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    Do you recognize one of the oldest tourist destinations in the US? This beauty has been included on several "Seven Natural Wonders of the World" lists, was surveyed by George Washington in 1750 and was once owned by Thomas Jefferson as a personal retreat. While you're visiting don't forget to swing by the legendary Foamhenge, explore the Natural Bridge Caverns and get your photo taken with a baby tiger at the Natural Bridge Zoo. Photo credit: @takeiteasybee #loveva #virginia #vaoutdoors #naturalwonder #naturalbridge #howisummer #vatravel #virginiaisforlovers #photooftheday #fatherson
    #HappyBirthday to #NASA, launched 51 years ago in 1958. This is an awesome shot of the Minotaur V launch from #WallopsIsland, #Virginia last September by @_miancab. If you're interested in watching their next #launch, the Antares is scheduled for October of this year (date TBD). You can view from bleachers or the rooftop observation deck at the Wallops Island Flight Facility Visitor Center OR you can watch from Chincoteague or the Assateague Island beach. #rocket #loveva #space #stars #photooftheday #blastoff @nasa
    Is everyone excited for #Virginia #CraftBeer Month next month? It's time to put your game face on and visit a new local #brewery or get adventuresome on a #VA #beer trail. Find your way at Virginia.org/craftbeer and tag your photos with #vacraftbeermonth! This is glass of @ardentcraftales' #IPA, found on tap in Richmond. #rva #vabeer #drinklocal #locavore #ardentcraftales
    Spend a day at Buckroe #Beach in Hampton, #Virginia. You'll find a popular cobia fishing #pier and kayak, paddleboat, chair and umbrella rentals. If you time your visit right, you'll even get to hear some live music in the beachside pavilion. Photo props to @jennaevelyndill. Post your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here! #repost #ocean #howisummer #sand #photooftheday
  • Archive for the ‘Travel Ideas’ Category

    The Best of Virginia: Cities & Towns

    by Casey | Posted on July 29th, 2014

    When you love a place, you rally behind it to make sure everyone knows how great it is. Vote-offs like “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel are annual favorites, and Virginia towns have been included in two of the last three votes. A real pride of place, however, takes over when a publication names the town or city closest to your heart as “best” or “favorite” without any public input. The accolades that these Virginia towns and cities have garnered are well deserved. Do add them to your travel bucket list to see the sweet gems you’ve been missing out on.

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Old Town Historic Alexandria. ©Cameron Davidson

    Abingdon

    • Best Performing Arts Town -The South’s Most Creative Small Towns, Garden and Gun, 2011

    Alexandria

    • Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., Amazon.com, 2014
    • Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013
    • Best Small Cities for Art Lovers, Nerdwallet, 2013

    Blacksburg

    • #14, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Bristol

    • Best Music Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles. ©Cameron Davidson

    Cape Charles

    • #4, Perfect Little Beach Town, Southern Living

    Charlottesville

    • #1, Happiest American Cities, Harvard Gazette, 2014 (per National Bureau for Economic Research)
    • #1, Top 5 College Towns in America, Travelers Today, 2014
    • Top Five Destinations Every American Should Visit, Orbitz Worldwide, 2014
    • #9, America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • #1, America’s 5 New Foodie Cities, Wine Enthusiast, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, America’s Best Small Towns for Food, TheDailyMeal.com, 2013
    • #14, America’s Favorite Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • #1, Top College Towns, TravelChannel.com
    • #2, The South’s Best College Towns, Southern Living

    Chincoteague

    • #1, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    • #2, America’s Best Little Beach Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Culpeper

    • One of America’s Top 10 Small Towns. Crampton, Norman. The 100 Best Small Towns in America.
    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Downtown Harrisonburg. ©Elisabeth Bixby

    Floyd

    • 50 Great American Places to Visit this Summer, Men’s Journal, 2013

    Fredericksburg

    • #9, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Galax

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Harrisonburg

    • Best Beer Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • #5, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013

    Lexington

    • Best Small Towns to Visit, Smithsonian Magazine, 2013
    • #14, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • 10 Coolest Small Towns in America, Budget Travel, 2009

    Luray

    • The Next Great Mountain Towns, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2011

    Lynchburg

    • 50 Best Places to Live & Play, National Geographic, 2007
    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Downtown Middleburg. ©Virginia Tourism Corporation

    Middleburg

    • Best Small Town Weekend Getaways, Southern Living
    • #6, 20 Best Day Trips in the U.S., Fodor’s Travel, 2014

    Richmond

    • Frommer’s Top Destinations for 2014, Frommer’s, 2014
    • Best Town Ever, Outside, 2012

    Roanoke

    • Top 10 Valentine’s Day Getaways, WorldPropertyChannel.com, 2014
    • 10Best: Bike-Friendly Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • Best Trail Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2013
    • Best Mid-Sized Mountain Town, Blue Ridge Outdoors, 2012

    Smithfield

    • #41, America’s Happiest Seaside Towns, Coastal Living, 2014
    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Virginia Beach. ©John Henley

    Staunton

    • America’s Best Main Streets, Fordor’s Travel, 2014
    • America’s Favorite Mountain Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2014
    • America’s Greatest Main Streets, Travel + Leisure, 2012
    • Best Small Towns in America, Smithsonian Magazine, 2012

    Virginia Beach

    • Top 10 Summer Destinations, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Top 20 Destinations for Fourth of July Travel, Priceline.com, 2014
    • Best Cities for Summer Drives, NBCNews.com, 2013
    • Top 10 Art Beaches, Huffington Post Travel, 2013
    • 8 Great Labor Day Weekend Getaways, Budget Travel, 2013
    • 7 Most Beautiful and Underrated Cities in the U.S., EscapeHere.com, 2013

    Williamsburg

    • #2, Best Historic Destinations in the USA, US News & World Report, 2014-15
    • #3, 10Best: Best Historic Cities, USAToday.com, 2014
    • #3, 10Best: Places to Explore American History, USAToday.com, 2014
    • 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in Virginia in 2014, Smithsonian Magazine
    • #4, America’s Best College Towns, Travel + Leisure, 2013
    • These Old Towns are the Prettiest Little Escapes, Huffington Post, 2013 (Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement)
    • #7 Best Weekend Getaways, US News & World Report
    • #8, 8 Affordable Family Vacations, US News & World Report

    Which Virginia city or town is your favorite and why? Leave a comment to let us know!

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    Destinations, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    $10 or Less: Virginia Fun for Kids

    by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2014

    Make your dollars go further when you can mix in some affordable fun with your family vacation! The attractions mentioned within this post are priced at $10 or less for admission (parents, too!). Enjoy!

    LOVE at Maymont. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    LOVE at Maymont. Photo by Casey Higgins.

    ~~ FREE ~~

    Parks and wilderness areas are go-to destinations for nature lovers, but consider some of Virginia’s cooler community parks, like Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach. It’s 165 acres and offers a street course skate park with a deep bowl and competition-sized vert ramp for your skater dudes. While free, a pass application must be completed and submitted when you come to the park. Details

    Buzzing through the metro Richmond area? Have a picnic lunch at Three Lakes Park and Nature Center in Henrico. The Nature Center includes a 50,000 gallon aquarium along with live exhibits of native wildlife.

    Maymont is another fantastic Richmond destination. At 100 acres, the gardens are extensive. Do visit the Children’s Farm. Find a LOVEwork there!

    Bluebird Gap Farm is a 60-acre farm in Hampton. It’s home to about 150 animals and includes a picnic area with charcoal grills, a nature trail and large playground.

    If you have a child who is into the Transformers movies, he or she needs to see the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was filmed right there and your kid will recognize Blackbird immediately.

    Bluebird Gap Farm

    Bluebird Gap Farm

    More Free:

     

    ~~ $10 or LESS ~~

    A genuine Old School Virginia roadside attraction is Dinosaur Land in White Post. More than 50 dinosaurs have graced this attraction for 50 years. Great #selfie opportunities! $6 per person aged 11 and older; $5 per person 2 to 10.

    Regardless of the season, Snowflex in Lynchburg is a fun destination for those who love to ski and snowboard. Seriously! Ski or snowboard for $5-$7 per hour. If you require equipment, the rental fee is $12 per person, per day. Complete a waiver before your arrival. Details

    Speaking of a winter sport, why not ice skate year ’round, too?

    The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville always has something fun and creative going on – something to keep your child’s attention. Watch for “Night at the Museum” sleepover opportunities! Admission is $5 per adult and $3 per child.

    The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in Portsmouth includes state-of-the-art interactivity that’s built for family fun. Check out the Hall of Fame inductees and play a bit of their sports while you’re there! $7 per person; children 2 and under are free.

    The 18-hole Perils of the Lost Jungle miniature golf course in Herndon is one the Top 5 Miniature Golf Courses in America as rated by Newsweek, Men’s Journal has called them one of the Best Miniature Golf Courses in America, and The Putting Penguin rated them #1 in the country! You can experience this adventure for just a couple coins on top of $10 (what’s 50 cents?). Adults are $10.50 and children 12 and under are $9.50.

    • Similar:
      • Glow-A-Rama, Buchanan – indoor blacklight mini golf
        • $8 per adult and $7 per child

    Claude Moore Colonial Farm National Park in McLean lets your kids get hands-on with history in a pre-American Revolutionary War setting (a small, low-income 1771 farm). Special events include the heritage animals that call the farm home, harvesting tobacco, tidying up with autumn chores, and more. Farm site admission is $3 per adult and $2 per child. Admission for Market Fair (a special event with select dates) is $7 per adult and $3 per child.

    When in Lynchburg, check out Amazement Square: The Rightmire Children’s Museum, home of the Amazement Tower, the tallest indoor, interactive climbing structure in the United States. Admission is $9 per person unless you plan to visit on a Family Fun Night (second Saturday of each month), in which case the fee is just $3 per person!

    Hunt Club's Petting Farm

    Hunt Club’s Petting Farm

    Who doesn’t love a zoo? Head to Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Zoo to see more than 175 animals. Inquire about the special Breakfast with the Animals experience (additional fee). Admission is $7.50 per adult and $5 per child.

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    Family, Travel Ideas | 3 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.



    48 Hours, Beer, Couples, Deals & Discounts, Destinations, Events, Family, Food, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Wine | 0 Comments

    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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    Arts, Events, Festivals, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    Five Refreshing Summer Lake Getaways

    by Casey | Posted on July 21st, 2014

    Virginia’s lakes are excellent summer destinations for families, couples, friends, reunions … you name it! Take a few-day getaway to enjoy everything lakes have to offer. Tuck away into a private cove in a rental home, hit the water on jet skis, or swing the hours away in a waterside hammock. It’s your playground, find your fun!

    1. Forty-eight hours fly by when you’re having fun at Virginia’s second largest lake, Smith Mountain Lake. With 500 miles of shoreline, SML has many access points from the three counties that share it. Here’s just an example of a way to while away a weekend.

    Bridgewater Marina, Moneta

    Bridgewater Marina, Moneta

    Check into “Rustic Cottage” in Moneta. Sitting up on a bank, the view of the deep water cove is fantastic. Amenities include a paddle boat, swimming pool, ping pong, and more. Four bedrooms. Located between lake markers R26 and R27.

    If you’re bringing the whole family or just want to stay in luxury, check out the Wind Family Compound in Moneta. At 7,000 square feet, “spacious” is an understatement. Amenities include two master suites, two docks, 320′ of waterfront, game room, two kitchens, large playroom, huge screened porch, and tons more. Located near lake marker R19.

    If camping is more your speed, pull in your RV, pitch your tent, or rent an on-sight park model at one of these lakeside camping retreats:

    2. Virginia’s largest lake is Kerr Lake, stretching from Scottsburg to Boydton and down into North Carolina, and includes three counties in each state. Fifty thousand acres of fresh water and more than 800 miles of shoreline make it an outdoor enthusiasts paradise. Fishermen especially love Kerr Lake, and In-Fisherman magazine has hailed it as the number one Crappie fishing lake. In fact, numerous fishing tournaments are held at Kerr Lake annually.

    Choose your stay. Camp or set up cabin at Occoneechee or Staunton River state parks, Longwood Campground in Clarksville, or North Bend Campground in Boydton.

    Cooper's Landing Inn, Clarksville

    Cooper’s Landing Inn, Clarksville

    Want to step up your stay a notch or two? The Clarksville area (Virginia’s only lakefront town) has options!

    • Cooper’s Landing Inn is a beautiful bed and breakfast with its own restaurant, Traveler’s Tavern, on site. Enjoy their pool and hot tub while the innkeepers act as your concierge for explorations.
    • Blue Heron Lodge is a vacation rental home located on a quiet cove across the lake from Occoneechee State Park. Sleeps 12.

    Get out and about!

    There are numerous wildlife management areas bordering Kerr Lake. If you love wildlife photography or birding, this is a great destination for you.

    3. Lake Anna is Virginia’s third largest lake with 200 miles of shoreline and 13,000 acres of water, yet it remains fairly private.

    Kindred Spirits, Spotsylvania

    Kindred Spirits, Spotsylvania

    You won’t want to leave “Kindred Spirits” once you check in. Located in a quiet deep water cove, this home sits on nearly two acres and has 250′ of waterfront for you to enjoy. A boat slip, jet ski lift, and fantastic water views are just a few of the great features this vacation home offers.

    Would you rather camp? You’ll find Christopher Run Campground in Mineral to be a fine choice with 200 campsites and a variety of cabins available. Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania is a gem for camping, too.

    4. Lake Gaston straddles the Virginia/North Carolina border and covers 20,000 acres with 350 miles of shoreline.

    You’ll love the waterfront camp sites at Lake Gaston Americamps in Bracey. Cabin rentals are available, too.

    5. Lake Moomaw is tucked away in the Alleghany Mountains in Covington. It’s 2,530 acres are abundant with a variety of fish species while the wildlife around it are plentiful, too. The 43 miles of shoreline are wooded and undeveloped. True outdoorsmen will find the peace they long for when they choose a camping location on this lake.

    • Bolar Mountain Recreation Area offers waterside campsites, a sandy beach area, boat ramp, boat rentals, and 11 miles of hiking trails. Access this camp area from Warm Springs.
    • Greenwood Point is a 3.3-mile hike in (no road access), or you can paddle your way directly to the campground shore. Only five campsites are available here; first come, first served.

    If the lake doesn’t keep you occupied, venture out to see a few gems …

    • Falling Spring – A scenic waterfall south of Lake Moomaw on Hot Springs Road (Route 220).
    • Humpback Bridge – The only single span 100′ wooden arched covered bridge in Virginia.

    Enjoy these lakes and more!

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a travel guide.



    48 Hours, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments