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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 6 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 19th, 2013

Stretch your time and your legs as you meander around Virginia this fall. Spend a few days away with those you love most, doing what you love most. Together is where it’s at.

Lake Drummond - Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

Great Dismal to Back Bay

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Canal Trail in Chesapeake is a stunning (mostly bug-free) attraction each fall, when the colors peak late October to early November. Bring your camera to possibly capture beautiful wildlife and incredible sunrises and sunsets.

Between the Refuges:

- Northwest River Park - 763 acres of paddle sports, fishing and hiking
- Mount Pleasant Farms – Don’t miss their Fall on the Farm weekends in October!
- Cullipher Farm Market – Two corn mazes and u-pick pumpkin patch
Surf & Adventure Co. Lunchbox Kayak Tour of Back Bay – 2-3 hrs; no experience required
- Blue Pete’s Seafood Restaurant – Award-winning She-Crab Soup; outdoor seating; local hang-out

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an 8,000-acre coastal habitat in southern Virginia Beach. Dunes, woodland, beach and marsh areas are home to loggerhead sea turtles, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and approximately 10,000 snow geese at peak fall migration.

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Assateague Island

Lighthouse Touring: Mathews – Virginia Beach – Assateague

Assateague Lighthouse has received a semi-extreme makeover. See her in all her fresh, red-and-white-striped glory this fall, along with a few sister lights, starting at New Point Comfort in Mathews.

New Point Comfort Lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse still standing in the Chesapeake Bay and the tenth oldest in the United States. Appreciate it from the observation walkway at the southern end of Route 600, or paddle your way out for an up close and personal view.

Between the Lights:

- New Point Comfort Nature Preserve
- Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve
- Linda’s Diner
- Fort Monroe Casemate Museum
- Bubba’s Marina and Seafood Restaurant

Both Cape Henry Lighthouses in Virginia Beach can be seen at Fort Story military base with a government-issued form of identification for everyone aged 16 and older, plus the vehicle registration and insurance card. Admission to climb the old Cape Henry Lighthouse is $5 for 13 and older; $3 for 12 and under. Must be 42″ tall to climb; children may not be carried.

Between the Lights:

- First Landing Cross
- Surf Rider Restaurant
- Citrus Breakfast & Lunch
- Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
- Exmore Diner
- Island Creamery
- Don’s Seafood
- Assateague Explorer Pony Watching/Wildlife Cruises

Finally, Assateague Lighthouse! It’s a beauty at 142′ tall. Visit anytime you wish, but if you enjoy celebrations, might I suggest October 5, 2013? The grand re-opening will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include music, fun for the kids, free lighthouse climbs and more. The lighthouse will be re-lit at approximately 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

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Douthat State Park

Douthat State Park

Hot Springs Rustic and Resort

Take your fun to the mountains this fall as you experience what is possibly the best of both worlds: state park to luxury resort.

Start at Douthat State Park in Millboro where the hiking and fishing are fine. Book a cabin or pitch a tent. It’s a great place to appreciate the beauty around you. Stay a night or two, then pack it up and go upscale at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

Mountain Adventures:

- George Washington National Forest
- Cascades Golf Course
- Allegheny Springs
- The Wine Shop at Hot Springs
- The Gallery at Seven Oaks
- Garth Newel Music Center
- Sam Snead’s Tavern

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Looking for more great ways to get away in Virginia? Look no further than the other posts in this 48 Hours series.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.


Fall Related Blog Posts

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6 Virginia Trails for Arts and Culture

by Casey | Posted on September 18th, 2013

Take a drive that reaps rewards not with the scenery alone, but with the treasures along the way. The six trails below have been identified for their esteemed artisans and other relevant cultural experiences.

Rocky Knob area of the Blue Ridge Parkway

Rocky Knob area of the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Hidden Treasures Artisan Trail (HT) meanders through Patrick County in Southwest Virginia, leading you to and through a wealth of beauty. Marry it with the Floyd County Trail (FC) and the White Lightning Trail (WL) of Franklin County by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway, starting at Meadows of Dan. This trail is worthy of your 48 hours, be it weekday or weekend.

Key Highlights:

- Mountain Meadows Farm and Craft Market – corn maze and pumpkin patch, too! (HT)
- Mabry Mill (FC)
- Chateau Morrisette Winery (HT & FC)
- Villa Appalaccia Winery (HT & FC)
- Sarvisberry Gallery & Studios (FC)
- Tuggles Gap Restaurant & Motel (FC)
- Hensley Polseno Pottery (FC)
- Blue Ridge Institute and Farm Museum (WL)
- Moondancer Creations (WL)
- Icove Lighting Design Gallery (FC)

Download: Hidden Treasures | Floyd County | White Lightning

The Monticello Artisan Trail (MA) from the Blue Ridge Parkway through Nelson and Albemarle Counties pairs up nicely with the Nelson 151 Trail (151) and the Presidents Passport (PP) program.  Mix, mingle, and be merry!

Fall in Albemarle County

Fall in Albemarle County

Key Highlights:

- Wintergreen Resort (MA & PP)
- Mountain Vision Pottery (MA & PP)
- Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. (MA & 151)
- Wintergreen Winery (151)
- Wild Wolf Brewing Co. (MA, PP & 151)
- Rockfish River Pottery (MA)
- Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery (MA, PP & 151)
- Nan Rothwell Pottery (MA & PP)
- Albemarle CiderWorks (MA)
- Carter Mountain Orchard (MA)
- Michie Tavern (MA & PP)
- Jefferson Vineyards (MA)
- Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (MA & PP)

Monticello Artisan Trail Google Map or PDF | Sign Up for Presidents Passport | Nelson 151 Google Map

Where are you headed this fall in Virginia? Leave us a comment to tell us your favorite drive for foliage, your favorite festival, or whatever else you’d like to share about all the ways you LOVE fall in Virginia!

More Artisan Trails
Fall Related Blog Posts

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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Camping Destinations for Fall Fun

by Casey | Posted on September 12th, 2013

Camping can be about getting away from it all, but it can also be about thrifty travel. If you save money on your accommodation, that savings can then be applied to nearby attractions and dining. Give it a try at one of these campgrounds that have great fun nearby.

Williamsburg KOA

Williamsburg KOA

Williamsburg KOA was built for family fun with many on-site special events and tons of fun nearby, too. The campground can accommodate RVs and campers of all sizes, but boast deluxe cabins with linens provided, too.

SPECIAL DEAL: Stay Free on Thursdays when you book Friday & Saturday nights!


Ed Allen’s Campground and Cottages in Lanexa rests along the shores of Chickahominy Lake. It’s 85 acres of hardwoods, which equals stunning foliage. The lake sunsets rival the best you’ve seen anywhere, and the fishing is good, too.



Northwest River Park Campground

Northwest River Park Campground

Northwest River Park Campground is a 763-acre escape Chesapeake, and is a usual on the “Best of Chesapeake” list. Electric and non-electric sites are available, as well as camping cabins.



Fredericksburg/Washington DC South KOA is located in Fredericksburg amid Civil War battlefields. Like its Williamsburg KOA cousin, there are plenty of pull-through sites, tent sites and cabins awaiting your arrival.



Find more great camping for your fall weekends at, or check out a couple of our camping-related blog posts below.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

*Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.


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Virginia’s Howlers and Growlers

by Casey | Posted on August 15th, 2013

What better time than August Virginia Craft Beer Month to create your own beer tour? Step back and evaluate the names of Virginia’s craft breweries and you see a trend or two start to emerge. The first is animals that howl, and the second … well, the second will be a second blog post. Watch for it!

Wild Wolf Brewing Company

Wild Wolf Brewing Company

Tap travel across Virginia to hit the howlers of Virginia brews. From north to south, here’s your unofficial Virginia Howlers and Growlers Craft Beer Tour:

Manassas: BadWolf Brewing Company. Sarah Meyers, co-founder of BadWolf, first officially announced her and husband Jeremy’s plan for a nanobrewery in Manassas in September 2012. She has kept faithful craft beer lovers in the loop with licensing and legislation, the tap room build-out and much more, but there’s one thing she’s not telling. Don’t ask Sarah how she and Jeremy came up with the name BadWolf. “I’m sorry to disappoint you but we want to keep it a secret how we decided on BadWolf. That’s for you to figure out!” Guess you’d better head that way and sample one of the six brews on tap to find clues. BadWolf Brewing Company

Ruckersville: Beer Hound Brewery. Sniffing out good beer? You might fall in love with Beer Hound, a nanobrewery that opened in 2012. All of their beers are named after famous hounds of history and Hollywood. Try Archie, Duke, Kujo or Old Yella, for starters.

Nellysford: Wild Wolf Brewing Company. This brewery, restaurant, sports bar and shopping village gets its name from brewmaster Danny Wolf, who was trained at America’s oldest brewing school. Sample or take home a growler of Alpha Ale, White Wolf or Howling Pumpkin, the fall beer that blends molasses and pumpkin pie spice into a well-balanced brew.

Blue Lab Brewing Company logoLexington: Blue Lab Brewing Company. A microbrewery in historic downtown Lexington? Yes indeed. Sample the beers on tap and take home a growler or keg.

Abingdon: Wolf Hills Brewing Company. Daniel Boone trekked the mountains and valleys along the Great Road and into the Wilderness — today’s Abingdon. It was on this southern end of the Great Road that Boone’s dogs encountered a wolf pack from a nearby cave. That one sleepless night lives on in legend, and now, in name as Wolf Hills Brewing Company. Visit the Wolf Den Tasting Room from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays, affectionately dubbed “Growler Hours,” to enjoy small-batch brews.

Check out our Craft Beer Map to find more delicious Virginia beverages and to plan your own craft beer tour.

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Six Big Ideas for Big Family Fun

by Casey | Posted on August 5th, 2013

We’ve established that August is National Peach Month, but did you know that August is also Family Fun Month? ‘Tis. Let’s celebrate with some awesome ideas for family fun in a budget friendly kind of way.

Horsehead Cliff at Westmoreland State Park

Horsehead Cliff at Westmoreland State Park

1. What week is this? It’s #SharkWeek, of course! Did you know that Megalodon, Mako, Great White and Sand Tiger teeth can be found along the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers? Train your peepers to see them during low tide along the banks of the Potomac at Westmoreland State Park in Montross. Fossilized shark teeth are very common here.


- See the 28 ft. prehistoric whale on display at the Caroline County Visitor Center in Ruther Glen. It was found in a nearby quarry. (Free)
- The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville also has a whale from the Caroline County quarry. It’s a 14-million-year-old baleen whale. According to the VMNH web site, “It is the oldest known member of the group of whales that includes the fin whales. The best known fin whale is the Blue whale, the largest creature that has ever lived.” ($9/adult; $5/child 3-18)

Hull's Drive-In

Hull’s Drive-In

2. Remember drive-in theaters? Virginia has 10 of them to choose from. Find the one closest to you, pack the kids in the car along with some quilts and chairs, and off you go. With an average rate of about $7/adult, a drive-in movie experience is quite cheaper than a traditional movie theater, plus you’re handing down an awesome piece of history.

3. With nostalgia in mind, take the scenic route to wherever you’re headed to make sure you have something fun to stop and enjoy. Check out Five Quirky Roadside Photo Ops for old school inspiration, or these Four Summer Roadtrip Ideas for Families.

4. Does your family thrive in the great outdoors (or maybe you really want them to)? A waterfall is always a grand destination, and one that will pull your kids out of their technology cloud. Head to one of the Seven Lesser Known Virginia Waterfalls for a fulfilling day of hiking, picnicking and maybe swimming.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure & Treetop Junior

Go Ape Treetop Adventure & Treetop Junior

5. Head inside for a really cool museum exhibit that the whole family will enjoy. I’m serious; hear me out. Just a few weeks ago I offered a list of Five Cool Exhibits to Help You Beat the Heat. If you didn’t catch it, please go there now. There are whacky things you haven’t dreamed of seeing before, but you have to go before they’re gone.

6. Later this month Virginia’s eight National Parks will be open for FREE. It’s happening August 25. Share some Civil War history at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, get in some beach time at Assateague Island National Seashore, or cruise along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, for starters, and explore from there.

If you’ve never seen our Cool Places for Kids list, you must. It’s broken down by age and there are 70 attractions for additional considerations, including Go Ape, pictured here.

August will be history before we know it, so take advantage of the hours and minutes by spending great, fun time with the ones you LOVE the most.

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

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