Off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Rockbridge County at Petite’s Gap (milepost 71) is an unmarked gravel road (Petite’s Gap Road). Descend, winding, for several miles until you cross East Fork Elk Creek in Sulphur Spring Hollow. At the second crossing, pull off – your swimming hole is in that vicinity.

    St. Mary’s River is home to St. Mary’s Falls, which can be found in Saint Mary’s Wilderness in Augusta County. This swimming hole includes a rock slide, which can be great fun if the water level is just right.  It’s just south of the falls.

    Please enjoy Virginia’s swimming holes with a friend; never swim alone. Also, follow “leave no trace” practices when experiencing any part of Virginia’s outdoors.

    Which of these have you been to? Which do you love that aren’t listed here? Leave a comment to tell us all about it.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a Free Travel Guide.



    Family, Locals, Outdoors, Video clips | 3 Comments