Experience the splendor of the Roanoke Valley on a Blue Ridge Mountain Getaway all about the railroad.
Visit the Virginia Museum of Transportation, celebrating the road, rail, and air. It alone will fire your imagination with decades-old steam, diesel, and electric locomotives. Little ones love the model trains, but their moms and dads might just enjoy the buggies and Jupiter Rocket just as much. Admission: $8/adult, $7/senior, $6/child (3-11) Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am to 5 pm; Sun 1 to 5 pm
One of O. Winston Link's iconic photographs. Courtesy of O. Winston Link Museum.
The O. Winston Link Museum is home to more than 300 of Winston Link’s dramatic black and white Norfolk & Western Railway photographs from the 1950s. Browse through seven galleries of the distinct images focusing on life along the railway, and also check out the 30-minute documentary. Admission: $5/adult, $4.50/senior, $4/child (3-11) Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
Families interested in both the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the O. Winston Link Museum can indeed visit both, and at a reduced rate: $12/adult, $10/senior, $8/child
Stay a while with a train themed travel package!
From $177 — Hotel Roanoke offers the Train Lover’s Package to include one night in a room overlooking the railroad, breakfast for two, two tickets to the O. Winston Link Museum, and two tickets to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
Long hailed the “Mother of Presidents,” Virginia boasts three United States presidents who called the greater Charlottesville area home.
Capitalize on the proximity of three presidential estates – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, James Madison’s Montpelier, and James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland – and save money while doing it.
More than 50 exclusive offers are yours for the taking when you activate your Presidents Passport. Each offer was specifically chosen to ensure an authentic experience highlighting the best of the area. Expect to find savings from 10 to 30% off, as well as “buy one, get one” deals, and freebies with purchases. Below are a sample of the partners offering savings.
If you want some insider info on navigating the area or taking advantage of other sites along the way, consider visiting the downtown Charlottesville visitor center. Those folks will be happy to give you a few tips!
Activate your Presidents Passport to begin saving and you’ll put LOVE and history at the heart of your Virginia vacation. Take the plan a step further and create a custom itinerary for yourself or to share with friends and family. Save the to-see’s and to-do’s for your passport and then map it all out. This is a new feature on Virginia.org and we’d love to hear what you think as you plan your Presidents Passport trip. Leave us a comment to let us know!
Many vacationers wait to book their accommodation in hopes of a lower, last-minute rate. Unfortunately, beach travelers don’t have the luxury of waiting. Especially if their goal is to secure a house.
Old Crow's Nest, Cape Charles
The Eastern Shore is known for its quiet charm – a key selling point for families in need of uninterrupted time away from the chaos of life. Fortunately, the Shore has quite a few vacation homes available to meet that need.
A Bayview Beauty is a Cape Charles cottage that comfortably sleeps 6 but can accommodate 8 with a pull-out sleeper sofa. The Chesapeake Bay breeze cools this golf cart town where everything is walkable. The beach is mere steps away. If this sounds inviting, act fast. The home is already booked June 5-20, July 7-21, and July 28-August 4.
Nightly Rate: $230
Weekly Rate: $1,273 Book Now
Also in Cape Charles is Old Crow’s Nest located within Bay Creek Resort. The private Bay beach is right at hand. Enjoy the multiple decks and porches perfect for viewing the sunset and the hundreds of birds that call the Shore home. This beautiful new property sleeps 8. Available June 2-22, July 14-24, and all of August.
Weekly Rate: $2,058 Book Now
Lakeview is a great home for multi-generational travelers. It’s also located within Bay Creek, and features two master suites – one on the first floor and one on the second. With four bedrooms in total, this home sleeps 10. The open floor plan is both inviting and accommodating for a large family. The private beach, resort restaurant and other resort amenities are in close proximity. Lakeview is still available June 1-8, June 16-22, July 1-12, July 15-31, and all of August.
Weekly Rate: $3,688.60 Book Now
Nestled in the land of wild ponies is Chincoteague Island’s Spinnaker Waterfront Home. The unique four-level design enables guests to see water in three directions, and even Assateague Island in the distance. A private dock is perfect for crabbing, fishing, putting in your kayak, or swimming. Spinnaker was featured on Fine Living Channel’s “Around the World in 80 Homes” – go see what you’re missing! Sleeps 8.
Available June 8-July 13, and from August 18 into the fall season.
Weekly Rate: $1,911-$3,589 (rates last published for 2011 season; rate varies by peak season and couples vs. a family) Book Now
The Moorings North, Chincoteague Island
Views, views, views. The Moorings North on Chincoteague Island has really nice Chincoteague Bay views. This commanding home has a two-story front porch overlooking Chincoteague Channel, a tower hide-away, a three-stop windowed elevator, and a most unusual “gazebo-in-the-sky” just off the dining room. Much like Lakeview, The Moorings North is a great home for two families vacationing together, as it has two master suites with private balconies. At your disposal is a deep water boat tie-up, if you came toting the big boy toy. This home sleeps 10.
Weekly Rate: $3,400 Book Now
These few homes are just a glimpse of what the Eastern Shore has to offer in the vacation rental house market. Discover more charmers at Virginia.org.
Keep an eye peeled for upcoming posts highlighting summer beach homes from the Chesapeake Bay and Hampton Roads regions.
*Rates and availability accurate at the time of publication. Inquire through the links for updated information.
Do you own a fully-furnished vacation rental property? Register for a free account to market your home with us. We do not promote home sales, long-term rentals, or real estate companies.
Yesterday I gave you the scoop on Richmond’s amazing lights for the 100 Miles of Lights event that covers multiple cities every year. Today, Williamsburg’s up!
Kick off the festivities in Colonial Williamsburg on December 4 with the Grand Illumination event. First, it’s free – no ticket or reservation is required – and second, there are THREE fireworks displays and multiple stages of musical performances. The show starts at 5:15 p.m. Arrive early for good parking.
If you care to stay the night, there are enticing travel packages to be had, and they cover more than what you might think.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens is entering its second year. If you’re imagining just a few lights to decorate BG, think again. There are now FIVE MILLION lights (up from a mere two million last year), a 50′ Christmas tree with animated lights, and I hear the park even smells like Christmas with the scent of warm sugar cookies and pine wafting in the wind.
If you “do” Christmas Town, know these things in advance:
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
1. You must buy the peppermint fudge hot chocolate. It’s mandatory and you won’t be sorry. (Really it’s not mandatory, but let’s pretend it is.)
2. There are real penguins. You will fall in love, no questions asked.
3. Santa is there, and he’s a good Santa, too. Not a mall Santa at all. And he’s building toys.
4. Elmo and the Sesame Street Forest of Fun gang are in on the Christmas action, too.
5. The shows are heartwarming, traditional, and just what you expect at Christmas time.
6. While not all of the rides are available in the winter, plenty are, and the one you mustn’t miss is Flight of Lights.
7. The dining menus change to reflect a traditional Christmas meal.
8. Christmas Town is not open daily. The schedule:
- Begins November 25
- Friday and Saturday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 3 to 9 p.m.
- Daily from December 16 through 31, 3 to 10 p.m. Exceptions: Close at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
9. Christmas Town is an affordable gift (and will no doubt be very much appreciated). A single evening ticket is $24.99. If you can and want to go three consecutive nights, I suggest the Discovery Ticket for $32.99.
Back to those travel packages …
A Williamsburg Christmas Experience * Three days of unlimited admission to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens * Choose your own accommodation * from $119.99/person for two nights
Decked Out with All the Trimmings * Three-day Discovery Ticket to Busch Gardens * Two Busch Gardens Parking Vouchers * Dining certificate for a traditional meal and hot chocolate served in a souvenir mug * Choose your own accommodation * rates dependent upon number of guests and lodging choice
The fall color palette is creeping across Virginia from the mountains to the coast, making this is an especially beautiful time to enjoy the scenery on your way to the wineries of the Chesapeake Bay, Central Virginia and Hampton Roads regions.
According to the National Park Service, “The Piedmont has approximately 50% color and is expected to peak in early November. The Coastal Plain is expected to peak in mid-November.”
If you didn’t have a chance to escape to the mountains in October, maybe you can slip away to the other side of Virginia for a few days, especially as the long Thanksgiving weekend is approaching.