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  • Archive for the ‘Outdoors’ Category

    Blue Ridge Parkway 101: Cruisin’ Through the Heart of Virginia

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 19th, 2014

    It’s often called one of the most scenic byways in the world. Spanning 469 miles along the Appalachian Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway extends from Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. Planning a trip to the Parkway? Here’s some things to explore along the way.

    Cruisin' the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Cruisin’ the Blue Ridge Parkway

    With 15 entry points to the Parkway, hopping on it is easy, and once you’re on there are more than 30 visitor information stops to guide to your destinations. There are developed sites along the Parkway to make it easy to stop, park, stretch, visit restrooms and exhibits, hike and get a bite to eat.

    Beginning at Waynesboro, the start of the Parkway, the exploring begins. Stop by the Plumb House Museum, where you can tour the streets of the Battle of Waynesborough, home to many Civil War artifacts and more. Also check out the Waynesboro Heritage Museum.

    Devil's Backbone Brewing Co. along the Nelson 151 Trail

    Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. along the Nelson 151 Trail

    Venture a little further south to Nelson, where you’re going to need to plan some time to explore all it has to offer. Hop on the Nelson 151 Trail– your destination for Virginia wine, craft beer, local food, and of course– outdoor recreation. The Trail features seven wineries, three breweries/restaurants, all the while providing easy access to and from the Parkway.

    The Red, White and Brew Trail, also located in Nelson, boasts 10 wineries, four breweries, one hard apple cidery and one distillery.

    Stay nearby at Orchard House Bed & Breakfast or Wintergreen Resort.

    Swing by the Jefferson Heritage Trail and explore where Thomas Jefferson left his mark on the arts, architecture, education, and of course, wines of Virginia. Inspired by his contribution to the growth of the modern American wine industry, the Jefferson Heritage Trail honors his legacy while creating an exciting journey for all who visit.

    Experience the wonder that is the Natural Bridge. This National Historic Landmark has a rich history, dating back hundreds of years and was once owned by Thomas Jefferson. The caverns of Natural Bridge descend 34 stories into the deepest caverns on the East Coast.

    Roanoke/Vinton hangs along the Parkway, with four entrances to the area. If you want to get a taste of a metropolitan-esque area, make a stop in Historic Roanoke for plenty of lodging, shopping a farmers’ market and cultural tours.

    HIKING

    There are more than 50 hiking trails along the Parkway, so no matter where you are, there’s something nearby. From easy to strenuous, to 0.1 – 19 miles. While you’re on your hike, be sure to check out the natural landmarks along the way. White Rock Falls Trail is a 2.5-mile hike, where the highlight is the impressive gorge, which has a waterfall and natural wading pool.

    Crabtree Falls

    Crabtree Falls

    Looking for some more hiking spots with waterfalls?

    The James River is the Parkway’s lowest elevation (650′ above sea level) and is a historical transportation route through the mountains and represents a major geological and cultural component of the Blue Ridge section. The 3.5-mile Otter Creek Trail follows the creek from the Otter Creek Campground down to the James River Visitor Center. At the visitor center, the James River Canal Trail will take you to the restored James River and Kanawha Canal Lock that was built between 1845-51. When completed, the canal had 90 locks and went from Richmond to Buchanan, Va..

    LODGING
    Two sites along the Parkway provide opportunities for overnight accommodations from spring through the fall foliage season. Many visitors also enjoy the various camping sites along the Parkway and a chance to sleep under the stars.

    Peaks of Otter Campground off milepost 86 offers 132 sites, nestled between the bases of two dominating mountains, with Abbott Lake being one of the main attractions. The lake is always stocked with small mouth bass and bluegill. Set up a tent in the shade below the trees and roast some hot dogs and marshmallows. marshmallows around the fire– a perfect way to enjoy a relaxing evening under the stars

    A historical must-see along the parkway!  This is the place you want to stay to get the full experience of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  These are charming little cabins, in a beautiful, natural setting. Located at Milepost 174 near Meadows of Dan, Rocky Knob Cabins has small, rustic cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the early days of Parkway construction.

    Check out more lodging opportunities along the Parkway, including camping, bed & breakfasts, hotels and more.

    Take a break at milepost 176 for some spectacular views, mountain-top chalets, elegant dining and a wide variety of recreational activities at Primland Resort. Primland also offers fishing, hunting, golf and so much more to take advantage during your stay.

    Humpback Rocks encompasses 800 acres along the Blue Ridge Parkway between MP 5 and 9.3 just outside Waynesboro. This area is perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural resources anywhere along the Parkway corridor. The prominent rock outcrop was a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. A portion of the historic trace still exists. Stop by the Visitor Center and mountain farm exhibit at MP 5.8. The farm includes a single-room log cabin and a series of outbuildings that represent elements of regional architecture of the late 19th century. Costume interpreters provide demonstrations of weaving, basket making and gardening.

    Mabry Mill

    Mabry Mill

    Mabry Mill in Meadows of Dan is not to be missed! With a blacksmith shop, wheelwrights and a whiskey still. Demonstrations are available through the fall and enjoy old-time bluegrass music on Sundays.

    These gems give visitors a glimpse of traditional mountain life in the early days of settlement.

     

    OVERLOOKS

    Wine tasting at Chateau Morrisette

    Wine tasting at Chateau Morrisette

     

    WINERIES/VINEYARDS
    Two are along the Parkway in Virginia, each boasting unique selections. Chateau Morrisette Winery in Floyd is nestled above the Rock Castle Gorge Wilderness Area and is known for some of Virginia’s most popular wines. Enjoy their timberframe winery, while sipping their wines and enjoying their savory cuisine. Chateau offers seasonal events, including the Black Dog Concerts and Winemaker’s Dinners, all in an elegant, old world atmosphere. Find the winery off MP 171.5.

    Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards, ironically located at the foot of the Peaks, grow many fruits for their wine, where apples are their main crop. The winery turn their fruits not only into wine, but ciders and butter as well. You will find many types of fruit wines and blends, and may remind you of “grandma’s wines”. These wines are excellent with snacks, as an after dinner wine or just sipping. The apple cinnamon heated is great for the holidays. The winery also features a party wine with hot peppers and a mellow pear selection.

    Milepost Services

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is an American treasure located right here in the Commonwealth. Where else are you going to find so much to do on one parkway? History, hiking, scenic views, wineries, breweries and much more. The Parkway is the perfect way to experience Virginia and all it has to offer.



    Destinations, Family, Outdoors, Tour & Travel, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    Late Summer Travel Packages

    by Stefanie | Posted on August 7th, 2014

    Don’t start pulling out the sweaters yet! We have quite a while until we’ll need those, but before the cool air starts coming in, these vacation hot spots are great for your late summer escape.

     

    Horseback Riding

    Horseback Riding

    Bunk and Bridle 4-night Package, Reba Farm Inn – Aug. 17-20 
    -Starting at $400/person plus taxes.

    Virginia has its own “dude ranch” located in Bedford County, with 75 horses on 300 acres near the Peaks of Otter. Become an East Coast Cowboy at Reba Farm Inn/Saddle Soar Equitainment with the “Bunk and Bridle” package. This travel package is for the true horse lover who wants to learn more and/or improve their horsemanship; or the novice, a great introduction to common sense horsemanship, and includes:

    • Four nights of lodging at the Inn
    • Meals (some meals will be served at the Inn, others at the barn and one out on the trail)
    • Hands on activities with horses and lots of riding

     

    Salamander Resort

    Salamander Resort

    Restore and Discover Path, Salamander Resort & Spa
    -Starting at $543 per person, per night.

    Take some “me” time and enjoy an escape to Salamander Resort, and enjoy a soothing weekend pampering yourself. This package includes:

    • Deluxe accommodations
    • Heart-healthy breakfast
    • Fitness center & indoor pool access
    • Participation in group fitness and exercise sessions
    • 50-minute spa service of choice each day
    • $125 wellness credit per night, per person to be used toward a resort activity
    • Complimentary car service within a 5-mile radius
    • Seasonal welcome gift

     

    Hokie Football Overnight Stay Package, Blacksburg – dates are for all home Va. Tech games
    -Starting at $238.00 per night

    Stay with the Holiday Inn University Blacksburg & Lane Stadium for one of Virginia Tech’s home football games and receive:

    • Free shuttle to and from the football field (9am-2am)
    • Free tailgate near the stadium
    • Free parking
    • A special, unique gift for each game

     

    Virginia Golf Package at the Tides Inn – Thru Aug. 31
    -Starting at $380 per night, based on double occupancy

    Located on a private peninsula in the Northern Neck, near Chesapeake Bay, Tides Inn is home to the Golden Eagle Golf Course designed by George W. Cobb. Surrounded by woodlands, the course features exciting elevation changes, well-placed bunkers, signature holes, and water elements that all levels of golfers can enjoy.  Golden Eagle at the Tides Inn is the perfect getaway for golf with a group, as a romantic escape, or a trip with the whole family. Package includes:

    • Deluxe room accommodations
    • Full breakfast daily, per person, at the restaurant or room service
    • Unlimited daily golf at the Golden Eagle course, with cart, club storage and range balls
    • Unlimited use of the practice facility at the Little Eagle course
    • Golden Eagle souvenirs

     

    Maury River Kayaking

    Maury River Kayaking

    Twin River Rafting Adventure Package, Natural Bridge – Thru Aug. 31
    -Starting at $159

    Stay at the Natural Bridge Park Historic Hotel and enjoy a river excursion with friends and family in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Enjoy all the benefits of a Natural Bridge Family Hotel Package including:

    • Natural Bridge and Caverns tickets
    • Standard room for 2 adults and 2 children
    • Served, hot breakfast
    • A single trip each for the River Paddle or Tubing Adventure

     

    Williamsburg Flex Vacation Package, Williamsburg Plantation Resort – Thru Sept. 1
    -$1,859 total

    A great end of summer vacation for the family! The Williamsburg Flex Vacation Package includes:

    • 2 bedroom/2 bath condo, equipped with a kitchen, living and dining area
    • Unlimited visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, Busch Gardens, Water Country USA and more

     

    American Music Festival, Virginia Beach – Aug. 29-Sept. 1
    -$319 per night; special rates for Thursday, Aug. 28 and Monday, Sept. 1

    Enjoy 3 days of rock, jazz, country, R&B and more at the 2014 American Music Festival, presented by Chevrolet. Featured artists include Three Dog Night, Barenaked Ladies, Daughtry, Third Eye Blind, just to name a few. Package includes:

    • 3-night stay at the Comfort Inn & Suites Oceanfront
    • 2 Passport Pins for the festival

     

    Yoga at Primland Resort

    Yoga at Primland Resort

    Summer Hydration, Primland – Thru Sept. 21
    -Starting at $1,015
    Having one of those summers? Plan a relaxing trip to Primland Resort and enjoy the Summer Hydration package. This is the season of warm summer winds with the sun at its zenith. Abundant warmth and light beam confidence and strength. experience summer through its element – nourishing water as it opens us to our natural resources. The Summer Hydration package treatments have been especially selected to represent the nourishment and replenishment of the summer season. Package includes:

    • 3-day, 2-night stay at the resort
    • Breakfast and dinner each day
    • Yoga sea salt scrub
    • Stone of eternal youth facial
    • Harmony massage

     

    Civil War Experience, Fredericksburg – Thru 2014
    -Starting at $205

    Travel back in history and walk in the footsteps of Grant, Lee and the thousands of Americans affected by the Civil War. This historic package includes:

    • 2-night stay at a Fredericksburg-area hotel (selected upon booking)
    • Admission to the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center and the White Oak Civil War Museum
    • Admission to all National Military Park Battlefields, a VIP dining card and more

     

    For the Birders Travel Package, Mountain Rose Inn
    -Starting at $569

    Experience birding in luxury with this package at the Mountain Rose Inn that is just for bird lovers who might want to also be guests at our Inn. Experience birds of many varieties on the Inn’s property. You can even get face-to-face with a ruby-throated hummingbird during the summer months as you sip a glass of sherry & enjoy an afternoon snack on the Inn’s front porch. Package includes:

    • 3-night stay
    • Breakfast of choice and picnic lunches.

     

    Fishing at Cornerstone Farm, Red Oak
    -Starting at $450/couple

    Whether you are young or young-at-heart, fishing is a relaxing pastime. You’ll discover the fishing is great sport on Cornerstone’s large private stocked pond. Cast a line for largemouth bass, crappies, catfish and more in our spring-fed pond for early morning or late afternoon fun. After dinner, enjoy the warmth of a evening bonfire while sharing stories and roasting marshmallows. This package includes:

    • 2-night stay
    • Snack tray and beverages
    • Country breakfasts, light lunch, full evening meals
    • 1 evening bonfire roasting marshmallows
    • On-site pond fishing (bait and tackle included)

     

    Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville

    Blenheim Vineyards in Charlottesville

    A Winelover’s Retreat, Orchard House Bed & Breakfast
    -Starting at $285/couple

    Enjoy a weekend in the country, sipping on Virginia’s finest wines. Package includes:

    • 2-night accommodations
    • 1 bottle of local Virginia wine and cheese platter
    • Full country breakfast each morning
    • Complementary soft drinks, coffee and tea
    • Complementary snack basket in room
    • Self-guided tours of local wineries and breweries

     

    Creeper Trail Bike Shuttle Package, Summerfield Inn Bed & Breakfast
    -Starting at $224

    The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile long Rails-to-Trails footpath and recreational trail used for hiking, birding and cycling. The Summerfield Inn Bed & Breakfast package includes:

    • 2-night accommodations
    • 1/2 day bicycle rental for 2
    • Gourmet breakfast

     

    Family Fun Package at Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach
    -Starting at $356

    Have a complete vacation experience with the Hilton Garden Inn Family Fun Package. Enjoy a family outing on the beach during the day and then have a night out on the town! Along with the breathtaking views of the Atlantic, this package also includes:

    • Tickets to Beach Movie Bistro (enjoy a full menu of dining options while you watch a movie!)
    • $50 dining card to be used at any of the hotel’s 5 Virginia Beach Boardwalk restaurants

     

     

     



    48 Hours, Beaches, Beer, Civil War, Couples, Deals & Discounts, Destinations, Events, Family, Golf, History, Outdoors | 0 Comments

    The Best of Virginia’s Outdoors

    by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2014

    National accolades for everything from ice cream to small towns, hot dogs and whatever else you can think of keep rolling in for Virginia areas and businesses. While it’s hard to keep up with all that’s fabulous and acclaimed, we thought we’d give it a shot by sharing the more recent accolades. This post, The Best of Virginia’s Outdoors, is the first in a series you can look forward to. Be sure to subscribe to our posts to avoid missing the upcoming articles.

    BEACHES

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach & Boardwalk

    • #4, 10 Last-Minute Beach Getaways for Summer, Fodor’s Travel, 2014
    • #6, America’s Best Boardwalks, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #6, 10 Under-the-Radar Beaches in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014
    • One of the 20 Most Awesome Boardwalks in America, Budget Travel, 2014
    • The 10 Best Boardwalks in America, Men’s Journal, 2014
    • Best Beaches for Memorial Day Weekend, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Southern Beaches, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #7, 9 Best Boardwalks in the U.S., Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • #9, 10 Best Boardwalks in the U.S., National Geographic, 2013
    • 10 Uncrowded Atlantic Beaches for Summer, USAToday.com, 2013
    • One of America’s Most Awesome Boardwalks, Budget Travel, 2013

    Assateague Island National Seashore

    • #23, 2014 Best Beaches in the U.S., TripAdvisor 2014 Travelers’ Choice
    • #6, Best U.S. Island, USA Today Travel Reader’s Choice, 2014
    • One of the 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in America, Budget Travel, 2014
    • The Best Campgrounds in the Country, Men’s Journal, 2014
    • Among the Best Beaches on Earth, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • Top 25 U.S. Beaches, TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice
    • Top 10 Things for Families to Do in Virginia, Trekaroo.com, 2012

    Chincoteague Island

    • #7, Top 10 Beaches in the U.S., TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice
    • #3, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • America’s Best Beach Town, AOL.com, 2010

    BICYCLING

    Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon

    • #6, 10 Best Rails to Trails, Travel + Leisure, 2003

    Arlington

    • #23, America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities, Bicycling.com, 2012

    Capital Bikeshare, Arlington

    • #11, The 16 Best Bike Shares in the World, TheActiveTimes.com, 2013

    Harrisonburg

    • America’s Top Mountain Bike Towns, TheActiveTimes.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • Recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community, League of American Bicyclists, 2013

    GARDENS

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

    Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond

    • #2, 10 Best Public Gardens in North America, USA Today, 2014
    • #21, 30 Must-See U.S. Public Gardens, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014
    • 10 North American Gardens Worth Travelling For, BBC Travel, 2013
    • Best Botanical Gardens in the U.S., Travel Channel, 2013

     

    GOLF

    Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan

    • #13, Top 100 Public Courses in America, Golf Digest, 2012
    • The Boutique Mountain Golf Resort in the U.S., Golf Odyssey, 2011
    • #22, Best Courses, Golfweek, 2010
    • Resorts to Watch, Golf Magazine, 2010
    • Best New Public Course in America ($75 and over bracket), Golf Digest, 2008
    • One of the Top 10 New Courses in the World, Travel + Leisure, 2007

    Golden Horseshoe Golf Club at Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg

    • America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses, Golf Digest, 2012, 2011, …
    • Top 100 Resort Courses, Golfweek, annually 2007-2012
    • Top 100 You Can Play, GOLF Magazine, 2012, 2011, 2010, …

    HIKING

    Appalachian Trail

    • #5, 7 Adventure Trips You Need to Take this Summer, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Cape Henry Trail at First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach (PDF)

    • #9, 30 Great American Hikes, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park

    • #6, 30 Great American Hikes, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014
    • #29, 31 Great American Day Hikes to Do Before Summer Ends, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    RIVERS

    Shenadoah River. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Shenadoah River. CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Shenandoah River

    • Class I, 50 of the Best Rivers in the Southeast, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

     

    SKI RESORTS

    Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville

    • 10 Best Ski Resorts for Summer Fun, Fodor’s Travel, 2014

     

    STATE AND NATIONAL PARKS

    High Bridge Trail State Park, Farmville

    • #17, 36 Stunning U.S. State Parks, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield

    • #21, 36 Stunning U.S. State Parks, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    Shenandoah National Park, Luray

    • #30, The Absolute Best National Park, TheActiveTimes.com, 2014

    COMMUNITIES RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR OUTDOOR OPPORTUNITIES

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013

    Richmond

    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Learn more about Virginia’s outdoors at Virginia.org/Outdoors.

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    Outdoors, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    It’s Not Too Late! Plan Your Last Summer Escape

    by Stefanie | Posted on July 24th, 2014

    As the summer winds down, a short getaway at the end of the season is always a great way to wrap things up. Include some of these cool culinary spots around.

    Lansdowne Resort

    Lansdowne Resort

    SKYLINE WINE, DINE, RECLINE TRAIL
    Did you know that 27 wineries, a whiskey distillery, incredible restaurants and the highest concentration of B&Bs in the State of Virginia are tucked into the edges of Skyline Drive? As you’re spending the weekend cruisin’ through 105 miles of natural scenic beauty, hop off for a break to take in a winery or two, check out one of the amazing restaurants, and don’t forget to make reservations at one of their many quaint B&Bs.

    ASPEN DALE WINERY AT THE BARN
    Located in Delaplane, Virginia on one of the most exciting wine trails in the Washington, D.C. area, Aspen Dale Winery at the Barn is a boutique winery that offers a unique experience for wine lovers. The legacy of Aspen Dale’s revolutionary-era agricultural experience drives the winery’s stewardship. Aspen Dale has endeavored to capture the best of Colonial and European wine making techniques and blendings, while the ambience of the 200 year-old barn winery and thoroughbred horse farm inspires. Aspen Dale’s passion for history, horses and wines is profound, as their dreams have been brought to life, providing the mellowness of a boutique winery experience that lingers long after the glass empties.

    211 SCENIC VINO WINE TRAIL
    What a Daytrip! Hop on Route 211, one of the prettiest scenic drives in Virginia. Getting to the premier wineries of the 211 Scenic Vino Wine Trail is half the fun! The gorgeous rolling hills on the route lead to Shenandoah National Park, America’s favorite drive, Skyline Drive, and the quaint village of Little Washington … the town George laid out in 1749 (just an hour from Big Washington DC)! Along the way you’ll find five (soon to be seven) of Virginia’s best wineries, a whiskey distillery, unique boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and the approaching majesty of the Blue Ridge Mountains! Drive up to Skyland for some blueberry ice cream pie. Hike to a waterfall. Do the ziplines. Stay and enjoy the many Inns and gourmet eateries along the way, you’ll get to taste Virginia’s best award-winning wines. Our tip: go backwards! Take the gorgeously scenic drive first to Sperryville, the quaint town named DC’s best weekend getaway by Huffington Post. Enjoy the approaching Blue Ridge vistas. Then slowly work your way home!

    COASTAL VIRGINIA ALE TRAIL (Taste Tidewater Tours)
    Taking that last trip to Virginia Beach? If you’re a beer enthusiast, the Coastal Virginia Ale Trail is definitely something to put on the to-do list. Dedicated to all things local, let Taste Tidewater take you to the best craft beer the Virginia Beach/ Norfolk area has to offer. Taste and tour up to three venues based on availability. The tours generally last about four hours and include local history and lore, as well as tips on tasting and pairing beer with food.

    Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

    Catoctin is the first family-owned distillery since before prohibition. Co-owner Scott Harris talks about the distilling process.

    LOUDOUN WEST BREW BUS / CREEK CROSSING FARM BED & BREAKFAST
    Built in 1773 by the Quaker Edward Thompson, Creek Crossing Farm was one of three plantations and several large tracts of land owned by him in early Colonial Loudoun County. Located in Virginia’s Hunt Country, in a secluded valley just outside of the present day village of Lincoln, there are more than 25 acres of open fields with cattle, woods with wild turkey, pheasants and deer, and a creek that waters the entire farm, feeding organic blueberry and raspberry fields. Venture over to Loudoun and take a trip on the Loudoun West Brew Bus. Make stops at historic Corcoran Brewing, Adroit Theory brewery and Catoctin Distilling, and relax as you get a taste of the Loudoun brew scene without worrying about driving.

    BELIVEAU ESTATE B&B AND WINERY
    Treat yourself to a stay at Beliveau Estate, a premium B&B and Winery. The estate’s winery has received more than 30 awards since opening in 2012, including 2013 Silver Best Winery by the readers of Blue Ridge magazine. It has a beautiful tasting room, a covered outside veranda, picnic spots, on-site hiking, and in the cooler months a warm fireplace to sip wine around. Enjoy a weekend of true ambiance enjoying all the amenities the estate has to offer.

    WINE LOVERS PACKAGE – Arcady Vineyards Bed & Breakfast and Wine Tours
    Enjoy two nights at the only Charlottesville Wine Country B&B with a working vineyard! The luxury accommodations offer a whirlpool tub for two, wine fridge with sparkling wine, heated tiled bath floor, free Wifi, Bose CD/radio, TV/VCR and port, and local chocolate turn down. Package includes a full farm fresh breakfast each morning, bottle of sparkling wine chilled in your suite, and a wine and cheese social at check in. You will enjoy a personalized, all-inclusive wine tour with the oldest owner-operated tour company in Charlottesville. Visit four wineries with a deluxe local cheese/fruit/local chocolate platter, and bottled water. The wine tour also provides transportation to downtown Charlottesville for dining.

    CULINARY DELIGHTS – SMITHFIELD STATION
    Smithfield is world famous for Smithfield Ham, but that is only half the story. Additionally, Smithfield is a quaint coastal town with access to some of the freshest seafood on the Eastern Seaboard. This package focuses on the two hallmarks of dining in Smithfield, ham and fresh local seafood and includes: one-night stay in their Deluxe Lodge Rooms, Boardwalk Rooms or Cottages, or the Lighthouse; dinner for two in the award-winning restaurant. Dinner includes soup, appetizer to share, entrée, dessert, coffee or tea, and a bottle of house wine. Get your getaway started right with champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in your room upon arrival. And don’t forget to stop by Virginia’s largest winery, the Williamsburg Winery!

    DOWNTOWN BEER TRAIL PACKAGE – Stonewall Jackson Hotel
    Staunton is now home to two Craft breweries, RedBeard Brewing and Shenandoah Valley Brewing. With intimate taprooms and a fine selection of beers all produced on property, come on down and sample some of the Valley’s finest. All within a short walk of our front door, no driving needed! Your package includes: Overnight accommodations, breakfast for two and parking, 6 beer flights (4 oz. pours) from Redbeard, 2 pints from Shenandoah Valley Brewing, a free tasting at Hops retail store, and a $15.00 Gift Certificate to Shenandoah Pizza (and their huge beer list!)

    FOODE EXCLUSIVE CULINARY EXPERIENCE – Various Fredericksburg Locations
    Experience a delectable 5 course meal especially prepared for you with locally sourced fresh ingredients. Meet your chef and learn the inspiration behind your dishes during your culinary delight! This package includes: One night at a Fredericksburg-area hotel (price varies by lodging tier selection) and especially prepared 5-course meal for two.

    SHARED WINES & TREASURED TIMES – Landsdowne Resort
    This is a comprehensive wine and culinary adventure in the heart of DC Wine Country as this Virginia wine country tour takes two adults from vineyard and back to the Virginia winery resort. You will be whisked away by a private car for a five-hour winery tour to experience as many wine tours and tastings as your heart desires. Choose from our partner wineries: Breaux Vineyards, Corcoran Vineyards, Doukénie Winery and Sunset Hills Vineyard. Package Includes: luxurious overnight accommodations (double occupancy), private car for a total of 5 hours, $100 Dining Credit, and breakfast buffet for two adults.

    BASIC CHEESEMAKING AT CORNERSTONE FARM
    Getaway and learn something new together! Learn the basic art of making cheese from scratch. Basic cheese instructions concentrate on “farmers” cheese, ricotta and mozzarella. Easy to make when you get back home. In the individualized 1-day, 2-night getaway, you will learn how to make simple basic cheese from scratch. The day will be spent learning and making a couple basic cheeses, with each person bringing home with them what they prepared. When not cheesemaking, enjoy strolling around the farm, sitting on the deck’s in lounge chairs and rockers, or watching the farm animals. So grab your friends or family and come down to the farm for some fun-filled time away! Package includes cheesemaking, 2-night stay, breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all cooking supplies.

    SHENANDOAH WINE TRAIL – By the Side of the Road Bed & Breakfast
    Get a true taste of Shenandoah with this valley getaway package including: Two nights in one of three luxurious cottages, a romantic dinner for two at BEYOND ($60 Value), complimentary red or white Virginia wine upon arrival,  a light version of their gourmet picnic to carry to the Valley Wineries of your choice (includes gourmet cheeses, French bread, fresh fruits & dessert), hot gourmet breakfast basket delivered to your cottage door each morning or served in the Common to Main House guests. Wineries nearby include: Cave Ridge Vineyard (10% Discount on cases), Wolf Gap Vineyard & Winery, Shenandoah Vineyards (10% discount on cases), North Mountain Vineyard & Winery, and BlueStone Vineyards.

    The Boar's Head Inn

    The Boar’s Head Inn

    VIRGINIA WINE PACKAGE- Boar’s Head Inn
    Experience Love by the Glass with the Boar’s Head Virginia Wine Package, which combines Four Diamond accommodations and dining with impeccable Virginia wines. Virginia’s quintessential escape, Boar’s Head, offers a warm, intimate ambiance, exceptional service and unparalleled Southern hospitality. Package includes: two night’s accommodations, a welcome gift of one bottle of Virginia wine with an artisan fruit and cheese platter, daily breakfast in the Old Mill Room, a self-guided tour to a local winery (including house credit for two tasting passes), a special three-course Virginia wine dinner for two in the Old Mill Room.

    WINE OR BEER LOVERS TOUR – Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast
    Spend two relaxing nights, Tuesday thru Saturday, in any of the tranquil rooms and enjoy a welcoming wine or beer basket stocked with goodies. Then be treated to the vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains while being chauffeured to three of Virginia’s finest wineries and/or micro-breweries only minutes from the Belle Hearth. All of this libation, plus a three-course gourmet breakfast each morning.

    VIRGINIA IS FOR CRAFT BEER AND BARBEQUE LOVERS ESCAPE – Oceanfront Inn, Va. Beach
    Celebrate your love and passions in life with our exclusive package in honor of the Virginia is for Lovers award-winning slogan.  Complete your experience with our Virginia is for Beer & Barbecue Lovers’ Basket including 2 bottles of Green Flash beer, an Oceanfront Inn bottle opener, two Oceanfront Inn pint glasses, and a gift certificate to locals’ favorite, Beach Bully Barbeque.



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    Five Can’t-Miss Summer Events

    by Casey | Posted on July 23rd, 2014

    Some events know no end and we LOVE them! Annually occurring festivals are marked on our calendars a year ahead of time. They’re something to look forward to and yet another opportunity to make memories with the ones we love. Here are five upcoming “late” summer events that you can’t miss. Start a new tradition or chime in via the comments to tell us your favorite parts of these five.

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    Assateague Island Pony Watching from the Assateague Channel

    1. The Chincoteague Pony Swim from Assateague to Chincoteague Island has been happening at the end of July for nearly 90 years. That’s quite the tradition, and there are families who never miss it, making an annual pilgrimage to see the crossing, the parading, and the auctioning of the years’ foals. While you’re in town, be sure to visit Island Creamery, hailed the #1 ice cream parlor in America by TripAdvisor users.

    2. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is one of the mid-Atlantic’s longest running outdoor music festivals. This year’s session began on July 18 and continues with dates through August 31. Remaining on the schedule are acts like United States Air Force Strings, Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, The Oak Ridge Boys and Eddie from Ohio. Centered around Shenandoah County’s Orkney Springs, the setting is bucolic with the Allegheny Mountains as a backdrop. Buy Tickets

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    3. The Filene Center at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna is the place for summer concerts and family performances! This summer has included Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Ben Folds, Diana Ross, Pilobolus, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Sara Bareilles, The Fray and Lionel Richie with CeeLo Green. Yet to come (and tickets available for!) are  Sarah McLachlan, Darius Rucker, Heart, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Boney James and Eric Benet, YANNI, The Band Perry, Cirque Dreams – Jungle Fantasy and Colbie Caillat. Every summer season brings great acts that you won’t want to miss. Buy Tickets

    4. The still new but ever growing Virginia Craft Brewers Festival is held each August at Devils Backbone Brewing Company against Wintergreen Mountain in Roseland. Now in its third year, more than 40 of Virginia’s craft brewers have signed on to offer tastings and tout their upcoming flavors. You won’t want to miss the awarding of the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup. Devils Backbone has taken home the cup each year so far. Their Smokehaus Lager won in 2013 and their Schwartz Bier won in 2012. Buy Tickets and/or Reserve a Campsite

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    Morven Park is the setting for Epicurience Virginia in Leesburg.

    5. Epicurience Virginia took by storm the culinary and wine scenes of Virginia, DC and environs when it debuted last year. Held at the beautiful, historic Morven Park in Leesburg, this event brings together the best tastes Virginia has to offer in an opulent atmosphere across three days at the end of August. The Grand Tasting is the second day and it’s the event you don’t want to miss with chef demonstrations and opportunities to meet Virginia winemakers and tastemakers. The rest of the weekend includes a Fabulous 1940s Party at Oatlands Plantation and various fine dining experiences. Buy Tickets

    >> Upcoming Festivals
    >> Virginia Craft Beer
    >> Virginia Wine
    >> Culinary Virginia

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