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    #Grape harvesting has begun in some parts of #Virginia and will continue through October, Virginia's #Wine Month. @orecul13 gathered this bounty for #canning purposes. Anyone for some locally made juice or jelly? #loveva #vawine #waynesboro #countryliving #photooftheday #jelly #vafood
    Is everyone excited for the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion next month? Some of the performances will be taking place here, at the Paramount Center for The Arts on State Street. This #theater was built in 1931 and restored to its original splendor in 1991. #oldschoolva #loveva #virginia #vatravel #theatre #photooftheday
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    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 fireРa 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

    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
    • #6, 8 of the Best Small Town Getaways in the U.S., WallStCheatSheet.com, 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 | 3 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 | 4 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‚Äôll find five (soon to be seven) of Virginia‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď 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, entr√©e, 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 ‚Äď 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 | Comments Off

    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

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    >> Culinary Virginia

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