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    Get your outdoor #zen on with #yoga in the #stables at Salamander #Resort. You might even be joined by the #barn #cat, Pumpkin! #loveva #virginia #earthday #vaoutdoors #repost #photooftheday#pet #stable @salamanderresort
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  • Archive for the ‘The Holidays’ Category

    10 Classic Virginia Experiences

    by Casey | Posted on November 12th, 2013

    Looking for a well-rounded list of things to do, see and experience during the holiday and winter seasons? Consider this one of them.

    1. Hike a portion of  the Appalachian Trail. Start in Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway.
    Yorktown Victory Center

    Yorktown Victory Center

    2. Navigate¬†America‚Äôs Historic Triangle¬†‚Äď Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. All of America is rooted in the happenings of this area, from the 1607 landing at¬†Jamestowne¬†to the¬†new nation ideas bred at¬†Williamsburg¬†and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at¬†Yorktown. That‚Äôs a lot of history in a pretty tight radius.

    3. If seeing sites that include words like biggest, endless, deepest or tallest are on your bucket list, we can help you mark them off. Virginia has eight caverns, including the largest in the eastern United States, one that has no end, the deepest, and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world.

    4. One key annual holiday event allows you to drive the longest boardwalk in the country - the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s the McDonald’s Holiday Lights on the Beach, part of Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights connecting seven twinkling cities.

    100 Miles of Lights - Virginia Beach

    100 Miles of Lights – Virginia Beach

    5. There‚Äôs nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can find them across Virginia. Check out our¬†Main Streets¬†and then look in¬†places you wouldn‚Äôt suspect,¬†like¬†Richmond‚Äės Shockoe Slip,¬†the Freemason District of¬†Norfolk¬†and Old Town¬†Alexandria.

    6. Have a whale of a time on board a boat bound for winter wildlife viewing off the coast of Virginia. The team at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is happy to take you into the Atlantic for a chance to see the fin and humpback whales migrating this time of year.

    7. Eight United States Presidents have hailed from the Commonwealth and you can visit their homes and libraries as well as the places they dined, studied and enjoyed the social scene.

    8. More than 230 wineries, 60+ craft breweries, and a quickly growing number of cideries and distilleries are toasting the holidays and inviting you to warm from within. Designated drivers are mandatory.

    9. Strike a chord in the birthplace of country music ‚ÄstBristol¬†- and travel¬†The Crooked Road¬†to see and hear music history and tradition at places like¬†Carter Family Fold¬†and the¬†Ralph Stanley Museum.

    10. Zip line through a snowy winter wonderland at Wintergreen Resort. It’s 900 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Don’t forget to wear a ski mask. Brrr!
    What would you add to a list of quintessential things to do in Virginia? Leave a comment!
    Virginia is for Lovers.



    The Holidays, Winter | 3 Comments

    5 Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on November 6th, 2013

    As the season of holidays creeps ever closer, find ways to make the most of your time together and make it memorable. Why not consider an overnight or two in a Virginia destination known for its merriment and cheer?

     

    The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

    The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

    Spend the holidays in Abingdon! This picturesque small town will fill your heart with holiday joy. World class art venues, cultural events and historical sites are all wrapped up in Christmas lights.

    • Stay: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Copper Lantern Inn, River Garden Bed and Breakfast
    • Dine: Babycakes Cupcakery and Abingdon Tavern
    • Visit: Barter Theatre, Holston Mountain Artisans, Wolf Hills Brewery, Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

    Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

    Escape to a cozy winter weekend in Harrisonburg, where holiday events on Main Street highlight the beauty of the season.

    • Stay: Joshua Wilton House, Stonewall Jackson Inn, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
    • Dine: Shank’s Bakery, Clementine Cafe, Corgans’ Publick House
    • Visit: You Made It!, Winter Farmers’ Market, Forbes Center for Performing Arts
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Old Town Alexandria

    Old Town Alexandria

    From charming King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, the area presents lively, entertaining holiday opportunities for the whole family.

    • Stay: Morrison House, Lorien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Monaco
    • Dine: Fish Market Restaurant, Hard Times Cafe, Caboose Cafe & Bakery
    • Visit: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Woodlawn, Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria Black History Museum
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Downtown Culpeper

    Downtown Culpeper

    Enjoy the spirit of a classic Virginia Main Street when you and the girls make it a shopping weekend in Culpeper.

    • Stay: Thyme Inn, Suites at 249, Hazel River Inn B&B
    • Dine: Hazel River Inn Restaurant & Pub, Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Foti’s
    • Visit: Mount Pony Theatre, Belmont Farm Distillery, Old House Vineyards
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Virginia Living Museum

    Virginia Living Museum

    Capture the memories as you indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul in Newport News, the heart of Coastal Virginia, this holiday season.

    • Stay: Newport News Marriott at City Center, Boxwood Inn, The Pequod Inn
    • Dine: Crab Shack on the James, The Lunch Bell
    • Visit: Virginia Living Museum, 100 Miles of Lights, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Looking for more great holiday getaways? This is the first in a series! Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Free Travel Guide and State Map



    48 Hours, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Winter | 12 Comments

    Warm Smiles and Freebies, Too

    by Casey | Posted on December 18th, 2012

    The best recommendations and directions always come from “the locals.” Why not utilize them when you’re passing through Virginia?

    Virginia’s Welcome Centers are staffed with courteous, knowledgeable folks who are not only happy to, but eager to help you find a great place to eat, make a room reservation or map a route. Additionally, free crayons and coloring books await your children when you stop by.

    Virginia Welcome Center Resources:

    Alexandra Veatch represents Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway at the Bristol Welcome Center December 21 and 28, offering coupons good for a free 2013 Heartwood calendar.

    Through December, stop into the Lambsburg location for discounts at the Red Hill General Store in Hillsville. Offers include coupons for $1 off a purchase, free soda, $5 off a $30 purchase or $10 off a $60 purchase.

    Through December at the Fredericksburg location the Hilton Garden Inn is offering an $84 per night flat rate; just pick up the flier or coupon book.

    One last request for toys from Santa? Find him at New Church December 21. Passing through the day before? The Center is delighted to host Smokey Bear. Bring your camera in to capture these moments!

     

    Virginia Welcome Centers

    1 Clear Brook 7 Bristol
    2 Fredericksburg 8 Rocky Gap
    3 New Church 9Covington
    4Skippers 10Bell Tower
    5Bracey 11East Coast Gateway
    6Lambsburg 11Manassas

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.



    The Holidays | 2 Comments

    Give the Gift of Travel

    by Casey | Posted on December 14th, 2012

    If you’re last-minute gift shopping or just now getting into the spirit of the season, we have a few unique ideas for you.

    Bed & Breakfast Getaway

    Purchase a Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia gift card. This alleviates the fuss of which B&B to book and when. The cards can be purchased in increments of $25, never lose their value and never expire. The gift card is only accepted at BBAV member B&Bs, but there are more than 200 to choose from.

    Season Passes or Just a Night

    Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Courtesy of Wolf Trap.

    Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Courtesy of Wolf Trap.

    Is music, performing arts or sports one of the things your recipient loves? Treat them to a ticket package, gift certificate or season pass to a venue.

    Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts¬†is known for the amazing artists they bring to the stage every year, as well as their Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods. While the 2013 schedules continue to unfold, go ahead and give your music and art lovers a gift certificate that they can apply to the event of their choice. Available in values of $10 to $100.

    Invite the adrenaline to flow when you give the gift of racing. American Indoor Karting in Virginia Beach  is offering 50% off gift cards when purchased between now and Christmas Day. Annual memberships are available, too.

    The¬†Castleton Festival¬†in Rappahannock County doesn’t kick off until July 2013, which means you can treat someone to a ticket package they can look forward to. From three opera performances (starting at $67.50) to five theatre performances (starting at $97.50), your recipient can enjoy world-class art under the direction of former New York Philharmonic Music Director, Maestro Lorin Maazel.

    SplatBrothers¬ģ Paintball, Hopewell

    SplatBrothers¬ģ Paintball, Hopewell

    Paintballers are dedicated and will hit the scenario field any time of year. Give the gift of strategy with a gift certificate to SplatBrothers¬ģ Paintball Park in Hopewell – Virginia’s largest and longest running paintball park. Available for $25, $50 and $100 and they never expire.

    The¬†American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse¬†in Staunton offers a $400 annual pass that provides 16 tickets for your choice of productions plus 25% off additional tickets. Their $198 Pick 6 package provides six tickets for your choice of productions plus 10% off additional tickets. For either package, the provided tickets are good for productions through June 16, 2013.

    The Barter Theatre in Abingdon has a few ticket packages, all including two tickets to a production of your choice and then adding on either meals at the Barter Cafe, just desserts or three-course dinners at The Martha. The prices range from $70 to $155.

    Museum Memberships

    The fun of a museum membership is that you’ll often get an advanced viewing of the newest exhibits, be invited to special members-only events and enjoy discounted museum store shopping.

    Through the Virginia Historical Society the purchaser AND the membership recipient receive a keepsake Dogwood ornament. Membership levels range from teacher ($48) to family ($72).

    Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg.

    Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg.

    Museum memberships are awesome for kids. The Explore More Discovery Museum in Harrisonburg offers weekday drop-in programs that are free to members, as well as discounts for birthday parties. Membership levels range from One Plus One (one named adult and child; $65) to Explorer (two named adults and all their children; $125).

    Kids of any age (and their parents) would enjoy membership to the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton where benefits include unlimited free visits, free and discounted IMAX tickets, special camp and party rates and quite a bit more. The list is long! Membership levels range from Commuter (one individual and a guest; $65) to Million Miler (one individual and up to 9 guests; $500).

    Hopefully this has given you some “outside-the-box” ideas for gift-giving. Make it a merry and bright season to remember with the gift of travel!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.



    Arts, Events, Family, Outdoors, The Holidays, Travel Ideas | Comments Off

    12 Classic Virginia Experiences

    by Casey | Posted on December 12th, 2012

    In honor of 12/12/12 we’ve put together a list of 12 classic, not to miss experiences in Virginia. If you’re following the Mayan calendar, you’ll need to fit them in by December 21. Good luck!

    Humpback Rocks, milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Humpback Rocks, milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway

    1. Hike the Appalachian Trail. No, not the whole thing, but a¬†chunk of it would make you feel good. Start¬†in Shenandoah National Park¬†or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hey, did you know Virginia has more miles of the AT than any other state? Trivia and exercise. You’re welcome.

    2. Find your way through the Triangle. Not the spooky Bermuda Triangle, but America’s Historic Triangle – Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. All of America is rooted in the happenings of this area, from the 1607 landing at Jamestowne to the¬†new nation ideas bred at Williamsburg¬†and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown. That’s a lot of historical action in a pretty tight radius.

    3. If seeing sites that include words like biggest, endless, deepest or tallest are on your bucket list, we can help you mark them off. Virginia has eight caverns, including the largest in the eastern United States (Luray), one that has no end (New Market), the deepest (Natural Bridge) and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world (Middlesboro).

    McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach

    McDonald's Holiday Lights at the Beach

    4. For one key annual event, you’re welcome to drive the longest boardwalk in the country¬†- the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s the McDonald’s Holiday Lights on the Beach, part of Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights¬†connecting seven twinkling cities.

    5. Walk on cobblestones! There’s nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can still find them across Virginia. Check out Virginia’s Main Streets and then look in¬†places you wouldn’t suspect,¬†like Richmond‘s Shockoe Slip,¬†the Freemason District of Norfolk¬†and Old Town Alexandria.

    6. Have a whale of¬†a time on board a boat bound for winter wildlife viewing off the coast of Virginia. The team at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center¬†in Virginia Beach¬†is happy to take you into the Atlantic for a chance to see the fin and humpback whales migrating this time of year. Of course, no one controls the whales and where they swim, so don’t get too upset if you don’t happen to spot one.

    7. Visit the Mother of Presidents when you visit Virginia. Eight United States Presidents have hailed from the Commonwealth and you can visit their homes and libraries as well as the places they dined, studied and enjoyed the social scene.

    8. Drink life in at your choice of more than 200 wineries, more than 40 craft breweries or a quickly growing number of cideries and distilleries. Designated drivers are mandatory, we said so.

    9. Strike a chord in the birthplace of country music РBristol - and travel The Crooked Road to see and hear music history and tradition at places like Carter Family Fold and the Ralph Stanley Museum.

    F. Chan, Luray

    Luray, VA

    10. Walk in Steven Spielberg’s footsteps when you check out Lincoln – The Movie Trail. The cast and crew were on set in Virginia for 53 days¬†filming the new movie LINCOLN. Go eat where they ate, see the film sites and enter for a chance to win a three-night Lincoln-themed vacation.

    11. Zip line through a snowy winter wonderland at Wintergreen Resort. It’s 900 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Don’t forget to wear a ski mask. Brrr!

    12. At the end of everything, what really matters? We’d argue and bet many would agree that LOVE is the answer. Find the LOVEworks location nearest you and take¬†a family photo for posterity’s sake.

    So, what would be your 12 Virginia travel experiences not to miss before the end of the world?

    We wish you the best and when the end doesn’t come on December 21, 2012, well, you’ll still be able to put LOVE at the heart of every Virginia vacation you ever take!¬† Go ahead and order a Virginia Travel Guide just in case we do make it to New Year’s Day.



    Beaches, Beer, Destinations, Family, Filmed in Virginia, History, Outdoors, The Holidays, Winter | 3 Comments