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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
    Is everyone excited for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion next month? Some of the performances will be taking place here, at the Paramount Center for The Arts on State Street. This #theater was built in 1931 and restored to its original splendor in 1991. #oldschoolva #loveva #virginia #vatravel #theatre #photooftheday
    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. 😉 #loveva #virginia #vabeer #vacraftbeermonth #sunflower #photooftheday #drinklocal #craftbeer Photo creds to @lickingholecreekcraftbrewery
  • Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

    7 Most Bike Friendly Cities and Towns

    by Laura | Posted on May 8th, 2014

    Happy National Bike Month!  To celebrate, we have compiled a list of Virginia’s 7 Most Bike-Friendly Cities and Towns. From bike lanes to trail rides, these cities make it easy for bikers to ride for pleasure or with purpose.

    Alexandria – The City of Alexandria was recognized in 2013 for its bike friendliness, both from the League of American Bicyclists as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly Community and by Virginia Living Magazine as one of “10 Favorite Cycling Destinations.”

    Biking downtown is easy in Alexandria.

    Biking downtown is easy in Alexandria.

    Bike lanes (either dedicated or shared) are available on Cameron, Prince and Pendleton Streets in Old Town as well as Commonwealth Avenue, Mt Vernon Avenue and Braddock Road in Del Ray.  Soon to come are bike lanes on King Street.

    Bike racks have been installed along sidewalks near many local businesses and other locations for biker convenience, like along King Street in Old Town and Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray.

    Alexandria also hosts the Mount Vernon Trail. This 18 mile path takes you from Rosslyn (just across the bridge from Washington, DC) to George Washington’s historic Mount Vernon. As you ride alongside the stunning Potomac River, you’ll pass views of the national monuments, parks, Old Town Alexandria and George Washington’s waterfront estate.

    Arlington – Arlington maintains 50 miles of off-street, multi-use trails for bicycling, walking and jogging. Portions of these trails pass through beautiful natural areas of Arlington’s park system and connect to regional bike trails.  In addition to these off-street trails, Arlington has 36 miles of marked, on-street bicycle routes and 78 miles of recommended on-street routes.

    Excellent dining districts can be found in Ballston, Clarendon, Crystal City and Shirlington – all of which are easily accessed by some of the off-road bike trails and the Capital Bikeshare Program (more on that in a moment!).  Additionally, attractions like Arlington Cemetery, the Air Force Memorial and the Iwo Jima Memorial are all also easily bike-accessible.

    For more information on how easy it is to bike around Arlington, visit www.bikearlington.com.

    Arlington and Alexandria also participates in the Capital Bikeshare Program which puts more than 2,500 bicycles at your fingertips. Choose a bike from more than 300 stations across Washington, D.C., Arlington and Alexandria, VA and Montgomery County, MD and return it to any station near your destination. For more information, visit www.capitalbikeshare.com.

    Harrisonburg – Harrisonburg is the Shenandoah Valley’s premiere biking destination.  The city was recognized as a bronze level ride center by the International Mountain Bicycling Association and a bronze level Bicycle Friendly Community.  Shared Lane Markings (otherwise known as “Sharrows”) are prevalent in the downtown area and show cyclists the best place to ride on the road.

    The city also offers a wide variety of cycling parks and trails which range from novice to expert experience levels.

    Bike shops like this one in Carytown can be found all over Richmond.

    Bike shops like this one in Carytown can be found all over Richmond.

    Richmond – Among other accolades, Richmond was just recently recognized on a BuzzFeed list of “10 Cities You Should Explore on Two Wheels.”

    This is timely, as Sports Backers just announced the Connect RVA project, a plan to build 20+ miles of new family-friendly bikeways.  The project will encompass both shared and dedicated bike lanes through the heart of downtown and safer trails off the beaten path.  Projected completion is September of 2015, just in time for the UCI Road World Championships being held in Richmond.

    Abingdon – Abingdon is home to the Virginia Creeper Trail, a crushed gravel shared-use trail (bike, hike, equine) connecting Abingdon, VA, with the Virginia-North Carolina border 1.1 mile east of Whitetop Station, VA.  The trail has just been named the 2014 Hall of Fame Inductee for the Rail to Trails Conversancy, which recognizes trails with a high scenic value, high use, trail and trailside amenities and historical significance among other categories.

    A Virginia Creeper Trail extension provides access for people to ride directly into Abingdon after riding the trail. It brings cyclists right into the downtown area at the Abingdon Farmers Market. Lots of restaurants in the downtown area have bicycle racks for riders’ convenience.

    Abingdon is also in the process of creating the Urban Path System, which will be a public system connecting streets and pedestrian sidewalks or trail linkages to residential and public areas within the Town of Abingdon. Neighborhood streets will include landscaping and traffic calming features to effectively manage traffic and encourage attractive and safe pedestrian-friendly environments.

    Virginia Beach – This coastal Virginia city offers the perfect combination of quiet, natural shoreline rides and on-road

    The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a popular place to ride your bike along the Atlantic coast.

    The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a popular location to ride your bike along the Atlantic coast.

    bikeaccessibility through the city. The city currently has over 100 miles of trails including asphalt paths, nature trails and on-road bike routes.

    Bike trails near the coast are available at Virginia Beach state parks such as Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, First Landing State Park, and False Cape State Park, which has been untouched by humans and is only accessible on foot, by boat, or by bike.

    In addition to its rides through nature, the city also offers a Bikeways and Trails Map indicating bike accessibility throughout the cities major roads.  The Virginia Beach Boardwalk also offers a way for bikers to view the beauty of the Virginia coastline, while also shopping and dining right on the waterfront.

    Roanoke – The Roanoke Valley offers a variety of bike-centric events throughout the year, with many taking place during National Bike Month.

    Grandin Village is one of Roanoke’s most bike-accessible attractions and brings an old-school charm to its over 80 shops and restaurants.

    An Art by Bike route has also recently been developed around the city, offering over 20 stops for riders to access and enjoy the city’s art on two wheels.

    Do you love to bike in any other Virginia cities or towns? Leave us a comment and let us know!

    Laura Young is a Public Relations intern at Virginia Tourism Corporation and a senior at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.



    Outdoors, Outdoors | 4 Comments

    5 New #FallinVA Instagrams

    by | Posted on October 30th, 2013

    Here are five new Instagrams that show off a variety of  what’s to love this #FallinVA. Show us what fall in Virginia looks like through your eyes with a real-time Instagram that includes the #FallinVA hashtag. We’re sharing our favorites each week via our blogour Facebook page, and even in our Fall Foliage Reports.

    Click the image to learn more about the location.

    Colonial Parkway Fall Foliage

    Colonial Parkway Fall Foliage by @beciminlove

    Afton Mountain Vineyards

    Afton Mountain Vineyards by @sirbacknahan

    Pumpkin Patch

    Pumpkins in Pittsylvania County #miss_lizanne

    Apple in a hand

    Apple Picking at Carter Mountain Orchard @irresistibleicing

    High Bridge State Park Bridge

    High Bridge State Park by @bestetson

    Sarah is your friendly neighborhood Virginia Tourism photographer. You just might see her out and about capturing our next wave of beautiful images, and she’s the gal behind the @VisitVirginia Instagram account. Give us a follow and don’t forget to tag your shots #FallinVA for fall and #LOVEVA for everything else Virginia beautiful.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    FREE Virginia Travel Guide
    Fall Foliage Report Subscription

     



    Fall in Virginia, Favorite Shots, Outdoors, Outdoors, Pick-your-own | Comments Off

    10 Virginia Races for 2013

    by Casey | Posted on February 19th, 2013

    Virginia’s scenery, history, climate and geography all make each running opportunity unique. With those qualifiers in mind, check out these great runs for 2013.

    1. Lush and mysterious, the Dismal Swamp Stomp Half-Marathon & Children’s 1/2-Mile Cub Run in Chesapeake runs parallel to the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. Runners can expect their paved pathway to be highlighted by the forested wetlands and be anything but ‘dismal’. Every participant that crosses the finish line will take home a finisher’s medal. April 13, 2013. $70 registration fee.

    2. Elevation change can present a real challenge to runners. Are you game for the more than 7,000 total feet of elevation change the Blue Ridge Marathon has in store? Kicking off in downtown Roanoke, the event also includes five-person relays, a half-marathon option and a YMCA kids’ marathon. April 20, 2013. $75-$85 registration fee for the marathon.

    Miller Lite Filthy 5K Mud Run at Dominion Riverrock, Richmond

    Miller Lite Filthy 5K Mud Run at Dominion Riverrock, Richmond

    3. The Miller Lite Filthy 5K Mud Run is one of the first events of weekend-long Dominion Riverrock, the East Coast’s premier outdoor lifestyle festival held annually in Richmond. Those who have endured mud runs will likely find this one to be among – if not THE – toughest. Expect to trudge through the James River, rock hop and be thrown more natural obstacles than just a few roots and branches. The massive mud pit at the end is all that stands between you and an ice cold frothy beverage. May 17, 2013. $40-$55 registration fee.

    4. Beautifully rolling fields, historic farms and canopied country lanes are the scenery you can expect when you run the Virginia Wine Country Half-Marathon from Doukenie Winery in Hillsboro. The post-race activities include a full-blown Wine & Music Festival with great food, entertainment and wine, of course. June 1, 2013. $115 registration fee.

    5. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon is centered on the breezy Virginia Beach oceanfront. It’s flat and fast, an appealing feature to any runner, which must be why more than 20,000 show up each year. Or maybe it’s due to the largest half-marathon prize purse in the United States that awaits the fastest one at the end. September 1, 2013. $85-$150 registration fee.

    6. Up for an evening run? The Harvest Moon Run is a 10K  in Martinsville with a 7 p.m. start. Run your race and then enjoy the TGIF after-party. September 6, 2013. Fees have not yet been announced.

    Fall Foliage 5K & 10K in Waynesboro

    Fall Foliage 5K & 10K in Waynesboro

    7. Who doesn’t love amazing fall foliage? You might find yourself day dreaming instead of focusing on your run when you register for the Fall Foliage 5K or 10K in Waynesboro. The races are a part of the Fall Foliage Festival Art Show, so be sure to meet the dedicated artisans after your run. October 12, 2013. $25-$40 registration fee.

    8. March 27 should be circled on your calendar if you’re anxious to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington. That’s registration day and this race was full in under three hours last year. It’s a memorable run because it begins and ends at the Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima) and affords views of the Pentagon, Capitol, and Lincoln, Jefferson, Korean and Vietnam Memorials. This marathon is the 5th largest in the nation and the 8th largest in the world. Don’t miss out! October 27, 2013. Fees have not yet been announced.

    9. Which race is “America’s Friendliest Marathon”? It’s the Anthem Richmond Marathon, according to Runner’s World. Take to the historic streets of Richmond, traversing the diverse neighborhoods and enjoying the unique stops along the way. Hot pizza and a massage await you at the finish line. November 16, 2013. $80-$130 registration fee.

    10. Skip the big Thanksgiving dinner and go for a Thanksgiving run instead. The Turkey Day 5K and Family Fun Run through Martinsville typically features Thanksgiving-themed costumes and fabulous prizes, too (aka turkey basters and whatnot). November 28, 2013. $20-$25 registration fee.

    There are many more where these came from, so check out Virginia.org/RunVirginia to complete your run calendar for 2013.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide. 



    Events, Outdoors | 2 Comments

    Share Your LOVE for Fall

    by Casey | Posted on September 13th, 2012

    Who doesn’t love fall in Virginia? With two of the country’s most legendary scenic drives (the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive), 15 million total acres of brilliant foliage, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, more than 200 wineries, a budding craft beer industry and festivals galore, there’s no better place to spend your fall days.

    Autumn Morning Fog. Tom Lussier Photography. November 3, 2011. Submitted through the Virginia Flickr Group.

    Autumn Morning Fog. Tom Lussier Photography. November 3, 2011. Submitted through the Virginia Flickr Group.

    While you’re out and about enjoying all of the aforementioned and then some, take photos and connect with us in various ways. We want to see you having fun, doing what you love to do with those you love the most.

    We enjoy sharing images, so we hope you’ll follow along on these various social media channels for a chance to see yours pop up.

    In addition, subscribe to receive our Fall Foliage Report where we highlight our favorite fall photos. The Report will begin arriving to inboxes on or about September 19, 2012.

     

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free Virginia Travel Guide.



    Fall in Virginia, Favorite Shots, Outdoors | Comments Off

    Celebrate the 75 Days of Summer!

    by Casey | Posted on June 28th, 2011

    75 Days of Summer logoIn honor of the 75th anniversary of Virginia State Parks, you’re invited to enter the 75 Days of Summer contest.

    Beginning June 15, prize-seekers can enter to win the daily giveaway at www.VirginiaOutdoors.com. Additionally, you can visit one of Virginia’s 35″>http://www.virginia.org/stateparks/”>35 State Parks for a chance at other exclusive prizes, including the grand prize – a pop-up trailer from Coastal RV.

    Online prizes include season tickets to Pocahontas Premieres in Pocahontas State Park; NASCAR race tickets with a stay at Natural Tunnel State Park; baseball with the Norfolk Tides and a stay at First Landing State Park; Virginia Tech vs. Appalachian State tickets and a stay at Claytor Lake State Park; and many, many more! (They’re very cool prizes, trust me.)

    The sweepstakes runs June 15-September 5, 2011.

    See the complete list of online and in-park prizes here.

    Official”>http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/documents/75daysgdines.pdf”>Official Rules



    Destinations, Outdoors, Sweepstakes | Comments Off