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Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

Nine Beautiful B&Bs for State and National Park Explorations

by Casey | Posted on April 9th, 2014

Outdoor adventurers and explorers who enjoy a beautiful place to rest and a delicious breakfast to start their day will want to check out these bed and breakfast options that are in close proximity to state and national parks.

1848 Island Manor House, Chincoteague Island

1848 Island Manor House, Chincoteague Island

Assateague Island National Seashore is 37 miles long and considered one of the best beaches for communing with nature. Unspoiled, this windswept beach is home to wild ponies and many species of migratory birds. The Audubon Society named it a Global Important Bird Area. Relax here, taking in the rarity of it all, and then rest at one of these B&Bs less than four miles away on Chincoteague Island.

  • 1848 Island Manor House – Nine rooms available, each decorated to a high standard; most with private baths. Snack room, game room, beach gear, and concierge service available.
  • Channel Bass Inn Bed and Breakfast – Eight rooms with private baths and sitting area are available. Well-behaved children and pets are welcome. Enjoy afternoon tea with Barbara’s “world-famous” scones.

Just one mile from Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles is The Baywood Bed and Breakfast, a reprieve with a private beach and two beautiful bay view rooms with balconies, and one “woodview” room. Kiptopeke is another well-preserved beach destination known for its migratory bird population.

Church Point Manor Bed and Breakfast in Virginia Beach is the closest B&B to Virginia’s most popular state park, First Landing State Park. On April 26, 1607, 100 English settlers landed and established the first elective government in English America before pushing up the James River to establish Jamestown. Church Point Manor is an 1860s farmhouse boasting European and American art and antiques. Nine beautifully appointed rooms and a suite are available. Dining is available on-site at The Cellars, an upscale, well-kept secret.

Cooper's Landing Inn, Clarksville

Cooper’s Landing Inn, Clarksville

Bike or hike High Bridge Trail State Park and stay only a mile away at Longwood B&B in the heart of Farmville. Each of the six rooms has a compelling story to accompany it, such as furniture from the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond, and pieces associated with Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War.

Just across beautiful Kerr Lake from Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville is Cooper’s Landing Inn, a very comfortable reprieve in Virginia’s only lakeside town.  If you’d care to boat, take a trail ride on horseback or adventure around in other ways, the innkeepers are happy to oblige in making the arrangements. Their pool and hot tub are great places to unwind after a day of exploring.

Six miles of horse trails and fourteen miles of hiking trails make the beautifully rolling 1,862-acre Sky Meadow State Park in Delaplane an attractive getaway not far from Washington, D.C. The Ashby Inn is less than two miles away in Paris. It’s an 1829 inn with six guest rooms in the main house and four suites in an on-site converted schoolhouse. The property also boasts an on-site farm-to-table restaurant.

Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast, Moneta

Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast, Moneta

Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a family favorite for its boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities. At a shade over a mile away, Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast in Moneta is a brand new timber frame accommodation that just opened in December 2013. It boasts four large guest rooms, some with a fireplace or a jetted tub. Flying in? They’re on the Smith Mountain Lake Airport (W91) and offer tie downs, too.

The glistening Potomac River and Westmoreland State Park are less than five miles from the Inn at Montross, a 1790s Colonial Inn that has served as a tavern, hotel, restaurant, boarding house, apartments, and even as a school. You’ll find the five guestrooms to be quite comfortable and the fine dining exquisite after spending the day hunting for shark’s teeth and watching the Bald Eagles soar along the river.

 

Find your own little slice of B&B heaven when you search our directory.

Locate a state or national park near your destination.

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Beaches, Outdoors, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment

10 Places to Saddle Up in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on March 28th, 2014

The vantage point is a little different and the experience is entirely different from the back of a horse. Saddle up and explore Virginia’s countryside and seaside with these unique opportunities.

Marriott Ranch

Marriott Ranch

Offering the only service of its kind in Virginia and seemingly, the country, Virginia Beach Horseback invites you to the Virginia Beach oceanfront for a horseback ride on the sand or a swim with the horses. Corralled at 31st Street, come down between noon and 6:30 p.m. until June for a ride down to the pier and back. In summer, try their new Swimming on Horseback option Wednesday through Thursdays at North Bay. All riders are prepped on how to control the horses; no experience required. Rates from $40 to $100. Reservations are not required, but suggested.

The 4,200-acre working cattle farm known as Marriott Ranch is located in Hume, not far from Washington, D.C. Make a reservation for their popular 90-minute trail ride offered every day except Monday or take advantage of their special rides and overnight packages, such as the City Slicker package that includes horsemanship skills, cattle handling techniques, meals, and overnight at The Inn at Fairfield Farm (from $385/person). Or perhaps the Dinner Ride of a 90-minute trail ride and a cowboy steak dinner ($99/person) sounds nice? Additional rides include day-long rides, river and mountain rides, and cattle drives.

Shangrila Guest Ranch

Shangrila Guest Ranch

In South Boston you’ll find tucked away the Shangrila Guest Ranch, an all-inclusive horseback riding destination. Couples and families alike will appreciate the variety of accommodations (a three-bedroom homeplace, a sweet little log cabin, or the packhouse lodge). The ranchers at Shangrila will also work with you for corporate retreats at The Rusty Spur, and there’s a special Cowgirls Week in May that may be perfect for a bridal or reunion retreat. If you don’t have long to stay and play, reserve your spot for an hour-long ride or the full day; they’re happy to oblige. Rates from $40/hr for a trail ride to $125/person for a daytime excursion with lunch. Inquire for lodging rates and other opportunities.

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Couples, Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas | 0 Comments

14 Reasons to Experience Virginia’s Most Iconic Scenic Drives

by Casey | Posted on March 10th, 2014

The Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive are the hands-down, quintessential, most recognized scenic drives in Virginia. Have you driven either one? If not, they must be on your spring and summer to-do list, without question, and here’s why.

Rocky Knob Recreation Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Rocky Knob Recreation Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is widely and commonly referred to as “America’s Favorite Scenic Drive,” as it meanders 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.

7 Reasons to Go:

1. Elevation from 650 to 6,000 feet afford some of the world’s most spectacular views.

2. Mabry Mill is one of the most photographed sites in the nation and the restaurant has the best buckwheat pancakes you will ever get your hands on.

3. The summit of Sharp Top, part of Peaks of Otter, offers 360-degree views. On a clear day you can see for many miles.

4. Blue Ridge Music Center is home to a summer concert series with bands taking the amphitheater stage every Saturday from June until September.

5. History is captured through 19th century interpretive preservation sites like The Trail Cabin at milepost 154 and The Puckett Cabin at milepost 189.

6. If you want to hang out for a few days and enjoy the chill of spring’s air around a campfire, there are four campgrounds to choose from between mileposts 60 and 161.

7. Hiking is a no-brainer with trails leading to spectacular look-outs and waterfalls, too.

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway

View from the Blue Ridge Parkway

The 105-mile Skyline Drive is a National Scenic Byway and your access to Shenandoah National Park. The Drive runs the peak of the Blue Ridge Mountains from Front Royal to Waynesboro, where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins.

7 Reasons to Go:

1. Seventy-five overlooks put the Shenandoah Valley and Piedmont on display from on high.

2. The Appalachian Trail makes up 101 of the 518 miles of trails through Shenandoah National Park. If setting foot on the AT is on your bucket list, here you go.

Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park
Dark Hollow Falls, Shenandoah National Park

 3. Four Shenandoah National Park trails are included as the most popular, according to Virginia is for Lovers’ Facebook and Twitter fans. You must lace up and see what all the fuss is about (hint: waterfalls).

4. Backcountry camping is welcome on nearly all of the Park’s 196,000 acres. Forty percent, or 79,579 acres of the Park, is Congressionally designated wilderness area, meaning Leave No Trace practices are expected by all who visit.

5. For those who would like to spend time in the mountains but would rather not camp, there are two comfortable lodging options (with on-site dining) for you – Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland Resort.

6. Seventy mountain streams offer great fishing of the vibrant native brook trout population. Fishing Regulations

7. If you’re into geocaching, try EarthCaching at Shenandoah National Park. Rather than finding physical caches, you’ll be searching for natural, geological treasures. Note that placing traditional physical caches is prohibited.

What would you add as your reason to visit either of these treasured drives? Leave a comment to let us and our readers know.

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Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

5 Outdoor Adventures to Conquer in 2014

by Casey | Posted on January 8th, 2014

Let 2014 be your year of travel, and let us inspire you! This is the first of a four part series showcasing things to do in Virginia for 2014. Let’s go!

Outdoor enthusiasts, families, kids, most everyone will enjoy these quests for fun in Virginia’s great outdoors this year.

New River Kayaking

New River Kayaking

1. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is expanding to include a new Aquarium Adventure Park. The park is due to open by summer and will feature zip lines and ropes courses. It will be the largest aerial forest park in Virginia, and will be suitable for ages 5 and older.
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2. Rugged cyclists traveling to and living in southwest Virginia will appreciate the new Mill Creek Nature Park mountain biking trails in Narrows. The two miles will connect with 16 more miles of national forest trails and the Appalachian Trail. Expect beautiful sights along the way like the Cascades waterfall.
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3. See the waterfalls of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. They’re especially beautiful after a rain, so plan accordingly. A spring walk will yield wildflowers, making the trek all the more memorable.
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Spearhead Trail Mountain View Trail System

Spearhead Trail Mountain View Trail System

4. Get your mud on! Sections of the Spearhead Trail system in the Heart of Appalachia continue to open to ATV and OHV enthusiasts. Are you a novice rider? Outfitters in the town of St. Paul have embraced the new community of riders and offer rentals and guidance.
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5. Extreme paintball wars are possible with a trip to PEVS Paintball Park in Aldie. Just 30 minutes from Washington, DC, players will find 48 acres of courses, including a life size town with more than 25 buildings. Bring your own equipment or rent theirs.
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What’s on your 2014 outdoor to-do list? Leave us a comment!

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Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas | Comments Off

Adieu #FallinVA – 7 Final Fall Instagrams of 2013

by Casey | Posted on November 13th, 2013

It’s been great watching fall progress via your Instagram photos. Thank you for sharing them with the #FallinVA hashtag, and enjoy these final seven that have been taken over the past three days in Virginia.

Click an image to learn more about the location.

Lake Merriweather from View Rock at Goshen Pass by @lynchburgexplorer

Lake Merriweather from View Rock at Goshen Pass by @lynchburgexplorer

Wythe County by @lynzy30

Wythe County by @lynzy30

The Appalachian Trail by @bestetson

The Appalachian Trail by @bestetson

Ravens Roost on the Blue Ridge Parkway by @racin_camerabug.

Ravens Roost on the Blue Ridge Parkway by @racin_camerabug

The James River near Jamestown by @jlochoa

The James River near Jamestown by @jlochoa

Hiking the backcountry in Shenandoah National Park by @danielleemerson

Hiking the backcountry in Shenandoah National Park by @danielleemerson

Follow us on Instagram (@VisitVirginia) and tag your images #LOVEVA to show off the places you’re visiting and enjoying in Virginia.

Virginia is for Lovers.



Fall in Virginia, Favorite Shots, Outdoors | Comments Off